How the shutdown derailed the Republican rebranding campaign

Nearly a year removed from a presidential election that put its electoral and demographic weaknesses on full display, the Republican Party has been badly hampered by the ongoing government shutdown as it tries to rebrand itself in advance of both the 2014 midterms and the 2016 presidential election, according to an analysis of three weeks’ worth of Washington Post-ABC News polling data.

In choosing to take the hard-line stance favored by its most conservative wing, Republican leaders in Congress have not only alienated electorally critical independents and other key demographic groups that their 2012 presidential nominee won but also further revealed the deep schism within their own party. [cont.]

Scott Clement & Sean Sullivan, Washington Post