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U.S. Republican presidential candidates gather before the start of their debate in Ames, Iowa August 11, 2011. They are (from L to R) Rick Santorum, Herman Cain, Ron Paul, Mitt Romney, Michele Bachmann, Tim Pawlenty, Jon Huntsman and Newt Gingrich. REUTER
What could possibly have gone wrong when this was the raw material?
Stunned—stunned!—at the loss all the polling and available data should have made them expect, Republicans are trying to figure out what went wrong. They were all ready to go when Mitt Romney won:
Party leaders said they already had planned to poll voters in battleground states starting Tuesday night in anticipation of a Mitt Romney victory—to immediately begin laying the groundwork for midterm congressional elections and a Romney 2016 reelection bid.
But then he didn't win. Oops. So they're trying to figure out how to move forward:
Officials told The Washington Post that they’re planning a series of voter-based polls and focus groups, meetings with constituency group leaders, and in-depth discussions with their volunteers, donors and staff members to find ways to broaden their appeal.
After an ugly surprise brought on in large part by staying in their bubble, a big part of how Republicans are going to figure out how to broaden their appeal will be ... talking to their base donors, volunteers, and staffers? Oh, but they'll focus-group some Latinos, even recognizing that Puerto Ricans are different from Cuban Americans are different from Mexican Americans. The bottom line is this, though:
Party officials said the review is aimed at studying their tactics and message, not at changing the philosophical underpinnings of the party.
Yes, the Republican party's appeal will be broadened by figuring out how to fool people into thinking Republicans don't hate brown people, gay people, and women. How to make opposition to abortion even in cases of rape or incest seem like it's loving and respectful of the women forced to be pregnant. How to make Latinos think living in fear and lacking access to basic services is their own idea.

Republicans should totally go with this. Never change, just repackage what's not working a little bit. (Really, please, do this.)

Originally posted to Laura Clawson on Fri Nov 09, 2012 at 08:06 AM PST.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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