But what if Romney had been able to reach a mind-blowing 70 percent of the Hispanic vote? Surely that would have meant victory, right? No, it wouldn’t. Romney still would have lost, although by the narrowest of electoral margins, 270 to 268. (Under that scenario, Romney would have won the popular vote but lost in the Electoral College; he could have racked up huge numbers of Hispanic votes in California, New York and Texas, for example, and not changed the results in those states.)

According to the Times’ calculator, Romney would have had to win 73 percent of the Hispanic vote to prevail in 2012. Which suggests that Romney, and Republicans, had bigger problems than Hispanic voters…

Everyone knows the Hispanic vote will grow in the future. But if 2012 voting patterns remain the same — whites voting in lower numbers but about 60 percent for Republicans, blacks and Asians turning out in large numbers and voting 90-plus percent and 70-plus percent, respectively, for Democrats — Republicans will have to win an astonishingly high percentage of the Hispanic vote to capture the White House.

It is simply not reasonable to believe there is something the GOP can do — pass immigration reform, juice up voter-outreach efforts — that will create that result.