My law school roommate and long time friend Henry Olsen is the vice president of the conservative think tank the American Enterprise Institute. He's written an essay for the National Review entitled "The Way of the Whigs" and it talks about the danger the GOP faces in terms of long term survival. This might seem strange given the recent polling problems the Democrats have experienced, but Henry writes that there are long term forces at work that Republicans need to heed. One is the growing Hispanic electorate which has shifted decidedly toward the Democrats over the last two election cycles. The GOP's perceived hostility to immigrants and immigration reform are the key reason and there is no way the GOP can regain a solid footing for the future as long as it is perceived as the anti-immigrant party.

A second article with a similar theme appeared in today's Washington Post:

The U.S. Hispanic population is expected to increase by nearly 200
percent by 2050, with non-Hispanic whites comprising about half the
nation's population, down from 69.4 percent in 2000. From 1988 to 2008,
the number of eligible Hispanic voters rose 21 percent -- from 16.1
million to 19.5 million.

"The numbers don't lie," said Whit Ayres, a GOP consultant. "If
Republicans don't do better among Hispanics, we're not going to be
talking about how to get Florida back in the Republican column, we're
going to be talking about how not to lose Texas.

Fewer Hispanics view the Democratic Party favorably than did a year ago, according to NBC-Wall Street Journal polls, when they had voted in record numbers for Barack Obama.
But by many measures, including candidate recruitment and vote totals,
Republicans continue to struggle. The most vexing problem is the
immigration debate, in which hard-liners and "tea party" activists have
alienated many Hispanics with their harsh anti-immigrant rhetoric.

"That's the word that got back to folks on the street: 'They don't want us,' " said Republican National Committee Chairman Michael S. Steele, who is looking for ways to tamp down fiery anti-immigration language.