Tim Scott and the Hope of Future Black Republicans
Why Donors Hopes Will Be Dashed Again
Within a few hours of the announcement that Tim Scott was running for president, I received calls from two donors.
“This could be it! Tim Scott could break through to black voters and destroy the Democrats coalition,” said one.
Another told me, “If Tim Scott is either President or Vice President, he can get 20-25 percent of the black vote, and Democrats will never win another presidency.”
These are very well-meaning people who only have the best intentions, but they’re entirely wrong and frankly made me want to scream until I had no voice left.
Trying to win the presidency by pulling black voters away from the Democrat Party is like trying to suck the oceans dry by using a paper straw. It’s an absolute waste of time that will never work and, most importantly, has never worked. Republicans’ high watermark in exit polls with black voters on a national level was 14 percent in 1980, and the GOP nominee for president failed to garner double digits in five of the last six presidential elections.
14 percent for Reagan in 1980
9 percent for Reagan in 1984
11 percent for Bush in 1988
10 percent for Bush in 1992
12 percent for Dole in 1996
9 percent for Bush in 2000
11 percent for Bush in 2004
4 percent for McCain in 2008
6 percent for Romney in 2012
6 percent for Trump in 2016
8 percent for Trump in 2020
Yes, Walter Mondale received 90 percent of the black vote against Reagan in 1984… 90 percent of Walter Mondale’s family didn’t even vote for him. Bush only received 11 percent of the black vote after Reagan made MLK Jr Day a national holiday.
BUT RYAN! THESE WERE ALL WHITE CANDIDATES, AND TIM SCOTT IS BLACK…
This is the usual response I hear from people with donor brains who believe identity politics can simply be broken by having someone of a specific identity group run as the Republican-backed candidate. That is the case certainly in Democrat primaries. In general election campaigns, it is not the case when the Republican running for office is black.
Here are a few examples :