GOP’s Recipe for Success Might Be at the State Level

In Washington the latest debt ceiling faceoff has branded the GOP the “party of no.” In the rest of the country, Republicans are more popular.
October 15, 2013
 

With both cocktails and political messaging, it all comes down to the mix. Most people don’t want to guzzle down a glass full of gin, but with the right proportions of tonic and lime, a large majority of people will enjoy a gin-based cocktail. The Republican brand, as it is currently being served to the American people, is too much 100-proof Washington whiskey and not enough club soda, which is overpowering the successes the GOP is having at the state level. Rebalancing the recipe will be essential for national electoral success in 2014 and beyond.

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In Washington, some Republicans have ginned up a whole lot of agitation. After the last debt ceiling faceoff and the 2012 elections, others recognized the need to broaden their message. Instead, a few loud voices hijacked the discussion and decided to attach an unattainable goal, the repeal of Obamacare, to a must-pass spending bill, generating a maelstrom that crowded out efforts to address entitlements, tax simplification, immigration or trade expansion.

The end result has been a seemingly endless torrent of D.C. news items that reinforce the “party of no” narrative that the GOP has been attempting to change since last year’s presidential defeat. It’s been overpowering the other elements of the Republican brand.

In the rest of the country, Republicans have a host of successes.

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