GOP: We're Not Just For White People Anymore
The Republican Governors Association will devote much of its annual meeting to celebrating its particularly diverse midterm gains, and figuring out how to replicate them.
The Washington Post reports: "Across the country two weeks ago, voters began to change the face of the Republican Party, though with little help from minority voters. The midterm elections brought to power the nation's first female Hispanic governor (New Mexico's Susana Martinez) and first female Indian American governor (South Carolina's Nikki Haley). In addition, voters in Nevada elected Brian Sandoval, who is Hispanic, as their new governor, while Oklahomans elected a female chief executive, Mary Fallin."
Haley, Fallin and Martinez were showcased in a news conference Wednesday, with Haley saying: "We have seen too many times that minorities and females are labels. Women didn’t vote for me because I’m a woman."
Tribune columnist Clarence Page agreed that the GOP has come a long way: "What's the most overlooked, underappreciated story from the midterm elections? My nominee would be the surprising new racial and ethnic diversity of Republican congressional and gubernatorial winners -- even if we don't see as much diversity among the party's voters."
Midterm polling indicates the GOP relies on white voters as much as ever: "Exit polls identified the primary source of the landslide: white working-class voters. This group, defined as whites who aren’t college graduates, has voted Republican in presidential contests but often split tickets to elect Democratic congressmen. This time they supported Republicans for Congress by a record 29 points, more than for any of the party’s recent presidential nominees."
The key takeaway: " Republicans captured only about 10 percent of blacks’ support and a third of Hispanics’, no better than in other years."
Analysis published in the Huffington Post suggests Republicans are a long way from gaining the trust of voters of color: "[T]he GOP's strategy for going after Latino votes: Nominate Hispanic candidates. [However] simply nominating Hispanic candidates, without abandoning immigrant-bashing rhetoric, will not solve the party's challenge with Latino voters. Of the three most notable races--Martinez, Sandoval, and Rubio--only Rubio captured a majority of the Latino vote."
Black voters continue to favor Democrats also, though low turnout kept them from affecting some key races.
So despite a more diverse body of leaders, analysts say, Republicans will need to actually make policy and rhetoric changes to reach non-white voters.
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