Opinion

O’Reilly talks GOP youth vote: Why bother with clueless kids?

On Monday, the College Republican National Committee released a 95-page report, the result of a study to determine why the GOP has lost younger voters and how they can change their brand to get them back. One look at Bill O’Reilly’s segment with two college Republicans on Tuesday shows a prime example of what is outlined in the report.

The report was compiled based on extensive polling and focus groups, and concludes the GOP is in a “dismal present situation,” noting the following:

President Barack Obama won 5 million more votes than Gov. Mitt Romney among voters under the age of 30 in the 2012 election. Despite Romney holding a 2 million-vote advantage over the President among voters aged 30 and older, Obama’s significant lead with the youth vote was enough to ensure his reelection.

We believe that Republicans can win young voters but that it will require a significantly different approach than has been used in recent elections… Making in-roads with young voters is both possible and essential, and must begin today.

Younger voters that could be swayed to vote Republican said they associated the GOP with such terms as “closed-minded, racist, rigid, old-fashioned.”

CRNC Chairwoman Alex Smith and research analyst Kristen Soltis, who helped write the CRNC report, joined O’Reilly to explain their findings. O’Reilly questioned why young people don’t like the GOP, but then asked why the Republicans should even bother listening to “a bunch of kids who don’t know anything.”

Soltis said that most young people believe that “Republicans don’t have an answer to the problems that are facing them,” especially personal financial issues, but tend to give Obama credit for “trying” to fix the economy.

O’Reilly responded that answer was “pretty immature” and not a “very objective and analytical opinion,” and asked Smith to explain how they can appeal to those who voted for Obama because he was “flashy.”

Smith said that young people felt neglected by the GOP in the last election, and actually ranked being hard-working and responsible above “coolness.” She said that social views didn’t necessarily mean a vote for the Democrats, and that while large numbers of young people support gay marriage, they are split down the middle on abortion.

Read the entire College Republican Report here: Grand Old Party for a Brand New Generation

Watch the Fox News segment here.

H/T: Mediaite

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