WHERE NO ONE NOTICES THE CONTRAST OF WHITE ON WHITE…. In February, RNC Chairman Michael Steele explained that his party would find “messengers” who can capture a “region” made up of “young, Hispanic, black, a cross section.” He intended to apply conservative principles to “urban-surburban hip-hop settings.” Steele added that his efforts “will be avant garde, technically.”


Well, technically, the party is moving in the wrong direction. A new Gallup poll found, “More than 6 in 10 Republicans today are white conservatives, while most of the rest are whites with other ideological leanings; only 11% of Republicans are Hispanics, or are blacks or members of other races. By contrast, only 12% of Democrats are white conservatives, while about half are white moderates or liberals and a third are nonwhite.”

The report added, “The results show clearly that the Republican Party today is first and foremost a political entity dominated by white Americans. Eighty-nine percent of rank-and-file Republicans are non-Hispanic whites, leaving just 5% who are Hispanic (of any race), 2% who are black, and 4% of other races. Further, by well over a 2-to-1 ratio, whites who identify as Republicans claim a conservative, rather than a moderate or liberal, ideology (or have no opinion when asked about their ideology). Democrats have a significantly more diverse party composition.”

Kevin Drum concluded, “They’re almost exclusively a party of white men and women, which explains why their base has convinced them to haul out racial fears as their main line of attack against Sonia Sotomayor. I just hope they aren’t surprised when their meager 11% non-white base declines even further after this is all over.”

The country is growing more diverse, and the Republican Party has positioned itself to be left behind. One assumes GOP leaders will figure this out one of these days, but as of now, that day is nowhere in sight.

Our ideas can save democracy... But we need your help! Donate Now!

Steve Benen

Follow Steve on Twitter @stevebenen. Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.