GOP Should at Least Try With Black Voters
Nixon's Southern strategy still haunts Republicans
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 8, 2010 1:30 PM CDT
Nixon's "Southern strategy" haunts the GOP to this day.   (AP Photo)

(Newser) – If there’s one thing we can predict with confidence about the upcoming election, it’s that black voters will overwhelmingly vote Democrat. “This is perfectly rational political behavior—but in many ways it’s a shame,” writes Eugene Robinson in the Washington Post. Yes, Robinson believes in the Democrats’ progressive platform, “but I also believe that in politics, as in business, competition is good. Monopolies inevitably take their customers for granted.”

Democrats have surely done that, but Republicans just haven't tried to capitalize. Their problems date back to Nixon’s “Southern strategy,” the idea that, as one strategist put it in 1970, “the more Negroes who register as Democrats in the South, the sooner the Negrophobe whites will quit the Democrats and become Republicans.” But that was long ago, and if Republicans would at least try to address black issues, they might make real gains with suburban or socially conservative blacks. Instead, African Americans will once again back the Democratic Party, “which at least asks for our votes.”