Ohio, Virginia, Michigan, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, and Iowa are pretty much the only states where there’s enough give for Republicans. If the 2016 nominee wins those states, he or she will need at least eight more electoral votes. It is not inconceivable that a GOP nominee can:
(1) Excite the party with the promise of his electability.
(2) Create enough of a contrast with the Democratic nominee to keep the caucus/primary voting base motivated.
(3) Appeal just a bit more to to blue collar white voters and to married women.
Assuming Hillary Clinton will be the Democratic nominee, then the challenge of task two is reduced somewhat. Against Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, there aren’t many scenarios where conservative activists don’t unite and stay motivated.