The Early Word: A Party Asks, ‘What Now?’

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The Early Word: A Party Asks, ‘What Now?’

Updated It’s been a difficult week for the Republican Party, whose leaders have had to contend not only with defeat in the presidential election but also in key House and Senate races as they watch the public transfer of power to President-elect Barack Obama.

Today The Times’s Adam Nagourney reports on the internal debate over who will take the helm of the G.O.P. during this period of a Democratic ascendancy in Washington. On the eve of the Republican Governor’s Association Conference, several governors appear to be jockeying for influence as other party leaders vie to be the chairman of the Republican National Committee.

Here’s more from Mr. Nagourney:

These struggles come as the party prepares for a broad ideological battle, in particular over how much to emphasize social issues like opposition to abortion rights and gay rights. Party leaders said the focus on those issues had constricted the party’s appeal to moderate and independent voters more interested in jobs, health care, education and other issues that touch their lives in more concrete ways.

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