Republican Pollster says GOP Needs to ‘Stop Pandering’ to Racism

John Harwood has a thoughtful piece in the New York Times about how racial divisions are permeating our political discussion.

He talks with Fred Steeper, a Republican pollster and former advisor to both Presidents Bush who says the party should stop highlighting racial issues because they’re going to lose.

One is that it could taint what he calls the Republican Party’s “legitimate argument” in favor of self-reliance and smaller government. The other is the difficulty of winning national elections if the Republicans’ hard-line on immigration continues to alienate Hispanics.

“Racism may be a part of it,” especially among working-class whites, Mr. Steeper said of the immigration stance. “The Republican Party needs to stop pandering to that.”

He added, “The Republican Party needs to throw in the towel on the immigration issue.”