From a 2016 Pew Research Study, "The Parties on the Eve of the 2016 Election: Two Coalitions, Moving Further Apart":

Trends in party affiliation among black voters have been largely stable over recent years. Overall, 87% of black voters identify with the Democratic Party or lean Democratic, compared with just 7% who identify as Republican or lean Republican.

Among Hispanic voters, the Democratic Party holds a 63% to 27% advantage over the GOP in leaned party identification. As with black voters, trends in party affiliation among Hispanic voters have changed little in recent years.

One hypothesis as to why this trend exists, would be if GOP candidates, officials, and/or policies were racist or discriminatory. Many Democrats believe that Republicans are racist.

However, the GOP disavows racism in its official platform:

we oppose discrimination based on race, sex, religion, creed, disability, or national origin and support statutes to end such discrimination.

This policy is at least partly supported in action by the fact that several GOP officials recently condemned what they saw as racist tweets by Trump.

From a Republican perspective, how is the preference of minorities for the Democratic party explained in line with their anti-discrimination stance?

What I am looking for is a thesis or explanation, from a Republican perspective, as to why the GOP has little support among minorities in the U.S., as a counter to the common Democratic explanation that Republican candidates and policies are racist.

  • 6
    What's to explain? If you've grown up voting for a particular party, you tend to stick with it, and are predisposed to see the good aspects of it and the bad aspects of the other.
    – Meir
    Jul 19, 2019 at 23:47
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    To clarify: if a person has regularly voted in the past for Party A, and now they hear that Party A is saying and doing things against them and their interests, and Party B is saying and doing things in favor of them and their interests - it may cause them to switch. But equally well they may start to rationalize: well, Party A didn't really mean to go against me and my interests; they mean well; they'll soon come back to my side. Party B, meanwhile, is just trying to pander to me and my interests; and soon will show their true face; and there's some dog-whistle in there anyway... etc. etc.
    – Meir
    Jul 19, 2019 at 23:57
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    I think it's also worth adding that (a) in the US, with its longstanding two-party system, it may well be that people consider their political affiliation much more part of their personality (hence less likely to change) than in places where the political landscape is more fractured; (b) the kind of rationalization I mentioned above can of course be reinforced by one's family and friends and other social circle, and in that sense can be self-perpetuating, at least until some massive upheaval brings about a re-evaluation.
    – Meir
    Jul 20, 2019 at 0:12
  • 2
    You just can't cover all bases equally well. Republicans are doing fine in other demographics, at least good enough to win the Electoral college and the Senate. Jul 21, 2019 at 11:02
  • 5
    @Joe most of the explanations I have seen make the GOP look bad -- at some level they allege institutional racism within the GOP. I'd like to understand how Republicans themselves explain this in a way that counters such claims.
    – LShaver
    Jul 22, 2019 at 14:07

7 Answers 7


Thomas Sowell is a former syndicated columnist and professor of economics, who is black, can be described as conservative, and has generally favored the Republican Party. He has argued repeatedly that Republicans fail to appeal to black voters because they clumsily try to replicate the Democrats’ means of doing so.

Too many Republicans seem to think that the way to “reach out” is to offer blacks and other minorities what the Democrats are offering them. Some have even suggested that the channels to use are organizations like the NAACP and black “leaders” like Jesse Jackson — that is, people tied irrevocably to the Democrats.

Voters who want what the Democrats offer can get it from the Democrats. Why should they vote for Republicans who act like make-believe Democrats?

Yet there are issues where Republicans have a big advantage over Democrats — if they will use that advantage. But an advantage that you don’t use might as well not exist.

