looks at the political environment facing Republicans heading into 2014 and some of the trends that could affect the party’s prospects at the polls next year.

The Forum’s coverage of this topic leads off with an essay by GOP communications strategist Leslie Sanchez on the importance of Hispanic Americans in the nation’s political process and why, in their efforts to reach out to and connect with this growing part of the electorate, Governors Chris Christie and Susana Martinez are providing a model that other Republicans should follow.

Hispanics want what everybody else wants: a good job, a nice place to live in a safe neighborhood, and for our kids to have a better life than ours,” Sanchez writes. “Christie delivered that, and New Jersey’s Hispanic voters returned the favor by trusting him to continue to do so. It certainly didn’t hurt that Christie has wisely rejected the shrill anti-immigration rhetoric of some Republicans. It offends and alienates Hispanics -- immigrants and native-born alike.”

The latest edition of the Forum also examines the record of another GOP Governor, Ohio’s John Kasich, with an essay by his former Congressional colleague Tim Penny, who argues that Kasich’s brand of pragmatic conservatism is not only “making a positive difference” for the people of the Buckeye State, but is also reminiscent of the style of leadership of another Republican who once served as a Governor -- Ronald Reagan.

“Like Reagan,” the former Democratic Congressman writes, “John is an able and pragmatic leader, and is guided by sound fiscal and economic principles -- as well as a good heart. President Reagan found common ground with Democrats on a range of issues -- saving Social Security, simplifying the tax code, enacting immigration reform – while still adhering to principle. Similarly, John is not afraid to partner with other people of goodwill whenever possible and when it makes sense.”

In addition to examining the records of these GOP Governors, the latest Forum also explores the strategy of the National Republican Congressional Committee in their effort to grow and build upon the House majority next year. In an interview, one of the architects of that strategy, NRCC Executive Director Liesl Hickey, discusses the political environment facing the GOP, and the “shaky ground” upon which the Democratic opposition is built.

“Our Republican Members are committed to staying on offense in 2014,” Hickey said. “Romney won 227 congressional Districts to Obama’s 208 in 2012. Thirty-one districts flipped back to voting Republican after voting for Obama in 2008. With 190 seats in deep Republican territory after redistricting, the House is well-aligned and in strong Republican hands. Democrats have every reason to be worried ahead of the elections next year. They are unable to campaign on Obamacare since it’s incredibly unpopular, especially in the Republican-leaning Districts where 15 Democratic Members currently reside. Their caucus is built on shaky ground.”

Other authors and essays featured in the latest edition of The Ripon Forum include:

GOP media guru Kim Alfano – writing about the gender gap facing Republicans, and why it’s time for the party to “Boot the Zombies” out;
Veteran election law expert Mark Braden – writing about the decline of party power, and how it has contributed to a rise of dysfunction in Washington, DC;
Dan Schnur, Director of the Jesse M. Unruh Institute of Politics – writing about two California laws that could serve as the model for nationwide election reform;
Republican Study Committee Chairman Steve Scalise – writing about the failure of the Affordable Care Act and “The Conservative Proposal to Reform American Health Care” that he and other RSC members have introduced; and,
Program Associates Henry Rosen and Mai Tran with the Council of State Governments – writing about the need to reduce recidivism in America’s prison system through employment opportunities.

In addition to these essays and interviews, the Forum also includes a profile of Kansas Representative Lynn Jenkins, who, among other topics, discusses her role as Vice Chair of the House Republican Conference and why it is important to get more women to serve at the House GOP Leadership table.

The Ripon Forum is published by The Ripon Society, a public policy organization that was founded in 1962 and takes its name from the town where the Republican Party was born in 1854 – Ripon, Wisconsin. One of the main goals of The Ripon Society is to promote the ideas and principles that have made America great and contributed to the GOP’s success. These ideas include keeping our nation secure, keeping taxes low and having a federal government that is smaller, smarter and more accountable to the people.

News Source : looks at the political environment facing Republicans heading into 2014 and some of the trends that could affect the party’s prospects at the polls next year.