College Republicans plan to spend $2 million on outreach at universities, but that’s not enough to win over the youth vote

college students

Liberty-minded activists have been saying for what seems forever that the GOP needs to pay attention to winning the youth vote, or die. The fact that the party establishment has been essentially ignoring this voting bloc has been a source of consternation for pundits and political strategists alike. Now, it seems that this message is finally getting through, but it still isn’t being addressed anywhere near as well as it could be yet.

The College Republican National Committee is tossing some money — $2 million to be exact — at building a campus-based program to court young voters. It’s a nice gesture, but honestly isn’t much more than that. As of 2011, there were 2,870 four-year colleges in the U.S. — the schools that it is safe to assume that the GOP will focus on in this endeavor.

While it’s not realistic to think that they will attempt to launch some sort of outreach program on each and every one of those campuses right away, the honest truth is that if they are taking this seriously, the long-term plan needs to include them. So, that means that officially, the Republicans are prepared to commit approximately $700 per campus for this initiative.

Yes, there are nebulous promises of more money down the road, but we’ve seen this in other outreach programs before. The only concrete numbers available indicate that this is probably going to be a limited experiment by the party, or that this is lip service to grassroots organizers that have been calling for this sort of investment for years.

While the investment in campus programs is being connected to the findings of research into why the Romney campaign failed, the relatively small amount of money committed doesn’t inspire faith that this will lead to anything meaningful or long-term.

Time will tell, but based on this anemic offering, this campus program will probably end up being forgotten before it can do any help in 2016.


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