OPINION: The GOP has a path back to winning a national majority, but it must address important challenges.

Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump rages against ’60 Minutes’ for interview with KrebsCornyn spox: Neera Tanden has ‘no chance’ of being confirmed as Biden’s OMB pickPa. lawmaker was informed of positive coronavirus test while meeting with Trump: reportMORE received around 74 million votes in this years election.
Joe BidenJoe BidenTrump rages against ’60 Minutes’ for interview with KrebsCornyn spox: Neera Tanden has ‘no chance’ of being confirmed as Biden’s OMB pickFive things to know about Georgia’s Senate runoffsMORE got more than 80 million votes.
Even if you take out California, which would be a uniquely healthy development for the rest of the nation, Biden attracted a distinct majority of the electorate.
This is an unacceptable conclusion for Trump. But it should lead to an inescapable conclusion for those who want to rebuild a conservative majority in our country.
Many argue that these numbers just reflect that the country is deeply divided.
Actually, they reflect a great deal more than that.
If you consider who voted for Trump and who did not, it becomes apparent that there is a definite workable coalition that is center-right. If activated, it would provide an effective alternative to the Democratic progressive movement.
It is always simplistic to apply broad brushstrokes to voters when discussing election outcomes.
But it is still worth a try.
Among Trumps 74 million voters which is a lot of Americans but not, it must be stressed, a winning plurality it seems there were three broad groups.
There is the large segment of our society that feels genuinely disenfranchised.
These are not the folks that the New York Times and the rest of the national media tell us about. It is mostly people who make up what used to be called Middle America.
And they have a point.
Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonCornyn spox: Neera Tanden has ‘no chance’ of being confirmed as Biden’s OMB pickGroups seek to get Black vote out for Democrats in Georgia runoffsBiden’s political position is tougher than Trump’sMORE summed them up at least in the minds of the condescending class that dominates the media and academia as the Deplorables.
They do not like being looked down upon by the smug.
They may drive pickup trucks. They may work for a living at jobs far removed from the Californian world of tech savvy. Many actually go to church on Sunday. And, until Trump came along, they felt no-one spoke for them.
They have a genuine gripe with how the coastal elites scoff at them and scorn their values.
They saw Trump as expressing and capturing their frustrations and they still do.
They are only Republicans in passing. They are populists in passion.
Whether they will continue to identify with other Republican candidates is an open question.
The second element among the 74 million Trump voters overlaps with the first but goes in a bit of a tangential direction.
They are people who found the Democratic alternative to Trump to be uniquely distasteful to their basic beliefs in America.
They regard the nation as a place where rewards should come based on talent and initiative, not class, color or gender identification.
These folks simply do not like, nor do they wish to be subjected to, a society where the guiding philosophy is political correctness on steroids, practiced by people who tolerate no dissent.
They are actually the legatees of Thomas Jefferson, who made clear that America stands for liberty.
They see their liberty being suffocated by the effete attitude of the Democratic left.
They are especially concerned that Biden will be unable to control the progressives we are no longer allowed to say socialists who view the market economy as a source of oppression, and call for defunding the police and emptying the prisons.
These people are not particularly enthused by Trump and his antics, but they saw him as the only alternative to the dangerous forces surrounding Biden.
The third group of voters within Trumps 74 million are just plain Republicans.
They vote Republican because it is the party with which they identify. They are, for lack of a better word, traditionalists.
They are conservative either fiscally, socially or both.
They know Trump is not a conservative. He is no President Reagan or even President George W. Bush. He is, however, running as a Republican, so they assume he must have some support for the values around which Republicans have rallied for years.
They are sticking with the party because it represents the themes they believe are critical: commitment to a strong national defense, a market economy, individual rights and fiscal responsibility.
If you put these three cadres of folks together, it brings you to about half the nation.
But this was not a winning coalition in this election, and it will not be one in the next election either.
Others are needed to create a workable majority for the Republican Party.
Of primary importance here are the millions of people who deem themselves independents but lean to the right on the political playing field.
In large part, this group especially its women voted for Biden because they were disgusted by Trumps erratic behavior and his denigration of the office of president.
To make the Republican Party competitive, it is critical to draw these independent voters back towards conservative candidates who express their views without Trumps baggage of self-destructive narcissism.
The second group the GOP needs not only in national elections but in state contests in places like Texas, Florida and Arizona is comprised of folks of Hispanic heritage.
These voters should be naturally attracted to the conservative cause.
Their culture prizes hard work and a focus on the family. They are often highly religious and hold social values that naturally align with conservative causes.
Their votes, which cannot afford to be lost, have been tossed aside by Trump and his jingoist agenda.
Trump’s supporters talk up the fact that 32 percent of Latinos voted for him this year, according to exit polls. But this is still well below the 44 percent who voted for President George W. Bush in 2004.
Conservatives need to push inclusion not exclusion, addressing issues such as rational immigration reform, the elimination of job discrimination and the provision of educational choice for their kids.
Is it possible to merge all these various groups into a winning coalition?
To some degree, the Democrats will help do this.
They will inevitably overplay their hand.
They will give too much deference to their now-dominant progressive base. This will create a significant consolidation of opposition.
The Republicans will be the beneficiaries.
But the GOP needs to stand for more than opposition. It must have a positive purpose.
The path to such policies is complex.
It requires an understanding of populist frustration, an advocacy of traditional conservative values and views, and leaders who do not have a self-immolation complex.
Such a party would be dedicated to restructuring our national government on a populist basis of fundamental change. But it would also carry the scent of traditional conservative philosophy, including the commitment to market economics and fiscal responsibility. Additionally, it would embrace rather than exclude the rising Hispanic population and their culture.
Winning without this type of coalition will be difficult.
It can be done. But Trump will need to stand aside or be pushed aside so other leaders can come forward.
In Trumps mind, there is never room for others.
If the renewed Republican Party is to gather a workable majority that can govern, it needs space for other leaders.
Such leaders would understand and express this need for a broader coalition.
They would speak for more than just themselves and their own egos.
Judd Gregg (R) is a former governor and three-term senator from New Hampshire who served as chairman and ranking member of the Senate Budget Committee, and as ranking member of the Senate Appropriations Foreign Operations subcommittee.