Colorado GOP Searching For Answers After Election
DENVER (CBS4)– The election is over and the analysis is under way for Republicans, especially in Colorado, where the GOP lost the presidential race and the state house.
The party is doing some serious soul searching as it examines where it failed to reach voters.
Kristin Strohm runs her own firm, The Starboard Group, which helped finance many of the campaigns in Colorado. She believes the party has a problem.
“There is still a lot of shock,” said Strohm.
The Starboard Group raised $15 million for Republican candidates in this election. Strohm said she believes she knows exactly what went wrong.
“I think if you ask any young female voter– me– ‘What do you think of the Republican Party?’ You think of an angry white man doing the finger pointing, who’s telling you what you can and can’t do with your life, which is a huge problem and that’s really not what the Republican Party stands for,” said Strohm.
Exit polling speaks to the GOP’s problem. Romney won the white vote by 20 points and still lost the election. Here’s why: nearly 30 percent of the electorate is now non-white and is growing faster than whites.
In 2004, 44 percent of Hispanics voted for Bush, in 2008, 31 percent went for McCain and this year, Romney got just 27 percent of their vote.
“That’s a huge wake up call for us and really is frustrating. The Hispanic population believes in faith, family and freedom and those are all issues that embody the Republican Party and our principles, yet, for some reason, there’s a disconnect and I think a lot of that is our brand,” said Strohm.
That brand should appeal to young people who support limited government and gays who are fiscal conservatives.
Strohm said the Republican image has been tarnished by the radical element– the Todd Akins and Richard Mourdocks of the party.
“I think to the Democrats credit they’ve done a great job taking Mourdock and Akin and painting a broad brush over all the Republicans,” said Strohm.
She believes if the party fails to correct that, to broaden its base, it will mean the demise of the Republican Party, “We could cease to exist.”
In addition to demographics, Republicans are also struggling with divisions within the party. Strohm pointed out that in every state race this election there was a Libertarain candidate who did well.
She believes the party needs to find common ground and find candidates who reflect something other than the good ol’ white boy image.
Strohm believes it’s not about changing their beliefs but their brand.