Beginning in the 2020 presidential election, Hispanic voters were on track to become the second most dominant voters in the United States after White voters. In Suzanne Gamboa’s NBC article, she mentions key statistics from Pew Research Hispanic. From the statistics mentioned,  “Hispanics are projected to be about 13.3 percent of the electorate in 2020, which would make them the largest racial or ethnic minority of the electorate for the first time,” as they have surpassed the unchanged black voter share of 12.5 percent. Considering Hispanic voters are dominant in swing states like Florida and Texas as well as many Southwestern states, it is crucial for the Republican Party to appeal to them in order to swing them over to the Republican column. Additionally, if successful in appealing to a majority of different types of Hispanic voters, the party can make states like New Mexico, Colorado, and even California more competitive in elections. 

Before discussing new ways to appeal to more Hispanic voters, it is important to discern the differences between Hispanic voters, as they are anything but a monolith.  Cuban Hispanic voters tend to already vote more Conservative, as they fled Cuba and raised future generations as refugees. This is great, so the GOP should continue to appeal to them. In contrast, Mexican, Latinos and Latinas from Central America, and Puerto Rican voters tend to vote for Democrats more. Despite different issues being a priority for these groups of Hispanic and Latino voters, having the Republican Party appeal to them more through policy and rhetoric will completely change the game for future elections. For example, Republicans could appeal to Latino voters from Central America by coming up with better solutions for immigration to the United States while doing a better job of condemning racism to appeal to Mexican voters.

One of the most significant issues crucial to winning over both Hispanic and Latino/Latina voters are the economy and job creation. According to Daniel Garza, president of The LIBRE Initiative, a Hispanic center-right organization, Hispanic voters are pro-growth and entrepreneurial. In past elections, the Republican Party has already been competitive with Hispanic voters, being able to garner over 40% of the vote consistently in presidential elections. However, President Trump was able to improve on his outreach and appeal to Hispanic voters in the 2020 election through cutting taxes for the middle class, overseeing a great and fast-growing economy before COVID-19, and implementing different pro-business policies by removing some restrictions. In fact, President Trump was able to win 41 to 47 percent of the Hispanic vote in the Rio Grande Valley of Texas, traditionally a Democratic stronghold. Additionally, he won over 45 percent of the Hispanic vote in Florida in 2020 compared to just 34 percent in 2016, effectively tripling his margin of victory in the state. As long as the Republican Party continues to push economic and job growth policies, they will eventually be on track to win a majority of the Hispanic vote share in the future.

Changing the rhetoric and policies on immigration and racism are also crucial to winning over Hispanic and Latino/Latina voters. According to an American Progress Action article by Haplin, Gutierrez, and Dr. Nuño-Perez, 21 percent of these voters believe that mitigating racism is a crucial issue along with 16 percent who want comprehensive immigration reform policies. If Republicans can implement policies and rhetoric that show more friendliness towards immigrants and make it easier to become a United States citizen, they will win over plenty of Hispanic voters. Democrats have had plenty of opportunities to reform immigration and mitigate racism against the Hispanic community, but have done very little to help them.

Other prevalent changes that Hispanics and Latino/Latinas- including Conservative ones- want are effective healthcare reform, raising the minimum wage to $15 per hour, improving K-12 education, and more. If the Republican Party is to win over more Hispanics with their interests, they must not only implement policies that help them but also get them out to vote for them more. Currently, many Hispanics-especially Puerto Ricans- believe that “political parties like to campaign for Puerto Rican votes, but they don’t really deliver on their campaign promises in [their] community.” In addition, only 46 percent of registered Hispanic voters have gotten contact from a political party group-with 23 percent being Republican-and a dismal 20 percent of unregistered Hispanic voters being contacted by any political party. This explains why only slightly more than half of Hispanics are voting in elections. It is crucial for more people to participate in our democracy, and Republicans can capitalize on this opportunity to change their platform to appeal to more Hispanic voters, especially the unregistered eligible voters. 

