MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — On Tuesday the Humphrey Institute at the University of Minnesota will host a panel discussion on the future of the Republican Party. With big losses at the federal and state level, it’s a question many Republicans are asking themselves: What policies should the party embrace?

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Last week there were two responses to the State of the Union, the Republican response from Sen. Marco Rubio and the Tea Party response from Sen. Rand Paul.

There is a tug of war going on within the party — one example, the battle over immigration with Sen. Rubio proposing an easier path to permanent residency than many conservatives believe in.

Here in Minnesota there is also a divide and a recognition that something needs to be done after Sen. Amy Klobuchar won reelection by 35 percentage points. Democrats regained control of both the Minnesota House and Senate and constitutional amendments on voter ID and gay marriage were soundly defeated.

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Pat Shortridge, chairman of the Minn. Republican Party appeared on WCCO Sunday Morning.

“In hindsight, it’s clear to me we had a couple of problems in November and these aren’t unique to Minnesota,” Shortridge said. “It was a 50-state problem, up and down the ticket, and the first is we as Republicans have to do a much better job of translating how our ideas and proposals will make Minnesotans’ lives better and folks’ lives better around the country, how it will be easier for them to find a job, keep more of their money saved for retirement, buy health care, educate their kids.”

And for Minnesota Republicans the timing is significant — Sen. Al Franken and Gov. Mark Dayton are up for re-election in 2014.

Both were elected by narrow margins but so far no major Republicans have said they will run against either incumbent.

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You can watch WCCO Sunday Morning with Matt Brickman and Esme Murphy every Sunday at 6 a.m. and 10:30 a.m.

Esme Murphy