College Republicans: Stereotypes a drag
June 3rd, 2013
10:52 AM ET
1 year ago

College Republicans: Stereotypes a drag

(CNN) – "Solely for the rich." "Lacking in diversity." "Old-fashioned."

That's how young voters perceive the Republican Party, according to a new report by the nation's largest Republican youth organization.

The College Republican National Committee released a 95-page study Monday detailing its study on voters between the ages of 18 and 29, following President Obama's sweeping victory among the voting bloc against GOP nominee Mitt Romney.

Obama won 60% of the youth vote, compared to Romney's 37%, amount to about five million more votes for the incumbent president, according to CNN exit polls. In 2008, Obama bested Sen. John McCain among young voters, 66% to 32%.

The new report comes just months after the Republican National Committee released its own internal review, which showed similar results in the perceptions of the party across wider demographics. The CRNC argues Republicans have scored well among youth in the past with Ronald Reagan and offered five target areas for which the GOP can refocus its messaging to attract a younger audience.

"The GOP absolutely can win over young people again," the study states. "But this will not occur without significant work to repair the damage done to the Republican brand among this age group over the last decade."

Respondents in the CRNC study said Republicans shouldn't concede "caring" and "open-minded" to the left, with same-sex marriage being an issue of high importance.

According to the CRNC's poll data-conducted by a right-leaning polling firm–a little less than half of young voters said that same-sex marriage should be legal nation-wide, while a quarter said that it should be up to states to decide. Only 30% said marriage should be legally defined as only between a man and a woman.

A large number said they were open to voting for a Republican candidate they disagreed with on same-sex marriage, with nearly four in ten saying it would make them less likely to vote for the candidate that opposed same-sex marriage.

"In the short term, the best course of action for the party may be to promote the diversity of opinion within its ranks (after all, for quite some time, former vice president Dick Cheney was to the left of President Obama on same-sex marriage)," the report states.

But the study finds that young voters want to focus more on economic issues than social maters. The GOP has to convince young people, the report states, that it's the party for entrepreneurs and start-ups, not for those who have already become successful. Nearly half of young people say they want to start their own business one day, the study notes.

"We've become the party that will pat you on your back when you make it, but won't offer a hand to help you get there," the authors write.

But Republican messages on principle and big government may be hurting the party, according to the report.

More respondents said they would favor a candidate who used terms like "fixing the national debt" than candidates who used terms like "reducing big government" and "cutting government spending" to address the issue–with the bottom line being that "fixing" is a more effective word than "cutting" and "reducing."

The Winston Group conducted the survey online in partnership with YouGov by interviewing 800 registered voters between 18-29 nationwide between February 27 and March 4. The CRNC also conducted focus of young Obama voters in California, Florida and Ohio.


Filed under: 2012 • Republicans
soundoff (31 Responses)
  1. GOP = Greed Over People

    The recent college assessment released last weekend, that interviewed young folks was right on target and some other adjectives used by the youngsters were "racist" and "narrow minded", their words, not mine. So, the GOP is accurately assessing their hurdles that get in the way of the race for success.

    Fortunately, for us "libtards", they have chosen to run with blinders on and jump over the hurdles instead, of finding a new route!

    The GOP's ability to asses their shortcomings is stellar, but, the corrective actions are certainly not up to "if thy eye offends thee, then cut it out" standards!

    June 3, 2013 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  2. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA -aka- Take Back The House -aka- No Redemption Votes

    "The GOP absolutely can win over young people again,"
    ----------------------------------------------–
    Think again!!! It's bigger than gay marriage. It's bigger than illegal immigration. It's more about working to make the lives of EVERYONE better. It's plain and simple to see that that is clearly not the case in today's GOP. Not to mention that they're bigotted and hateful. I've never seen a POTUS disrespected in the way that our current President is.

    "We've become the party that will pat you on your back when you make it, but won't offer a hand to help you get there,"

    June 3, 2013 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  3. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA -aka- Take Back The House -aka- No Redemption Votes

    "We've become the party that will pat you on your back when you make it, but won't offer a hand to help you get there,"
    ---------------------------------------------
    Young college republicans, ask yourself who is trying to make college more affordable for you. The President or republicans in Congress?

