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New RGA Chair Admits Republicans Have a Big Problem With Suburban Voters

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Haslam: ‘We need to be thinking about why we’re losing some voters we’ve traditionally gotten’

As Republicans take stock of their losses in Alabama, Virginia and New Jersey, RGA Chair Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam sees huge problems for his party heading into the important 2018 election cycle:

Asked if there is a message in that for Tennessee Republicans, the term-limited Haslam said, “I think you’ve seen, just like the elections you’ve seen in Virginia and New Jersey, you’re seeing some changing voting patterns with folks. For people in my party, it’s a heads-up.

We need to be thinking about why we’re losing some voters we’ve traditionally gotten,” the governor added.

Haslam and his fellow Republicans have good reason to be worried. In both of their huge losses in New Jersey and Virginia, Republicans saw a mass exodus of suburban voters in addition to lackluster turnout in rural areas. But acknowledging the problem isn’t enough.

Haslam is the second RGA chair in a row to be vexed by the Trump factor. In November, his predecessor, Scott Walker had no answer for how Republicans can win back the voters defecting from the party

Republican governors haven’t figured out what to do about an increasingly toxic national political environment that led to a surge in Democratic support in the Virginia suburbs last week.

…”What is driving the turnout? Is it a specific issue? Is it a specific region? Is it a specific type of voter? What impact of Washington?” Walker said, without offering an answer.

“The RGA Chair is saying what everyone already knows: Republicans are in deep trouble heading into 2018,” said DGA Communications Director Jared Leopold. “And Governor Haslam has no answers to solve Republicans’ suburban problem. Democratic candidates are on the offense in 2018 and will compete across the map.”