The GOP Must Not Alienate Its Moderates

As an organization who has fought to elect Republicans to Congress, it is outrageous to hear the continuous cheers from members of the GOP over Senator Specter’s Party switch. Whether or not you agree 100% with every vote Senator Specter has taken, he is a three decades long Republican leader who served on key committees and carried the GOP banner dozens of times on major issues. More disturbing is that GOP leaders are missing the fact that Specter followed over 240,000 Pennsylvania voters who left the GOP last year. These voters were socially moderate, fiscally conservative Republicans who felt so alienated by the GOP’s strident moral agenda that they turned to the Democratic Party. They are a bellwether for what is happening in States across the Nation and this cannot be ignored. Moderate Republicans like Senators Snowe and Senator Collins need to know that the real Republican majority- the moderate majority- supports them in their work and as centrists who work for their Party AND for their electorate. Senator Boxer’s comments suggesting that there is no room for pro-choice leaders in the Republican Party are way off. We need more of them and we need the moderate majority to demand more from the Party leadership, which has pandered for too long to a small faction of extremists. We have compromised our foundations by promoting risky, divisive social wedge issues and we are paying for it by losing seats and legislators across the country. Without change and wooing back of social moderate voters, the Party will continue to collapse.