TAMPA, Fla., July 8th 2013 ― There are less than 500 days left until the 2014 mid-term elections. The urban effort that was promised in the “Growth and Opportunity Project” has not manifested in an meaningful way.
There have been press releases. Reince Preibus stepped intio the lion’s den of the Tom Joyner Morninhttpg Show. But where is the “boots on the ground” effort? Conrad Lucus, Chairman of the West Virginia Republican Party, in an appearance on the Willie Lawson Show, related his plan on reaching non-traditional republicans voters.
Conrad said the the W.V. GOP has decided that this year is not the “off-season.” They have hired people to start speaking and interfacing with people throughout the state. They want to lay the groundwork through conversation and community engagement for future elections.
The course for the GOP in the urban community is as dauting as it is for the W.V. GOP to convince Democrat coal miners that their leadership has led them down the primrose path to destruction. But the Republican minority outreach plan seems to be taking a different tack. With a limited budget, the GOP is using certain media outlets for its campaign. It also seems that a wide-spread approach to community engagement is not the path the GOP has chosen. This plan is very similar to other plans we have seen from the GOP. It is a plan that pays lip service to critics but does not reach the important urban community.
This seems like madness, but there is method in this madness. When this plan was announced, the GOP faced a great deal of critisism from its conservative base about pandering. For many conservative Republicans, any form of messenging is tatamount to diluting the message. For this reason the excitement and expectation for any real community engagement by the GOP has been tempered by a sobering reality: The paymasters of the GOP are not interested in expanding the size of the tent or increasing its membership. As far as we can tell it is business as usual.
The problem with pursuing a course of business as usual is that there is little chance the Republican Party will make gains in the 2014 elections. The level of tone deafness that surrounds the Republican Party leadership on this issue is impressive. They look at national electoral maps and see huge swathes of red; they don’t understand that most voters live in the little patches of blue.
Every 2012 election map tells the same story: Republicans lost the urban centers. The solution: Do more work in the urban centers in the off election years. If instead they strenuously avoid “pandering” and only pay lip service to the importance of urban voters, the GOP sets itself up for more losses.
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