A large majority of young Republicans think their party would do better in national elections if it nominated more minority and women candidates, according to Pew Research Center data released Friday, but older Republicans aren't so sure. Pew finds that 68 percent of young Republicans think the GOP should nominate more minorities to win more elections, and 64 percent think it would do better if it nominated more women. But older Republicans (aged 40 and up), are less convinced. Only 49 percent think nominating minorities would help, and 46 percent think nominating women would help.
The numbers illustrate the GOP's outreach problem and its members' conflicting ideas on what to do about it. At a summit in Mobile, Alabama at the end of July, young GOP-ers met to discuss the future of the party (and how it can do better in 2014 and 2016). Most think the GOP needs to tolerate a "range of views" on social issues like immigration and abortion. Angel Garcia, who leads the Young Republicans in Chicago, addressed the crowd:
We don't have to lose our principles. But we have to have a conversation on all these issues so we don't leave Democrats to say we're just old white men and racist, bigoted homophobes.
Garcia advocates expanding legal immigration. For a representative of the older voters who are more skeptical that nominating non-white-guy candidates will help, we can turn to Rush Limbaugh. In the days after the 2012 election, as Republicans were talking about reaching out to new voters, Limbaugh was not convinced: "Why, putting it somewhat coarsely, why doesn't the Republican Party get credit for Condoleezza Rice?"