Rand Paul: The Republican Party needs a makeover

 Rand Pual
Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., walks through a crowd of young Republicans at the state GOP party headquarters in Concord, N.H. to rally voters on Oct. 16 ahead of the November election.
(Jim Cole / Associated Press)

With Republicans poised to take control of Congress, Sen. Rand Paul delivered a sober warning Sunday that voters may not be necessarily running into the arms of the GOP as much as repudiating President Obama’s agenda.

The Republican Party may win the battle this midterm election, but it’s losing the war to appeal to a broader electorate, Paul said. “Our brand is not so good,” Paul said Sunday on CNN’s “State of the Union.”

The party, which the Kentucky Republican has said has similar brand woes as Domino’s pizza, continues to rely on a declining base of older, conservative and largely white voters to win elections -- failing to appeal to the younger, more ethnically diverse electorate that is increasingly defining politics.

In making stops on a series of Sunday shows, Paul argued the brand problem needs fixing --  and quickly -- if the GOP has any chance to appeal to a broader electorate, including the voters who will be needed on the 2016 path to the White House.


“The party has to change,” said Paul, a potential presidential contender, on CNN. “Evolve, adapt or die.”

Though Republicans are within range of netting the six seats needed to take the Senate from Democrats in Tuesday’s midterm elections, many of those are in conservative and Southern states like Arkansas or West Virginia that have already been moving away from Democrats -- low-hanging fruit for the GOP.

Pickups in Colorado or Iowa, both competitive, could mark gains for Republicans among a more diverse electorate, including among Latinos, young people or those who once voted for Obama. But the party has a long way to go to create a coalition that reflects the nation’s diversity, analysts say.

Paul has been taking his case directly to voters over the last year. He has been visiting places few Republicans have previously ventured: Howard University in Washington, D.C., Berkeley, Ferguson, Mo. -- and talking about issues like loosening mandatory drug sentencing laws that are not part of the broader GOP agenda.


So far, the senator is among the few lonely leaders on these issues.

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