    June 3, 2013 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  4. Lynda/Minnesota

    "The GOP absolutely can win over young people again," the study states. "But this will not occur without significant work to repair the damage done to the Republican brand among this age group over the last decade."

    Speaking from my 60+ years, the first thing that Reince Preibus might want to do is drop the talking points. After which, he (and his party) might want to start treating our younger generation with dignity and respect. Starting with the Grand Old Party platform.

    Of course, this advice applies to treating ALL Americans with respect. With Preibus at the helm, it's not going to happen any time soon. Especially considering the talking points spin coming from the GOP thus far. The GOP wants to keep its platform AND dupe the voters with its spin ... which is ... Not. Going. To. Happen. Dupe the voters, that is.

    June 3, 2013 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  5. king

    TALK TALK TALK, that's all the repubs every do, but every thing in their actions shows that they will never tolerate diversity, there is too much old folks in the repubs party that are too old to change their ideology. what they say about teaching an old dog new tricks, well good luck on that one. maybe 10 years from now when most of the 50s and 60s baby have been taken up to heaven, maybe the younger generations of old folks will tolerate that kind of diversity.

    June 3, 2013 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  6. Al-NY,NY

    When I hear "College Republicans" all I can think of is the character Alex Keaton......dresshirt, tie, blazer and khakis......just like the GOP.....rich, white and "always right" about everything. I voted GOP way back when and then finally opened my eyes and ears. It's even worse now. All they care about his THIER opinion and forcing that opinion on everyone else, no matter what.

    June 3, 2013 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  7. PaulCat

    All of you complain about the GOP, but yet you continue to vote them in office. If you want change, you have to make change.
    .....GROW-UP......

    June 3, 2013 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  8. Ol' Yeller

    "Respondents in the CRNC study said Republicans shouldn't concede "caring" and "open-minded" to the left... "
    I believe either of these attributes gets you the bum's rush from the gop. I do know this, and it is EXTREMELY heartening... I live in one of the reddest states there is and I have a wonderful relationship with my teenager and all of her friends. With the lines of communication being what they are in this day and age, these kids are really at odds with all of their republican parents and relatives. They see the republicans as being the mean, old white guy party (which it pretty much is). All these anti inclusive social positions being held by this party are very damaging as they seem to be (and I believe they are) just a struggle for a certain class to retain power at all costs. This is very repugnant to the youth today who are very accepting and inclusive. One isn't judged by the color of their skin, their socio-economic position, or their sexual orientation (you know, kinda' like what we are aspiring to be as a country). You GO kids!!! Gives me faith in the future.

    June 3, 2013 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  9. NEVER to VOTE REPUBLICAN again

    All they'll do is change their words not their deeds! Teapubs scammers! Don't fall for their LIES of LANGUAGE!

    June 3, 2013 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  10. Tony

    Stereotypes are a bigger drag when they are true.

    June 3, 2013 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  11. just sayin

    well when you have a liberal controlled news media, a liberal controlled hollywood, and liberal controlled schools all pushin g the same message it is called indoctrination. communists do it all the time. democrats are leftists so they do it to. if you repeat lies often enough, this is what you get.

    June 3, 2013 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  12. wanda

    love thy neighbor as thy self. god loves man but hates sin. man can debate till thecows come home. god word says that pervertion is sin.

    June 3, 2013 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  13. Colorado

    I voted republican for decades. I felt I had to resign the party when all that "legitimate rape" nonsense came around. I hope every day that the party will come back to common sense thinking, allow members of the party their own opinion, or at least allow discussions. But, alas, I fear that will never happen again.

    June 3, 2013 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  14. Fair is Fair

    "Obama won 60% of the youth vote, compared to Romney's 37%, amount to about five million more votes for the incumbent president, according to CNN exit polls. In 2008, Obama bested Sen. John McCain among young voters, 66% to 32%."
    ------
    A pickup of 6 points in just one election. The trend is promising.

