The GOPs new plan and its impact on Iowa

Emily Price – KCCI TV 8

DES MOINES, Iowa —The GOP is out with a scathing self-examination and calls for an all-out effort to appeal to a broader base of voters.

There are 219 recommendations offering a fresh start for the GOP.

Topping the list; winning over minority voters.

The new approach includes a call to champion immigration reform, recruit minority candidates and expand the Republican footprint at historically black colleges.

The report also touches on Iowa’s first-in-the-nation status and the status of traditional marriage.

The 100-page report is the GOP’s game plan for winning elections.  Iowa seems to be a strong part of the party’s future.  But so does some change.

The GOP took an honest look in the mirror and the head of the Republican Party  likes the way Iowa looks.

Most specifically, on page 75 of the Growth and Opportunity Project report, the party said: “Recognizing the traditions of several states that have early nominating contests, the newly organized primaries would begin only after the carve-out states have held their individual elections.”

Steve Scheffler is an Iowa committeeman to the RNC who fights to keep Iowa first.

“I still believe that gives a lot of candidates who don’t have a lot of money or big endorsements can actually play here – their message can be heard; maybe they won’t end up with the nomination but certainly their message can be heard,” Scheffler said.

The GOP finds one flaw, though, with Iowa.  The next paragraph said by broadening the base of the party, they discourage conventions and caucuses and favor primaries because primary voters tend to vote Republican in the general election.

And the report also addresses messaging and social issues saying, “The party must in fact be inclusive and welcoming.”

“I think we are in a time right now of opening our minds and welcoming new people into our party,” said Chad Airhart.

Airhart is part of a growing movement of Iowa Republicans to support same-sex marriage.  An ABC News poll just out says 58 percent of Americans now believe it should be legal for gay and lesbian couples to marry, and the Republican Party is catching on.

“We need to be respectful of those folks that have differing ideas, and at the same time agree to disagree without villifying people with a different opinion,” said Airhart.

The research for this report started last December after Republicans lost the general election.

They said it should take three to nine months to implement.

There were two focus groups used in the making of this report — and one focus group was here in Des Moines.

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