Republican Party: Back from the Brink

Bettmann / CORBIS

GOP National Chairman Ray Bliss

ELECTIONS

Sitting back in a Washington hotel room, Republican National Chairman Ray Bliss smiled the kind of smile that had hardly creased his face in two years. "This press conference," he said, "will be a little different from my first one, when you were asking me if the Republican Party would survive." If that question seemed germane in the wake of Lyndon Johnson's 1964 landslide, it was definitively answered last week. "It looks to me," beamed Bliss, "as if we have a very live elephant."

He—and the elephant—had every reason to trumpet. With a record 56 million voters (48%...

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