That makes sense to those whose sole goal is winning a majority in Congress rather than changing the course of government policy. Seen from the outside, though, it sounds like the professional politicians are saying that the only way to win is to pick more candidates like the insiders. Hearing that message, the reaction of many Republican and conservative voters is, “Why bother?”

That’s why more than two-thirds of Republican voters believe GOP officials in Washington have lost touch with the party’s base.

The Republican establishment has two choices. They can act as mature party leaders of a national political party, or they can protect their own self-interest.

Mature party leaders would spend a lot more time listening to Republican voters rather than further insulating themselves from those voters. They would try to understand why just 37 percent of Republicans nationwide believe the economy is fair. They would give serious thought to why just half of GOP voters have a favorable opinion of House Speaker John Boehner, the highest-ranking elected Republican in the nation. They would acknowledge that government spending in America has gone up in every year since 1954 regardless of whether Republicans or Democrats are in charge.