Winning a Significant Share of the Minority Vote
The American electorate has changed dramatically over the past 25 years. Due to higher birth rates and massive legal immigration, the number of black and Hispanic voters has increased dramatically.
The reality is that unless and until Republican candidates, especially presidential candidates, reach out successfully to these voters, the far left Democratic Party will become the dominant political party in America for the foreseeable future.
Fortunately, there is a proven method for conservative Republican candidates to win over African American and Hispanic voters in numbers significant enough to reverse the prospects of the Democratic Party and make the Republican Party the dominant political party in America.
That proven and relatively inexpensive method is via the use of the old medium of radio and through the targeted use of broadcast television.
Recent tests have proven that used intelligently, this approach can win over a minimum of 18% of African American voters. In reality, used over the long term, such tactics should enable the Republican Party’s presidential candidate to win over approximately one third of all African American voters. In doing so, it completely changes the metrics and results in a landslide for the Republican presidential candidate.
A Proven Approach to Reaching Black and Hispanic Voters
Through the use of targeted radio and television advertising to African American voters, dramatic inroads can be made into winning over those voters on a continuing basis. This paper focuses primarily on the success achieved by targeting African American voters; but as noted herein, the test results of using radio and television to target Hispanics who self-identify themselves as conservative is equally definitive and encouraging.
One-third of African American Voters have repeatedly identified themselves as Conservative
For more than a decade, polls and surveys of African Americans have shown that approximately one-third of African Americans identify themselves as conservatives. For example, in September of 2014 an NBC/Wall Street Journal Survey found that 37% of all African Americans consider themselves to be conservative. And, interestingly enough, just 36% of all African Americans identified themselves as liberal.
A September 2014 NBC/Wall Street Journal Survey found that 37% of all African Americans consider themselves to be conservative
This poll was consistent with other surveys taken prior and since. Yet, when these same African American go to the polls, they continue to vote for a more liberal Democrat candidate. After doing this through several election cycles, Republican strategists wrote off black voters.
It is worth noting that the GOP has not always had difficulty in winning over black voters. As recently as 1956 Dwight Eisenhower won 39% of the African American vote, and in 1960, Richard Nixon won 30% of the African American vote.
Pollster Kellyanne Conway, founder and president of The Polling Company, conducted a blind study to better understand why self-identified black conservatives vote for liberal Democrat candidates.
In this study, African Americans were asked a variety of questions on national issues. Consistent with survey results, approximately one-third identified with the conservative position on these issues. These self-identified conservative African Americans were then asked which party most closely identified with their position on these issues. More than 90% of these voters identified the Democrat Party as the party that was closest to them on these issues!
Why don’t African Americans who self-identify themselves as conservative on the issues vote for conservative candidates?
There are three reasons that African Americans who identify themselves as conservative on the issues find it difficult to support conservative Republican candidates, and these two reasons are intertwined.
Self-Imposed Entertainment and News Isolation
Unlike any other ethnic group in America, African Americans have continued their reliance on “black” radio stations, newspapers, and black television networks. Historically, other ethnic groups who emigrated to the United States initially relied on media in their original language for their news and entertainment; however, when the first generation of immigrants gave way to the second generation and immigration declined to a trickle, instead of a flood, most entertainment mediums and news outlets ceased to exist because there was no longer a demand.
African Americans did not, of course, choose to immigrate to the United States. Just one-third of all black Americans are members of the middle class, and fully one-third of them live in poverty. Regardless of their economic condition, a large cross-section still rely primarily on so-called “black” media for their news and entertainment.
Writing in 2003, John Uhlman concluded…
“It is not minority liberalism, nor minority exceptionalism that defines conservative underperformance among these groups, but minority isolation – the cultural isolation of many Blacks, and the linguistic isolation of many Hispanics. This is what enables liberals to achieve constant majorities, and occasional super-majorities, among these groups.”
