Republicans Seek To Win Over Black Voters Once Obama’s Gone

Republicans believe they have an opportunity to nudge their support up among black voters in the 2016 presidential election with President Obama not on the ballot — and take a major stride toward winning the White House in the process. 

But they also acknowledge that it won’t be an easy task.

Republicans believe the 2016 Democratic nominee will not be able to produce the spike in black turnout nor the increase in already-overwhelming black support that Obama enjoyed in his two victories.

Even a modest rise in black backing for the GOP could be critical in swing states, independent experts acknowledge.

The last Republican presidential nominee to win 15 percent or more of black support was President Ford in 1976.

And experts warn that major shifts in voting behavior are a long time coming.

But even those who are supportive of Paul’s efforts believe that could be expecting far too much.

“I think what he is doing will eventually have a positive effect,” said GOP strategist Ford O’Connell. “But the fruits of Paul’s work won’t be realized for two or three election cycles.”

Still, while a sea change in the black vote might be too much for Republicans to hope for, party strategists believe that even the most basic considerations could help.

“Republicans need to pay attention to rhetoric and tone,” O’Connell said. “Don’t give people a reason to vote against you.”

Read more from Niall Stanage at The Hill

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Analysis & Political Strategy