  • 2
    Can you explain a bit more about how Sowell's argument relates to the question? It sounds like the explanation he's proposing is that Republicans just don't try to appeal to African-Americans – that they could if they wanted to and chose to craft an effective strategy, but that, for whatever reason, the party hasn't taken that approach. Am I interpreting that correctly?
    – divibisan
    Jul 23, 2019 at 22:25
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    @dividisan Not quite. His criticism is, the few times that they try to appeal to black voters, they do so by trying to appeal to institutions and issues that are already dominated by Democrats (e.g. by having John McCain visit the NAACP and listening to what they want). He thinks it is better to appeal to black voters by addressing issues black voters care about differently from the way Democrats do, (e.g. offer to improve the education of inner city youth through voucher programs)
    – Joe
    Jul 24, 2019 at 9:36
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    But isn't that what I just said? The reason that black voters don't support the GOP is that the GOP doesn't actually try, in any useful or effective way, to appeal to them? Isn't he saying that there is a strategy that the GOP could use to appeal to black voters, but they haven't chosen to use it (for whatever reason)?
    – divibisan
    Jul 25, 2019 at 16:33
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    @divibisan Yes, he is saying that. They haven't chosen to use a strategy that would work for them, because they are choosing strategies that work for someone else, thinking that strategy will work for them.
    – Joe
    Jul 25, 2019 at 16:35
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    While interesting I don't know if this is a good answer for what the average republican view is on why minorities are underrepresented. This is one persons idea of how to improve their reach, it doesn't explain why that reach was already so low, why democrat's already offered what minorities wanted. Frankly if you want to get a feel for the 'average' republicans views it might be better to look at something like fox news which is the largest avenue of conservative information and thus opinion setting rather then any single republican representative.
    – dsollen
    Mar 1, 2023 at 16:02

Politifact reports:

Mitt Romney told wealthy donors gathered at a high-dollar campaign fundraiser that there’s a group of voters he believes he can never win over: people who pay no taxes.

How is this relevant to race? Hispanics and blacks have lower incomes. Distribution of household income by race.

The Republican party basically has had three pillars since Ronald Reagan:

  1. Low taxes/free market economics.
  2. Moral majority (evangelicals, etc.).
  3. Strong defense.

What Romney was saying was that the first of those three pillars does not reach 47% of the population. And we can see that that 47% of the population is disproportionately minority.

After 2012, the Republican party produced a report (PDF) that suggested more minority outreach and increased support for immigration. However, in 2016, Donald Trump won the presidency on a policy of economic nativism (lower immigration and less trade) and won a larger share of the minority vote than Romney did in 2012.

  • 9
    That bit about the percentage of black and Latino voters is true, but requires context. The exit polls often have margins of error; I think they're around 1% with 95% confidence for the national samples of about 18000 people. Thus, the difference between Romney and Trump may actually be within the margin of error. Further, since these percentages are of voters, not citizens, turnout has an effect, and the turnout of black voters dropped by about 12%, Trump's support might even be a tad lower.
    – Obie 2.0
    Jul 20, 2019 at 20:26
  • 9
    This is only a single statement by a single person. And it's not even directly about minorities. I think the conclusion in this answer is not based on sufficient data. Jul 21, 2019 at 11:00
  • 6
    @Trilarion Mitt Romney was the Republican presidential candidate in 2012. So without any evidence to the contrary, the assumption that he speaks for the Republican party as a whole is not far-fetched.
    – Philipp
    Jul 22, 2019 at 13:00
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    The table linked under "distribution of household income by race" does show a difference between white and minority households, but that difference doesn't appear to be significant enough to explain the difference in party allegiance by household income alone. The numbers certainly do not say that 87% of black voters don't have enough income to pay taxes. It might be a factor, but it can not be the only one. This makes this an incomplete answer.
    – Philipp
    Jul 22, 2019 at 13:05
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    Do you have any evidence that Romney was thinking about minorities when he said that, rather than low-income people in general? And, considering that most Republicans publicly disapproved of that statement (at least the impolitic nature of it, if not the substance), do you have any evidence that Republicans actually use this explanation? This reads like your own personal theory, but I don't see any evidence that anyone else uses this argument.
    – divibisan
    Jul 25, 2019 at 16:30

In the wake of their loss in the 2012 election, the RNC commissioned a report called the Growth and Opportunity Project which acted as a postmortem on that election and presented a plan to grow the party and adapt to changing political, societal, and demographic trends that, at that time, had led the GOP to lose the popular vote in 5 of the last 6 presidential elections.

