GOP Study Says Party Is Out Of Touch With Many Americans


UPDATED: Monday March 18, 2013 6:31 PM

A brutally frank internal Republican Party study finds many voters feel the GOP is "scary," "narrow minded," and "out of touch."

"We have a perception problem.  We're dealing with that.  The important first step is recognizing we have a problem," said Matt Borges, executive director of the Ohio Republican Party.

Borges, who is the front runner to become chairman of the Ohio Republican Party next month, says the state GOP is already implementing many of study's recommendations.

"We are tearing up the old playbook," said Borges.  "We have to do things differently.  In 2012, we ran a 2004 campaign."

National Republicans received input from a focus group in Columbus to help figure out what went wrong in 2012.

The 100 page report is called an "autopsy" by Republican National Committee chairman Reince Priebus.

"As it makes clear, there's no one reason we lost.  Our message was weak.  Our ground game was insufficient.  We weren't inclusive," Priebus told reporters.

Among the recommendations:  An earlier Republican convention in either June or July.  Fewer primary presidential debates.   And a regional primary system that could boost Ohio's influence.

"The idea of having Ohio's voice heard in the primary process is a good thing," said Borges.

The report also shows how poorly the Republican party is doing with minorities, women and young voters.

Democratic senator Sherrod Brown says he isn't surprised.

"It's way more than message.  It's hostility to gay rights, and on women's health, and this divisiveness that we've seen in Columbus, going after workers rights, women's rights and going after voting rights," said Brown.

But Brown gives credit to Republicans for doing the self-analysis.

"The public doesn't want to see these divisions and I think once the Republicans reflect on that and take a more moderate course it will pay off for them."

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