For some time now, the Democratic Party has been playing the game of identity politics. It runs a bevy of diverse candidates which makes the GOP look like a bunch of old fuddy-duddies. Instead of working to change the narrative, Republican Party movers and shakers have decided the best course of action might be to try and beat the Dems at their own game. And it appears that this strategy is working.
It used to be easy to identify the GOP candidate from that of the opposing party. But times they are a-changin’. The Republican National Committee has long recognized the need for a more diverse population of candidates but was unsure what to do about it. Year after year the number of black conservative candidates running for office was dismal and Hispanics practically nonexistent. However, the precipitous drop of Joe Biden in the polls has initiated a seismic shift in historic party alliances. To wit, Hispanics and blacks are beginning to embrace the conservative message in much higher numbers.
A March survey by The Wall Street Journal revealed the GOP has more than doubled its support among black Americans from 12% to 27%. Also, “By 9 percentage points, Hispanic voters in the new poll said they would back a Republican candidate for Congress over a Democrat. The two parties had been tied among Hispanic voters in the Journal’s survey in November,” wrote the outlet’s Michael C. Bender.
One can imagine the brain trust at the Republican National Committee (RNC) saying, “What if Republican candidates mirrored the look of these voters who were crossing the party Rubicon?” So they put their shoulder to the wheel and did the hard work of recruiting qualified minority candidates who wore the GOP label with pride. As a result, the National Republican Congressional Committee (RNCC) is able to tout a record number of black Republicans running for Congress. “The National Republican Congressional Committee counted 81 Blacks running as Republicans in 72 congressional districts this year, up from 27 in the 2020 election cycle,” according to The Washington Times. Meanwhile, the NRCC told Axios, “a record 103 Hispanic candidates were running for the U.S. House this election cycle.” Back in the day, this would be termed “making hay while the sun shines.”
Thus the face of the Republican Party is changing rapidly and in a big way. Will this continue? Will these newcomers win? There is reason for optimism within the GOP if early primary results are any indication. But let’s not spill the beans because that would spoil your opportunity to take the quiz. Here are the rules of engagement:
Look at the five races shown below. These candidates are presented without names or party affiliation. Try to identify which of the two is the Republican candidate and put a mental check mark next to the one on the left or the right. Ready? Here we go:
The answer key is below – but before you scroll down – here are the ratings:
Get all five, and you’re in the “Political Genius” category. If you got four right, pat yourself on the back as “Pretty Darn Smart.” Three means you fall into the “I’d rather be lucky than good” category. Two means you should read LibertyNation.com more often to raise your political knowledge. One correct answer signifies the GOP is doing a bang-up job of capturing the Democratic monopoly on minority candidates.
One final point, most political thinkers of substance would admit that a candidate is more than a demographic, but by running a more diverse group of candidates the RNC takes away the Democratic advantage of being the only party that these folks can call home. These races and corresponding photos signal the changing face of the Republican Party, and that can’t but help them come election day.
Race #1: Jennifer Kiggans (R) on left, Elaine Luria (D) on right.
Race #2: Monica De La Cruz (R) on left, Michelle Vallejo (D) on right.
Race #3: John James (R) on left, Carl Marlinga (D) on right.**
Race #4: Dan Sanchez (D) on left, Mayra Flores (R) on right.
Race #5: Abigail Spanberger (D) on left, Yesli Vega (R) on right.
* Some of these primary races have been decided, while others have not yet taken place.
** There are five candidates in this Democratic primary, but polls show Marlinga leading the pack at the time of this writing.