The report highlighted the great potential for for the GOP to appeal to minority groups if the party could become more inclusive and show that all people were welcome in and represented by the party:

...office holders need to do a better job talking in normal, people-oriented terms and we need to go to communities where Republicans do not normally go to listen and make our case. We need to campaign among Hispanic, black, Asian, and gay Americans and demonstrate that we care about them, too.

While the party, for good or ill, chose to go in the opposite direction in 2016, the document is an interesting look at what "establishment" Republicans in the Pre-Trump era saw as the reasoning for their lack of support among minorities, and the suggestions they had for reversing that trend.

You can read the whole document on documentcloud.org, or read summaries on The Atlantic, The New York Times, or NPR. Since the whole document is 100 pages long, I summarize a few of the main points and back them up with quotes from the document below:

  1. The party does not make minorities feel welcome or represented by the party. If people don't think the GOP cares about them as people, they will never listen to them about the issues, even if they would otherwise agree with them:

    It is imperative that the RNC changes how it engages with Hispanic communities to welcome in new members of our Party.
    If Hispanic Americans hear that the GOP doesn't want them in the United States, they won't pay attention to our next sentence. It doesn't matter what we say about education, jobs or the economy; if Hispanics think that we do not want them here, they will close their ears to our policies.
    Because his [President George W. Bush] tone was inclusive and his effort to build a relationship was long-term, Hispanic Americans were willing to listen to his principles and policies on education, jobs, spending and other issues.

  2. The GOP doesn't engage with minority communities. The party needs to make a concerted effort to engage with and build lasting relationships with these communities:

    [...] the Party can no longer function with a "flyover campaign" mentality where candidates fly in and out of communities for fundraisers but do not substantively engage with members of the communities.

    The RNC must put significant effort and resources into reaching out to Hispanic media and news outlets.

    Similar to the approach it must take with other demographic communities, the RNC must embark on a year-round effort to engage with African American voters. The engagement must include not only persuasion based upon our Party's principles but also a presence within community organizations.
    [...] the Republican Party must be committed to building a lasting relationship within the African American community year-round, based on mutual respect and with a spirit of caring.

  3. The GOP needs to be inclusive. A more diverse party will make the party better able to deal with issues of importance in minority communities and will show the GOP cares about all people:

    We need to build a team that is one with the Hispanic community.
    [...] It is also a fair criticism that Republicans do not do enough to elevate Hispanic leaders within the Party infrastructure. This includes not just candidates running for office but also senior decision-makers in the RNC's infrastructure.
    One common theme throughout our discussion with various APA [Asian and Pacific Islander] groups is that the Republican Party needs to stop talking about outreach and begin talking about inclusion.
    There is a belief that the RNC should develop a rising star program at the state and local level for each state so that we can encourage members of minority communities to purse higher elected office.

  4. The GOP needs to crack down on racism and intolerance in the party's messaging:

    The Republican Party is one of tolerance and respect, and we need to ensure that the tone of our message is always reflective of these core principles. In the modern media environment, a poorly phrased argument or out-of-context statement can spiral out of control and reflect poorly on the Party as a whole. Thus we must emphasize during candidate trainings, retreats, etc., the importance of a welcoming, inclusive message in particular when discussing issues that relate directly to a minority group.

  • I think this answer could use some improvement but I've awarded you the bounty because this is the sort of thing I'm looking for (and I only had 41 minutes left to pick a winner). Was there much GOP commentary on this when it came out? How widely supported was it within the party?
    – LShaver
    Aug 1, 2019 at 13:52
  • 1
    "While the party, for good or ill, chose to go in the opposite direction in 2016" I disagree that this actually happened. That's just how the media portrayed it. Mar 1, 2023 at 20:42

I debated putting an answer at all because I don't have time to hunt down quotes, but since there seems to be an utter lack of a key perspective I suppose I'll have to write something.

