Wednesday, January 19, 2011

A leading civil rights leader in Congress believes the Democratic Party is losing too many white voters

In an interview, Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.) said Democrats need to "go all out" to win back white Southern voters before the next election. White voters preferred Republican candidates by almost two-to-one in the 2010 midterms. Their support helped the GOP win 22 seats in the states that make up the Old Confederacy. The Democrats' only pickup in the region was the New Orleans district where the party holds a registration advantage. Since November 2010, there have been a string of defections by Southern Democratic state lawmakers, which has prompted renewed speculation about the party’s future in the region. Former Alabama Rep. Artur Davis (D) said Democrats should even consider running as Independents if they want to succeed. Lewis, who was a civil rights activist before being elected to Congress in 1986, said he's concerned the party is losing its diversity, which will make it difficult to reclaim the lost seats. "We've got to go all out and get white voters, especially white men, to come back to the Democratic Party," he said. "I just think it's important for the Democratic Party to roll out and try to reveal itself and not become a party that is split along racial lines." In the 2010 midterm election, white voters favored the GOP by a margin of 60% to 37%, according to the national exit poll conducted by Edison Research. It was a higher percentage than the margin claimed by the GOP during its 1994 landslide victory. Some Democrats, such as Rep. Emanuel Cleaver (Mo.), have predicted Obama's reelection prospects look daunting. "It's realistic for our party to understand the enormous challenge we're going to have to get him back in the White House in 2012," Cleaver, the new chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus, said recently.

No comments: