POLITICS

Donald Trump's GOP Convention To Feature Very Few Minority Speakers

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) is the only Hispanic speaker scheduled so far.
The speakers at the RNC convention will be mostly white men, like Donald Trump.
The speakers at the RNC convention will be mostly white men, like Donald Trump.

Donald Trump’s inability to attract minority voters will be on full display at the Republican convention next week, when the vast majority of the speakers who take the stage will be white. 

Republicans released a list of 62 convention speakers Thursday. According to a count by The Huffington Post, approximately 65 percent of them are men and 82 percent are white. 

The gender breakdown isn’t that far off from the 2012 Republican convention ― 63 percent male ― or the Democratic convention that same year ― 62 percent male. But it is worse on including speakers of color. 

In 2012, GOP convention speakers were 78 percent white. Democrats’ 2012 speakers were 62 percent white. Democrats have not yet released a list of speakers for their 2016 gathering, which will take place in Philadelphia the week after Republicans meet. 

This year, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) appears to be the Republicans’ only Hispanic speaker, and Lisa Shin ― a New Mexico doctor and member of the National Diversity Coalition for Trump ― the only Asian-American speaker.

In contrast, in 2012, Mitt Romney’s campaign featured up-and-coming minority politicians like New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez, Sen. Marco Rubio (Fla.) and South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley. And since then, the Republican National Committee has tried to do a significant amount of outreach to minority communities, recognizing the GOP can’t simply rely on white voters due to the country’s changing demographics.

The 2012 convention also showcased the top politicians in the party ― people like Sen. Kelly Ayotte (N.H.), Rep. Mia Love (Utah) and Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval. This year, many GOP leaders are staying away or making themselves scarce. Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin, Rep. Marsha Blackburn (Tenn.) and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker will be there. Walker has endorsed Trump, but barely.

Trump also promised his convention would be full of celebrities ― including people who could appeal directly to the public, not just political insiders. But the lineup doesn’t really deliver. The most notable non-politicians are athletes, including Ultimate Fighting Championship President Dana White and professional golfer Natalie Gulbis.

The Huffington Post was unable to account for one speaker on Trump’s convention list: Alex Wist. An internet search didn’t really turn up any results, and the RNC did not return a request for comment on him. 

This piece has been updated to count only the speakers the RNC released Thursday, without the inclusion of three additional speakers reported by The New York Times. One of those speakers, former NFL quarterback Tim Tebow, said Thursday evening that he would not be speaking at the convention. 


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