Since losing a handful of seats during the last election cycle along with back-to-back losses for the presidency, Republicans now realize the party’s conservative platform needs to be more progressive. Many of the woes are coming from inside the Grand Old Party itself.
Republican National Convention leader Reince Priebus explained the shortfalls of the Conservative party and losing the 2012 election. John McCormick of Bloomberg News reports:
“There’s no one reason we lost,” RNC Chairman Reince Priebus, said at a March 18th National Press Club gathering in Washington. “Our message was weak, our ground game was insufficient, we weren’t inclusive, we were behind in both data and digital, and our primary and debate process needed improvement.”
Priebus said the RNC would spend $10 million this year, an unprecedented amount in a non-election year, to hire hundreds of workers to network with, court and register minority voters.
The minority vote played a critical role in the 2012 election with 80 percent going to the Democratic ticket. In January, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal called his own party “the stupid party” and talked about what the Republican party needs to do to win future elections.
On March 3rd, former Republican presidential front-runner Mitt Romney spoke with Fox News Sunday‘s Chris Wallace about why his campaign failed and why the Democrats’ message resonated with voters:
WALLACE: Looking back, how do you rate yourself as a presidential candidate?
MITT ROMNEY: Well, I see my mistakes and I see my flaws, and I did better this time than I did the time before.
MITT ROMNEY: And — and I won’t get a third chance. I’m not doing it again. The weakness that our campaign had and that I had is we weren’t effective in taking my message primarily to minority voters, to Hispanic-Americans, African-Americans, other minorities.
That was a real weakness. We did very well with the majority population, but not with minority populations. And that was a — that was a failing. That was a real mistake.
WALLACE: Why do you think that was?
MITT ROMNEY: Well, I think the ObamaCare attractiveness and feature was something we underestimated in a — particularly among lower incomes. And we just didn’t do as — as good a job at connecting with that audience as we should have.
Gun control policy and the same-sex marriage debate still remain hot political issues, but immigration reform is most likely to find common ground in the highly partisan Legislature. Mark Salter, from Real Clear Politics, explains why:
Congressional Democrats understand that their Latino supporters expect such loyalty to be rewarded by making immigration reform the party’s top legislative priority this year. The president has promised as much.
Republican leaders recognize the demographic changes taking place in this country and that they can’t win national elections now or in the future without making inroads into the Democrats’ immense share of the non-white vote.
Key components of the GOP’s strategy include initiatives to increase party-voter appeal and to expand its base of minority supporters. The announcement that the GOP is spending millions to rebuild its ground game came as no surprise to some observers, with 2016 just around the corner and the parties now on equal footing with no incumbent president running.