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To Ensure Survival, GOP Must Change Tactics

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For Republicans, the results of last week’s election were largely disappointing.

As their candidate handily lost the presidency, the Senate majority seat drifted further from the right. Though the GOP’s presence grew in the House, the signs are clear that if the party stays their current course, Republican candidates won’t fare any better in the next national election.

Some within the party concede that moving forward, both in regards to the tactics and the tone of Republican campaigns, need to be retooled.

Ever since the beginning of the Obama presidency, the GOP has championed itself as an unrelenting adversary of the higher taxes and social programs favored by the president and Pelosi Democrats. While the Republican base rationalized this stance as a push for smaller government, it seems a large part of the electorate interpreted it more as being against Obama for the sake of being against Obama.

Republican consultant Todd Harris lamented this sentiment to the Washington Post when he told them, “Few GOP candidates have given people any positive rationale to vote Republican, beyond that we’re against Obama.”

After establishing a more positive message, it will become imperative to competently deliver it to the public, something Republicans failed to do this year.

Ohio, in particular, had both parties flex unbelievable spending power. They were evenly matched on the airwaves, as they relentlessly assaulted the state with campaign ads that some might argue confused more than they informed.

However, on the ground, the Republicans were largely outmanned, and the Democrats seized on the advantage; revitalizing support for the president that was at a high risk of fading. To make matters worse for Republicans, the system developed by the Romney camp to counter the formidable Obama ground game had a number of glitches.

There are some areas, however, where the Republican Party must not simply improve, but adapt. Specifically, the GOP must cope with changing demographics that presently do not favor them.

There was a time, not too long ago, when the more Catholic and socially conservative Latino population backed the right.

However, after nearly a decade of touchy immigration debate that has seen Republicans take a hard stance on the illegal alien question, the majority of the Hispanic population votes Democrat. Only 18 percent of Latino voters are registered Republicans, and with 50,000 Hispanics turning 18 each month, that percentage could decrease further.

Perhaps the largest block in any Republican efforts to appear more progressive will come from within the party its self.

The Tea Party branch of the GOP, with its no holds bar brand of conservatism, seemed like just the thing the party needed back during the midterm elections in 2010.

However, in 2012, the Tea Party movement acted as more of a hindrance.

When talking to his supporters at rallies across the country, Mitt Romney often had to make questionable statements about politically dangerous social issues and widely accepted Obama initiatives, like the auto bailout, in order to please these staunchest of conservatives.

It now seems that as the country progresses, so must the Republicans.

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