The emerging majority of Latinos, blacks, and other non-whites that demographers and politicos have been predicting since the 2008 election may not turn out to be as Democratic as expected. A recent New York Times story details how, following an intensive recruitment and outreach program, the recent midterm elections swept a wave of GOP minority candidates into office:
They include Jill Upson, the first black Republican woman elected to the West Virginia House; Victoria Seaman, the first Latina Republican elected to the Nevada Assembly; Beth Martinez Humenik, whose win gave Republicans a one-seat edge in the Colorado Senate; and Young Kim, a Korean-American woman who was elected to the California Assembly, helping to break the Democratic supermajority in the State Legislature.
In Pennsylvania, Harry Lewis Jr., a retired black educator, won in a new House district that was expected to be a Democratic stronghold; he printed his campaign materials in English and Spanish. Of the 12 Latinos who will serve in statewide offices across the nation in 2015, eight are Republican […]The wins, by candidates carefully chosen to challenge the traditional notion of the Democratic base, bode well for Republicans in future elections. They had a net gain of 59 women in state legislatures; Democrats lost 63 women. Republicans added 10 Latinos; Democrats lost five. Republicans reported 17 newly elected blacks; a comparable figure for Democrats was not available. In 2008, only about 31 percent of women in state legislatures were Republicans; in 2015, that figure will rise by eight percentage points.
The effects of the recent massive wipeout of Democrats in state politics are just beginning to be felt. A focused effort by the GOP to find and recruit female and minority candidates has already helped tip the balance in a number of important state legislatures, and shifting to younger, more diverse candidates will help the GOP win more races now and build a deep bench for the future. The GOP has a huge opportunity to reshape state and local politics for years to come.