UK & World News
Republican Soul-Searching After Romney Defeat
Just a few days after the defeat of Mitt Romney, the Republican Party has already begun an inquest into how to avoid another Presidential election defeat.
While some argue it should move more to the right, others say it needs to broaden its appeal beyond its core supporters - older white men.
If everywhere in the country was like Petersburg in West Virginia, there would be no need to panic, and no need for lengthy and expensive campaigns.
Mr Romney secured 82% of the vote in the electoral district of Grant County.
It is also one of the whitest places in the US; according to the last census 97% of the population is white, though there's no evidence that race had an effect on the vote.
There were equally big Republican majorities when Al Gore and John Kerry were the Democratic nominees for President.
The white voters, and especially white men who make up the core of Republican supporters, can be found in the Golden Lanes bowling alley in Petersburg.
There were no non-white faces to be seen during a busy league night.
But the growing number of Latino voters in swing states like neighbouring Virginia means that population arithmetic will continue to favour Democrats unless the Republican Party can persuade some of the 71% of Hispanic voters who backed Barack Obama to switch allegiance in future elections.
Some of the Republican supporters who spoke to Sky News recognised their party had to adapt or die.
Gary Leatherman said: "The Republican Party has got to change the way they're going if they're going to get someone back into the White House. They're losing sight of too much.
"There's nothing wrong with being Conservative... but sometimes you've got to fight back."
Kevin McDonald told us: "Maybe if the Republicans would really look toward unifying. Look at our entire west coast plus Nevada. It could be a country unto its own."
But there are some issues where most Republicans are uncompromising. Petersburg has a population of 2,500 but there are 27 churches.
The influence of God on politics is strong here, even if the party's views on abortion and gay marriage are costing them votes among women voters and young people.
Kevin Reed said: "I just truly believe that a true Christian has to stay with his beliefs, and I don't know if the Republican Party needs to change anything. I just think Christians need to get out to vote."
Mr Obama is deeply unpopular in West Virginia. All 55 counties produced a Romney majority. Critics blame his environmental policies for threatening jobs in coal mining. But a handful of people were willing to admit having voted for him.
Richard Eye did in 2008, but not this year.
"I voted Obama the first time and I don't think he's done enough to warrant four more years so I just couldn't vote for him again."
Jim Cole is the Grant County Commissioner. He's a Republican, but willing to compromise. He says he has no problem with gay relationships, but thinks there are far more important issues to be arguing about such as fixing the economy.
And he says Republicans will have to work with President Obama for the good of the country.
"I'm going to be pulling for him a lot harder this time than I was the last time because we thought we were going to get rid of him after four years. It's not going to happen so we better be working with him, and working for the best."
His wife Phyllis has also run for office and neatly sums up the disconnect between rural Republican America, and its liberal and urban equivalent.
"They think we're backward and we think they're just uneducated!"
It's easy to mock towns like Petersburg for being insular or narrow-minded just because most people think and vote the same.
But there is an even more partisan place 150 miles away at the other end of the political spectrum - Washington DC.
An astonishing 92% of the citizens of the nation's capital voted for Mr Obama in both Presidential elections. If Mr Romney had been elected to the White House he would have found the vast majority of his neighbours would rather he hadn't moved in.
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what do you think?
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broaden its appeal beyond its core supporters - klu klax Klan.
Right. . And stop believing Jesus was a white european. . He was a Hebrew from Palestine
Windows Live User
They did. They signed up the bowling major league guys from Petersburg.
Stop trying to force people to believe in the Old Testament then
I find it easier to believe in the Old Testament than in the modern liberal twaddle that the Lib/Lab/Cons are dishing up at present.
Windows Live User
Got to give Edgar a thumbs up for this one
Why is it that if I make a post before 9.00am it gets deleted ?
Windows Live User
Well, you learn something new every day. I had no idea republicans actually had souls. I thought they used the space for extra greed.
You hear all sorts of rumours, some people say they are a right wing party ! others say that they are similar to our Conservative Party.
"While some argue it should move more to the right," There is nowhere further to the right it could move to. That's why they lost.