This continues a trend that we’ve seen for under a decade now.
Republicans are making inroads with minority voters, whether black, Hispanic or Jewish. The success rates vary and with black voters in particular, Republicans are starting from practically nothing. So it’s a low bar.
Republican candidates were backed by 14% of Black voters, compared with 8% in the last midterm elections four years ago, according to AP VoteCast, an extensive national survey of the electorate.
In Georgia, Republican Gov. Brian Kemp more than doubled his support among Black voters to 12% in 2022 compared with 5% four years ago, according to VoteCast. He defeated Democrat Stacey Abrams both times.
The significance of numbers like these is that they cut into the most reliable base that Democrats have. If Republicans can get Democrats to invest money playing defense with black voters, rather than just maximizing turnout, that’s a plus.
The challenge though is that Republicans tend to perform best with black men who vote less. And the gaps opening up there are in part gender gaps. It’s why Stacey Abrams actually lost black voters in this round.
So don’t assume that there’s an easy trend line there.
Republicans did perform better with minority voters in the midterms. But, as I and more sensible conservatives have warned in the past, Republicans primarily need to nail down white voters. Republicans are now gaining minority votes and yet having serious issues with some demographics of white voters.
The old straightforward path to victory lay through dominance among white voters. Demographically that’s become shakier. And it makes sense for Republicans to pursue other voters. But, paradoxically, the old RNC formula of trading white voters for minority voters has been adopted by some in the MAGA movement with disastrous results. Whatever happens 10 or 20 years down the road, electorally, white voters are not expendable. Making inroads with minority voters is important, but ignore the base and it all crumbles.
Republicans are slowly building a potential new multicultural coalition, but the Dem multicultural coalition is a chimera, it’s built on driving disproportionate turnout of its base, not on actual diversity.
That’s why the Democrats survived the midterms. Seeing Republican inroads, they shifted gears and focused on white women, especially young white women, and on younger voters, with a great deal of success.
Democrats can pivot from one base to another and get a disproportionate turnout using their political machines. Republicans trying to build a multicultural coalition are chasing an illusion Democrats built 50 years ago. They’re refighting Vietnam instead of figuring out how to fight the enemy’s current tactics.
A variety of factors might play into the findings, including voter turnout and candidate outreach. Yet some Black voters suggest they will be sticking with Republicans because they said the party’s priorities resonate with them more than those of Democrats.
Janet Piroleau, who lives in suburban Atlanta, left the Democratic Party in 2016, during Trump’s first run for office, and now votes Republican. That includes this year, when she voted for Kemp in his victory over Abrams.
Piroleau said she felt Democrats were pushing for more reliance on government programs. “That bothered me,” she said.
“For me, it was about being accountable and responsible and making your own decisions, and not depending on the government to bail you out,” Piroleau said.
That’s the kind of traditional black voter the party has picked up. The Sowell/Thomas paradigm. I’m not too sure how many of those Republicans can actually find.
This might be the black voter Republicans need.
April Chapman, who lives in metro Atlanta, is among the Black voters who favored Kemp and other Republican candidates.Like Piroleau, Chapman cited issues such as immigration, border security and the economy as important in deciding to become a Republican a decade ago. But the 43-year-old mother said her main break with the party is over education.She said she felt Democrats were trying to control what her children should be exposed to and how they should be educated.“For our family, the government educational system was not the best option,” Chapman said.