What’s Driving Black Candidates to the Republican Party?

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The Republican Party has recently attracted an almost unprecedented number of Black candidates to its fold—more than at any time since the Reconstruction era. “In a moment where the Party . . . has really wholeheartedly embraced white-grievance politics,” Leah Wright Rigueur tells David Remnick, “they are endorsing more Black candidates than they have in the past twenty-five years.” Rigueur is a historian at Johns Hopkins University and the author of “The Loneliness of the Black Republican.” The G.O.P., she argues, is exploiting a moment when the long-standing relationship between Black Americans and the Democratic Party is weakening, and it aims to capitalize on an “everyday conservatism” among voters. “It actually makes sense that in the aftermath of Barack Obama—with Black people’s levels of support and warmth for the Democratic Party in decline and the belief among a small sect of African Americans that [it] is just as racist as the Republican Party—that actually frees some people up to actually vote Republican.” Plus, the staff writer Emma Green, who covers the pro-life movement, discusses how individuals’ positions seldom reflect the furious partisan divide, and she shares some nuanced sources that have informed her reporting.

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