So far all links tried to look at what the party leaders and strategists thought of as reasons for this disparity, which is a valid perspective. Though to a degree I think at high level strategy perspective republicans have mostly written off minorities as not a demographic they are likely to win. Democrats already have a strong sway over this demographic, trying to draw them away would require significant expenditure of effort or change of platform that may in turn alienate some of their existing voter base. It's simply not cost effective to dedicate the effort it would take to claim back a large perspective of this voter base. Sure if there is any low effort things that can be to make the party slightly more appealing it may be considered, but it's not cost effective to dedicate a significant effort to this cause. To give a sample when Mccain was running for president and republicans felt they needed to find a new source of voters to draw upon they explicitly set their sights on low income and/or uneducated white voters instead of minorities because that was a voter base they thought they could more effectively appeal to.

In this regard from a high level strategic perspective there is no real surprise by analysists that minorities vote democratic. Democrat's are known as the party for minorities, they already have had a strong ownership of this demographic for a long time, and considering that it's not a demographic considered worth targeting for republicans while Democrat's are actively targeting it it makes sense the majority would end up with the party actively appealing to them.

However, there is a second perspective, what does the average republican voter feel is the reason for this discrepancy? I'm not talking about the strategist and high level leaders, I mean the average John Doe republican voter think? I couldn't find a good study on this with quick googling sadly. However, I do have a decent proxy for this perspective, Fox News.

69% of republican voters say they Fox News a credible source, which is a significantly higher percentage then any other news source in the study. It was the single most cited source of news by republicans and 93% of those who got their news from fox were republican voters. I think Fox News represents a key source of information and thus source for explanations for a non trivial percentage of republican voters. Thus to figure out what they average voter thinks we can go to Fox News and see what their explanation is. This of course won't cover what every republican voter believes, but it will suggest the explanation likely to be believed by a non trivial percentage of them.

So how does Fox explain the discrepancy? Note for the rest of this answer I'm speaking from a Fox republican point of view. I will fully admit to the occasional resorting to exaggeration in my language choice to make a point. While the main talking points seem to persist across all Fox shows how exaggerated vs nuanced the actual talking points are depends heavily on which Fox personality you're listening to. Still it's both easier to make my points clearly and more fun to explain things using the more exaggerated voice so that's what I'm going with :P

Minorities will vote for whoever gives them the most handouts

In a way this is not really much of a surprise. If you look at any voting demographic it's generally a true statement that they are going to vote for whatever party the think will best benefit them; though it's important to point out that what matters here is what the voter thinks is best for them, not rather that belief is actually true.

What does matter here is how this basic principal is portrayed. There is a certain degree of blame put here, as if minorities are wrong for voting in their best interest instead instead of what is 'best for America', despite the fact that practically every voting demographic will vote primarily based off of what they believe most benefits them. The OP's already referenced claim of possible racist subtext can apply here, I've definitely heard claims that there is some dog whistling going on and attempt to sell blaming economic woes to those who already hate minorities. However, even ignoring claims of racism an argument for blaming minorities for voting in their best interest can still be made if it's believed that vote is excessively harmful to the rest of America's interest, as we'll get to below.

Regardless of the reason for the blame it does play a role in a subtler sort of argument, that it's okay not to have minorities voting for Republicans since they are guilty of 'bad' voting and thus not the sort of voters a good Republican party would want to court.

I put this first since it influences the rest of the issues listed below, though I don't consider it alone a major contributor for how republican voters explain the discrepancy.

Democrats are targeting minorities to the expense of the rest of the nation

Here is our smoking gun, the single biggest and most used argument, by a fair margin, to explain the voting discrepancy.

