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Tuesday, March 19, 2013 - 12:42pm

Georgia Republicans Say Change Is Needed

While Georgia’s Republican Party is very strong, the national GOP is trying to figure out why republicans lost two presidential elections in a row.

The National Republican Committee this week released a report laying out a path forward after losing the presidential race. Georgia republicans are also ready to re-focus in an effort to win the White House.

The Growth and Opportunity report says the federal wing of the party is “increasingly marginalizing itself.” It says “unless changes are made, it will be increasingly difficult for republicans to win another presidential election in the near future.” The 100 page report outlined ways the party can change to convince voters to support a republican President.

Out of all the states Mitt Romney won, Georgia had the second smallest margin of victory.

Brian Robinson, a spokesman for Governor Deal, says it will be critical to reach out to women and minorities to persuade more Georgians to vote for a republican President. He says the Governor and First Lady are already working on that.

He says “You’ve seen the Governor doing outreach, like in his meeting with the NAACP over the DeKalb school board issue. You see it in the school visits that Mrs. Deal does. They are to very diverse students. So they are reaching out to all Georgians.”

Robinson says “Governor Deal believes the way we do that is by creating a pro-business, pro-family atmosphere in Georgia that appeals to people regardless of their ethnic or racial background. You know, obviously republicans need to diversify their base. There’s no way around the fact that we’ve got to change what our coalition looks like.”

Brian Keahl, executive director of the state republican party, says because Georgia wasn’t considered a battleground state in the presidential election, not enough effort was focused on winning here.

“We definitely exported an awful lot of treasure and effort to other states. A lot of our grassroots folks were leaving the state and heading to other states to campaign in the presidential campaign. And I think we were taken for granted.” he says.

In Georgia, President Obama got 47 percent of the vote, both in 2008 and in 2012.

The state republican party has a minority outreach program and Keahl says they’ve already been successful reaching the Asian population in Georgia.

The republicans are also turning to Hispanics to get their message out there.He says feedback is critical

Keahl says "We may project a message out there and it sounds perfectly reasonable to us. But perhaps the way it’s conveyed does not get received in the same way that we intend to send it. Are we really conveying our message in the way that it needs to be conveyed, or are we allowing ourselves to be misunderstood?”

Keahl says while local and state candidates are able to reach voters directly, there has been a disconnect with national campaigns as candidates focus on the battleground states.

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