Commentary

A Media Ceiling Is About To Fall In on Democrats

Wealthy partisans aligned with the GOP are going for that Hispanic vote in a big, big way. They intend to use the same tools that have turned state after state reliably red since the 1980s: radio & TV

January 25, 2023 Thom Hartmann  THE HARTMANN REPORT

If you’re a Democratic candidate for office in New Mexico, Texas, California, Arizona, Nevada, Florida, Colorado, New Jersey, New York or Illinois, get ready: the ceiling is about to fall in on you.

The white vote in America is split, leaning 53%-42% toward the GOP. The Black vote is reliably 83 percent Democratic. But the Hispanic vote is up for grabs: they represent the second largest and fastest growing demographic group in the country at 13.3 percent of the 2020 electorate (Blacks were 12.5 percent, whites 66.7 percent) and, as conservative Spanish-language radio proliferates, they’re shifting to the right.

If Republicans can pull just a few percent of the Hispanic vote their way, they can hold the House, retake the Senate, and seize the White House in 2024. Not to mention flipping multiple purple states red.

Now, wealthy partisans aligned with the GOP are going for that Hispanic vote in a big, big way. They intend to use the same tools that have turned state after state reliably red since the 1980s: radio and television.

Big business was consistently Republican through the 1920s, supported in large part by Father Coughlin, the nation’s first talk radio host, listened to daily by as many as a third of all Americans. But when Wall Street crashed the economy in 1929, Coughlin started supporting Democrats; FDR came into office with the election of 1932 and began hammering what he called the big business “economic royalists” with a relentless vigor. 

Between that and World War II pulling America together politically, most businesses dropped out of politics and spent the period from 1941 through the mid-1970s simply making money.

Virginia tobacco lawyer Lewis Powell watched this dynamic unfold during his lifetime and thought it a big mistake. In 1971 he wrote his infamous “memo” to his friend Eugene Syndor, the head of the US Chamber of Commerce.

Source: The Hartmann Report