The 2018 Midterm Elections prove Republican voter suppression is destroying the Grand Old Party (GOP).
For example, the king of voter suppression Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach (R) lost the governor’s race in Kansas. Moreover, supposedly conservative Kansas voters preferred Democrat Laura Kelly to Kobach by a 4.3% margin.
Kobach is an outspoken proponent of voter suppression who served as head of President Donald J. Trump’s (R-New York) discredited election integrity commission. Notably, U.S. Judge Julie Robinson ruled that Kobach violated federal law by refusing to notify voters with suspended registrations, The Washington Post reports.
Republican Voter Suppression is Hurting GOP Candidates
Nor is Kobach alone, another champion of Republican voter suppression Brian Kemp won the Georgia governor’s race by just 60,000 votes out of four million cast, the AP reports. Hence, Georgia is no longer a safe red state for Republicans.
Not even supposedly deep red Texas is safe for Republicans anymore. To clarify, Democrat Beto O’Rourke came close to defeating incumbent U.S. Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas). In detail, O’Rourke received 48.3% of the vote in Texas.
Notably, 58% of Texas’s population is nonwhite and 39.4% of Texas’s population is Hispanic, The US Census Bureau estimates. Moreover, 47.2% of Georgia’s population is nonwhite, and 32.2% is African-American. Even Kansas’s population is 24.1% nonwhite.
How Republican Voter Suppression Costs the GOP Victory
Republican voter suppression hurts candidates like Kemp because they need a significant portion of the nonwhite population to win. Thanks to voter suppression, nonwhite conservatives are angry at the GOP or unable to vote.
Notably, Republicans are not getting that percentage of the vote. For instance, 90% of Asian American voters supported Democrat Gretchen Whitmer in Michigan’s governor’s election, the HuffPost claims. Not surprisingly, Whitmer won the election.
However, in Texas; where 31% of Asians supported U.S. Senator Ted Cruz (R), the Republican won. Meanwhile, over 80% of Asian-American voters in Georgia favored Democrat Stacy Abrams over vote suppressor Kemp in the governor’s race.
Something, iron-fisted vote suppressors like Kobach and Kemp forget is that there are conservative nonwhites. By suppressing minority votes Republicans either drive those people to the Democrats or discourage them from voting altogether. Hence, at the end of the day, Kobach and Kemp help Democrats.
Even if the number of nonwhite conservatives is small, say under 10%, it is enough to swing an election. For instance, Brian Kemp could have had a comfortable 58% majority rather than a razor-thin margin; and a boatload of controversy, if he had not suppressed votes.
Will Republican Voter Suppression Doom the GOP?
The long-term result of Republican voter suppression will be a GOP that is uncompetitive in modern American elections. Obviously, suppressing or trying to suppress nonwhite votes; as critics accuse Kobach; and Kemp Georgia’s former secretary of state, of doing is not a sustainable strategy.
Republicans will be non-competitive because they will only appeal to whites when a majority of the voters are nonwhite. Markedly, this is already happening in nonwhite majority states like California and Texas.
For instance, Democrat Gavin Newsom won the California governor’s race by 14.2 points. For the record, Newsom won 57.1% of the vote while Republican John Cox received 42.9% of the vote.
One reason why Cox did so poorly is that California Republicans are incapable of appealing to nonwhite voters. The California GOP has no appeal for nonwhite voters because its base is lily white.
For example, 86% of Republican voters are still white the Pew Research Center estimates. Thus, to win a Republican primary a candidate must appeal only to the white vote.
Republican voter suppression will not help the GOP in the long term for two reasons. First, voter suppression only works when elections are close such as in Georgia and Florida. When the number of nonwhite voters exceeds whites, by 10% or 20% voter suppression will no longer work.
Republicans are doomed by population growth
Second, to be a sustainable and credible party nationwide Republicans need to be competitive in the population centers. Recent events in Texas, California, and Georgia demonstrate the GOP is becoming less competitive in those high population states.
In detail, Georgia has a population of 10.55 million; Texas has a population of 28.7 million, and California a population of 39.537 million, the US Census Bureau estimates.
Hence three states contain 78.787 million people, out of a national population of 329.06 million. This population concentration dooms Republicans because three states contain nearly 25% of the national population.
Texas is especially problematic for the GOP because it was the only high-population state safe for Republicans. Beto O’Rourke showed that is no longer the case, which means the GOP will need a new presidential election strategy for 2020.
Republicans Need Non-White Votes Now
Additionally, this explains how Republicans nominated an open racist as their Presidential candidate in 2016. That racist, Donald J. Trump, won the presidential election largely because of an incompetent Democratic candidate Hillary R. Clinton (D-New York).
Banking on Democrats’ willingness to run an incompetent presidential candidate in 2020 is a poor strategy. Nor are Republicans likely to benefit from the nonwhite backlash against a white Democratic nominee as they did in 2016.
Moreover, appealing to fringe groups like white nationalists; and the putrefying remains of the Religious Right, will not produce the additional votes Republicans will need. In fact, appealing to such groups is likely to make it harder for Republicans in future elections.
To explain, pandering to such groups the drives moderate white voters the GOP desperately needs, to the Democrats. This is already occurring in California’s 48th Congressional District. In detail, “moderate Republican” turned “Democrat” Harley Rouda beat veteran GOP Congressman Dan Rohrabacher (R-California) by 4%.
Republicans have no future without Nonwhite Conservatives
Things will only get worse for Republicans because the US Census Bureau forecasts nonwhites will become a slight majority of the US population (50.3%) in 2045, the US Census projects. Brooks calculates whites will make up 49.7% of America’s population in that year.
Hence, the only way the GOP can remain competitive nationwide is to mobilize large numbers of conservative nonwhite voters. However, there is no effort to do that in today’s Republican Party. The first step in that mobilization has to be ending voter suppression and repudiating vote suppressors like Kemp and Kobach.
How President Trump can End Republican Voter Suppression
President Trump could begin the process by condemning voter suppression and withdrawing his support for Kemp.
Yes, such a move will seem like a betrayal to some white voters, but it is the only way Trump will be competitive in the 2020 presidential race. Voter suppression is making the GOP uncompetitive nationally.
Moreover, Trump needs to throw white supremacists; like Kobach and Breitbart pest Steve Bannon, under the bus, if he wants a second term. If Republicans want to be competitive in elections white supremacists need to go now.
President Trump is in a position to make the GOP competitive in future elections. If Trump does not address voter suppression, he will destroy both his reelection chances and the Republicans’ electoral prospects for the next decade.