The GOP has been pushing its appeal to a voter population broader than merely middle and upper class whites. Seasoned political analyst Stu Rothenberg is calling the 2016 GOP field ‘unusually diverse’ since it includes candidates who are black, female, Indian, and Hispanic American.
The challenge, he points out, is that, with the exception of Ben Carson, every candidate who may likely appear on the first debate stage is a Caucasian male.
The Republican Party has been watching demographic numbers. The share of American electorate comprised of white voters has been on a precipitous decline for decades; the bloc that made up 85% in 1988 will likely drop to 70% in next year’s election.
Rothenberg argues that an appeal to the fastest growing demographic in the country, Hispanics, is the safest way to bolster the base. This makes Marco Rubio, who is most likely to appeal to them, the favored candidate in his eyes. Other candidates have angles of appeal, specifically Jeb Bush who is married to a Mexican-American, but that appeal would likely not outpace Rubio’s.
He admits none of the candidates offer a magic bullet for winning the presidency and Rubio has his own cons to match his pros. Most recently, he stumbled in the media over the Iraq War a subject he should have been well prepared for.
Yet, polls taken within the past 60 days show Latino voters demonstrating Rubio with no clear advantage for the GOP. Hillary Clinton still shows commands with a sizable lead with the demographic.