GOP Reality Check Begins

By Ramesh Ponnuru, Bloomberg - February 26, 2013

Some Republicans haven't gotten to the first step: the one where you admit there's a problem. In a roundup of reactions to the 2012 U.S. presidential election by the magazine Commentary, for example, conservative writer Wilfred McClay says Republican worriers are "wildly overwrought" because the 2012 election was "close."

So it counts as a good sign that the chairman of the Republican National Committee has a different perspective.

"We haven't won a decisive presidential election in 24 years," says Reince Priebus -- the first name is short for Reinhold -- in his office. George H.W. Bush's election in 1988, he points out, was the last time Republicans carried California, New Jersey, Illinois or Pennsylvania. (He could have accurately added another large state, Michigan.) With so many electoral votes off-limits, Republicans have to carry almost every tossup state to win. 

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