A new internal report just released shows an alarming crisis enveloping the GOP when it comes to the younger generation, saying that Republicans need a “fundamental re-thinking” of their brand if they want to make inroads with young voters.
The 95-page report put forth by the College National Republican Committee focuses on voters within the age-range of 18 to 29, and starkly illustrates the problems with GOP policies that are alienating Millennials.
“Neither technology, nor policy, nor branding alone will fully endear the Republican Party to a generation that has now twice broken for a Democratic candidate by historic margins,” the report says. “Yet a message and narrative that focuses on economic growth and opportunity cannot exist without substance behind it. [T]here are still many items in the Republican economic agenda that young voters have not been sold on.”
Here is a breakdown of some of the report’s findings:
The GOP is Perceived as Old-Fashioned and Bigoted
“In the focus group research conducted in January 2013,” the report said, “the young ‘winnable’ Obama voters were asked to say what words came to mind when they heard ‘Republican Party.’ The responses were brutal: closed-minded, racist, rigid, old-fashioned.”
People Think Republicans Don’t Care About the Struggles of Ordinary Americans
“We’ve become the party that will pat you on your back when you make it, but won’t offer a hand to help you get there. This has to change in order to have a shot with young voters.” The report goes on to say that people have come to believe that “they will only reap the benefits of Republican policies if they become wealthy or rise to the top of a big business,” leaving the impression that the GOP is the “fend for yourself” party.
The “Stupid Party”
“The ‘intelligent’ brand (among other positive attributes) is seriously undercut by outrageous statements made by errant Republican voices that are inevitably repeated over and over in the media,” the report said.
Extremist Abortion Policies
“Unfortunately for the GOP,” the report said, “the Republican Party has been painted — both by Democrats and by unhelpful voices in our own ranks — as holding the most extreme anti-abortion position (that it should be prohibited in all cases).”
The report concedes that the GOP “will face serious difficulty so long as the issue of gay marriage remains on the table.” As a solution, the report advises GOP-ers to promote “diversity of thought” and welcome a “healthy debate” on the issue, along with strongly opposing the use of anti-gay speech.
Read the full report embedded below.