The basic argument is that democrat's are dependent on minority voters so much that they will do anything to appeal to them, even if that thing is harmful to the country as a whole. Democrats will bankrupt the country, tax everyone to death, run up the national deficit, and basically screw over all non-minorities in whatever manner it takes to give handouts to minorities to buy their votes. After all democrat's don't really care about America, they just care about winning votes at all cost.

Using this argument it makes total sense that minorities would vote for the people giving them handouts. Though going back to the first argument this is the other major explanation for why minorities are blamed for voting for the party that benefits them the most; because it's encouraging the democrat's continued abuse of the nation to give them handouts and is thus unethical.

Of course the problem with the Democrat's approach is that it's unsustainable and is going to destroy America's economy. By contrast Republicans don't get many minority votes because they refuse to tank our economy just to give out handouts. It's not that they are doing something wrong to alienate minorities, they simply refuse to buy votes at the expense of the average tax payer the way Democrats do!

Minority voter, what minority voters?

There is always the age old and simple strategy of just not mentioning your deficits. Don't bring up the difference, focus on the demographics they have strong voter turn out on, and redirect anyone trying to ask why minority voters are underrepresented.

This general strategy is by no means limited to this one issue, or Republicans alone. Every group out there will try to redirect people from, and avoid talking about, their weaknesses. However it still seems worth pointing out. The majority of republican voters aren't asking why there is a difference in voter turn out for minority voters in the first place. It's not a topic discussed in Republican leaning media and if you just avoid the topic most won't think to ask about it. I mean there is a reason every group out there uses the tactic of trying to avoid talking about their weaknesses, because it works!

Democrats and the liberal media keeps unfairly trying to frame us as bigots to drive away our voters

You said yourself every explanation you found for the discrepancy seemed to come down to accusing Republicans of racism. That isn't because the republicans are racist, but because the liberal media is trying to smear the republican party. If Democrats can convince everyone that Republicans are all racist then of course minorities wouldn't want to vote for them. Thus both Democrats and the Democratically controlled liberal media tries to find any excuse they can to play the race card and demonize Republicans just to drive minority voters away from them.

There is no real racism in the Republican party of course, but so long as democrat's can make them seem that way it still prevents them from getting minority votes.

We totally have minority voters, look right here is my black best friend!

Okay this is at most a minor subcurrent rather then a primary accusation. However, Republicans will do their best to hold up examples of black, or other minority, voters and leaders within their party to further show they are a diverse party. This usually goes hand in hand with claiming the media is exaggerating the discrepancy between minority voter turnout and implying this isn't as big a problem as the liberal media would have you believe.

Democrats are unethically encouraging (illegal?) immigrant voters to bring up their numbers

The Democrats want weak boarder crossing, lenience or even a path of citizenship for illegal immigrants, easy asylum, sanctuary cities, and assorted similar policies all for the goal to get more (illegal?) immigrants to vote for them.

This argument can range from relatively reasonable accusations that the democrats favor lenient immigration laws partially because those minority immigrants are more likely to vote for them to claiming they are benefiting from illegal immigrant votes as well to the extreme fear mongering conspiracy theories of intentionally bussing in illegal immigrants to voting stations to get more illegal votes for democrats.

At the most reasonable side of the argument it's undeniable that democrats both tend to favor easier immigration and tend to benefit from higher turnout from immigration votes. Now how much the motivation for the former is driven by the latter benefit is hard to say, and likely varies depending on which democratic your talking about, but at the very least it's not hard to imagine this being a non-trivial motivation for lax immigration law.

Of course the most reasonable argument might seem irrelevant to OP question, it's only stating democrat's benefit from immigrants, not explaining why minority immigrants would vote for them. However, it still can work as sort of guilt by association argument. Ie democrats are wrong for favoring unregulated immigration just to get more votes, (minority) immigrants are benefiting from this wrong, therefore (minority) immigrants are wrong for voting and thus we don't want those filthy minority immigrants voting for us anyways.