For many decades, especially since 1964, Democrats have focused heavily on black media outlets, while the Republican Party has generally ignored African Americans altogether. And, that brings us to the second reason that only a tiny percentage of African Americans, regardless of their philosophical persuasion, choose to vote for Republicans.
The Big Lie that Conservatives and Republicans are Racist
The second reason is simply that African Americans have been led to believe that all conservatives and Republicans are racist. While conservatives and Republicans have been ignoring African Americans, the Democrats have focused on them as the key to political dominance.
The news media, school text books, entertainment media, and leading Democrat politicians continually repeat the lie that all conservatives and Republicans are racist. And, in election years they “spike” the black vote by making up stories about how Republicans are racist.
African Americans sincerely believe conservatives and Republicans are racist
For instance, when then Texas Governor George Bush ran for the White House in 2000, the Democrats created an outrageous and totally dishonest story about how Bush refused to punish white racists who dragged a black man to death behind a truck. In the 2014 elections, the official Georgia Democratic Party published a flyer implying that if the Republican Senate candidate was elected it would result in more police officers shooting innocent African Americans. And, then there was Vice President Joe Biden who when making a campaign speech before a black audience in 2014 stated, “They’re going to put y’all back in chains!”
These ads and flyers and speeches have one purpose, to “spike” the black vote.
The bottom line is this. African Americans sincerely believe conservatives and Republicans are racist. If that’s the case, why would they even consider voting for a conservative Republican?
That’s why, election after election, the Democrats have been successful in spiking the black vote with the lie that conservatives and Republicans are not only racist, but, in fact, their enemy. And, year after year, African Americans vote almost as a solid bloc for Democrat candidates.
Not surprisingly, this pattern seemed to confirm the theory of Republican consultants, that going after the black vote was an impossible, unrewarded and counterproductive effort.
Three men who challenged the common wisdom
However, three men challenged the hypothesis of the Republican consultants, Richard Nadler, John Uhlmann, and Dan Rooney. Nadler was a journalist and policy analyst who spent his early years as a member of the far left. Uhlmann was a successful businessman in the wholesale grocery field in Kansas City, and Dan Rooney was founder and president of the Golden Rule Insurance Company, located in Indianapolis. All three men, now deceased, believed that the conventional wisdom of the GOP political consultants was wrong and they set out to prove their assertion.
The company they founded, Access Communications Group (ACG) was established to test their theory. A synopsis of their meta study of the 2002 midterm election titled Republican Issue Advertising in Black and Hispanic Population Areas states:
“To determine how minority voter behavior was affected by a program of intensive Republican issue advertising, Access Communications Group (ACG) analyzed election returns from dominantly African American precincts in 19 political contests, and from dominantly Hispanic precincts in 10 political contests.”
Their meta study covered five states, each one a statewide race. To reach conservative African Americans they ran radio ads on urban contemporary radio stations, especially around the Tom Joyner Show, a very successful, nationally syndicated program that features gospel music, humor, and traditional moral values. Their television buys were similarly strategic on the Black Entertainment Television (BET). The ads were straight conservative ads, with an emphasis on school choice and abortion. However, they also included ads on national defense, taxes, spending, energy and other important topics of the day.
Their approach to Hispanic Americans was similarly strategic and straightforward. And, they selected radio programs that would appeal to aspiring and conservative Hispanics. Their television effort sought out the same audience.
In order to accurately measure their results, the effort led by Richard Nadler intentionally bypassed some areas that were predominantly black and predominantly Hispanic. This enabled them to measure the results horizontally. In other words, they could compare the election results in the predominantly black areas where the ads were run with areas in the same state where the ads were not run. They also compared results vertically, that is in the same geographic areas, but in prior statewide elections during which no radio or TV advertising was conducted.
