Both Republicans and Democrats have now met and nominated presidential candidates.
But their nominating bodies could not be more different — and only one appears to reflect the changing diversity of America.
The available data shows that an estimated 6 percent of delegates who attended the Republican National Convention weren’t white and only 18 were black, which, according to Daniel Donner at Daily Kos, is the lowest percentage of black delegates at a GOP convention since 1912.
Another 133 delegates were identified as Hispanic or Latino by the Washington Post. It is possible there were other minority delegates, too, of different ethnicities. But when we reached out to the RNC requesting more data on the demographics of their delegates, they did not respond to our request.
Meanwhile, at the Democratic National Convention this week, half of all delegates in attendance were not white.
The Hillary Clinton campaign told Fusion that of the 4,766 DNC delegates, 1,182 delegates were black, 747 were Latino, 292 were Asian American, and 147 were Native American. Additionally, 633 delegates identified as LGBTQ. Plus, Mic has reported that at least 27 of the DNC delegates are transgender, and last night Sarah McBride made history by being the first openly trans person to speak at a national presidential convention.
The difference between the two parties is stark, but at the same time it is largely indicative of the parties’ voter bases. According to 2013 polling data from Gallup, 89 percent of Republicans identified as white while only 60 percent of Democrats did.
So to some degree, it’s not terribly surprising that the Democratic Party would select a more racially diverse group of delegates for its national convention than the Republican Party. But what is particularly troubling is that only Democrats seem to be actively representing a more diverse version of America.
And that’s hugely problematic for Republicans because America as a whole is becoming increasingly less white and more racially diverse. As of the 2010 US Census, 72.4 percent of the total population was white, but by 2060 that percentage is expected to drop to 61, particularly as the Asian American and Hispanic and Latino population in the US continues to grow.
So the fact that only one of the two major national political parties is representing a more diverse America, reflecting America’s changing demographics, is troubling. It certainly doesn’t bode well for the continued viability of the Republican Party in its current form, as a core tenet of US democracy is to represent all people, regardless of race, sex, or creed.