BOSTON (CBS) – They say it’s always darkest before the dawn, which means dawn must be at hand for the Massachusetts Republican Party, the closest thing to political road-kill you are ever likely to see.

Listen to Jon’s commentary:

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Sorry, Republicans, for repeating the grim facts, but for the benefit of those who didn’t notice, the local GOP suffered a truly fearsome beat-down a week ago, losing the people’s seat in the U.S. Senate, its best shot at a congressional seat in years, and several seats off its already-puny total in the state legislature.

And the last Republican to win the governorship here?

He got waxed in the local presidential vote by 23 points.

Tonight, the GOP State Committee meets with plenty of soul-searching, finger-pointing and garment-rending on the agenda. But judging from what I’m seeing in the press, few of the party faithful have grasped the enormity of their challenge.

They’re talking about doing a better job of outreach, organizing more aggressively, improving their candidate recruitment, all the usual partisan machinery.

But let’s face it – none of that stuff is going to resuscitate the Mass. GOP, because their brand name has become, fairly or not, electoral poison.

Enough voters here are so repulsed by the national Republican brand that they simply will not vote for Republicans for federal office.

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A GOP candidate here could be further to the left of D.C. Republicans than Elizabeth Warren and still lose due to guilt by association. And that same poison leaves local candidates behind the eight-ball too.

What’s the answer?

Get a new brand name.

A Marshfield businessman has registered the name “Massachusetts Independent Party,” but maybe he’d cut a deal.

Running as capital-I independents would give Republicans a better shot at the majority of voters who share that label, and some badly-needed distance from a toxic brand.

Give it a try, Republicans.

You really, truly, have absolutely nothing to lose.

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You can listen to Keller At Large on WBZ News Radio every weekday at 7:55 a.m. and 12:25 p.m. You can also watch Jon on WBZ-TV News.

Jon Keller