Deep in the numbers by Rasmussen today you'll find this gem:
Among all Likely U.S. Voters, 20% believe Republicans in Congress have done a good job representing the party’s values over the last several years, while 63% think they've lost touch with the party voter base.
Democrats, meanwhile, feel their party is representing them.
Being perceived as disconnected from their own party has been a chronic problem for the national Republicans. Heck, it's been a problem in states, too. The New York GOP is the latest example of the GOP being out-of-touch with their voters with the Corwin loss in a +6 Republican district. The problem exists in Nevada, California, and Delaware, to name a few places.
The Republican base is peeved. And the Republicans in charge are doing little to change the perception.
While the Republican base and the Tea Party have been working to put out the fiscal sanity message, the leadership has seemed to go wobbly and the message has been mixed.
While the Republican base and the Tea Party have door-knocked, educated, spent time and treasure to help revitalize the party, many inside the Beltway types have seemed to not want to let the stench of the little people reach them.
I've been to CPAC three times now and the most surprising thing is that with as close as the gathering is to the Hill, how few legislators deign to grace the grassroots folks with their presence.
And coming up in Minnesota, Right Online, the Right's grassroots answer to the Left's Netroots Nation, will John Boehner be there to talk to activists and bloggers bleeding for the cause? No. He's too busy.
You know who isn't too busy? Nancy Pelosi. Democrat leaders clamor to go to the gathering of the online and activist thought leaders. They know that their message and image both personally and as a party is shaped by these folks. They know that they're elected because these people inspire other activists.
So, Republicans may lament and say, "We get the message", but it's tough to take that seriously when they still act like mingling with the little people might give them a fungus.
They probably also wonder, when they've been doing relatively good for Republicans, why their base isn't more approving of them. Well, going weak at the first attack might be one reason. But worse, there's no well of good will built up with the Republican base.
There is still no trust.
How do you build trust? You build relationships. The Republican leadership should be at Right Online. Sure it's in Minnesota and they'll have to take a plane trip, but they should be there. And they should mosey down the Hill to go to other conservative gatherings, too. You know, mingle among their voters and supporters.
Politics is still about people, right?