Between the Lines: By Mark Halperin

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John Tlumacki / The Boston Globe via Getty Images

Mitt Romney addresses supporters at the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center as he concedes the election to President Barack Obama.

Republicans are defeated and divided in the wake of Election Day. The battle lines are drawn everywhere: Antitax absolutists are facing off against those who think accepting new revenue is inevitable ... Republicans fearful of crossing the conservative base, which rejects anything that smacks of "amnesty" for illegal immigrants, differ from those who see the political imperative of getting on the right side of Hispanic voters ... And determined social conservatives oppose those who recognize that a double-digit deficit among female voters requires some major rethinking ... The GOP comeback plan:

1 Improve the party's standing with nonwhites, young people and single women, which will take a complete revamping of its agenda and leadership ...

2 Work the nuts and bolts. Conservatives have ceded a once storied advantage in pinpointing and turning out voters to a Democratic operation that is unprecedented in size and wizardry ...

3 Find an economic message for the middle class. A successful White House--led effort to reach a grand bargain on deficit reduction would blur the biggest recent difference between the two parties, knocking Republicans back a bit in the short term. But sooner or later the GOP needs to spend some time crafting 21st century ideas about creating good jobs at good wages for current and future workers ...

4 Let new leaders bloom. It is way too early to say what kind of presidential candidate will be most likely to win in 2016 but not too soon for Republicans to admit the traits in which their current crop of bigwigs is deficient. On the shopping list: less white, less male, less focused on retro social issues, more comfortable on the campaign trail, more connected to the real lives of real people, more populist.