I’m often fond of pointing out that the Republican Party rarely misses an opportunity to miss an opportunity. But with the way things are trending at the moment, I really hope to be proven wrong on this.
President Joe Biden and his merry band of Democrats are rapidly losing support among key demographics and the GOP would be wise to take notice. Indeed, with the way attitudes are shifting in American, the Republican Party has a significant opportunity to begin making inroads with communities they have typically struggled to win over.
Let’s take Hispanics for starters. A PBS Marist poll showed that President Biden’s approval rating among Hispanics has dropped lower than that of white voters. Among whites, the president’s approval is at 40 percent while his rating is at 33 percent among Hispanics. Disapproval among whites is at 56 percent while it is at 65 percent among Hispanics.
As the Democratic Party lurches leftward, they seem to be leaving Hispanics behind. The Wall Street Journal also conducted a poll showing that “[t]he nation’s large and diverse group of Hispanic voters is showing signs of dividing its support between Democrats and Republicans more evenly than in recent elections.”
From The Journal:
Asked which party they would back if the election were today, 37% of Hispanic voters said they would support the Republican congressional candidate and 37% said they would favor the Democrat, with 22% undecided.
Next, we have young voters. An Economist/YouGov survey showed that voters under the age of 30 are becoming disillusioned with President Biden at a rapid rate. The report explained:
Adults aged between 30 and 44 give Mr Biden a -17 rating; those aged 45 to 64 come in at -5; and among adults aged 65 and over, the president is eight points underwater. This is a sharp reversal from the beginning of the year, when young voters gave Mr Biden a net approval rating 32 points higher than older people did. And Mr Biden is falling out of favour fastest with the youngest groups.
A significant number of respondents stated their primary concerns were health care and climate change. This is an area in which the Biden administration has failed to deliver any real solutions. They also indicated they were concerned about civil rights and abortion.
A Quinnipiac University study yielded similar results compared to prior polls. The Washington Examiner reported:
The Economist-YouGov polling is not an outlier, aligning with Quinnipiac University data. In Quinnipiac’s first national survey of Biden’s presidency in February, 18- to 34-year-olds gave him a net 12 approval rating while he scored a net 15 rating from 35- to 49-year-olds. That plummeted to a net negative 10 among the former and a negative 21 with the latter last month.
It is worth noting that this does not necessarily mean younger voters are skewing toward Republicans. The Quinnipiac poll showed that only about 26 percent of young voters approve of “the way the Republicans in Congress are handling their job” while 64 percent disapprove.
Among black voters, the president has also seen a decline in support. A Morning Consult poll conducted in October revealed that “[a] month after vaccine mandates contributed to a drop in Biden’s popularity among the reliably blue voting bloc, things haven’t improved.”
The numbers showed Biden’s net approval rating “is down 16 percentage points among Black voters since Sept. 8, the day before he issued the mandates.”
The report also noted:
Sentiment about Biden among both vaccinated and unvaccinated Black Americans appeared to be improving slightly in late September, but that recovery stalled as his administration’s handling of Haitian refugees at the U.S.-Mexico border dominated headlines, prompting a weakening in his standing among vaccinated Black Americans.
Black men, in particular, are becoming more disenchanted with a Democratic Party that is keen on making soaring promises, but less enthusiastic about actually keeping them. Even the aptly named columnist Charles Blow admitted as much. In a piece for The New York Times, after noting how a high percentage of black and brown men supported the recall of California Gov. Gavin Newsom, he wrote:
In CNN’s exit poll, nearly half of the Hispanic men surveyed and nearly a quarter of the Black men voted to support the recall. The largest difference between men and women of any racial group was between Black men and Black women.
Even if these numbers are later adjusted, the warning must still be registered.
For many of these men, saying Republicans are racist or attract racists or abide racists isn’t enough.
That last sentence is key. The “everybody is racist” tactic seems to be losing its luster and is not as effective as it used to be. Later in the piece, Blow wrote:
Add to the patriarchal issues a sense of disillusionment with the Democratic Party and its inability to make meaningful changes on the issues that many of these men care most about, such as criminal justice reform and workplace competition. Democrats often resort to emotional appeals in election season, telling minorities that they must vote for liberal candidates as a defense, to prevent the worst. But many of these men believe that the Democrats are just as bad as the Republicans.
It appears the curtain has been pulled and people in these voting groups are increasingly seeing the Democratic Party for what it is. But what does that mean for Republicans? To put it simply, it means nothing unless GOP leadership is willing to recognize the way the winds are blowing and take advantage of the growing cynicism of the left.
Young voters, Hispanics, and blacks are all groups the right has struggled to win over. While the GOP seems to be making progress with Hispanics, it is highly likely that much of this is due more to the Democrats pushing them away than the GOP actually winning them over.
The youth vote has typically eluded the Republican Party. Conservative organizations like Turning Point USA are attempting to win them over by holding events at college campuses and elsewhere, but the results of the 2020 election reveal that perhaps a new strategy is warranted. Former President Donald Trump did not perform well among voters in this age group and the problem persists.
Among black voters, there is an opening – especially among black men. President Trump performed better than his predecessors with this voting group and if the Republican Party is wise, its leadership will pick up where he left off. A message of economic empowerment and increased entrepreneurial success resonates with this particular group of voters. Given that this is one of the conservative movement’s foundational principles, it should be a no-brainer. But it does not seem that the GOP’s establishment leadership is ready to take up this initiative, and they won’t be until they get enough pressure from the base.
In short, the GOP does have an opportunity to make tremendous gains with these groups of voters if they are willing to invest the time, energy, and resources. The question is: Will they seize on the opportunity or let it pass by?