The Republican White Voter Strategy

News & Politics

Tom Edsall discusses how whites are the primary demographic target of conservative attacks on President Obama:


With Republican party leaders so constrained by ideological blinders that none of their positions is likely to produce gains among non-white minorities, especially Hispanics, the GOP is finding it has no real alternative but to revert to a "white voter" strategy.

To some extent, it's working. The party's opposition to President Obama's agenda -- particularly his cap-and-trade energy proposal and health care reform plan -- is resonating strongly with disaffected white Democratic voters. Republican grievances about Obama, combined with race-baiting commentary from the far-right ideologues who have become some of the most dominant voices of the modern GOP, have led to a precipitous drop in the president's approval ratings among whites.

There is much to agree with here. This is especially the case if one narrows Edsall's formulation of "white voters" to "white Christian voters," given that white non-Christians vote for Democrats by 3-1 margins that are nearly identical to non-whites.

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