On the more extreme side of things is varying arguments that Democrats are benefiting from illegal aliens voting, and may be actively trying to encourage it in more extreme claims. This version basically argues that the only reason that Democrats seem to have such a lead in minority votes is because a non-trivial number of those minority votes are illegal votes that shouldn't have counted. If we just stopped all that illegal voting, say with a boarder wall to keep them out, demolishing sanctuary cities, and voter ID to make sure only legitimate voters vote, then the lead in minority voters Democrats seem to own will fade since it's no longer being fueled by all those illegal votes.

You might argue that there is little evidence of illegal voting, or that even if illegal's were voting they likely would not be included in the polls that show democrats being favored by minorities. However what matters is what one believes, and there is plenty of studies and evidence that a non trivial percentage of Republicans believe illegal voting has happened and it's messing up demographic data. We had a little riot driven by that belief you might have heard of after all ;).

So the TL/DR version of this answer is that Republicans accuse Democrat's of using immoral, unsustainable, methods to court minority voters and that since the Republicans are unwilling to resort to such tactics it's understandable they wouldn't be able to compete with those that did.

  • 3
    "What does matter here is how this basic principal is portrayed. There is a certain degree of blame put here, as if minorities are wrong for voting in their best interest instead instead of what is 'best for America'" I get the impression that many Republicans - especially more economically-minded ones - would instead take the tack that voting for the party that will give you more handouts is not actually inherently in your own best interest. First off because there are other issues, and second because individuals are impacted by whatever happens to the overall economy. Mar 1, 2023 at 20:51
  • 1
    @KarlKnechtel : It also frames "best interest" in purely financial terms. A lot of Republican voters are perfectly willing to give up a few monetary benefits if it means that they get to keep their guns, not have their religion condemned as "hate speech", etc.
    – dan04
    Mar 3, 2023 at 17:17
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    @dsollen: This answer would be better if you could site some polls or non-politician quotes supporting this view of the "typical Republican voter". Though, I will say that seems to be consistent with my own personal experience living in Texas and having mostly GOP-voting family members. I'll add that Democrats tend to drastically overestimate how much Republicans are motivated by racism. I've never once heard anyone say that they vote Republican specifically to screw Black people. It's because they want lower taxes, traditionalist social views, a strong military, etc....
    – dan04
    Mar 3, 2023 at 17:28
  • 1
    But regardless of why they originally joined it, once a person is firmly committed to the "Red" political tribe, to the extent of seeing "Blues" as immoral or anti-American, it's naturally going to taint one's opinion of demographics that vote overwhelmingly Democrat.
    – dan04
    Mar 3, 2023 at 17:31
  • 2
    @dan04 many people seem to believe that you can't trust what certain second parties say about what they think - but you can, for some reason, trust what certain third parties say about what the second party thinks. Mar 3, 2023 at 17:53

I'm aware that this answer is borderline because the source is not from a Republican perspective, but I think it's a relevant political analysis.

In this recent post Kevin Drum proposes the following explanation:

The Republican Party have acknowledged the need for them to do more to convince minority voters, for instance KD cites the Republican National Committee in 2012:

In 1980, exit polls tell us that the electorate was 88 percent white. In 2012, it was 72 percent white….According to the Pew Hispanic Center, in 2050, whites will be 47 percent of the country….The Republican Party must be committed to building a lasting relationship within the African American community year-round, based on mutual respect and with a spirit of caring.

But according to KD, pursuing this strategy would require for the Republican Party to "cease their tolerance of white bigotry", and that would mean losing some voters at least in the short term. KD continues his reasoning: "So instead they took another route: they went after the white vote even harder. In Donald Trump they found a candidate who wasn’t afraid to appeal to racist sentiment loudly and bluntly".