Results of Test Showed Conventional Wisdom of Republican Consultants to be in Error
In terms of voting for the Republican candidate, the results were not dramatic, but they were conclusive. In nineteen out of nineteen targeted predominantly black areas, the vote for the Republican candidate increased by an average of 3.16%. The vote for the Republican candidate increased in every single test area. Similarly, in all 10 of the targeted predominantly Hispanic districts the Republican vote increased by an average of 6.14%. Again, the vote for the Republican candidate increased in every area where the ads were run
In the nineteen out of nineteen targeted dominant black areas the vote for the Republican candidate increased by an average of 3.16%.
While the increase in the Republican vote was not dramatic, the decrease in vote for the Democratic candidate was very significant. Not only did the black and Hispanic vote total not increase as predicted by the Washington, DC, GOP consultants, it actually declined substantially in both black and Hispanic areas reached by the radio and television advertising.
Response to Republican Success in Reaching African American and Hispanic voters
The reaction to Republican success in reaching black and Hispanic voters in the 2002 mid-term elections was a shock to both Democrat and Republican consultants. Following the 2002 election, liberal super consultant Donna Brazile wrote a memo titled African American turnout in the 2002 elections. Brazile had previously run campaigns for Jesse Jackson, Bill Clinton and Al Gore. She wrote…
“…Our efforts to expand the electorate were made more difficult by the Republican Black radio strategy. Republican messaging to the base hampered our ability to expand the off-year electorate in 2002. In the absence of significant response in Democratic strategy, Republican messaging to the base will make base voter continuity, not to mention expansion, very difficult for Democrats in 2003 and 2004.”
So, what did the Democrats do? Their response was simple and straightforward. They ignored the fact that none of the ads suggested not voting, that all of the ads were issue based, and that no ad was race based. Nevertheless, with the help of a compliant and sympathetic news media, they loudly and widely charged that the Republicans had engaged in voter suppression. Instead of fighting back and telling the truth, one of the Republican establishment organizations who had used the Nadler approach turned tail and ran for cover. The Democratic charge that the Nadler approach was voter suppression was blatant dishonesty, but it scared off the Republican establishment who too often seem to believe the lies of the Democrats that Republicans, especially conservatives, are racist.
Does such an old media approach still work?
That question was answered by the National Draft Ben Carson for President Committee, predecessor to the Stars and Stripes Forever PAC. Begun in 2013, the Committee focused exclusively on persuading Dr. Ben Carson to run for president of the United States. By, late 2014 they were close to their goal, but then Dr. Carson announced that he would not run for president unless the Republicans were able to not only retain control of the House of Representatives, but also capture control of the U.S. Senate. This provided an opportunity for the draft committee to test the validity of the Nadler-Uhlmann approach in 2014. More than $500,000 was spent on radio advertising in North Carolina and in Louisiana, promoting the Republican candidates for U.S. Senate to black and Hispanic Americans. Unfortunately, the National Draft Ben Carson for President Committee (NDBC) did not have the resources to precisely test the power of the ads; yet, ample evidence exists from the North Carolina race that pitted Democratic incumbent Kay Hagen against challenger Thom Tillis that the Nadler approach to winning over minority voters is still valid.
The NDBC spent $312,000 on North Carolina radio ads run on black and Spanish speaking radio stations urging these voters to vote for Thom Tillis, the Republican candidate for U.S. Senate. Unfortunately, funds were unavailable to run television ads. The radio ads all closed with this line… “Ben Carson trusts Thom Tillis. You should too.” This tag line proved to be the key to winning over a large number of African American voters. It was used because of Dr. Carson’s iconic standing in the black community. Gifted Hands, a movie about Ben Carson’s life, has been seen by a large number of African Americans; and, in 2006, Dr. Carson received the highest award given by the NAACP, whose other recipients included Oprah Winfrey, Jackie Robinson, and Rosa Parks, among many others. In other words, Dr. Ben Carson wasn’t just another conservative African American running for public office, he was a beloved and widely respected member of the African American community. Even Jesse Jackson said of Dr. Carson, “He is a model for all of the youth of today.”
By all indications, the radio ads the Committee ran in North Carolina provided the margin of victory to Thom Tillis. In 2008, when Senator Elizabeth Dole was running for re-election, she lost the race because she only received 1% of the black vote.
