U.S. House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) (2nd L) and House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) (3rd R) leave after a news conference on the "fiscal cliff" on Capitol Hill in Washington, December 21, 2012. (Photo : Reuters)
After President Obama's resounding victory in last month's election, as well as the better than expected performance of Democrats in Congress, especially the Senate, Republicans are under intense pressure to mitigate their hardline stances on many issues, including immigration and gun control.
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Latino Americans voted overwhelmingly for Obama, with 71 percent of them casting their ballots for the Democratic ticket, even with popular Republican Cuban-American Senator Marco Rubio stumping for Romney in the swing state of Florida.
Obama won Florida, but by the closest margin of any state. Without the Latino vote in Florida, as well as other swing states like Colorado and Nevada, Obama couldn't have won the election.
So Republicans are trying to come to terms with an electorate that is becoming increasingly non-white.
George W. Bush tried to push through comprehensive immigration reform during his presidency, but he was stymied by intense opposition from his own party. Still, Bush was rewarded for the attempt by voters, receiving 40 percent of the Latino vote.
But Romney staunchly opposed Obama's deportation deferment plan, as well as the DREAM Act, which would offer a path to citizenship for young undocumented immigrants brought to the country as minors.
Still, while Republican pundits agree the party must soften its stance on immigration, there has been little in the way of concrete proposals.
There is more movement on gun control.
After the tragic shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. two weeks ago, Democrats have been calling for tougher gun control measures, and Republicans are finding it difficult to oppose in the face of strong public support, at least for right now.
Obama called on Congress to reinstate a ban on assault weapons which expired under George. W. Bush.
When the National Rifle Association held a press conference the week after the shooting calling for armed guards in every school in America, Republicans backed away from their longtime ally and contributor.
Even libertarian minded Ron Paul said he opposed the idea, though he was more concerned about the expansion of federal power it would require.
Republicans know they have to change, but there is much indecisiveness about how exactly to go about that without simply adopting more liberal positions.