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Apr 01

Honey, They Shrunk the Base: How Democrats Lost Minority Voters in the 2004 Election

Location: The Heritage Foundation's Lehrman Auditorium

Many political observers have noted that the Democrat Party is a "demographic institution" largely made up of our nation's racial and religious minorities. Yet that may be changing. While Senator Kerry received the majority of black and Hispanic votes, President Bush made significant gains among Hispanics by capturing 44-percent of their vote this year, up from about 35-percent in 2000. Even among African Americans, the President's support rose nationally to 11 percent in 2004 from 9 percent in 2000, reaching as high as 16 percent in the swing state of Ohio.

What happened in 2004 with the black and Hispanic vote? Were the exit polls flawed? Were the losses as great as some believe? Is this migration to the Republican Party a one-shot affair or is this the beginning of a long-term trend among minority voters? Most importantly, what caused the shift and can the two major parties adjust their message to retain (or capture more of) the minority vote in the future?

More About the Speakers

Michael Barone
Fox News Contributor and author of The Almanac of American Politics and The New Americans: How the Melting Pot Can Work Again

David Bositis
Senior Political Analyst,
Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies

Linda Chavez
President, Center for Equal Opportunity;
Talk Radio Host; and
Author of Out of the Barrio: Toward a New Politics of Hispanic Assimilation

Ron Walters
Director, African American Leadership Institute; Professor, University of Maryland;
and Author of African American Leadership

Hosted By

Todd F. Gaziano Todd F. Gaziano

Director, Center for Legal & Judicial Studies Read More