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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

GOP Convention: A Whiter Shade of Pale

The Palin speech was predictable enough, as were Giuliani’s and Romney’s liberal and government-bashing. What is a little surprising is that the GOP convention actuallly got whiter. From P.J. Huffstutter’s L.A. Times article, “A shrinking black presence at GOP convention“:

Out of 2,380 Republican delegates in St. Paul, only 36 were black, or 1.5%….That’s a jarring decline from four years ago, when the GOP, eager to chip away at the Democratic Party’s black voter base in the South and big cities, seeded the presidential convention with minorities, including 167 black delegates, according to a report by the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies in Washington.

Quite a significant decline from even the embarrasssing ’04 figures for minority participation, and quite a striking contrast with the figures for the Democratic Convention, as Eli Saslow and Robert Barnes note in their WaPo article, “In a More Diverse America, A Mostly White Convention“:

By comparison, 24.5% of the delegates — or 1,087 — who attended last week’s Democratic National Convention were black, according to officials with the Democratic National Committee.

The figures for Hispanics are not much better. As Barnes and Saslow note:

According to a CBS-New York Times poll released Sunday, 5 percent of delegates are Hispanic, the lowest percentage at a Republican convention since 1996.

The GOP Convention has featured only one African American speaker, former Maryland Lt. Gov. Michael Steele. After these two articles, they will probably try to squeeze in a couple more. You would think the GOP would try to do a little better. But don’t bet on it.

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