If Republicans do not register voters, nothing else matters.

It may seem difficult to believe now, but Monroe County used to be a swing county with significant Republican representation in county government. Back in 2003, the prosecutor, recorder, clerk, auditor, treasurer and surveyor were all Republicans, who won their countywide races. Two of the three county commissioners were Republicans. Republicans represented three of the four county council districts elected in 2002 and two of the three at-large seats elected in 2000. George W. Bush carried Monroe County in 2000.

So what happened? Democrats registered a ton of voters. Republican votes for President remained relatively flat between 2000 and 2008, but Democrats more than doubled their vote totals in the presidential election. They did this by registering a huge number of new voters and turning them out. Republicans did not respond by bringing new Republicans to the polls, so the national tide was far too much for local candidates to overcome.

The single most important thing for Republicans to do is register voters. We have to find Republican-leaning citizens who are not voting and get them registered – then turn them out to the polls. It does not matter how great our candidates are, how great our message is, or how great our platform is. We face a structural deficit that must be wiped out – or at least reduced enough to put our candidates within striking distance to win some county offices. This would not only help us locally, it would help in any close statewide races too, so the state party and the College Republicans should be on board with this task.

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Monroe County Election Results 2016

Hillary Clinton — 34,216

Donald Trump — 20,592

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Monroe County Election Results 2012

Barack Obama — 33,436

Mitt Romney — 22,481

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Monroe County Election Results 2008

Barack Obama — 41,450

John McCain — 21,118

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Monroe County Election Results 2004

John Kerry — 26,965

George W. Bush — 22,834

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Monroe County Election Results 2000

Al Gore -– 17,523

George W. Bush — 19,147

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