“Miracles happen,” said venerable Sen. Oren Hatch of Utah, speaking of Republican gains in the Senate Tuesday night, but he might as well have been speaking of the victory of Mia Love as the first black Republican woman to Congress, maybe ever. From lily white Utah, no less.
Love’s win came late in a day full of political news, so its significance may have been lost to mainstream media and even the conservative press. Love, a former small town mayor, is an outspoken conservative, the sort that have to start showing up more often in Republican ranks if that party is to have a chance in elections going forward.
Looking at the exit polls from this years mid-terms, one sees that the GOP strength was among white people, especially men, and voters above 45 years of age. Nothing wrong with that, except it it is not an inspiring vision of the future. Demography is not destiny, despite what some say, yet it would be folly for conservatives to imagine that a mid-term victory like Tuesday’s can be repeated in a Presidential year, let along more than one more.
Republicans going forward are going to have to improve their ground game, and that includes personal outreach to young voters and ethnic minorities–minorities that will be a majority in a few years. There is no reason why those blacks, Latinos, Asians and others cannot be conservative, but no reason also they should conservative in politics if conservative activists don’t reach out to cultivate relationships with them.
One way to do so is with candidates with a minority background–like Mia Love.