Southern Democrats are losing clout and influence because they’re fighting for control over their shrinking bases while Republicans increasingly welcome individuals from minority groups, former Alabama Democratic Rep. Artur Davis told The Daily Caller.
“For whatever reason, [the GOP] appears today to be a party more open to the aspirations of those individuals,” Davis said.
Those up-and-coming Republican minority politicians include Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal and South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, he said.
Further west, Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval and New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez, both Hispanic, are also Republicans.
One reason for this disparity, he said, is that southern Democratic politicians tend to emerge from majority-minority districts. That career path makes it difficult for them to appeal to centrist voters, he said.
“The Democratic Party has become very quick to say that people of color are not electable unless they’re running in a minority district and it is the Republican Party that now seems to be opening more doors,” he said.
He’s lived through this process.
He represented Alabama’s 7th Congressional District for four years until he ran for governor in 2010. But he lost the Democratic primary race in a hard fight, and the Democrat who beat him then lost to the GOP candidate.
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See more from our series with Rep. Artur Davis: