College Republicans Report: Youth View Party as 'Old'

Sunday, 02 Jun 2013 08:03 PM

By Greg Richter

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College Republicans have looked into why the GOP fared so poorly with young people in the last election – and what they found wasn't pretty.

The College Republican National Committee will release the report Monday, but gave a copy to Politico, which says young people don't find the Grand Old Party quite so grand – though they do find it "old."

Themes such as cutting big governement and opposing same-sex marriage don't resonate with them. Neither do cutting taxes or the use of offensive and polarizing rhetoric.

The 95-page report, titled "Grand Old Party for a Brand New Generation," makes several suggestions for wooing young voters back.

"We will face serious difficulty so long as the issue of gay marriage remains on the table," the report says. Many young voters say they would not even consider voting for a candidate who opposes same-sex marriage.

Hispanic voters, the report says, "tend to think the GOP couldn’t care less about them.”

And while Republicans see themselves as the party that offers economic freedom to individuals who work hard to achieve it, the perception of young voters is, “We’ve become the party that will pat you on your back when you make it, but won’t offer you a hand to help you get there.”

What's behind the problem? "Outrageous statements made by errant Republican voices," the report says, i.e. the body rejects a pregnancy caused by rape.

Words associated with the Republican party include "closed-minded, racist, rigid, old-fashioned."

Despite the bleak outlook, the report sees hope for Republicans. After all, Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush both were able to capture young voters.

"We didn’t want to go so far as to say, 'You must take this position to win young voters,'" said Alex Schriver of the Winston Group, which authored the report. "The purpose of the report is, we need to do a better job communicating our principles."

"Our research finds both a dismal present situation and an incredible opportunity for turning the GOP brand around," the report said.

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