The Republican Party has been on a mission since another lopsided loss in the polls in November. The party is trying to figure out how to reinvent itself and give itself a fighting chance in upcoming elections.
The head of the Republican National Committee was in Seattle to get some ideas on Thursday. RNC chair Reince Priebus admitted his party has a lot of work to do to win over new members and regain some popularity. He said the party must pull from the Democrats’ playbook and be more aggressive in promoting campaigns, starting earlier and pushing for every vote, especially in states like Washington that have vote-by-mail where votes are cast weeks before election day.
He said the party must go into full-time campaign mode, year-round, every year, just like Democrats do if it expects to be competitive.
In speaking with Washington Republicans, it became quite clear to Priebus they are tired of being ignored at the national level. “Part of what we have to do as a national party is – number one – stop writing off states. Stop and end the red state, blue state analysis that is a road to nowhere for our party,” he said.
Chairman Priebus said the standard GOP play to fight hard for the battleground states and leave the blue states alone will not work anymore. “You have to hit all eight states,” he said. “Basically you have a national election in eight states. You have to hit all eight, dead-center-bullseye, and if you miss one you’re out of the game. You’re limiting yourself to eight places to compete in. That’s something that has to change.”
He admitted that ignoring blue states like Washington is really impacting the local races. He cites Rob McKenna’s loss to Jay Inslee in November. “So you have Rob McKenna, who by all rights should have won, with no help from the national campaign,” he said. “Just a tiny bit of help would have made the difference, but because Washington gets written off in a presidential campaign he’s rowing all by himself. That has to change.”
Priebus didn’t talk about the policy changes the party will likely have to make to win back the Asian-American vote which has bolted from the party in the last three Presidential races and to appeal to Latino voters and moderates and independents.