Young people don't like the GOP. From Politico's write-up of the new 95-page report on why, commissioned by Big Daddy Reince:
In the report, the young Republican activists acknowledge their party has suffered significant damage in recent years. A sampling of the critique on:
Gay marriage: “On the ‘open-minded’ issue … [w]e will face serious difficulty so long as the issue of gay marriage remains on the table.”
Hispanics: “Latino voters … tend to think the GOP couldn’t care less about them.”
Perception of the party’s economic stance: “We’ve become the party that will pat you on your back when you make it, but won’t offer you a hand to help you get there.”
Big reason for the image problem: The “outrageous statements made by errant Republican voices.”
Words that up-for-grabs voters associate with the GOP: “The responses were brutal: close-minded, racist, rigid, old-fashioned.”
Well, the Republican Party in fact is close-minded, racist, rigid, and old-fashioned. So at least we know they're watching the right party. (I guess many readers will contend the "racist" assertion, but I don't see how you can not call a party that spends many millions on voter suppression efforts that are quite obviously aimed at black and brown people anything else.)
Another interesting aspect of this study, indeed more interesting since the above is rather old-hat, is the finding that "our focus on taxation and business issues has left many young voters thinking they will only reap the benefits of Republican policies if they become wealthy or rise to the top of a big business."
Well, again, I would argue that young people think this because it is broadly true. And it indicates that Repubicans are going to have to change not only on the social issues but on economic ones as well. The cultural issues can be a bit more easily papered over than economic ones. Cultural conservatives will put up with a certain amount of pandering to more modern mores with a nudge and a wink. That's harder to do with economic questions, where eventually you have to settle on a set of numbers (for tax rates, what have you), and numbers mean something.
Meanwhile, fresh word comes today that the immigration bill may be facing new problems from the GOP side of the aisle. Marco Rubio is now saying that Congress, not Homeland Security, should draft the border-security plans. And there are new demands that the law include sterner stipulations that the E-verify program (a worker ID program to confirm that said worker is eligible to work in the United States) achieve full implementation before the path to citizenship process kicks in.
These measures would gain conservative support and Republican votes but would risk losing Democratic votes. After the Democrats backed off the gay families thing, it's a little dogmatic for Republicans to be doing too much meddling now. But that's how they roll.