GOP Candidates Campaign Hard For Non-White Vote

Monday, 21 Jul 2014 06:54 AM

By Elliot Jager

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Republican candidates are wooing Asian, Hispanic, Indian and other non-white voters in the 2014 campaign,  The Washington Post reported.

Virginia GOP congressional candidate Barbara Comstock is making a concerted effort among Korean Americans, according to the Post. She is calling attention to her ties to the community and to the constituent services she has provided. "You always have a seat at the table with the Republican Party," she says.

As a General Assembly delegate, Comstock has taken positions that put her at odds with some immigrants. She backed a bill that requires non-English-speaking criminals to pay for their own translation services. The candidate supported legislation that authorizes police to query arrestees about whether they are in the US legally. And Comstock also voted for state Board of Elections verification of registered voters to make sure they are US citizens.

Nationally, immigrant voters are put off by conservative opposition to immigration reform and national healthcare. Asians used to vote overwhelmingly Republican in the early 1990s, more recently, though, Barack Obama captured the majority of the Asian vote, according to the Post.

GOP strategists remain hopeful about winning Asian support since the community is not strongly committed to the Democrats. The Republican National Committee has hired outreach workers in an effort to make inroads with various ethnic and racial minorities. Such outreach also makes the GOP more appealing to moderate white voters.

Comstock's outreach makes sense – though its effectiveness remains to be determined. Asians and Hispanics each comprise 11 percent of the 10th District's mostly white electorate.

"To not have a minority outreach strategy is to not have a campaign. We may not win 51 percent of the Hispanic vote but, hey, can we win 30 percent? You can never get to 50 if you don't start somewhere," said GOP operative Chris LaCivita, the Post reported.

Another Republican who has made ethnic outreach a cornerstone is Virginia State Del. David Ramadan who is Arab. "When I walk into an Indian temple, I am received as if I'm Indian — why? Because I've spent years building those relationships. We are an example to the rest of the state and the rest of the country," the Post reported.

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