The GOP has grappled for months with a self-acknowledged brand problem, and the consequences just became all the more painfully clear: The number of Americans shedding the Republican label to become independents is exploding. The solution, political strategists suggest, may lie in party leaders’ ability to return to core values that distinguish Republicans from Democrats on everything from spending to personal freedom.
The latest evidence of the GOP’s woes — and opportunities — surfaced Wednesday with a Gallup poll that showed the number of Americans self-identifying as independents soared to a record 42 percent while the share of Republicans plunged to an all-time low of 25 percent.
The silver lining for Republicans, however, is that Democrats failed to make any gains during the GOP free fall, with their number stuck at 31 percent of the 18,000 adults Gallup surveyed.
The polling data added to the self-imposed soul-searching that many Republicans have embarked upon since the 2012 election losses.
Rep. Jim Bridenstine of Oklahoma, a rising star among conservatives, lays the blame on “Republicans continuing to join Democrats in their support for more taxes, more spending and more debt.”
Read more: http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2014/jan/8/republicans-get-painful-news-on-brand-problem/#ixzz2qHkeNm00