The late Republican Sen. Barry Goldwater said in 1994, "If they [the religious right] succeed in establishing religion as a basic Republican Party tenet, they could do us in."
Aside from the GOP's immigration policies and obsession with lowering tax rates on the wealthiest Americans, the religious right's influence over the Republican Party is another reason its agenda failed to resonate in 2012. Primary candidates like Rick Perry, Michele Bachmann and Rick Santorum tried to out-Jesus each other, eschewing any message of acceptance and inclusion that would make the GOP relevant to those outside its most conservative wing.
The Republicans should seriously consider Goldwater's view on religion in politics. Almost 20 years later, the senator's words are prophetic.
GOP Chairman Reince Priebus says his party needs better organizing and that its "polices are sound."
I'm sure that all the Republican Party needs to do is to explain its positions more effectively to the demographic groups they're after. To Hispanics, just explain the correctness of self-deportation; to women why they must bear unwanted children; to gays that they have a choice; and to African Americans that our black president can't be a real American.