Republicans in Wisconsin Seek to Reclaim Title as Civil Rights Party
A golden opportunity awaits the GOP. (For complete 2014 midterm coverage, get your campaign fix on The Grid.)
June 18, 2014 - 10:53 am
An urban legend put out by the liberal press says that in the late 1960s the Republican Party embarked on a so-called “southern strategy” and exchanged a century-old core constituency of the party, African-Americans, for the support of what was once the Democratic “Solid South.” The only problem, as with most urban legends, is that it is simply not true.
Even if the above narrative is not in fact true, some 85-90% of the black vote today routinely goes to the Democrats, despite the fact that famous African-American personages from Frederick Douglass to Martin Luther King were members of the Republican Party. However, Wisconsin — the state in which the Republican Party was founded — may be about to hand the Democrats a shock which will herald the historic constituency’s return.
Under the leadership of current RNC Chairman Reince Priebus, the Republican Party of Wisconsin in 2010 achieved a major upset. In a state that had last voted for a Republican presidential candidate in 1988, in which all state-wide offices (including both Senate seats) save one (attorney general) were held by Democrats, who also controlled both houses of the state legislature and five of the eight congressional districts, the situation was almost totally reversed in November of 2010: Republicans took control of both houses of the legislature, five of the eight congressional seats, and all but three state-wide offices (secretary of state, director of public instruction, and one of the Senate seats).
The narrow victories revealed that Wisconsin was a deeply divided state, nearly 50-50 on both sides. Though the enraged Left tried to mount a recall campaign against the governor, lieutenant governor, and key state Senate seats the following year, they failed in nearly all their goals, and Scott Walker became the first governor in American history to survive a recall vote and be elected twice to the same term (the second time by a higher percentage than the first).