    June 3, 2013 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  15. Old Rich White Guy

    Mmmppphhh... we don't need these young voters anyway. Liberal educated snobs! We have survived as a party for decades without these little snot noses voting for us and we will continue to do it. The power is and always has been ours and NO ONE will take it away. We don't need those illegal alien Spaniards voting for us either, nor the blacks or ANY of 47% freeloaders. It's time you all realized that no matter how many voters you get we will still run the show and it's time you all realized this and learned your place. Constitution, Shmostitution... now shine my shoes, cut my yard, fix my dinner, and forget about this equality and equal justice for all nonsense... Not on my watch!

    June 3, 2013 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  16. Thomas

    ust sayin
    well when you have a liberal controlled news media, a liberal controlled hollywood, and liberal controlled schools all pushin g the same message it is called indoctrination. communists do it all the time. democrats are leftists so they do it to. if you repeat lies often enough, this is what you get.

    ====

    Karl Rove was once a young republican , so was Ralph Reed .

    They both turned into Old Freaks .
    Most young an educated people don't want to live in the stone age .

    June 3, 2013 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  17. Biggest Problem

    Gay marriage is not the problem that young voters have with Republicans. Republicans wanting to control women's bodies and their reproductive rights is. Neither young women or young men want Republicans to require them to birth unwanted pregnancies. You are over-complicating your problem Republicans - it's not that hard to figure out why young people hate you.

    June 3, 2013 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  18. Sniffit

    "A pickup of 6 points in just one election. The trend is promising."

    Two data points do not establish a "trend."

    June 3, 2013 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  19. lolo

    The GOP will never get my vote. This survey is dead on. McConnell, Boehner, Cantor, Cruz, Paul, Rubio and the rest of the clowns need to go. They do not have a clue about anything or anyone period.

    June 3, 2013 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  20. Joan

    There are millions of hard-working, intelligent and caring middle-of-the road Republicans who must be appalled with some of the vicious rhetoric that comes out of their GOP leader's and spokesmen's mouths. The far right policies of the Republican party led by the Tea Party has completely driven the party for the last few years and although it may play well to the base, it does not resonate with the majority of Americans. Many Republicans ridiculed Bod Dole's advice but he actually saw the big picture clearly. After the last election they said they were going to rebrand themselves but since then have spent the whole time criticizing the administration, leading scores of expensive, time consuming investigations, obstructing important bills like the background check law and putting out the same angry, white spokesmen on every talk show possible. How is that rebranding?

    June 3, 2013 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  21. Anthony

    Republicans self-indoctrinate by watching only Fox News and right-wing media. They attack the media in general, so they don't need to pay attention to the message. It is like self-censorship. No contrary information can get through to them, because they reject information at the source, simply because of the source.

    Of course, Republicans' self-censorship strategy does not always work. On Election Day, even Fox News has to report the real news.

    June 3, 2013 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  22. Ol' Yeller

    Ah... just sayin posting the old vast left wing conspiracy theory of the liberal indoctrination of the youth... how original. Then why don't some republicans go into education or journalism or the arts? It has nothing to do with them not wishing to spread their message, but more to do with those jobs being 'beneath them'. And everyone knows any republican who isn't born rich will go on disability or food stamps before they would take a job that paid that little money.
    Your party is dying out- face it.

    June 3, 2013 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  23. Ray E. (Georgia)

    Well,
    First you go to college and get a degree. Then you go out in the world and get an education. The first may only take 2 or 4 or 8 years. The second takes a lifetime of blood, sweat, and tears. I know it's old fashioned but it is the only game in town.

    June 3, 2013 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  24. Fair is Fair

    Biggest Problem

    Gay marriage is not the problem that young voters have with Republicans. Republicans wanting to control women's bodies and their reproductive rights is. Neither young women or young men want Republicans to require them to birth unwanted pregnancies.
    -------
    You know something? There's thins thing called "birth control" that effectively prevents "unwanted pregnancies". But I'll give you credit – you managed to get the key buzzwords in your post in your attempt to mask calling it what it is – infanticide.

    June 3, 2013 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  25. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA -aka- Take Back The House -aka- No Redemption Votes

    Bobe Dole had it right. Neither him or Raegan would make in today's Republican Party. Being a moderate is a disease. Compromise is a disease. Engaging across the aisle is forbidden.

    June 3, 2013 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
1 2