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Republicans and Black Voters, Part 100

black votersWhat can Republicans do to attract more black voters — that’s the question for the ages. Is it a matter of Republicans showing up where black people are and establishing a presence, or should Republicans tweak their platform and be more like Democrats?

What does Republican “outreach” to blacks look and sound like? According to an article on NBC, Republicans are attempting to court black voters by reactivating College Republican chapters at historically black schools, speaking at black organizations, and contacting black media.

The article cites Senator Thad Cochran’s runoff victory over Tea Party-supported primary opponent, Chris McDaniel. The incumbent appealed to black liberals through race-baiting, and they pushed him into the “winner” column. Is that what Republicans have to do to gain more black voters?

Star Parker believes that McDaniel should have countered Cochran’s approach and made the case for conservative principles to these same black voters. He should have (and could have) sought allies among the black population with issues like school choice.

Republican National Committee chair Reince Priebus pointed out a problem that, once solved, could have a big effect on the numbers: “We have become a national party that has decided that it’s OK to show up once every four years, five months before an election.”

Would a constant presence work? I think it’s a good start. It certainly can’t hurt.

The GOP faces an uphill battle to obtain a larger share of black voters, particularly in the context of Barack Obama’s election. Any criticism, legitimate or otherwise, is perceived as an attack on his race. It seems that Republicans can’t win. Republican-libertarians like Rand Paul seem to make some headway. He believes that felons should vote, something that, unfortunately, disproportionately impacts blacks.

Photo credit: David Goehring (Creative Commons) Some Rights Reserved

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