GOP begins post-defeat soul-searching
WASHINGTON — The Republican National Committee on Monday announced an inquiry to look at what went wrong in 2012's presidential election and how the GOP can respond to the nation's shifting demographics and adopt smarter political strategies.
RNC chairman Reince Priebus asked a group of five respected party leaders to examine how the GOP can better talk with voters, raise money from donors and learn from Democrats' tactics. Preibus asked the group, known as the Growth and Opportunity Project, to look at how campaigns are best organized and deployed, how they can work with independent groups such as super political action committees, and how the party should approach the 2016 presidential primaries as part of a top-to-bottom review.
“The Growth and Opportunity Project will recommend a plan to further ensure Republicans are victorious in 2013, 2014, 2016 and beyond,” Priebus said in a statement. “The work of the Growth and Opportunity Project will be critical as we move forward as a party and take our message to every American.”
Mitt Romney's loss on Nov. 6 to President Obama left the GOP without a clear leader but with many questions about its future. Exit polls indicated Obama carried female, black, Hispanic and Asian voting blocs. He won among voters under the age of 45 and those who lived in mid- to large-sized cities.
That adds up to a quandary for a party looking ahead at gubernatorial races next year in Virginia and New Jersey, as well as 2014's midterm elections.
“I am excited for the future of the GOP and am confident this project will strengthen our cause tremendously in the coming years,” said Sharon Day, the RNC's co-chairwoman.
Former George W. Bush White House press secretary Ari Fleischer and Sally Bradshaw, a veteran strategist and top adviser to former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, are among those leading the inquiry. Republican National Committeeman Henry Barbour, a GOP strategist and nephew of former Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour, too, will be part of the group. RNC members Zori Fonalledas of Puerto Rico and Glenn McCall of South Carolina round out the five-person committee.
Republican officials said the group would have access to RNC aides and would eventually talk to hundreds of party leaders and rank-and-file voters to better understand how the GOP came up short to Obama. After the election, top Republicans groused that Romney's campaign struggled to communicate effectively with voters, woo crucial demographic groups and break through with a winning strategy.
The party enjoyed major gains in 2010's elections, having the biggest midterm gains since 1938. Yet two years later, the party didn't capture the biggest prize in American politics — the presidency. Despite solid fundraising from the party and quick work from Romney after he won the nomination, the GOP couldn't overcome Obama's on-the-ground advantages.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Rossi: Steelers’ tarnished Bell rings true
- Pirates win 5th straight as offense continues to click in win over Marlins
- Vandals ruin Ligonier Township farmers’ garden
- Arrest made in 2014 case of Blawnox man found dead in Oakland
- UPMC offering buyouts to 3,500 employees in cost-cutting move
- Pirates notebook: Struggling Polanco held out of starting lineup
- Tomlin gives suggestion Steelers won’t be shy about going for 2
- Steelers notebook: LB Harrison open for larger role
- Steelers’ Brown: Attendance ‘never a doubt’ for offseason workouts
- Ligonier Township K-9 officer home to recover from deadly collision
- Hines Ward appearing on ‘Celebrity Wife Swap’