The GOP is fumbling for a future. There’s a general consensus that the party needs to broaden its base by attracting more minority voters as well as the younger generation. In this past election, Mitt Romney won just 27% of the Latino vote, compared to President Obama’s 71%. As for the younger population, the president trounced Mitt Romney, winning 60% of the votes from people under the age of 30. Mitt Romney won 36% of that age bracket.
Republicans find themselves on the opposite side of many of the issues that are important to these voters; immigration reform, women’s reproductive rights, same-sex marriage, and gay rights in general. As Republican strategist Steve Schmidt said just a few weeks after the election, independent voters too often associate the word “conservative” with things like “loons and wackos.” Consider Todd Akin and “legitimate rape.” How many young people do you know who heard that and thought, “right on!”
Then there’s the issue of voter ID laws. Is making the push for more voter ID laws and more restrictive early voting policies an alternative to expanding the Republican voter base? Republican campaign consultant Scott Tranter weighed in on the topic at a panel discussion put on by Pew Center by the States. While Tranter does point out that election officials “need to be better prepared and they need to spend more resources to make sure that people can vote, and they don’t have to wait in lines til 1 AM,” he also admits that Republicans benefit from voter ID laws as well as long lines at the polls. For that reason, Tranter does not see a bipartisan future for voter ID laws.
“A lot of us are campaign officials–or campaign professionals–and we want to do everything we can to help our side. Sometimes we think that’s voter ID, sometimes we think that’s longer lines–whatever it may be,” said Tranter.
Why not focus on the real issues facing the GOP instead of trying to prevent Democrats from casting a ballot? After all, voter ID strategy did not prove successful this past November.
Take a look at the Hardball’s sideshow above to watch Tranter’s remarks.