Ohio Senator: GOP "Taken Over by Southerners"

Ohio Senator George Voinovich says that the GOP is "being taken over by southerners," the Columbus Dispatch reports.

In an interview with with the paper, Voinovich said shrinking demographics and southern senators are alienating his conservative constituents. He cites Republican Senators Jim DeMint and Tom Coburn as the GOP's biggest problem.

"We got too many Jim DeMints (R-S.C.) and Tom Coburns (R-Ok.). It's the southerners. They get on TV and go 'errrr, errrrr.' People hear them and say, 'These people, they're southerners. The party's being taken over by southerners. What they hell they got to do with Ohio?'," Voinovich said.

Salon notes that Voinovich is not the sole Republican speaking out against the regional isolation. Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty acknowledged last year that the Republicans were facing increasingly difficult competition in large parts of the country, including Voinovich's Ohio.

"We cannot be a majority governing party when we essentially cannot compete in the Northeast, we are losing our ability to compete in Great Lakes states, we cannot compete on the West Coast, we are increasingly in danger of competing in the mid-Atlantic states, and the Democrats are now winning some of the Western states," Pawlenty said.

Not stopping at the GOP's biggest problem, Voinovich says President Obama's biggest problem is "two words: Nancy Pelosi."