Republican losses show cracks in party strategy


Otto Tielemans

Republican candidates Mitt Romney and Tony Strickland lost Tuesday night. Credit: Aysen Tan/The Foothill Dragon Press
Republican candidates Mitt Romney and Tony Strickland lost Tuesday night. Credit: Aysen Tan/The Foothill Dragon Press

As I bounced between Fox News and the Ventura County Star on Tuesday, I could not help but cringe as the results for the local, state, and national elections poured in.

Announcement after announcement, my heart dropped as the Republicans that I supported, some of which I actually knew and worked for, lost to their Democratic opponents.

Todd Zink, Mike Stoker, Bob Roper, Tony Strickland, Elizabeth Emken, and Mitt Romney all lost. The fact that Fox News was the one informing me on most of these losses made the entire situation all the more bitter.

With more than forty months of unemployment above 8 percent and a gridlocked government, I honestly believed that Republicans would have a comeback and America would vote them into office to clean up our financial disaster (among other things). While I was not completely sold on the idea that Mitt Romney would be elected, I thought that Republicans would surely acquire a solid fifty seats in the Senate.

Looking at all the Republicans efforts, however, it is not difficult to see where the Republicans failed.

For one, Republicans did little to nothing to expand their base. Their largest supporters are white, elderly males. From my assumptions, the Republicans believed that this particular group would propel them into victory and saw no reason to reach out to other voters.   

Of the 311 million people living within the United States, women make up more than half of that number. What is more, of the excess three hundred million people who live in the United States, approximately a quarter of them are a minority.

Our country’s demographics have changed, and if Republicans wish to have a comeback then they must appeal to a younger and more diverse community. Only then can they begin to grow in numbers and secure that their base continues to grow.  

However, the fact that Republicans did not extend their voter variety is not the only reason for which they lost. What damaged and continues to ruin Republicans is their image.

When I think about the party, the image of a selfish multi-billionaire smoking a cigar comes to mind. Why? Because the Republican Party has been depicted by the media as a selfish and backwards party that holds only the interest of the rich at heart.

The party has to reaffirm its principles and not let its image be falsely molded by the media. They have to show that they are not simply a party for the rich, but for those who wish to work hard and achieve a better life for themselves and those they love. They have to demonstrate to America that they truly are a political party for the entire country.

This means putting more moderate people in front of the camera. This means detaching themselves from politicians such as Todd Akin and Richard Mourdock who make the party seem to be more right wing and conservative than they really are.

If Republicans wish to fill any vacancies in the 2014 midterm election, or wish to take the Presidency in 2016, they absolutely have to focus on recreating their image and expanding their party base.

Republicans have to come to terms with the reality: not every voter is an elderly white man. What is more, the gender gap in voting, which is putting Democrats over the top, has to be dealt with.

Republicans are going to have to begin to win over the female and minority vote by making themselves more alluring.

Now of course, I am not saying that the Republicans have to change ideology. After all, it is their stance that makes me a member of their party. What I am saying though is that they have to revolutionize the way the party works.

They have to focus on appealing to woman and minorities by showing that they have their best interest at heart, not by changing their views or lying about them. They have to detach themselves from the ultra-conservative, fascist image that the media has imposed upon them. It is because they failed to do this that Republicans failed in their endeavor to win the presidency and the senate.

Unless the party changes, the same results can be expected in the years to come. 

What do you think?