College Republicans warned their party about its dire lack of appeal to young voters Monday, in another excruciatingly detailed report that warning that the GOP must change or die.
The new 95-page report, which was compiled by the College National Republican Committee, describes the party’s challenge with Millennial voters — both when it comes to reaching them and messaging in a way that connects with them. The report is based on in-depth research from two separate surveys and subsequent focus groups conducted by The Winston Group.
“The Republican Party has won the youth vote before and absolutely can win it again. But this will not occur without significant work to repair the damage done to the Republican brand among this age group over the last decade,” the CNRC writes in the report.
Some of the more brutal details:
- In January, the CNRC asked identified “winnable” young people who had voted for Obama the words that came to mind when hearing the words “Republican Party.” Four of the most common responses: “closed-minded, racist, rigid, old-fashioned.” Democrats, by contrast, were “tolerant,” “diverse,” and “open-minded.”
- Young voters don’t consider elected officials to be the Republican Party’s leaders. A focus group in Ohio selected Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, and Bill O’Reilly as the most iconic figures they identify with the GOP. By contrast, they identified Barack Obama, the Clintons, and Nancy Pelosi, along with other prominent current and former elected officials.
- The report accused Republicans of not having any “substance behind” a vague message of economic growth. “Economic growth and opportunity policies cannot just be about tax cuts and spending cuts,” the report says. It needs to be backed up with specific policy prescriptions on health care, immigration, and education.
- On immigration, the report concludes that young Latino voters think the GOP “couldn’t care less” about them.
- Republicans need to drop their “big government” argument against policies, according to the report. “When Republicans proudly say they are going to take on President Obama’s ‘big-government policies,’ many young people shrug their shoulders, unsure what we mean by ‘big government’ and exactly how that crusade will make their lives better,” the report says.
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