|Paul Ryan and the GOP: Insane when it comes to understanding 'urban areas'|
…blamed Democratic turnout in “urban areas” for the loss by the Republican presidential ticket last week, saying he was surprised that he and Mitt Romney did not do better in the nation’s big cities.
“The surprise was some of the turnout, some of the turnout especially in urban areas, which gave President Obama the big margin to win this race,” Mr. Ryan said in an interview with WISC-TV. “When we watched Virginia and Ohio coming in, and those ones coming in as tight as they were, and looking like we were going to lose them, that’s when it became clear we weren’t going to win.”
The remarks prompted scorn from some liberals who viewed Mr. Ryan as blaming inner-city minorities for the Republican defeat.
“Paul Ryan emerged from dustbin of nothingness 2 blame his & Romney’s defeat on “urban” vote,” one person tweeted. “These 2 losers continue 2 demean minorities.”
As Chicago’s African American and Hispanic populations grew, combined reaching roughly 54 percent of the population by 1980, the glaring discrepancy between the size of the minority vote in the Democratic coalition and what minorities received in exchanged became more and more difficult to defend. The breakthrough came in the 1983 Democratic primary when Mayor Jane Byrne and Richard M. Daley, the son of the late mayor, split the white vote and Harold Washington squeaked to victory with 36 percent of the vote. With little history of true biracial coalitions and with Washington threatening to reform city government and the machine, white ethnics lined up behind his Republican opponent, Bernard Epton. In one of the most racially divisive campaigns in urban history Washington won a narrow victory, receiving 99.7 percent of the black vote, about 75 percent of the Hispanic vote, but only 12.3 percent of the white vote.
The suffocating effect of dominant political machines were true even of Gary, Indiana, on of the first two major U.S. cities to elect a black mayor. Gary had a strong political machine that kept blacks subordinated until the late 1960s when African Americans were approaching an electoral majority. Richard Hatcher was able to win the Democratic primary in Gary in 1967 only because of a split in the white machine fueled by a corruption scandal. In a threeway primary, Hatcher narrowly won a plurality of the total vote (40 percent), received 75 percent of the African American vote but only 5 percent of the white vote. He then went on to win in the general election against a white Republican candidate by less than a 3 percent margin. The election had a very high turnout, and was highly polarized as Hatcher received 96 percent of the African American vote but only 10 percent of the white vote.
Since Democrats outnumbered Republicans nine to one, party labels turned out to be meaningless. In a city that was almost evenly divided by race at the time, Hatcher won because of the massive mobilization of African American voters, which was necessary because of the decades long subordination of African Americans by the city’s Democratic machine. [Contemporary Patterns of Politics, Praxis, and Culture: National Political Science Review, by Georgia Anne Persons, p. 60]