The Republican party is looking to broaden its appeal to people who tend to vote Democratic. But if there's a move toward the political center, do Republicans risk alienating their conservative base? Some Republicans with a history of reaching across the aisle are already feeling the heat from "Tea Party" Republicans who call their more moderate colleagues "RINO"... Republican In Name Only.
FOX News Radio's Rich Johnson reports in our series "The New Look Republican Party":
After Barack Obama became President, South Carolina Republican Senator Lindsey Graham said this:
(Graham) "The last election had consequences."
These days, he sounds more like this:
(Graham) "The Obama administration's not a victim of anything other than their excess abuse of power."
One possible reason: He's getting primaried. At least three people are challenging Graham in the Republican primary. In fact, across the country, several Republicans with solid conservative credentials face primary opponents. Which makes for an easier job for Cliff Harris of the Democratic super-PAC 'American Bridge'.
(Harris) "As long as Republicans are gonna be worried about Tea Party primary challenges, it doesn't matter how safe Republican a district it is. They're not going to have the freedom to broaden their base by appealing to other groups of voters."
University of Virginia Professor Larry Sabato goes further, saying the Republicans are in danger of being relegated to just half-a-party.
(Sabato) "I think Republicans are going to do well in the 2014 mid-terms, for example. But, if you're the half-a-party, you're going to lose most presidential elections."
Rich Johnson, FOX News Radio.