Smart Girl Summit is an annual gathering of the members of Smart Girl Politics, with speeches and panels focusing on topics that impact women in the current political climate. This year’s Summit has a special focus on women and guns, technology, reaching minorities, youth outreach, and Hollywood.
The Summit opened today with Lieutenant Governor Sue Ellspermann, who welcomed the attendees to Indiana and shared her story of becoming involved in politics, first in State House of Representatives from 2010-2012, and now as the Lieutenant Governor.
Two panels discussed some pertinent issues, the first of which being that of reaching minority voters with the hope of winning them over to conservative principles. One panelist, Brittney Morrett says marketing is one of the chief issues hindering the GOP from reaching minorities. She says there is nothing wrong with conservative principles, and sometimes the need is just to show up.
Adrienne Ross noted the need for conservatives to do a better job of articulating their message. Because the GOP believes its core message is right for all of America, it also has a tendency to think individual groups don’t need to be targeted.
Brittney also added an example of selling a vehicle at a car dealership. The same car could be marketed, or sold to different customers in different ways because different customers have different priorities and concerns, even though the end product is still the same.
The general consensus was that relationships need to be built with those in minority communities in order to effectively reach them.
Another angle addressed was that of what the Republican Party is doing wrong right now in terms of minority outreach. Adrienne noted that candidates not only have to have the right message, but the messengers must also be relatable. She pointed out the painful failures of last year’s presidential race and a senate race where the vote may very well have gone to the Democrat candidates because people were able to connect with them. For example, former Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s infamous “47%” comment, though perhaps unintentional, severely harmed his campaign and for many made him unrelatable.
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