As GOP primary voters consider whether Donald Trump carries the party banner, it’s worth considering how the frontrunner could be Barry Goldwater 2.0 on the issue of race and Hispanics. This would be terrible for Republicans if they actually want to win. Goldwater destroyed GOP relations with African-American voters, and Trump is poised to destroy relations with Hispanic voters. Because the majority of babies born today are non-white, if the GOP selects Trump, he could relegate the party to demographic oblivion.
African-American support of the GOP was a solid 39 percent in 1956 and a decent 32 percent in 1960. But after opposing the Civil Rights Act, Republican nominee Goldwater garnered a pitiful 6 percent, and black support has floundered in single digits or low teens ever since. The Republican “southern strategy” embraced by Richard Nixon further exacerbated the social breakdown between black voters and the GOP. Subsequent leaders like Jack Kemp and Ken Mehlman strove to mend relations between Republicans and black voters, with little impact.
Trump is on track toward becoming a neo-Goldwater figure. Gallup data shows that Trump’s favorability with Hispanics at net negative 51 percent, an unattractive outlier compared to all other GOP candidates (Ted Cruz is a distant second in negativity, just 7 percent, and on the polar opposite side, candidate Jeb Bush is a net positive 11 percent). This as Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton’s net positives are a strong 40 percent among Hispanics, according to Gallup.
Trump likes to say that some polls show him winning among Hispanic GOP primary voters. But this is a pyrrhic victory vis a vis the general election, given that just 13 percent of Hispanics self-identify as Republican, compared to 34 percent Democrat (and 44 percent independent), according to Pew.
Full article here at Forbes.
Photo by Gage Skidmore
Carrie Sheffield is the founder of Bold. She is passionate about storytelling to empower and connect others. A founding POLITICO reporter, Carrie contributed on political economy at Forbes and wrote editorials for The Washington Times. After earning a master’s in public policy from Harvard University, she managed credit risk at Goldman Sachs and researched for Edward Conard, Bain Capital founding partner and American Enterprise Institute scholar. She earned a B.A. in communications at Brigham Young University and completed a Fulbright fellowship in Berlin.