This morning, the RNC released their 2012 "autopsy" findings and plan for future elections. The report, appropriately titled "The Growth & Opportunity Project," bluntly addresses the widespread issues within the Republican Party as well as providing a plan for 2016. Although I highly suggest you read the entire report yourself, here are a few highlights.
- The Republican Party needs to stop talking to itself. We have become expert in how to provide ideological reinforcement to like-minded people, but devastatingly we have lost the ability to be persuasive with, or welcoming to, those who do not agree with us on every issue.
- It is time for Republicans on the federal level to learn from successful Republicans on the state level. It is time to smartly change course, modernize the Party, and learn once again how to appeal to more people, including those who share some but not all of our conservative principles.
- If we want ethnic minority voters to support Republicans, we have to engage them and show our sincerity.
- This new organization should develop a program designed to educate Republicans on the importance of developing and tailoring a message that is non-inflammatory and inclusive to all.
- Republicans should develop a more aggressive response to Democrat rhetoric regarding a so-called “war on women.” In 2012, the Republican response to this attack was muddled, and too often the attack went undefended altogether. We need to actively combat this, better prepare our surrogates, and not stand idly by while the Democrats pigeonhole us using false attacks. There are plenty of liberal policies that negatively impact women, and it is incumbent upon the party to expose those and relentlessly attack Democrats using that framework.
- Republicans need to talk about people and families, not just numbers and statistics.
- Encourage young candidates to run for office by preparing them with training and support.
- Media plans and buys must integrate all platforms. What worked in the last campaign will no longer work in the next campaign. Continued audience fragmentation means media plans must incorporate increasingly diverse mixes of broadcast television, cable television, Hispanic advertising, sports programming, radio, Internet advertising, social media, mobile, and other
emerging media such as online television viewing and radio listening.
- Groupthink is a loser.
- The number of debates should be reduced by roughly half to a still robust number of approximately 10 to 12, with the first occurring no earlier than September 1, 2015, and the last ending just after the first several primaries (February-March 2016).
- Instead of driving around in circles on an ideological cul-de-sac, we need a Party whose brand of conservatism invites and inspires new people to visit us. We need to remain America’s conservative alternative to big-government, redistribution-to-extremes liberalism, while building a route into our Party that a non-traditional Republican will want to travel. Our standard should not be universal purity; it should be a more welcoming conservatism.