Updated: Thursday, 09 Jul 2009, 7:09 PM EDT
Published : Thursday, 09 Jul 2009, 7:09 PM EDT
INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) - The effort to rebuild the Republican Party following John McCain's 2008 loss to Barack Obama is focused on Indianapolis this weekend. It's the site of the National Convention of Young Republicans.
The 650 delegates, who come from 45 states and are ages 40 and under, are still arriving for three days of meetings. Some admit this is a tough time to be a Republican.
Richard Counts of Washington DC said, "Most people would say so. I think it's about two-thirds of people from 20 to 35 were voting Democrat in the last election."
GOP leaders said they need to learn from the young people who attend the convention.
"We have work to do in Indiana and, I think, nationally, the Republican Party really fell off last year," acknowledged Indiana GOP Chairman Murray Clark.
There will be time to consider how the Democrats did a better job of energizing young voters in 2008.
Sarah Reidy of Louisville, Kentucky said, "We haven't done a good job of going out to young people and telling them about the issues."
Sean Conner of DC said, "It's about taking our movement, taking our message to the next level and broadening our reach."
But part of the message both on stage and off is that, in politics, the pendulum swings both ways.
"And the Obama policies are gonna hurt an awful lot of people and diminish the power and ability of this country. And when that happens, I think people will be looking back to our party and its clear and consistent message," predicted Former Virginia Governor Jim Gilmore.
Delegates are also getting a strong dose of motivational
National Republican Chairman Michael Steele addressed the Young Republicans last night after he spoke to an Indiana GOP fundraiser ( read more ).
The convention will also hear from former White House Press Secretary Ari Fleischer and Indiana Congressman Mike Pence.
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