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NBC Panel: Romney Loss Would Cause GOP 'Civil War'; GOP 'Toast' in 'Multiracial' America

During a panel discussion on Tuesday's NBC Today, former McCain campaign advisor Steve Schmidt and PBS host Tavis Smiley began writing the Republican Party's obituary before any votes had been counted, after co-host Matt Lauer wondered: "Which party stands to suffer the most long-term damage if they lose today?" [Listen to the audio]

Schmidt proclaimed: "Well, if the Republicans lose, there's gonna be a civil war that breaks out in the Republican Party." Smiley followed by ranting that the GOP would be on the decline no matter what the outcome of the election: "I think we agree on this, though, Steve, the GOP is toast in the most multicultural, multiracial, multiethnic America ever if they can't expand their base. They may win tomorrow, but they're not going to win long term." Schmidt replied: "No doubt."

Here is a transcript of the November 6 exchange:

7:48AM ET

(...)

MATT LAUER: Steve, oftentimes the day after an election, the pundits sit around and the losing party they look at and they say they've got to start from scratch, they've got to rethink everything. Which party stands to suffer the most long-term damage if they lose today?

STEVE SCHMIDT: Well, if the Republicans lose, there's gonna be a civil war that breaks out in the Republican Party. Think about this, the last Republican candidate who got over 60% of the white vote, George Herbert Walker Bush, over 400 electoral votes. Mitt Romney is going to get 60% of the white vote, that same margin. He's either going to win narrowly or he's gonna lose the election. The country has changed fundamentally. We were at over 40% of the Hispanic with George W. Bush in 2004, and we're not able to get to 30% in this election and it's startling.

TAVIS SMILEY: I think we agree on this, though, Steve, the GOP is toast in the most multicultural, multiracial, multiethnic America ever if they can't expand their base. They may win tomorrow, but they're not going to win long term.

SCHMIDT: No doubt.

(...)