Republicans Now Tasked With Image Revamp After Taking Control Of U.S. Senate

U.S. Republicans took the Senate late Tuesday night, dealing a major blow to President Barack Obama in the last two years of his presidency.

But that was the easy part. Now, the Republican Party (GOP) must revamp its image from one of older, whiter voters to one that reflects the country's modern, multicultural landscape, in order to clinch the White House in 2016. And that will be no easy undertaking, analysts said.

Republicans on Tuesday gained enough Senate seats needed to wrest control of the previously Democratic-led chamber of Congress, with a number of nail-biters that went late into the evening.

Republicans had a number of advantages going into the midterm, as Congressional elections often favor Republicans, since many white, older, male and conservative voters get out to cast their ballots.

History was also on their side, as voters tend to reject the party in power during a president's sixth year, a phenomenon that goes back to the post-Civil War era.

Republican strategist Ford O'Connell told Xinhua the GOP will have to work on improving its image, "because they have a chance to win the White House in 2016, and 2014 was a good building block to do that."

"But it's a very different electorate, and they're going to have to move the ball a lot further down the field if they want to win the White House in 2016," he added.

Read more from Matthew Rusling at Xinhua 

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Analysis & Political Strategy