The new face of the GOP

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The new face of the GOP

 

By Gabriel Noble

Thanks to a bloodbath in the midterm elections, Republicans now control both the House and Senate, and they are setting their sights on the White House for 2016. They are undoubtedly energized by young and diverse representatives such as Mia Love, the first African American Republican woman in the House, and Elise Stefanik, the youngest woman to be elected to Congress.

In West Virginia, Saira Blair won a seat in House of Delegates, becoming the nation’s youngest elected state legislator.

Blair and her father, state Sen. Craig Blair, sat down with Yahoo Global News anchor Katie Couric to discuss her inspiration to run, her historic win, and hope for her generation in the political process. “My generation is going to have $17 trillion of debt on our hands. And we deserve at least one vote in the House of Delegates. Because we shouldn't have to wait until we're 30, 40, 50 or 60 to understand the importance of conservative principles,” Blair said.

Raffi Williams, deputy director of the Republican National Committee, is tasked with spreading the Republican message to the younger generation. Borrowing the strategy of President Barack Obama’s groundbreaking Internet campaign, he says, “We have a new digital and data program that is … using social media and leveraging it to target voters in new ways.”

And then there are online news sites, such as the Independent Journal Review with over 24 million views monthly, that reach millennials and bring them up to speed in politics and culture on an entertaining way.

But despite the strides the GOP is making toward a more diverse leadership, the age gap in voting preferences that emerged in 2004 has remained evident in the past four election cycles. Voters who are 18 to 29 vote Democrat, and those older than 65 lean Republican.

According to the Pew Research Center, “Millennials stand out for voting heavily Democratic and for liberal views on many political and social issues, ranging from a belief in an activist government to support for same-sex marriage and marijuana legalization.”

So millennial Republicans like Blair have a lot of work to do before the Grand Old Party begins to look young.

 

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