Ladies and Gentlemen, the Next President of the United States … by Process of Elimination Part 2: Minority Voters Key to Winning in 2016 This is the second a series of reports on the race for U.S. President. The series will unfold by process of elimination, interlocked with trends analyses, and conclude with my forecast
Ladies and Gentlemen, the Next President of the United States … by Process of Elimination
Part 2: Minority Voters Key to Winning in 2016
This is the second a series of reports on the race for U.S. President. The series will unfold by process of elimination, interlocked with trends analyses, and conclude with my forecast for the next president.
April 21, 2015 Vol. VIII, No. 6 3:13 pm
Hillary Clinton, the presumptive presidential nominee of the Democratic Party, faces the challenge of turning out African American voters in numbers equal to the historic turnout in 2008 that led to Barack Obama carrying North Carolina by a mere 14,171 votes out of 4.3 million cast. The only time that African-American voters turned out in higher percentages than non-Hispanic white American voters was when Barack Obama was on the ballot.
The Republican nominee for president, as well as those for statewide offices in swing states like North Carolina, face the challenge of persuading minority voters to embrace conservative alternatives to liberal public policy, and the challenge of persuading minority voters to trust them at a time in American history when minorities have every reason not to trust Republicans.
Minority voters are key to winning the White House and statewide offices in swing states like North Carolina in 2016. The biggest difference I see with regards to minority voters in 2016 is that both Democrats and Republicans face an equally difficult challenge.
During the next couple of days, I will be writing a series of reports about minority voters and the challenges faced by both parties to rebrand themselves for a 21st century American electorate.
The Millennials, those born 1980-2000, already outnumber the Baby Boomers. Minorities now number one in three of all Americans. Are you ready Democrats? Republicans?
Why Would Black Voters Vote GOP?
Does the Republican strategy even include the black vote?
On April 2, 2015, Karl Rove, the architect of George W. Bush’s successful campaigns for Governor of Texas and U.S. President and dean of Republican political strategists, wrote in the Wall Street Journal, “To win [the White House in 2016], the GOP must do a good deal better among Hispanic, Asian American and African American voters than they have since 2004.”
“Doing better,” writes Rove, “does not require a Republican presidential candidate to forsake a conservative message. It does require finding the right message and presenting it in a compelling way to people not usually drawn to the GOP.”
So, how does the GOP find the right conservative message for people not instinctively drawn to the GOP? How do they figure out how to present a conservative message in a compelling way?
For starters, the GOP’s investment would have to be commensurate with that of any successful national rebranding campaign. Except considerably greater. They first have to overcome the distrust most minorities have for Republicans.
Decades of feeling unwelcome in the GOP’s big tent. Feeling indifference to their plight. Overcoming distrust will require Republicans to start earlier than ever before.
They also need to carefully test their messaging. A very public test. No secrets. All dirty laundry aired. You can’t change a public perception problem until you identify the problem publicly. Everybody knows anyway.
What is the compelling message from Republicans to minorities struggling to find jobs, or to those who have jobs that pay so little that they have to use food stamps to feed their family? What is the positive Republican policy alternative to the liberal social safety net?
Republicans have to figure out how to answer the question: Why would black voters vote GOP? If they figure that out, they will win the White House and most of the statewide offices in swing states like North Carolina.
Tomorrow, I will publish a report that deals with the question: Why would black voters turn out for Hillary Clinton?
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