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Friday, April 3, 2009

Republican Party Rebuilding, or Applying Makeup?


I cannot go anywhere in Republican circles without hearing how the party is "rebuilding" and "returning to principles,"  including campaigns that became a parody on that meme, and others that ended up alienating Republicans.

The only changes I see are cosmetic in nature, and the proof in the pudding will be the elections coming up in 2009 and 2010, when county, district and state parties will be tested. The latest test, in NY-20, appears to indicate that the party has room for improvement, and the grass roots campaign has also failed.

Here is a regional example that Republican parties across the nation should not be repeating:

In Buncombe County, a first test will be the City Council elections. I know that these elections are supposed to be "non-partisan", but will conservatives mount a slate of candidates like the progressives have? Will there be a counter to the Moveon candidates

A strong Republican party can provide a foundation of training and experience for conservative activists in the precincts inside the city limits of Asheville just as the Democratic party of Buncombe County has in the past. 

I think that it is sad that the City of Asheville is ceded to the Democratic Party. It is wrong for the Republican party to cede areas, as it allows the democratic party to build on it's lead in those areas that will come back to bite Republicans running for offices in larger districts that include those precincts. 

**update 11.26am** Jack Betts has more on the importance of lefty areas in securing wins in the larger scheme of things...like my example of Asheville.

It is my contention that the retreat from the Asheville precincts (and other precincts like them state and nationwide) helped cost Nathan Ramsey his seat on the Buncombe County Commission, and prevented anyone else from joining him on that body. It also allowed Democratic candidates to pick up votes that allowed them cruise to victory in a number of other races. 

I would like to see the Republican party take the offensive in gaining new voters in these areas instead of just talking about it. 

As of March 28, 2009, here are the voter registration numbers for North Carolina:

DEM 2,789,062
GOP 1,946,322
LIB         4,682
UNA 1,363,048
TOT 6,103,116

And here are some current figures of voter registration for the western part of North Carolina by county:


.

DistrictDemocraticRepublicanLibertarianUnaffiliatedTotal

.

Buncombe764404785216146763171216

.

Cherokee7271842314455920267

.

Clay28393349521668359

.

Graham25272835311666531

.

Haywood204001185723892941209

.

Henderson1910331530512350274186

.

Jackson12076709213730426485

.

Macon8834102019623125725

.

Madison8005469913380016517

.

McDowell10904963410655627104

.

Rutherford188221414614890541887

.

Swain43412402524059153

.

Transylvania7994847810645422937

.

Yancey654653205253714408

I will try to provide periodic updates to these figures, and engage local party leaders on their efforts to increase these figures, and give them opportunities to share their philosophy on increasing the number of registered Republicans.

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