“Solely for the rich.”
“Lacking in diversity.”
This is how younger voters characterized the Republican party, according to a 95-page study released Monday by the College Republican National Committee. The report’s authors had an equally blunt assessment: “dismal present situation.”
Voters under 30 criticized the party for its stance on issues like same-sex marriage and contraception, while the report’s authors blamed what they describe as “errant Republicans’ voices.”
But like the Republican National Committee’s own autopsy from earlier this year, the report gives few suggestions for policy changes that might win over the youth vote, focusing instead on messaging. The report does suggest that the party be “open to debate” on marriage equality.
Minority voters present an especially significant challenge for the GOP.
“[Republicans have] that mentality that you’re born like royalty and the peasants stay peasants,” a young Hispanic voter said, according to the report. “I don’t think that is the view that America was founded on. This is supposed to be a land of opportunity.”
Another young Hispanic voter blasted the party over the defunding of Planned Parenthood. “I think Romney wanted to cut Planned Parenthood. And he supports policies where it would make it harder for a woman to get an abortion should she choose, even if it were medically necessary. That goes…with redefining rape,” she said.
The views of minority voters are increasingly important. The report says non-white voters make up 42% of voters under the age of 30, meaning that “the issue of party diversity and the party’s success with the youth vote are absolutely inseparable.”
The proposed solutions to shrinking the youth voter gap include focusing on economic issues that young people care about and refusing to “concede ‘caring’ and ‘open-minded’ to the left.”
In reaching for diversity, young Republicans appear ready to reach out to Latino voters more than African-Americans. While Hispanic youths are quoted repeatedly, the report includes no specific thoughts from any black voters, and only a handful of references to how they tend to feel on certain economic issues.