From The New York Times…

Despite the local victories, Republicans in the South are aware that many of the post-election analyses have found the party’s image problems to be in the approach and the appeals that have led to its near total victory here. Southern Republican politicians continue to cruise smoothly to victory on the votes of white, socially conservative evangelicals. While some leaders have succeeded with a more centrist platform, like Gov. Bill Haslam of Tennessee, a large part of the Southern electorate still rewards politicians who promise to crack down hard on criminals and illegal immigrants, assume a defiant tone when speaking about the federal government and dismiss the idea of gay rights out of hand.

Nationally, this approach has been putting up diminishing returns.

In Maine, Maryland and Washington, referendums on gay marriage passed. In Alabama, voters selected Roy Moore, who said that same-sex marriage would lead to “the ultimate destruction of our country,” as chief justice of the State Supreme Court.

Many Southern Republicans said that the lessons of Tuesday could be overlearned, and that the message was not the problem — it was the messengers, or at least the messaging.

“I don’t think for a second Republicans ought to change what we believe and what we stand for,” said Andy Taggart, a lawyer in Madison, Miss., and a former executive director of the state Republican Party. “I do think we could do a more effective job of communicating that.”

Read the full article in The New York Times