The latest NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll reveals less than encouraging news if you are a Republican. The problems for the GOP are not new and aren’t easily fixed.
The poll points out that the GOP has an image problem that is evident to the most casual observer. When you lose a race for the White House the party gets painted with the same brush as the nominee. We are now labeled as the party of the rich, and there is no short term solution for this. The long term answer lies partly in who we pick as our next nominee. They will be the face of the party and he/she must articulate a positive, optimistic conservative vision that attracts voters to the GOP. When that occurs the goodwill generated from the nominee will spill over to the party.
The second problem with the Party according to the poll is that the country is in a different place than the GOP on issues. Correct again. Speaker Boehner and his new leadership team have an opportunity to hit the reset button. And they will. But frankly we need someone who can promote a conservative agenda in positive terms that voters can identify with.
Finally, the poll states that the GOP has a gender gap with women and, yes, it’s true, too. The converse is also true: the Democrats have a gender gap with men. But the majority of voters in this country are female, which makes the GOP’s problem worse. This is a messaging problem that won’t go away without some pushback from our elected officials. We need to drive a wedge between the democrats and female voters. The issues are there, but we need to steal a page from their play book and balkanize female voters on issues they care about; the VA scandal and senior health care would be a good place to start.