 

https://www.nbcnews.com/news/latino/first-time-latinos-be-largest-non-white-share-eligible-voters-n964571 

https://www.brookings.edu/blog/how-we-rise/2020/11/03/the-importance-of-understanding-latino-voters-in-battleground-states/ 

https://www.nbcnews.com/news/latino/trump-s-gains-among-latino-voters-shouldn-t-come-surprise-n1246463 

https://www.americanprogressaction.org/issues/democracy/reports/2020/09/24/178839/puerto-ricans-really-think-ahead-2020-elections/ 

https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2020/07/10/hispanics-have-accounted-for-more-than-half-of-total-u-s-population-growth-since-2010/

As younger voters have become increasingly progressive compared to previous generations, the Republican Party must learn to adapt by listening to them and implementing more progressive policies relative to now. Social, economic, and climate issues are important to younger generations, including Conservative voters. If the Republican Party fails to realize or act upon these trends, its candidates will have a much harder time winning future elections. While it seems as if this is asking the party to fully compromise its values, this is not the case. Instead, it offers ideas and perspectives on implementing a more Conservative or Centrist approach to issues that the younger generation has been paying more attention to.

Currently, it seems like Republican candidates are focusing on appealing to older white voters too much while alienating younger ones. In the past, this strategy worked because older voters voted at a much higher rate than younger voters. However, as younger and more progressive generations like Millennials and Generation Z have become more interested and educated about our politics, they are projected to vote at a higher rate than older voters. To illustrate this trend, Ronald Brownstein’s article for The Atlantic discusses different elections. In the 2020 election, the older generation still outvoted the younger generation, but with a smaller margin of 43 and 32 percent respectively. By 2024, Brownstein projects the older and younger generations to vote at equal rates, and by 2028, the younger generation outvoting the older generation. When looking at pre-2020 elections where a Democrat won over 360 electoral votes, one can notice that youth turnouts were at the highest: 1992 and 2008. High youth turnout helps Democrats win. This is a very unfavorable trend for Republicans if they fail to adapt their platform to appeal to younger voters.

Social issues are of significant importance to younger voters. While the Democrat party has been appealing to younger voters successfully, the Republican party has alienated them. Issues like LGBTQ+ rights and mitigating racism are two of the most pertinent social issues towards younger voters. Rather than having the old perception of being racist and anti-LGBTQ+, Republican candidates must be aggressive in implementing effective policies and rhetoric to help the LGBTQ+ community and fully condemn racism. David Morgan, Penn State’s College Republicans chief of staff, believes that “there needs to be some compromise on these issues from Republicans in order to win over the newer voting generation.”

Another pertinent issue to younger voters is climate change. Unfortunately, for the Republican Party, there is a common perception that they refuse to acknowledge climate change or take it seriously. Christopher Wells, a 21-year old college student This is an alarming trend for the party since Generation Z Republicans are three times less likely to deny climate change. If they do not implement effective policies or change their rhetoric, it could further alienate these voters. Rikki Schlott of the New York Post believes that Republicans should implement free-market solutions in contrast to the Left’s restrictive environmental policies in addition to providing economic incentives through innovation to combat climate change. This will attract more voters from Generation Z to vote Republican.

Economic inequality has gotten progressively worse over the years, and voters-especially younger ones- want the gap to decrease. Arizona State College Republicans president Joe Pitts claims that younger people want a more fair economy and allow people from historically marginalized groups to have the same opportunities to succeed. Some policies that the GOP could implement are requiring K-12 schools to teach basic financial literacy skills and implementing a $15 minimum wage, both of which are popular with the American people regardless of party affiliation. If the GOP successfully implements these policies, it will completely change the game for them in winning over younger voters.

Despite the seemingly ominous trends for the Republican party on attracting younger voters, there is plenty of opportunity for them to win over these voters. Through implementing these policies to combat these big issues, the Republican party will be in a fantastic place to win future elections. If they fail to, they can kiss winning most  future elections good-bye.

Sources

https://www.businessinsider.com/how-gen-z-college-republicans-want-gop-to-change-2020-11

https://nypost.com/2021/06/26/how-the-republican-party-can-rebrand-and-win-over-gen-z/ 

https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2020/10/millennials-and-gen-z-will-soon-dominate-us-elections/616818/ 

 

Currently, the Republican and Democrat parties have strongholds on white and non-white voters respectively. While the Republican Party has been able to win elections by appealing more to white voters, this is not a strategy that will work in the near future with the increasingly diverse population in the United States . According to a study done by William H. Frey from Brookings Edu, “whites will comprise 49.7 percent of the population in contrast to 24.6 percent for Hispanics, 13.1 percent for blacks, 7.9 percent for Asians, and 3.8 percent for multiracial populations” by 2045. This is also notable considering the recently released census numbers; Georgia is now a majority-minority State. If the Republican party wants to win more elections in the future, they must learn how to adjust their rhetoric and effectively appeal to a larger portion of the minority electorate. In this GOP and Minorities series, there will be around 3 to 4 articles about helpful strategies for doing this, the first one starting with speaking to issues important to black voters. 

