Lowman Henry wrote a great piece on Dauphin County’s voter registration now being majority Democrat. If you are interested in see the voter registration for south central PA, the Patriot did a quick compliation. Here’s what you’ll note when you look at these numbers, only Lebanon and York have increased Republican registrations in the last 4 years. Having said that, Democrat registration has still outpaced Republican registrations in those two counties. In Cumberland, Lancaster, and Perry, not only have the Democrats been doing their own surge of voter registrations, but the Republican registration numbers have actually decreased since 2004 – making the impact even bigger.
The question then becomes why is all of this happening? Lowman Henry hits the nail on the head. I’ll offer my own insight as well, since I’m a voter who set himself free from the GOP in 2006 to become an Independent. Let me first point to another article in today’s Patriot. Chris Lilik of Young Conservatives of PA hits the nail on the head as to why Republicans are loosing races and the voter registration edge:
“I think this is a warning sign that Republicans need to do a better job of distinguishing their brand,” he said. “I think the Republican Party in general needs to get back to its roots of lower taxes, smaller government and traditional values.”
And yet, with loses in the voter registration, the GOP “leadership” still doesn’t understand. Here’s a classic example from the same article:
State and county Republicans say their party is in the process of rolling out a plan to woo voters back to the party, an effort that Dauphin County GOP Chairman John McNally said will be motivated by news of registered Democrats eclipsing Republicans.
Mike Barley, a spokesman for the state Republican Party, said that two weeks ago the party obtained a list of all members who switched before the primary, and a mailer will be sent out asking them to return.
From November 2007 to this year’s May primary, the Republican Party lost 58,119 registered voters statewide, Barley said. He said recouping those voters is not going to be “an overnight thing.”
Chairman McNally, let me ask you a question – Why on earth were you only motivated by the news of D’s out registering Rs? You’re the statewide chair of Republican voter registration, and your county not only lost Republican voters, but switched majorities.
Question for you Mike Barley – a mailer? That’s it? Are you kidding me? That’s like having a restaurant that is failing because the food gives you the runs and putting out a mailing to let everyone know that you are running a special all you can buffet. People aren’t going to go just because of the mailer. Frankly, that’s arrogant. It also shows that the current leadership of the GOP has an entitlement mentality – they are entitled to these voters – they don’t think they have to work hard to win the hearts and minds of people. That is why the GOP is sinking – arrogance. And guess what, the grassroots has had enough – they are going elsewhere. Secondly, it’s June, the primary was in April and people switched registrations in March. Why on earth did the state GOP wait so dang long to get moving on this? That slowness to respond tells me, the party really doesn’t care. Let’s get this straight – you wait three months to get a voter list and all you are going to do is a mailer? Anyone who switches back deserves crappy leadership – that’s poor customer service. It’s also evident that these people have no concept of customer loyalty.
As I’ve stated many times on the grassrootspa.com discussion board – if the GOP in this state were a public company, the board of directors would have fired the management a long time ago. But we don’t run political parties like companies – that would mean the establishment would have to be open to change, innovation, and getting off their asses and working hard. No instead, the party takes a 20th century mentality approach.
Here’s a newsflash to the GOP (not that they will listen to me, but atleast I can say did my job and informed them). The GOP is not the center of the universe. In this age of freedom and branding, it is the consumer who is the center of the universe – they are in control. They don’t have to settle for crappy choices anymore. Success comes to those who are able to communicate effectively with customers on the customers’ terms about what the customer wants. We are now in the permission age. Marketing is all about getting permission to talk with the customer because you have something to say that the customer wants to hear. The GOP is still attempting to do things the old way of interrupting people and telling them what the GOP wants them to hear. That age is over and if the GOP leadership doesn’t wake, get over how great they think they are, clean house and put in people who understand the new dynamic, the GOP will be in the minorty for a very long time – if it survives at all.