And this worked because racial resentment was particularly high after the Obama presidency: in another recent post KD presents some data which seems to support this hypothesis. He also notes that Trump won by "losing 10 points of support among college-educated whites but gaining 14 points among working-class whites.", which is consistent with this explanation.

TL;DR: according to Kevin Drum, the lack of support of the Republican Party from minority voters results from a political calculation: in 2016 there were more votes to gain by appealing to working-class white voters than to minority voters.

  • 10
    It's not just that this isn't from the Republican perspective. The two other problems with this answer are that it doesn't give a reason other than racism (the question asks for reasons other than racism) and that it doesn't really explain the changes in the minority vote. Donald Trump won a higher share of the minority vote than did Mitt Romney in 2012. So we can't explain minorities not voting for Republicans by pointing at Trump. Romney did even worse. And of course the analysis is flawed in that it claims the Republican Party chose Trump. But voters chose Trump over party protest.
    – Brythan
    Jul 27, 2019 at 14:48
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    @Brythan: This analysis doesn't rely on Republicans and/or their policies being racist at all, it claims that in 2016 Repubicans didn't try to appeal to minority voters because that would make them lose the other side of their voters, some of whom being in fact racists. The main point of this analysis is that it's a matter of political strategy rather than ideology. Imho the fact that Trump won more minority voters than Romney doesn't contradict this claim: it's quite clear that the main target electorate was working-class white voters, and there are obviously other factors at play.
    – Erwan
    Jul 27, 2019 at 15:39
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    Of course the Republican Party didn't choose Trump in the first place, but at the end of the day he was their candidate, and the voices in the Republican Party against his racist views were (and are still) rare so he is officially endorsed by the party.
    – Erwan
    Jul 27, 2019 at 15:44
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    @immibis True, but they might not bother voting at all. And a Republican candidate might not have to be racist themselves to appeal to these voters, but they could be deterred if a Republican candidate openly seeks the votes of minority voters.
    – Erwan
    Jul 29, 2019 at 10:58
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    @Erwan A non-vote when you normally vote Republican has the same effect as half a Democratic vote, AFAIK. Jul 30, 2019 at 4:23

Let's make a simple distinction first: Republicans (and conservatives more generally) are not typically racist, but the GOP (and the Right wing) makes a more comfortable home for people who are overtly racist. Conservatism tends to embody anxieties about change — it's the nature of a conservative to worry that change is happening too swiftly, and that the status quo has a lot to recommend it — and this general anxiety lends itself to xenophobes and nationalists. In a two-party system, the more conservative party will tend to pick up racists and such even if it doesn't espouse overt racism; racists don't have anywhere else to go if they choose to participate.

With that in mind, the GOP might well hold the ideal of being opposed to racism and inequality, but pragmatically speaking they cannot advance policies or legislation that seeks to promote those ideals, and they cannot reject or denounce party members who speak in overtly racist tones (unless those go over a fairly significant line). The best they can do is assert that there's nothing really wrong with the society as it is, and that specific acts opposing inequality are misguided or unnecessary government overreach.

The upshot is that the GOP — as a matter of platform and policy — must effectively tell minorities that there is nothing particularly special about being a minority, and that any problems minorities experience are individual failings that should be addressed through personal effort, not through government assistance. They think minorities support Democrats because Democrats pander to them: offer minorities special privileges in exchange for political support. The also must assert that there is nothing particularly special about racists and bigots: that racism and bigotry are merely opinions held by certain individuals that have no real impact on social or political life. It is (in its own way) high-minded and egalitarian, because it tries to assert that there are no problems with society as is; there are only problems that individuals have fitting in and succeeding in society.

I think most Republicans believe that minorities would vote Republican if they were reasonable and understood what was in their best interests. And this is part of the problem. Non-racist Republicans think that minorities are being lied to and manipulated by Democrats and liberals; racist Republicans think that minorities are intrinsically unintelligent and amoral, and thus incapable of making reasonable choices. But outsiders cannot tell which type of Republican they are talking to, and that inability to distinguish tarnishes the party as a whole.


