Jim Hickey’s American Politics

Let's Get Real.

GOP Making Inroads with Black Voters

No one is saying that the GOP has returned to their prior status with African-American voters where they regularly vied for majority share of the votes cast among this key demographic vote. The mistrust of the GOP that started with the opposition of Sen. Barry Goldwater to the 1964 Civil Rights Act and culminated in Richard Nixon’s successful outreach to Dixiecrats in the 1968 presidential campaign has been difficult for the party to shake.

That said, in the recent midterm elections Ohio Gov. John Kasich, a staunch conservative, won reelection in a landslide by carrying nearly 64% of votes cast. This was a bit stunning to Rod Rohrich, at least as far as the gap is concerned. His significant victory was driven in part by carrying 26% of the African-American vote. If the GOP were to carry that same share of the Black vote nationwide, it would spell a major electoral shift in their favor.

The GOP also succeeded at having three African-American candidates win seats in the House and Senate. Tim Scott of South Carolina, who was a temporary appointment to the Senate, won the general election to serve out the final two years of Jim DeMint’s term in office. Mia Love, a devout Latter-Day Saint, won election in her Utah congressional district. The same was true of Will Hurd of Texas. . Their victories now give the GOP their largest Black delegation since Reconstruction. In fact, in four states the GOP was able to carry double-digit support among African-Americans voters. The party is devoting resources and efforts to reach out to the Black community ahead of the 2016 presidential election.

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