The Republican Party is like one of those perennially mediocre teams that experience the worst of both worlds. It cannot manage to rebuild, and it cannot win now. Nothing has crystallized this reality more dramatically than Donald Trump’s success in the Republican primaries.
For decades, the demographic reality has been staring Republicans in the face: As the presidential year electorate is becoming more and more diverse, minority voters are becoming increasingly out of reach for Republican nominees. (This reality has been camouflaged by the fact that the midterm electorate that has allowed Republicans to take over the House and Senate tends to be older and whiter.)
Republicans haven’t proven that they can boost white turnout enough in presidential election years to win now; and a critical mass of their primary electorate doesn’t want to rebuild the party to make it more welcoming to minority groups…
For Republicans, it’s a vicious cycle. They lose non-white voters overwhelmingly, and then, because few minorities vote in their primaries, they end up producing candidates who have no realistic chance to appeal to those voters. The racial makeup of their primary voters still looks like the general electorate that voted for Reagan in 1980, even as the country has moved on.