Republican Re-branding Mirrored by States: ‘Lincoln Republicans’

Photograph by Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg

The Lincoln Memorial in Washington.

As Republican National Committee members meet in Charlotte to plot a way toward more electoral success, state parties are copying the national party’s reinvention study.

Pat Brady, chairman of the Illinois Republican Party, announced today that he’s forming his own Illinois Republican Party “Growth and Opportunity Project,” mirroring the name being used by the national party’s study effort.

In a statement, Brady said he was forming the committee to “conduct an in-depth analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of the 2012 election cycle efforts” and “develop a comprehensive plan for the 2014 and 2016 elections.”

The RNC’s Growth and Opportunity Project was formed Dec. 10 by national Chairman Reince Priebus. Those working on the effort, which is focused on finding a more winning formula for the GOP from the local level to Congress and the presidency, are scheduled to brief reporters this afternoon on their progress. The group’s findings are expected to be released in March.

Finding a winning formula for Illinois Republicans in presidential races is an uphill battle. President Barack Obama won his home state by 16 percentage points in November, and Illinois hasn’t backed a Democrat for president since 1988.

Brady is pitching the reinvention study as part of an effort to try to retake the governor’s office from Pat Quinn, a Democrat with low job approval ratings who may be vulnerable.

“The Illinois Republican Party, the party of Abraham Lincoln, is at a critical point in its history,” he said. “The unfortunate reality is, that Illinois is run by Chicago Democrats who have brought our state to the brink of financial collapse and have exhibited no inclination towards getting our fiscal house in order.”

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