Media Warning Signs For The Grand Old White Republican Tea Party

The Nielsen ratings for July are coming out soon and there are developing trends in television viewing that portend problems for Republicans. Variety is reporting that…

“Univision is on pace to end the July sweeps in the numero uno spot, a milestone for the U.S. Hispanic network. Market leader expects to dominate July sweeps primetime among both Adults 18-49 and Adults 18-34 demos, in broadcast or cable.”

To be clear, this is not a ratings win among Hispanic networks or a particular genre of programming. It is the top spot for all television programming in the most important audience demographics. They beat ABC, CBS, NBC, and FOX.

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The political significance of this victory is that it affirms the growth of the Latino market, which has already been recognized as the fastest growing segment of the electorate. After the GOP’s dismal showing among Latinos in last November’s election (Romney drew only 27%), the party made a very public case for examining what went wrong, producing a thick document they called an “autopsy.” They concluded that the party “must embrace and champion comprehensive immigration reform. If we do not, our Party’s appeal will continue to shrink to its core constituencies only.”

Fast forward to July 2013. The Senate passed a comprehensive immigration reform bill with the votes of every Democrat, but only 14 Republicans. And now the bill sits dormant in the House where the Republican leadership refuses to bring it up for a vote. Many Republicans are openly hostile to immigration reform and have vowed to obstruct any attempt to advance it. Additionally, Republicans back voter suppression schemes that negatively impact Hispanic citizens. They also oppose the Dream Act that allows certain undocumented residents to remain in the country if they were brought here as children, have no criminal record, and are enrolled in either school or the military.

So despite recognition that the Republican Party’s viability in the future depends on broadening their base and appealing to Hispanics, they are doing virtually everything they can think of to alienate and insult the Latino community.

Another segment of the electorate that the GOP has had problems with are young voters. President Obama got a whopping 67% of the youth vote last November. Some of the issues that are important to this demographic include marriage equality, gun safety, tax fairness, health care, student loan interest rates, ballot access, and reproductive rights. These are all issues that the GOP polls poorly on among young constituents. Their autopsy noted that many respondents viewed the GOP as the party of “stuffy old men,” and acknowledged that “If our Party is not welcoming and inclusive, young people and increasingly other voters will continue to tune us out.”

Back to the present, we see that Republicans have done virtually nothing to avert the catastrophes they themselves predicted. And another signal in the media illustrates just how far afield they are in addressing the concerns of young citizens. The New York Times reports that Fox News, the PR arm of the GOP, is increasingly an island of far-right, senior citizens:

“[F]or six of the last eight years, Fox News has had a median age of 65-plus and the number of viewers in the 25-54 year old group has been falling consistently, down five years in a row in prime time.”

This represents the highest median age of any television network. Hence all the ads for Cialis, reverse mortgages, and the Scooter Store. Fox also has the widest disparity between viewers 18-34 and those 25-54. MSNBC, which has been slumping lately, still manages to grab the top spot for for viewers 18-34 in primetime.

Republicans, and their preferred media, are bleeding supporters in key groups that they have already conceded are essential for future victories. Hispanics, youth, African-Americans, and women, are all growing constituencies. But they are being left behind by an increasingly extremist and narrow Republican Party that is only responsive to older, white, Tea Partiers.

While this trend surely portends trouble for the GOP, it is an opportunity for Democrats to show some real leadership and embrace the diversity for which the party is known. Democrats have an uphill battle in 2014 due to gerrymandered redistricting by the GOP. They have to outperform Republicans by 7% just to stay competitive. Consequently, now would be the time to start shoring up support for the faster growing and more populous voter groups that show the most promise for electoral gains. Let the GOP have have the white, senior wingnuts. After all, it’s all they have left.


8 thoughts on “Media Warning Signs For The Grand Old White Republican Tea Party

  1. The republican plan for the future is to suppress voting rights for electoral success and to keep control of the state governments in as many states as possible. The Hispanic demographic will make both of these efforts extremely difficult in the long run. They will not soon forget the bigotry, racism and outright hatred the tea party wing of the party has displayed since Obama took office. Anyone under the age of 45 does not relate at all to the likes of Bill O’Reilly, Sean Hannity and the party leader Rush Limbaugh.

    If anyone saw John McCain on the Sunday morning talk show he was on it indicated strongly that he can see how this nonsense is hurting the party. He actually complimented the President for his press conference last Friday in stark contrast to hate radio and fox hate TV’s take on the President’s remarks. He sounded more like a democrat than a republican.

    • Randy, not all of us over 45 relate to O’Reilly, Hannity, and Limbaugh. I am now 63 and can’t tolerate any of the three. I don’t believe in organized politics and am neither a D or an R. I don’t often agree with McCain any more but I give him props for speaking out in support of President Obama and his speech about race. Whether we care to admit it or not, racism is alive and well in this country. The Republicans seem to “hate” anyone who is not exactly like them. It’s very sad to see all this happening in our country.

  2. I enjoyed this article and couldn’t agree more! However-I have not been able to find the credit given to Aaron Sorkin for the quote on the graphic. (HBO’s “The Newsroom”-season 1 finale)

  3. Ha! Ha! I definitely do NOT advocate for the teapubs but The article says, A chance for the democrats to show real leadership. That’s funny. No such thing. They’re all in the pocket of their campaign donors (large corporate donors, defense contractors and “fill in the blank” special interest here)

  4. Loved the article and not the first to note that the Republicans have not done much to correct for their weaknesses in the electorate. But maybe they don’t have to. State governments, mainly Republicans, control electoral boundaries and voter registration conditions so can influence if not control elections. This is the only way I think that some States with near 25% or more Hispanic/Latino population still trend Republican (Tx, AZ, FL). Of course some states with 25% populations fluctuate or trend Democrat (NM, NV, CA). I think the USA is in for some nasty elections in the next 2-4 years.

  5. Can someone define “progress” ? Put some context to the statement “A hostile fear of progress”. Please – the words always sound nice, but progress to you is probably very different than to me.

  6. As long as the republican party continues to watch MSM and let the media tell them who to vote for, they will never regain the Whitehouse. The one third to one half of us that split back in 2008 will not vote for a neo-con sell-out! We will not listen to the neo-con sell outs on radio who demonized Ron Paul and pushed McShame as the front runner of the party. We vote our conscience, partisan politics be damned!

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