Republicans are starting to realize that the Nixon-era strategy of appealing to southern whites (read: Nixon-era racist strategies) seems to be starting to fail, as evidenced by the much closer votes in red states that Obama lost. African-American and Hispanic demographics are much faster growing, and there is evidence as well that southern conservatives are coming out to the polls in lower numbers:
The proportion of white voters in the South is also shrinking. Southern whites voted overwhelmingly for Romney, but in six Southern states, far fewer of them appear to have gone to the polls on Nov. 6 than the number who voted for Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) in 2008.
In Florida, the share of votes cast by whites this year fell to 66 percent, down from 73 percent in 2000. In Georgia, the number of white voters declined while African-American registration increased nearly 6 percent and Hispanic voters grew by 36 percent.
“Republicans can focus all they want on Hispanics,” said John Anzalone, a Montgomery, Ala., pollster who helped analyze swing states for the Obama campaign. “But they also have a problem with whites, in this election cycle, just showing up.” (Washington Post)
However, the post also goes on to state that, “Many Republican leaders in the South say the lower turnout by whites in some areas simply reflected lower enthusiasm for Romney as a candidate, and doesn’t signal a longer term decline in GOP strength.”
It appears that there are those Republican politicians that disagree, though, as evidenced by the following:
- John McCain stating that, “I think we have to have a bigger tent, that’s no doubt about it. Obviously, we have to do immigration reform,” and “demographics are not on our side.”
- Jeb Bush considering a presidential run on the strengths of his Mexican-born and raised wife.
- George Prescott Bush, son of Jeb Bush, starting a possible career in politics on the strengths of his Hispanic heritage.
- Henry Barbour, an RNC member and top Romney fundraiser (nephew of Governor Haley Barbour), stating that, “We’ve got to go out and sell our ideas not just to the choir, but the whole church. We’re not going to get 25 percent of the black vote in four years, but we’ve got to figure out which African-Americans share our core beliefs.”
- The Rev. C.L., Bryant, African-American Tea Party activist, “We were all basically stunned at the results. It is very clear that the direction of the Republican Party — the conservative movement — is necessarily going to have to include the changing face of America and address the concerns of minorities, blacks, Latinos, and even younger white women, all young people…It has to happen or we’re going to be insignificant.” (Washington Post)
These are only a few examples; pundits and conservatives across the board have said much the same thing. It is time for the GOP to become a party of more than just whites if they expect to survive the next few election cycles.