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Excerpts: College Republicans’ Report on ‘Dismal Situation’ with Young Voters

Earlier today, the College Republican National Committee released a post mortem report detailing the GOP’s inability to connect with young voters who Republicans. The report highlights a litany of reasons why the GOP has time and again failed to connect with young voters.

The report echoes the themes of Preibus’ own post mortem that was released earlier this year. It’s no surprise that Preibus characterized today’s report as “great.”

Despite the GOP’s months of recriminations, hand wringing and now several reports on the GOP’s failings, it has been seven months since Election Day 2012 and Republicans have made clear that they are not serious about changing their ways. Republicans are still dead set on pursuing the same old policies of repealing Obamacare, defunding Planned Parenthood and fighting common-sense gun control measures. All the reports in the world can’t fix their broken policies.

Below please find key excerpts from the College Republicans’ report (it’s worth the read):

Page 7: Neither technology, nor policy, nor branding alone will fully endear the Republican Party to a generation that has now twice broken for a Democratic candidate by historic margins.

Page 19: Young voters simply felt the GOP had nothing to offer, and therefore said they trusted the Democratic Party more than the Republican Party on every issue tested.

Page 26: As the old saying goes, “half of life is showing up,” and it’s time Republicans started showing up where young people are.

Page 32: Although “Republican economic policies” is the factor least likely to be viewed as playing a major role in causing the crisis, this is mostly due to young Republicans in the sample hesitating to pin blame directly on their own party, and an outright majority of young people still think those Republican policies are to blame – hardly an encouraging finding.

Page 32: During October of the 2012 campaign, MTV offered to interview both presidential candidates on air. The Romney campaign declined, but President Obama agreed and was interviewed at the White House by MTV’s Sway Calloway. In the interview, President Obama was asked to address the concerns of young people who aspire to be the “next Mark Zuckerberg” by explaining what he would do to make it easier for young people to start their own business.  The president’s response was masterful: he remarked on how he had worked to remove financial regulations that prohibited small investors from contributing money online, unleashing the ability of crowdfunding sites like Kickstarter to help young entrepreneurs raise capital.

Pages 39 & 40: Perhaps most troubling for Republicans is the finding from the March 2013 CRNC survey that showed 54% of young voters saying “taxes should go up on the wealthy,” versus 31% who say “taxes should be cut for everyone.”

Page 41: In the August XG survey, young voters handed Democrats a heavy advantage on the issue, preferring their handling of health care to Republicans’ by a 63-37 margin.

Page 42: Many of the young people in our focus groups noted that they thought everyone in America should have access to health coverage.

Page 47: Many focus group members did think that Democrats were responding to the student loan crisis. “I think they’re more in tune to what we need right now with student loans, getting a job, fixing the housing market and the environment,” observed one participant from Orlando, with another adding that he had “heard Obama once say, oh, he has student loans, he went to school, he knows what we’re going through.”

Page 55: The issue of the Republican Party’s challenges with the youth vote and the party’s challenges with non-white voters are inseparable.

Page 62: Unfortunately for the GOP, the Republican Party has been painted – both by Democrats and by unhelpful voices in our own ranks – as holding the most extreme anti-abortion position (that it should be prohibited in all cases). Furthermore, the issue of protecting life has been conflated with issues around the definition of rape, funding for Planned Parenthood, and even contraception.

Page 64: Yet it was unmistakable in the focus groups that gay marriage was a reason many of these young voters disliked the GOP.

Page 66: Nonetheless, there is hardly an appetite from this generation to see the GOP crusade against same-sex marriage.

Page 69: While there is much work to be done on reaching young voters and presenting them with policies that are compelling, the Republican Party’s brand challenges with young people are deeper than can be cured by a strong tax plan or a well-executed social media strategy.

Page 69: In January 2013, the young “winnable” Obama voters were asked to say what words came to mind when they heard “Republican Party.” The responses were brutal: closed-minded, racist, rigid, old-fashioned. .. With a list of attributes like that, who would want to buy the product the GOP is selling?

Page 84: The Republican Party’s struggles with young voters are well-documented and stem from a number of sources.

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