Black voters overwhelmingly vote for the Democratic candidate. Contrary to popular belief, however, they are not overwhelmingly liberal. Although around 88-92 percent of them vote for Democrats, around 25 percent of them identify as Conservative and another 43 percent as Moderate, according to a 2020 Pew Research Study. Knowing this, why are Republicans having such a difficult time appealing to a lot more of the black electorate? The reasoning behind this is due to the divisive rhetoric many Republican candidates use during campaign season, turning off many black voters. 

School choice, which allows students who desire to attend schools that are not within their immediate zip code if they desire to, is an issue that Republican candidates should focus on in their campaigns. This opens up a great opportunity for the GOP to appeal to more black voters. As a community of interest, they generally hold a 65% favorability of school choice, and it definitely helps uplift communities educationally and economically. Unfortunately, without school choice, parents and children face significantly more barriers to obtaining a higher quality education. In order to fix this, educational funds should be distributed through tax exemptions and credits no matter if the child attends a public, private, or charter school. Enacting school choice policies across states and the rest of the United States will benefit everyone. James Dickey, former Chairman of the Republican Party of Texas, had this to say about school choice and his solution: “All children should have access to quality education, and the right of parents to raise and educate their children is fundamental. In order to make that choice possible, fair, and efficient, parents’ educational funds should follow their student to his or her school through means such as tax exemptions or credits.”

Other issues important to black Americans are economic welfare and prison reform. While more black Americans are earning a college degree and seeing their family incomes rise faster than any other demographic since 1968, there is dismal progress in other areas. According to Sharon Austin’s PBS article, she discusses the issues of poverty and financial security. Since 1968, the poverty rate has only gone down to 21% from 32%, meaning that the black poverty rate is still 3 times that of whites. Also, black families only earned 57.03 percent and kept 5.04 percent of their wealth compared to white families. Fortunately, President Trump began to make inroads within the black community on the national level. In 2020, over 10 percent of black Americans voted for him, up from McCain’s and Romney’s dismal 4 and 6 percent respectively. This is because he was able to successfully emphasize black economic success under his policies, such as seeing their incomes go up through a better economy, creating opportunity zones that allow for greater investment in low income areas, and promising to enact his platinum plan to help black Americans if he were to win his second term. School choice would help with increasing economic opportunities for more black Americans to achieve financial well-being. 

Prison reform and the issue of single-parent house-holds are perhaps one of the most important issues to black Americans, as this directly affects their financial well-being. Currently, black Americans are imprisoned the most, at about five times the rate of white Americans. Due to the high incarceration rate of black Americans, 72-percent of black families are headed by single mothers. Being raised in overwhelmingly single-parent households has negatively affected black Americans psychologically and economically, as numerous studies have shown that being raised by two parents is much better than one. In school, rather than helping children suffering from poverty, abuse, and neglect through counseling, they isolate and punish them. This issue, infamously dubbed the school-to-prison pipeline, helps continue the cycle of destruction for the black community. Fortunately, President Trump has helped with the issue of criminal justice reform by enacting the First Step Act, which decreases incarceration rates, especially for nonviolent crimes, while maintaining public safety. School choice would help with this since allowing children to attend better funded schools will give them opportunities to seek counseling if needed rather than being punished, thus reducing the incarceration rate and single family households.

The policies mentioned in this post that the Republican Party should campaign and act on scratch the surface on how they can benefit the black community and increase their vote share. Other policies such as increasing public safety, cutting taxes for the middle class, and lowering healthcare and housing costs are issues the Republican Party should campaign on as well and emphasize how their policies and actions will be more effective compared to Democrats. 

Sources

https://www.pbs.org/newshour/nation/how-black-americans-lives-have-and-havent-changed-since-dr-kings-death 

https://www.texasgop.org/school-choice/ 

https://www.prisonpolicy.org/graphs/raceinc.html 

https://www.aclu.org/issues/juvenile-justice/school-prison-pipeline 

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-54972389 

https://www.brookings.edu/blog/the-avenue/2018/03/14/the-us-will-become-minority-white-in-2045-census-projects/ 

https://www.thirdway.org/memo/a-nuanced-picture-of-what-black-americans-want-in-2020