Is the GOP having an identity crisis? - KLTV.com-Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville, Texas | ETX News

Is the GOP having an identity crisis?

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SMITH COUNTY, TX (KLTV) -

The election returned sobering results for some right-wing Americans.

Aside from the loss of the presidential race, Republicans also lost seats in the U.S. Senate and the Texas State House. Why the results from the polls didn't lean more in the party's favor could be attributed to an identity crisis.

Many Americans are still reeling with concerns over the national debt and unemployment, but some Republicans say the party itself has its own problems.

"There's a huge divide in the Republican Party," says JoAnn Fleming, Grassroots America, We the People Executive Director.

"The argument is that we should stand for something, and we're not going to win elections again until we stand for our platforms," says Oravetz.

Smith County Republican Party Chair Ashton Oravetz says the Republican Party has great platforms, but politicians don't follow them and the party doesn't tend to do anything about it.

"I'm discouraged, as many people are, but we have to keep fighting," he says.

Oravetz says Republicans may not be able to get much done at the national level, but they can hit the ground running in the 2013 Texas legislative session.

"Our officials must get used to having less federal dollars come down," says Fleming.

She attributes the identity crisis to the Republican party having a number of people who have been in office for so long that they're out of touch with their constituents.

"Conservatives will not go quietly into the night to save the Republican Party because they care more about this country and making sure that this county remains the best last hope of enduring freedom on this earth," Fleming says.

Smith County Democratic Party Chair David Henderson says the GOP will continue to be marginalized at a national level until they spend more time and effort appealing to women and minorities. Though, he admits, Texas Democrats have their own obstacles.

"The Republicans don't outnumber us 6 to 4 in Texas, they out vote us 6 to 4," he says.

Henderson says mobilizing their democratic voters could one day turn the Lone Star State into a battleground for the electorate while Republicans are fighting to hold on the their conservative identity.


Oravetz says the Texas Republican base is much more conservative than the average Republican office holder, particularly at the state levels. He says until republicans define and stand up for their platforms, they may not be successful at a national level.

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