I have to disagree with you there. As, Col. Lawrence Wilkerson said in a interview I did with him for Salon, there are plenty of racists in the GOP. Many of them are former Dixiecrats.
The situation has only worsened over the years. Now, the GOP is a white nationalist party.
That's why I don't see them ever making Nikki Haley a presidential candidate.
They have a stranglehold over the party, which Trump exploited.
You are right about Democrats who switched over. Why they did it is murky. I think that many of them were motivated by sexism.
Many of them listened to Trump's lies and are now regretting it.