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View Diary: An ideological realignment driven by demography (130 comments)

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  •  The GOP has failed at demography for 30 years (11+ / 0-)

    "This is just a blip" commentaries like Sides's fail for two reasons. One is that deep down it assumes that the demographic and turnout changes are just a passing fad - that, as Jon Stewart mockingly put it, after the 2008 elections minorities would fade back to wherever it is that they came from. Of course they didn't: demographic change may be slow, but it is inexorable. (The real aberrant blip was 2010.)

    The other reason is that they assume that the GOP can easily attract a much larger share of any demographic's vote just by tweaking a policy or two. Need 40% of the Hispanic vote? Clearly (so the delusional thinking goes) all the GOP needs to do is support immigration reform, maybe put a Rubio on the ticket, and it's guaranteed.

    But it won't work. The GOP can't magically turn on the Hispanic vote like a spigot. We know this because there is 30 years of evidence showing they can't.

    The idea that changing demographics would eventually doom the GOP's Southern Strategy voting bloc is actually quite old. Back during the Reagan administration there were people in the GOP who foresaw the end of the Silent Majority decades down the line. And, to give them credit, they did have a plan to deal with the country's changing demographics. It was to turn Hispanics into Republicans.

    You can see how well that worked out.

    Here's the thing. Some kind of immigration reform was part of every GOP candidate's plans from Reagan to McCain. And it didn't help. That's partly because the Democratic plans were better, but mostly because Hispanics are not single issue voters, and (as the diary notes) they disagree with the GOP on a wide, wide range of issues.

    If the GOP wants to attract Hispanic voters (or African Americans, or women) they need to undergo a deep and comprehensive transformation. That is not going to happen in an election cycle or two.

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