By Alan Bean
An article in the Guardian, a British paper, discusses the challenges the rising tide of Latino voters in the United States poses for the Republican Party. Gary Younge argues that the ill-famed “Southern Strategy” made sense when white Americans comprised 85% of the electorate, but has become problematic in an age when the majority of babies born in the United States are non-white. These babies are almost two decades from voting age, however, so 74% of voters are still white. According to today’s Washington Post poll, Mitt Romney holds a commanding twenty-three-point lead among white voters.
This is the major dilemma for the Republican Party: racially loaded messages may appeal to many white voters, but they lose you minority votes. You can win white votes by railing against the entitlement-addicted 47% and the crime-prone “illegals” who cross the border in search of welfare, but not without giving Latinos and African-Americans a bad name. White racial resentment remains the greatest single force in American politics. The economy tops everyone’s list as an election season concern, but these issues are viewed through a racial lens. Black voters cannot be persuaded that Obama wrecked the American economy; white voters can.
Three-quarters of white evangelicals vote Republican. If you ask them why, they certainly won’t tell you they feel more comfortable voting for a white man. They may say that Obama is a free-spending socialist and we need a president who believes in American capitalism. But most, I suspect, will say it’s all about abortion. Republicans want to stop the Holocaust and Democrats don’t–simple as that. (more…)