Thursday, June 26, 2014

After the last election, Republican...

...National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus, above, gave an assessment of the GOP's problems based on the results of a months-long review, and he called on the party to reinvent itself (all emphasis mine):

Referring to the November election, Priebus said at a breakfast meeting: “There’s no one reason we lost. Our message was weak; our ground game was insufficient; we weren’t inclusive; we were behind in both data and digital; and our primary and debate process needed improvement."

"So, there’s no one solution," he said. "There’s a long list of them.”

Among the report's 219 prescriptions: a $10 million marketing campaign, aimed in particular at women, minorities and gays; a shorter, more controlled primary season and earlier national convention; and creation of an open data platform and analytics institute to provide research for Republican candidates.

The $10 million outreach effort to includes hiring national political directors for Hispanic, Asian-Pacific and African American voters and elevating minorities within the party. "We've done a real lousy job sometimes of bragging about the success that we've had" with minorities, in particular Hispanic candidates, Priebus said. To target African Americans, he plans to launch a pilot project in 2013 mayoral races aimed at identifying and turning out potential supporters in urban areas.

So, among other things, the GOP needs to get more blacks to vote for them, right? Well, good news! Yesterday, the Times reported, "Blacks Regain Sway at Polls in Mississippi":

For the first time since President Richard M. Nixon’s divisive “Southern strategy” that sent whites to the Republican Party and blacks to the Democrats, African-American voters have come out in force for a Republican in the Deep South.

“We’re in a moment here,” said Floyd Smith, an African-American and a longtime political worker who canvassed Jackson’s black precincts for Mr. Cochran. “Black folks went out and voted for a Republican. That’s history.”

Although Cochran campaign officials and longtime Democratic officials said white Republican voters probably made the biggest difference in Mr. Cochran’s victory, blacks turned out in record numbers for a Mississippi Republican primary.

So Republicans are finally attracting black voters. That's a good thing, isn't it? Not so fast. According to Politico, "Defiant Chris McDaniel declines to concede in speech to supporters":

Cochran is credited with winning by pumping up turnout for Tuesday’s runoff beyond the initial primary. In the final days of campaigning, he appealed to voters who don’t typically participate in Republican primaries, including those who traditionally vote Democrat, like blacks. Mississippi voting rules allow anyone to participate in a primary runoff.
The tea party-backed McDaniel camp cried foul, sending in poll monitors and questioning the final outcome of the race.

Barry Neyrey, chairman of the South Mississippi Tea Party on the Gulf Coast, blamed Cochran’s move to try and expand the electorate and increase Democratic turnout in the primary as “dirty politics.”

So, first Republicans say that they want black voters -- but only in the general. And, second -- and much, much worse -- the McDaniel people are implying that blacks can only vote in the general; that somehow participating in a Republican primary is "dirty politics." What, is the Republican Party for white voters only?

These guys have a long, long way to go.

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