Happy for tea party support, GOP faces challenges

Associated Press
Chairman of the Republican National Committee Reince Priebus speaks to delegates during an abbreviated session the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla., on Monday, Aug. 27, 2012. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)
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Chairman of the Republican National Committee Reince Priebus speaks to delegates during an abbreviated session the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla., on Monday, Aug. 27, 2012. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — The Republican Party that's showing its face to America this week is a restless institution that relies heavily on the uncompromising passions of tea partyers, anti-immigration activists and social conservatives. It's a potent but unruly coalition that supplies vital energy today but poses serious challenges for the future.

These forces propelled the GOP to big wins in 2010. And they might help Mitt Romney win the White House this fall. But they operate largely beyond his control, sometimes igniting brushfires and pulling his campaign off message.

More troubling for the Republican Party in future elections is that these fiery conservatives seem to be turning off millions of Hispanic voters — the fastest-growing segment of the American electorate.

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