A recent Pew Research survey showing Republicans are making serious gains in “leaned party identification” among white voters, particularly those under 30 and those “earning less than $30,000 annually”. Yet, as my friend John Hinderaker noted, they have failed to make similar headway among ethnic minorities. He offers “two possible explanations” :
The first is that poorer whites see their fortunes as tied to the economy, while poorer African-Americans and Hispanics are more likely to see their fortunes as tied to government support. Thus, hard economic times may only cement their loyalty to those who promise more government benefits.
This theory may be partially correct, but it can’t account for the whole phenomenon, since large majorities of African-Americans and Hispanics are not poor, but are middle-income or better. Likewise, the fact that African-Americans (but not, to my knowledge, Hispanics) are more likely than whites to be public employees can be, at most, a partial explanation.
The second possibility is that Republicans haven’t done a good enough job of competing for the votes of these minorities. This is, of course, a discussion of long standing in Republican circles.
It would be interesting to see if there has been any shift among gay voters in the past two years. Surely, gay entrepreneurs feel the impact of increasing regulation and prefer policies which give them greater freedom to operate their enterprises.
But, does the perception that social conservative dominate the GOP prevent gays businessmen and women (less attuned than we to the increasing economic focus of the GOP) from choosing the party which better represents their economic concerns?
As to the racial minority issue, wonder how Democratic attempts (with the active assistance of the mainstream media) to portray Republicans as obsessed with “persecuting . . . anyone who’s (sic) skin is brown” (to borrow an expression of a liberal Facebook friend of a liberal friend).
A recent poll suggests that young Hispanic voters share Republicans’ economic views. But, are they aware that the GOP favors cutting government spending and reducing the taxes on businesses? Michael Barone has more on that poll.
I agree that Republicans need do a better job of reaching out to ethnic minorities. That poll of young Hispanics suggests that party leaders don’t need to pander to win their votes, but merely to make clear what the party stands for and to act as it stands.
What is clear is something not always manifest in the polls on the presidential election. Conservatives are winning the battle of ideas. It’s now up to Republicans to govern accordingly — and to make their case to all Americans, regardless of their ethnic background — or sexual orientation.