Date of Award
Union College Only
Bachelor of Arts
black, republicans, blacks, republican, democratic
This thesis explores the gradual reemergence of Black Republicans who serve as the new faces of the conservative movement, and the Republican Party’s recent attempts to reconnect with black communities. The number of black voters who have abandoned the Democratic Party and labeled themselves as Independent leads political scientists to question whether or not the Republican Party has made considerable progress within black communities. Blacks, like most Republicans, oppose abortion and gay rights, among other issues, while valuing religion and responsibility. However, the GOP’s racist reputation has substantially divided both groups. By examining the history of the Republican Party’s relationship with black voters, this study identifies the political events which led Blacks to become the Democratic Party’s most loyal constituency after years of commitment to the GOP. The biographies of many Black Republicans are analyzed, and data from the National Black Election Study Series is incorporated in a comparison of the black electorate. Through interviews and cross tabulations of significant variables, I discovered trends which may explain why certain Blacks are more likely to identify themselves as Republican, while showing that the reemergence of Black Republicans may be the beginning of an unanticipated political phenomenon. Although many Blacks question the GOP’s ability to handle racial and economic issues, they identify themselves as more conservative than liberal, suggesting that Republicans can loosen the Democratic stronghold on black voters. As long as the GOP supports policies that demonstrate its concern for black interests, it may make significant inroads within the black community.
Reeves, Carla A., "Is there room under the big tent? : a study of black republicans and the gop’s relationship with the black community" (2008). Honors Theses. 1545.