I recently had the privilege of speaking with former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee about the Republican Party’s trouble with reaching black voters. This is a subject I have studied and spoken about extensively and in this interview, Gov. Huckabee provided some valuable insights into the issue.
What most people don’t know is that when Huckabee ran for governor, he won a whopping 48% of the black vote in Arkansas. This is a feat that was just as unheard of back in the late 90s as it is now. In this interview, the governor outlines the steps he took to win over black voters without engaging in mindless pandering.
Another point that is interesting – but not surprising – is that Gov. Huckabee said he approached the Republican National Committee after his victory and urged them to adopt his approach. Unfortunately, they did not seem interested.
Too many leaders on the right have given up on expanding the GOP’s tent by courting black voters, claiming that there is no chance of winning them over. Huckabee’s accomplishment flies directly in the face of such a flawed notion. History has shown that when the Republican Party gives it a genuine effort, they start making inroads with the black community. President Trump demonstrated this in 2020.
While winning more black support is more of a marathon than a sprint, it can be done. If the former Party of Lincoln were to adopt the strategy that Huckabee did, it would make a significant difference over time. The question is: Are they ready to start listening?