HOUSTON - Back-to-back defeats in the battle for the White House forced the GOP to figure out why they were losing.
The Republican National Committee drafted a 100-page "autopsy report." It was a road map for the GOP on how to win the presidency in 2016.
But then Donald Trump came down an escalator, thrust himself into presidential politics and nearly ignored every recommendation.
"The party did it too by putting it [the report] on the back burner, and Trump basically took it off the stove," said Vlad Davidiuk, a GOP precinct chair.
Davidiuk says Trump started cooking up his own message, and now the party is on the verge of losing again.
"The party has a lot of soul searching to do. We need to start rebuilding now," Davidiuk said.
The 2012 report called for the GOP to be more inclusive writing, "The Republican Party is one of tolerance and respect. We need to ensure the town of our message reflects these core principles."
But one comment after another, Trump alienated large swaths of minorities and women. Two groups you can't win the White House without.
"When you have the nominee of the party basically ostracizing an entire voting group and making it impossible to reach out to them for their vote, it quickly becomes a short game," Davidiuk said.
The report also urged Republicans make a concerted effort to reach out to black voters by "establishing a presence in African-American communities."
Trump listened and made an attempt to visit a couple black churches and black neighborhoods, but Davidiuk says his tone was off and didn't move voters.
"He's made some inroads, but it hasn't been enough," Davidiuk said.
Now with a month until decision day, Davidiuk fears the republican party will have four more years to craft a new game plan. This time he hopes the party follows it.
"We're going to have to look at the mistakes we made regardless of the outcome," Davidiuk said.
Trump is over performing Mitt Romney when it comes to white, working class voters. He's consistently earned two-thirds of that voting bloc, but experts say it may not be enough to win the presidency.
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