Republicans have struggled to win younger voters in recent elections, a fact some attribute to the party’s positions on key social issues.
Voices of the Conservative Youth is looking to break into the youth demographic by supporting gay marriage and using that as a platform to attract young voters into the conservative movement.
“Young people are not liberals, they’re not progressives,” Joshua Nass, the group’s founder and chairman told The Daily Caller News Foundation in an interview. “They vote for Democrats because they fail to consider voting for Republicans.”
Nass contends that young voters often have this “feeling of being ignored” by Republicans, who he says don’t do a good job of reaching out to young voters and suffer from misconceptions about their positions on some social issues.
Gay marriage is a huge issue for young voters, Nass said, as 81 percent of voters aged 18 to 29 support it, according to a Washington Post-ABC News poll from earlier this year.
During the 2012 election, Democrats took advantage of comments made by GOP Senate candidate Todd Akin on rape and claimed that Republicans were waging a “war on women” by trying to strip federal funding from Planned Parenthood.
“We intend on dealing with these misconceptions about voting Republican, then we can make strides and inroads with that particular demographic,” Nass said.
“We at the same time are fiscally conservative, we at the same time do believe in a staunch foreign policy, and at the same time we are pro-life, and at the same time we are for limited government and lower taxes,” he added.
VOCY will also reach young people by focusing on online outreach and reaching youngsters by going on TV shows and radio programs that may be “hostile” to Republicans and conservatives.
“There should be young Republican activists on “The Daily Show,” on “Colbert,’” Nass said, adding that while he liked shows Like Fox News’s “Hannity,” he was “just not sure how many young people you’re recruiting to our side.”
Polling suggests most older Republicans still agree with social conservative groups in opposing gay marriage.
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