With all of that in mind, let’s briefly look at this political-desk offering from The Washington Post: “Black and Latino voters often pick Democrats. But Republicans of color just won 2 big ‘firsts’ in Virginia.” Here is the overture:
Virginia’s political landscape saw a historic shift this week when a Black, Jamaican-born woman won the race for lieutenant governor and the son of a Cuban refugee became the state’s next attorney general.
The fact that Winsome E. Sears and Del. Jason S. Miyares (Virginia Beach) are both Republicans reflects the inroads the GOP is making in the African American and Latino communities that have long favored Democrats, political analysts say.
By reaching those historic milestones first with a ticket led by Glenn Youngkin, the governor-elect, that was more diverse than the Democrats’, which featured two White men, Republicans now hold a symbolic advantage over Democrats, said L. Douglas Wilder, who as a Democrat during the 1980s and ’90s became Virginia’s first Black lieutenant governor and governor.
Did any religious content make it into the story?
Well, it does mention Youngkin’s strong support for additional state funding for historically Black colleges and universities (HBUs) and, in a Southern state, that is highly likely to include campuses linked to churches and Black denominations. Then there was this:
… Sears is an advocate for government-funded school vouchers, which she has said could help Black students in communities with low-performing public schools get a better education.
The primary daily function of the lieutenant governor is to preside over the state Senate, where Democrats hold a slim 21-to-19 majority, and serve as a tiebreaking vote. With Republicans on their way to a 52-to-48 majority in the House of Delegates, it’s probable that some bills reaching the Senate will attract support from one or two more conservative Democrats in that chamber, making a tie and a need for Sears’s vote more likely, Holsworth said.
That is particularly so with respect to abortion restrictions, which Sears, a devout Christian, has said she supports. On that issue, Sen. Joseph D. Morrissey (D-Richmond), an antiabortion Catholic, has in the past sided with Republicans.
O.K., I’ll ask. Are there other “conservative Democrats” in Virginia whose beliefs on religious, moral and cultural issues — maybe think “woke” trends in public schools — are linked to religious convictions and ties to specific pews and doctrines? Are any of those “conservative Democrats” Latino or Black evangelicals, Catholics or Pentecostal believers?
Later in the story, the Post did — to its credit — feature some addition faith-linked content, turning to input from Quentin Kidd of Christopher Newport University.
… [A]reas that are also mostly Black and Democratic — Portsmouth, Hampton and Newport News — also saw a shift toward Republicans, albeit not as large, Kidd said. That indicates that Sears, who made direct appeals to Black voters who share her conservative views on abortion and gun rights, had impact, he said.
Traditional Democratic voters are so liberal on those issues that the voices of more socially conservative Black voters — especially Black women — are often not heard, Kidd said.
Sears “may be able to highlight that conservative viewpoint more and make it acceptable for it to be more of a part of the political identity of the Black voter in a way it isn’t so much now,” he said.
Could be. If so, add that trend to the growing clout of Latino evangelicals, Catholics and Pentecostal believers and, you know, that might be an important story.
Yes, your GetReligionistas have been saying that for years. So there.
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FIRST IMAGE: From the Twitter feed of the Salem Republican office.
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