I would argue that the dichotomous nature of the democrat's stereotype of Racist Republicans and the Republican platform is that there are two different ideas of Equality in play that rarely support one another: Equality of Opportunity and Equality of Outcome. To best explain this in a way that has nothing to do with protected classes, suppose you are a soccer coach looking for a new goalie and you have two candidates. In try outs, candidate A blocked 12 goals out of 15 and candidate B blocked 13 goals out of 15. Who do you pick?

Equality of Opportunity will hold that the best goalie will be Candidate B because B blocked more goals in an equal competition and is clearly the better goalie and nothing matters.

Equality of Outcome will hold that Candidate A might be a better candidate on the team for factors unrelated to being a goaly (perhaps B is more controversial with fans or B is a great Goalie, but A is better on the field overall can be substituted for a player who is fatigued or injured for a critical play much better than B).

Republicans tend to favor Equality of Outcome, while Democrats tend to favor Equality of Opportunity. Neither is wrong but supporters of one tend to see flaws with the other.

Republicans will argue that Democrats were wrong because A is objectively the worst goalie and the question asks you judge the best goalie. Democrats will argue that A is still a human and the question asked for the best and doesn't set an objective measurable out right (A is a fan favorite, while B is booed by fans of the team he is playing on or A is overall better at soccer than B) and that overall that make A a better goalie.

Remember that either candidate is only different by the objective measure of blocked goals.

This gets alot more heated when its asked what are hot button issues. Favoring Oppertunity will lead to more majority members of a group because the definition of a majority is that there is a number advantage. Favoring Outcome will strive for a diverse make up, but can look like a minority might have only been selected because he was a minority at the expense of a person who can perform the job.

In more political issues a republican tax cut that lowers all taxes 2% will not lower all taxes by the same value. This is because a person paying a higher tax will recieve more money back because he is paying more tax, while someone who is paying a lower tax will receive less because the cut is less. The cut is still equal in opertunity because another way to say it is that "For every dollar you payed in taxes prior to the cut, you will now pay 98 cents." But the outcome is unequal because the someone paying $10 dollars in taxes gets $0.20 back while someone paying $100 no gets $2.00 back. Both are 2% of the former result, but the former result is not the same.

This can also play into discussing who is bigoted. Consider the South Park Character of Cartman who is widely considered a terrible human being. Is Cartman a racist character? Well, a Republican may argue that he says terrible things to Token Black (that is the character's name) and Stan (a jew) about their races, but he's also just as horrible to Butters and Kyle, who are White Christians (He's a jerk, but he's an equal opportunity jerk). Democrats may counter that he never bullies white characters for being white or christian unless that is topical to the episode, but will still drop racial epitaphs as insults to characters in episodes that aren't about racial matters and still acts like women are inferior. That isn't to say that either side of the political spectrum supports Cartman's behavior in real life. Only that they might characterize Carmen differently over the spectrum. And his popularity among the shows fans is because he provides the common ground of the show: We might not agree with the politics of the show's message, but we can definitely agree that Cartman is not taking an acceptable solution to the problem.

  • 2
    While this is an interesting discussion, I really don't see how it answers the question about how Republicans explain their party's lack of support among minority voters
    – divibisan
    Aug 1, 2019 at 17:59
  • 5
    "Republicans tend to favor Equality of Outcome, while Democrats tend to favor Equality of Opportunity." Shouldn't it be the other way around?
    – dan04
    Aug 9, 2019 at 5:38
  • Also, you have your South Park characters mixed up: Kyle is Jewish, and Stan is Christian (Catholic).
    – dan04
    Aug 10, 2019 at 18:09
  • 2
    @dan04: To be honest, of the main four, I cannot tell them apart. They're practically twins and usually both occupy the role of "only sane man".
    – hszmv
    Aug 12, 2019 at 12:56

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