After decades of struggling to attract black and Latino voters, the Republican Party is now implementing some novel strategies to begin making inroads with minority communities. If successful, their efforts could place Democrats in a precarious position as people start peeling away from the left’s traditionally most loyal voting blocs.
The Republican National Committee has begun assisting legal immigrants in the process of gaining US citizenship. It is part of a new initiative to reach out to nonwhite voters. This strategy is in stark contrast to the Democrats’ approach, which involves pushing open borders policies to win favor with Latino Americans.
“RNC staffers will coach those seeking citizenship in American civics and history,” according to the Washington Times. “They’ll also instruct immigrants on what to expect on the citizenship test, such as questions on the branches of government or significant dates in U.S. history.”
RNC Chair Ronna McDaniel told the Times, “the RNC is growing our party through purposeful education and engagement” and noted that this initiative “is broadening our base because our ideas transcend all backgrounds.”
However, this has not always been the case. The Republican Party, which used to invest time and energy into its relationship with black and brown communities, largely pulled back on this during the 1960s. Since then, the GOP has made only the most cursory of attempts to win over nonwhites. But this current endeavor appears to show the party is intent on reversing course – and it could help them in the upcoming congressional elections. Over 9 million legal permanent residents are now eligible for naturalization – this means they could obtain their citizenship in time to cast their votes in November.
Even Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-TX) acknowledged these efforts, calling them “interesting,” and lamented that he does not see the same from Democrats. “I didn’t know you could have outside folks become instructors, so they’re reaching out to the new folks, and the new folks are very interesting because they’re very good at voting,” he said.
Republican Party Outreach Paying Off?
Ironically, this initiative comes right after First Lady Jill Biden channeled her gaffe-machine husband President Joe Biden in a recent speech in which she compared Latinos to “breakfast tacos” in San Antonio, Texas. It was an obvious mistake – but it only highlighted the reality that Hispanics are rethinking their commitment to the Democratic Party. A recent New York Times/Siena College poll was the latest in a series of surveys showing that Latinos are increasingly willing to give the GOP a chance. It found that while 41% said they would support Democrats in November, 38% indicated they would vote for a Republican candidate.
The Republican Party has also engaged in similar efforts with the black community. It has set up outreach centers in cities like Jacksonville, FL, with high black populations. A record number of black candidates are running under the GOP banner and are being supported by the base. The development prompted conservative commentator Theodore R. Johnson to ask in a recent op-ed if 2022 will be “The Year of the Black Republican.” He wrote:
“More than a few black Republican candidates this year sit at the intersection of those two questions about the GOP’s future, having been endorsed by Trump and figuring to be key to keeping the black voters that trickled back into the party after more than a decade away. These congressional aspirants are part of a record class—the National Republican Congressional Committee reports that more than 80 black candidates are running in the party’s primaries this year, the most in history.”
The GOP’s change of heart on minority outreach comes at a crucial time in American history, with heightened racial tensions dominating the national conversation. The Democrat Party has long held sway over minority voters by labeling its opponents as virulent racists. But it appears many nonwhites have realized that the left has done little for their communities while enjoying their allegiance for decades.
It seems there is a sea change on the horizon with the conservative movement welcoming more minorities into its fold. The question is: Does the Republican Party possess the will and ability to maintain these efforts over the long haul or is this a passing fancy?