The problem for the Republicans is that they have moved since the 1970s toward a party that encourages white fears in the South in order to win races. They routinely make pilgramages through the south defending the Confederate flag, or defending Bob Jones University, or using the words "state's rights" as much as tehy can. John Ashcroft famously sucked up to White Supremacist organizations in the South, and he is far from the only one.
The Republican party appears to be moving backward on race, either with the Hispanic vote or with African Americans. And Steve King is one of their worst spokesmen on this issue:
"As Adam Serwer explained yesterday, 'This is, of course, the same Steve King who has defended the Confederate flag, advocated for racial profiling, referred to the Congressional Black and Hispanic Caucuses as 'separatist groups,' and said that people in the Middle East would be 'dancing in the streets' if Obama was elected because of his middle name. He was also the only -- repeat -- only congressman to vote against recognizing the contributions of slaves in building the U.S. Capitol, where King now spends his time spewing this kind of nonsense.'"