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College Republican National Committee Report Has Grim Findings for GOP

College Republican National Committee Report Has Grim Findings for GOP

If you were among the roughly 97 percent of Americans who didn’t tune into one of the Sunday shows this weekend, you might not realize that the only two issues currently worthy of sustained national debate are the stupidity of IRS bureaucratsand the overzealousness of certain federal prosecutors during an investigation of leaks that may have jeopardized U.S. assets within al Qaeda and North Korea.

Perhaps you are old-fashioned and have additional concerns that are a bit more naïve, even trite. For example, what is the political system doing to help businesses create jobs or lift incomes? What are both parties proposing to help people afford a decent education, buy a home, or save for retirement? Who, if anyone, is offering a compelling agenda that speaks to the aspirations of younger generations?

How cute. And yet, while one Sunday show was asking panelists to analyze painfully awkward clips of IRS employees line dancing (please stop that), the College Republican National Committee was busy launching a sober, thoughtful, well-researched conversation about the future of a major political party that is now viewed favorably by only 33 percent of Americans under 30.

As a Democrat who turned 32 on Sunday, which just barely qualifies me as a Millennial (1980-2000), I find this conversation hugely important. Young voters, long dismissed by pundits as too cynical and disengaged to vote, famously did so in record numbers in the 2008 election. In 2012, when we were supposed to stay home and sulk because President Obama didn’t take us from near-depression to full employment in 45 months (PoliticoYoung Voters Sitting Out This November?”), we surpassed our previous turnout, handing the president his larger-than-expected margin of victory over Mitt Romney.

With the help of the Republican Party’s leading Millennial pollster, Kristen Soltis Anderson, the College Republicans set out to discover how to win back some of these Americans in future elections. And what they found is younger voters simply don’t want the current brand of crazy that so much of the national Republican Party has been selling with such fervor.

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