“I’m reading an exit poll from North Carolina, and it says that Thom Tillis won 18% of the black vote. That can’t be right!”
Two months prior to the 2014 election, that was exactly the same percentage of black Americans supporting Thom Tillis for U.S. Senate, according to Rasmussen. However, as the ads kept running, support from the African American community for Tillis continued to climb. By Election Day, it reached 11.9% statewide according to a post-election analysis by Rasmussen.
Interestingly, this happened even though the Committee chose not to run ads in the Northern crescent and the Southern tier of North Carolina where there is a heavy concentration of African American voters. Nevertheless, Thom Tillis still won 11.9% of the African American vote statewide.
On election eve, prior to any election returns coming in, Bob Beckel (reporting on the Fox News Channel) blurted out, “I’m reading an exit poll from North Carolina, and it says that Thom Tillis won 18% of the black vote. That can’t be right!” It now appears that it was right, at least in the polling area where that exit poll was taken.
The ads run by the National Draft Ben Carson for President Committee reached somewhat less than two-thirds of all African American voters in North Carolina.
If you do the math and assume that Thom Tillis won only 1% of the black vote in the areas not reached by the ads, and won 18% of the vote in the areas where almost two-thirds of African Americans lived, the statewide black vote for Tillis would have been slightly less than 12% which is exactly what the final vote tally was.
The bottom line is that the ads moved black voters dramatically toward the Republican candidate for U.S. Senate, persuading them that incumbent Senator Kay Hagen did not support their interests. This was the 60 second ad on abortion aired repeatedly for two months in North Carolina…
DID YOU KNOW THAT IN THE NEXT THREE DAYS MORE BLACK BABIES WILL BE KILLED BY ABORTION THAN ALL THE BLACK FOLK LYNCHED IN THE UNITED STATES FROM 1880 TO THE PRESENT? SENATOR KAY HAGAN AND THE DEMOCRAT PARTY SUPPORT KILLING BABIES FOR ANY REASON UP THE MINUTE BEFORE THEY’RE BORN AND THEY WANT US TO CONTINUING FUNDING PLANNED PARENTHOOD, AN ORGANIZATION SET UP TO EXTERMINATE BLACK PEOPLE. THOM TILLIS, REPUBLICAN CANDIDATE FOR THE UNITED STATES SENATE, BELIEVES THAT EVERY BABY IS PRECIOUS AND HAS A RIGHT TO LIVE. SO DOES DR. BEN CARSON. RATHER THAN KILLING BABIES, DR CARSON HAS SAVED THOUSANDS. BEN CARSON TRUSTS THOM TILLIS TO FIGHT FOR OUR BABIES. SO DO I. THE NEXT TIME KAY HAGAN ASKS FOR YOUR VOTE, ASK HER WHY SHE DOESN'T WANT OUR CHILDREN. PAID FOR BY THE NATIONAL DRAFT BEN CARSON FOR PRESIDENT COMMITTEE, NOT AUTHORIZED BY ANY CANDIDATE OR CANDIDATE COMMITTEE.
Like the Nadler ads of 2002, each ad was placed near the Tom Joyner Show, and they were hard-hitting conservative ads on school choice, abortion, energy, national defense, taxes, etc. And, although Richard Nadler, John Uhlmann, and Dan Rooney were no longer alive, NDBC was able to use the person who worked with Nadler to create and place the ads.
Impact of Black Radio Ads in Swing States on the 2016 Presidential Election
In the months leading up to the 2016 presidential election, the 2016 Committee (immediate predecessor to Stars and Stripes Forever) strategically ran black radio ads in five key swing states: Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and North Carolina. In these five states, Trump outperformed Romney in the African American vote by a combined 7.8%!
The Bottom Line
The bottom line is that radio and television advertising directed to selected African American and Hispanic voters is not only effective, it is also cost effective, and is key to winning over black and Hispanic voters in 2018 and beyond.