WASHINGTON, June 3 (UPI) -- Republican voters say the party doesn't represent them, fueling concern that they'll stay home for the U.S. November election, observers said.
Recent Rasmussen Reports polls indicate fewer Americans identify themselves as Republicans, The Washington Times reported Tuesday.
In May, a Rasmussen survey indicated voters trusted Democrats on election issues such as national security and the war on terrorism, once considered Republican staples.
The Republican agenda embraces an energy policy, and aid to families and working mothers, reflecting the party's tweaked campaign message, the Times said.
"It is a clear sign Republicans have not yet come to grips with how big a hole they have dug for themselves and how much work it will take to get out," said former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, who spearheaded the 1994 Republican sweep in Congress.
Rep. Tom Cole of Oklahoma, chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee, said voter dissatisfaction isn't confined to the Republican party, but reflects concerns about the economy, rising fuel prices and the war in Iraq.
"Our effort is to reach out and (assure) them that we are fighting these things. But there is clearly a big fight ahead of us in the election," Cole told the Times.