Based on the fact that the Republican party took more governorship's and continue to have majority in the House of Representatives I don't believe the Republican Party needs to change. Also based on the fact history shows the party does not need to change. Lets look at prior elections and see how the partys reacted in elections. In 1980 Reagan defeated President Carter. Reagan received 489 electoral votes to Carters 49 electoral votes. In 1984 President Reagan beat Carter's Vice President Walter Mondale in a huge land slide. Reagan won 525 electoral votes and Mondale received 13 electoral votes. In 1988 at the time Republican Vice President George H.W. Bush was elected the President of the United States. He beat Michael Dukakis in a landslide victory as well. Bush had 426 electoral votes and Dukakis had 111 electoral votes. I am sure people were saying the Democratic Party was broken since we had 8 years of President Reagan and now at least 4 years of Bush. All 3 of those Presidential elections were won in huge landslides against democrats. In 1992 Bill Clinton came along and beat President Bush. Was the Democratic party any different from 1988 to 1992? No. Clinton won for a few reasons. First he was young and fresh. Much like Obama was in 2008. Clinton also used a statement that Bush made against him. That statement was "Read my lips, no new taxes" (watch video here). The statement was made in the 1988 Republican National Convention. Bush ended up raising taxes in his term. The 1992 election also had a 3rd party candidate running. That person was Ross Perot. Ross Perot can be directly associated with splitting the Republican Party's base and basically causing Bush to lose. Perot did not win any electoral votes but he did win 18% of the popular vote which caused President Bush to lose many states. I do believe if Ross Perot was not in that election Bush would have won. In 1996 Republican's put Bob Dole up against Bill Clinton for the Presidency. Bill Clinton did end up winning and that was because Dole was a much older man and Bill Clinton painted him as the older man that is not in touch with modern day. Clinton said in the debate "I don't think Senator Dole is too old to be President, it's the age of the ideas that I question" (watch video here). In election 2000 George W. Bush was elected President of the United States. He won the electoral college but lost the popular vote. From 1992 to 2000 did the Republican party change at all? No. 4 years later Democrats picked John Kerry to run against President Bush. He was nothing special for the Democratic Party. Bush ended up winning the election. In 2008 the Republican Party selected John McCain to be their nominee and the Democrats picked Barack Obama to be their nominee. Barack Obama won that race for a few reasons. First he was young, he was relatively new in the world of politics, as well as he was good at giving speeches. From 2000 to 2008 did the democratic party change at all? No. So now this brings us to 2012. The Republican Party selected Mitt Romney as the nominee to go against Barack Obama. Why did Romney lose? Well because Obama painted Romney as an evil rich corporate businessman.
Now that the history lesson is over lets reflect on what was said. In every election that a party lost that party did not change their views. What made that party win was allowing a new, young, fresh face take the nomination. For example Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, and Barack Obama all fit those requirements. If the Republican Party has to change we have to work on not nominating someone that ran in the past. The reason for this is most of the time they lose. Bod Dole, John McCain, and Mitt Romney all ran in prior Presidential elections before they were nominated and they all lost. When we look at 2016 who are the top potential Democratic candidates Hillary Clinton, and I believe John Kerry as well. Both of which ran in the past. For the Republican Party who are the top candidates Marco Rubio and Chris Christie. Both of these potential candidates are new, and young. They also have the national attention that Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, and Barack Obama had. It would be interesting to see if election 2016 follows history or brakes the trend.