by John Hawkins | November 18, 2002 11:50 pm
It’s Time For The GOP To Go After The Black Vote: I’ve always thought that we in the GOP have not worked hard enough to pull in the black vote. That rational has always been “why spend all kinds of time and money trying to convince blacks to vote for us when we know that they’re going to go 90/10 for the Democrats no matter what we do?”
But, if you take a look at the polling data from the latest election, it becomes obvious that we can capture a larger portion of the black vote. According to Douglas MacKinnon, in the last two years the number of blacks identifying themselves as Democrats has dropped from 74% to 63% and the number of blacks identifying themselves as members of the GOP has risen from 4% to 10%.
Now your first thought after looking at those numbers may be, “Awww, those still aren’t great numbers.” But, what if we were able to make similar progress for the next two years? In 2004, if the black vote went 52% for Democrats, 16% for the GOP, and 32% Independent we’d be in fantastic shape for the elections. Imagine the political shockwaves we could cause in 2004 if the GOP was able to take say 25% of the black vote.
So how do we raise our numbers? One issue we should definitely pursue is school vouchers. Most polling data I’ve seen shows that 60% of blacks support school vouchers, yet the Democrats will fight vouchers tooth and nail because they’re in bed with the teacher’s unions. That’s one important issue we can make headway on. We also need to try to go around the traditional “black leadership” to churches and black Conservative groups that are willing to work with us on issues like crime, helping small businesses, and faith based initiatives. Most polling data I’ve seen seems to suggest that roughly 1/3rd of all blacks are Conservatives. It’s crazy for them to be voting for anyone but the GOP and we need to work hard to show them that’s the case and make them feel welcome in the party. We have a great opportunity to take part of the Democrat’s base that they’ve long taken for granted, but we have to work towards it much more consistently and persistently than we have in the past to make it happen.
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