There are several ways to win an election. One is to promote policies that appeal to a majority of people. Another is to fight like hell to turn out your supporters, and hope they number more than the opposition.
And when all that fails, there's the GOP way.
After examining the plethora of bills introduced in statehouses this year that, among other things, would reduce poll hours and require voters to show photo ID, it seems clear that Republicans are trying to make it harder for certain groups to vote. The Advancement Project, an advocacy group of civil rights attorneys, called the push “the largest legislative effort to scale back voting rights in a century.”
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL), Republican legislators have introduced bills that would diminish access to the voting booth in over 40 states. All of these Republican proposals focus on one apparent goal: restrict ballot access and shrink the electorate—often in ways that would decrease Democratic votes.
Republicans have lost a significant chunk of votes by going after Medicare, and demographics are stacked against them. Their core base groups are shrinking as a percentage of Americans, and despite 2010, they're more and more a regional party. 2010 gifted them majorities in places where they soon will lose them, so this is a last-gasp effort to stack the deck in their favor.
The Republican Party is a deeply anti-democratic (small "d") party. Rather than fight for greater ballot access, it is specifically working on restricting it.