The Republican Party in Massachusetts is hurtling closer and closer to extinction, and all party leaders can do is make excuses.

The Grand Old Party gave up five seats in the already Democrat-dominated Massachusetts Legislature this year. The Democrats were able to add to their veto-proof majorities in both the Massachusetts House and Senate in 2020.

Republican leaders offer nothing but excuses for their usual dismal showing.

Veteran Republican Rep. Elizabeth Poirier, who opted not to seek re-election to the North Attleboro House seat she and her husband have occupied since 1976, saw that seat turn blue on November 3. Poirier blamed President Trump. "I definitely think it was an anti-Trump kind of a vote," she told the State House News Service.

MassGOP Chairman Jim Lyons is under pressure from some in the party who do care about winning elections. Lyons was elected the party's chairman after losing his own re-election bid. He told the SHNS the party got caught flat-footed without a strategy for mail-in voting. Lyons also failed to recruit candidates to run for office and failed to harness the energy from mass pre-Trump rallies and convert it to votes.

The Republican Party fails miserably where it counts most, at the grassroots level. Leadership at the local level is non-existent. There was a tremendous movement for President Trump's re-election in Bristol County and across Massachusetts but that was because of Sheriff Tom Hodgson and his team and not local party organizers. The statewide party failed to build on that.

Donald Trump energized Republican voters all across the country and even here in Massachusetts. But party leaders failed to capitalize on that energy and lost badly.

The future of the Massachusetts Republican Party locally depends upon energetic leadership. It's no longer enough to just show up and hope to win. Republican leaders need to organize at the street level, just as the Democrats do if the party is to survive.

You cannot win if you refuse to engage.

Barry Richard is the host of The Barry Richard Show on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from noon to 3 p.m. Contact him at barry@wbsm.com and follow him on Twitter @BarryJRichard58. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.

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