Ed. - In Oct. 2013, American Principles in Action, a 501(c)(4) headed by Francis P. Cannon, released “Building a Winning GOP Coalition: The Lessons of 2012,″ an analysis of the 2012 election which rejects some of the poliitical findings of the RNC's Growth & Opportunity Project ("autopsy report" >).  Specifically the authors argue Republicans' "truce strategy" on social issues such as gay marriage and abortion failed, and they argue the Republican economic message failed because it did not focus on voters' concern over rising prices.


Facing an incumbent president in the middle of one of the worst economic periods in recent memory, how did the GOP lose in 2012?

This report takes a hard-headed, skeptical, and primarily political look at the lessons Republicans must learnfrom 2012 in order to build a winning national GOP coalition capable of taking back the White House andthe Senate.

We believe the conventional explanation emerging from the Republican National Committee’s “autopsy”report gets the core issues exactly wrong. Accepting this emerging conventional wisdom will, in our view,likely consign the GOP to a permanent minority status.

The conventional wisdom is this: the national GOP lost in 2012 because extremist social issues hurt GOPcandidates by distracting voters from our winning economic message.

There are only two problems with this analysis, in our view:

First, social issues (especially the life issues) do not hurt GOP candidates... they help them win elections.

Second, and most importantly, the GOP’s economic message as currently structured is not a winning message. Republicans urgently need to construct a conservative economic message that connects to working and middle-class voters’ present economic concerns.

And the party elites need to acknowledge the failure of the “truce model.” They need to adopt a confident, integrated conservatism that will form a party eager to make the case for the social issues in order to build a winning national coalition, attracting Latinos and other non-white and blue collar voters.