WSJ: "Republican Party's Woes Go Beyond Bush as It Bleeds Support Among Key Groups"

Really interesting quote from the WSJ on the state of the Republican Party:

"But if Republican erosion continues, the 2008 election could confirm a trend away from the period of conservative dominance in U.S. government and politics that dates back nearly three decades, to 1978.

The party's uncertainties turn on some of the most important groups of voters. Younger voters represent necessary new blood. Hispanics are the nation's fastest-growing demographic group, and are concentrated in big states such as Florida and California that are keys to presidential victories. Independents' ranks fluctuate but are expanding amid voters' disgust with partisanship. Each party needs them to win elections.

In the 2006 congressional elections, Democrats won all three groups. Voters 18 to 29 years old favored Democrats over Republicans by 60% to 38%, exit polls showed. Hispanics favored Democrats 69% to 30%; Republicans' share was 14 percentage points lower than its Hispanic vote in congressional elections two years earlier. Independents went for Democrats 57% to 39%; in 2004, Democrats only narrowly got more votes than Republicans.

'The state of the Republican Party is worse than any time since Watergate, and arguably this is worse than Watergate,' says party strategist Vin Weber, a former congressman, 'because that was about an event, whereas this may reflect a trend.'"