Why increasing diversity cannot help Democrats as much as they hope

The Census Bureau last week released two important sets of data, which have major implications for American politics – and which challenge some prevailing assumptions for both Democrats and Republicans.

The first set of data gives long-term demographic trends to think broadly in favor of Democrats: Hispanics, Asian-American and multinational voters increased as voters’ share in the last two presidential races, and white voters – Have historically returned. GOP – fell from 73 percent in 2016 to 71 percent in 2020.

Other data sets tell a second story. Population growth in the South and West continues to accelerate, so much so that some Republican-leaning states in those areas are receiving more electoral college votes. States won by President Biden will be below 303 electoral votes 306 electoral votes In 2020. The Democratic loss at Electoral College just got worse again.

These demographic and population changes are blatantly clear about electoral politics in America: increasing racial diversity among voters is not doing as much to help Democrats expect the liberal, or to hurt Republicans as much Conservative fear.

The expanded democratic disadvantage in the electoral college underscores how The nation’s increasing diversity cannot adequately assist Democrats to win in the places they need the most aid. Just as often, population growth is concentrated in red states – such as Texas and Florida – where Democrats do not win non-voters by the huge margin needed to offset the state’s Republican advantage.

For Republicans, there is a widely held belief that the party will struggle as white voters because the percentage of voters may be more myth than reality. Opposite tucker carlson Says repeatedly on Fox News Regarding the rise of the “white replacement doctrine” as a Democratic electoral strategy, the country’s increasing racial diversity has not greatly increased party opportunities. Instead, Republicans face a challenge they often provide: white voters.

One way to think about this is to compare today’s voters of the 1980s, when Ronald Reagan and George HW Bush were winning in a landslide. Democrats, no doubt, have since benefited from the nation’s growing racial diversity: Mr. Biden wouldn’t have even come close to winning Georgia in November if its voters were as white as they were back in the 1980s. Former President Donald J. Trump probably would have won re-election if he could have changed the demographic clock in the ’80s and alleviated the electoral struggle of non-voters. Today’s A wave of Republican-backed laws curbs voting rights Might actually intend to do so.

Yet even the return of racial demographics of the 1980s would not do as much to hurt Democrats as one might expect. Yes, the November result will be an extremely close win for Mr. Biden from an extremely close victory for Mr. Trump. But Mr. Biden may have won more electoral votes than Hillary Clinton in 2016, although non-voters had doubled their share of voters since 1984 when Mrs. Clinton sought the presidency. Remarkably, Mr. Biden helped with a fairly modest gain among white voters, as there were demographic changes in the last 30 to 40 years.

Likewise, Mr. Bush or Mr. Reagan persisted when they were to win 29 percent of the nonwhite voters, while they opposed only 13 to 15 percent of the non-electorate, which at the time was to celebrate Were.

This is not the traditional story of recent electoral history. In the general story, the increasing racial diversity of voters broke Reagan and Bush majorities and allowed Democrats to win the national popular vote in seven of the next eight presidential elections.

And yet it is difficult to find a single state where increasing racial diversity of voters, even over an exceptionally long 30- or 40-year period, for Democrats to flip a state from red to blue Both have been necessary and sufficient. Even in states where Democrats need demographic changes to win, such as in Georgia and Arizona, the party also needs significant reform among white voters to reach the top.

One reason demographic change has failed to change electoral politics is the increasing diversity of voters not primarily from black voters, but Hispanic, Asian-American, and multiracial voters. Those groups return to Democrats, but not always by a large margin.

In 2020, Democrats won about 60 to 65 percent of the electorate in these demographic groups. These are substantial margins, but they are so small that decades of demographic changes also cost Republicans only a few percentage points.

New census data shows that the percentage of non-Hispanic white voters in the nation’s electorate has decreased by about two percent from 2016 to 2020. But with Hispanic, Asian-American and majority voters representing the entirety of the increase, while the black share of voters was flat, the rising non-share share of voters Mr. Trump was only half a percentage point over the four-year period. .

Another factor is the electoral map. The American electoral system lures states from red to blue, but many democratic gains among non-voters are concentrated in the major cities of large and often non-competitive states. In contrast, many traditional swing states in the Northern Tier, like Wisconsin or Pennsylvania, have had relatively little demographic change.

Democrats ‘ability to spread red states is hindered by another pattern: Republicans’ tendency to fare relatively well among non-voters in red states.

It is often said that Latino voters are not monolithic, and this is certainly true. While Hispanic voters supersede Democrats by a large margin in blue states such as New York and Illinois, Republicans are often more competitive among members of Latino and other non-black minority groups in red states – including Democrats who are now Expect from Texas or Florida.

Texas and Florida would actually be blue if they actually voted like their counterparts in New York or Illinois. But instead, Latino population growth did not have a strong pro-democratic punch in states where the party was expected to make a knock.

At the same time, white voters are easy to ignore as a source of Democratic advantage, given that these voters still support Republicans by a comfortable margin. But Democrats probably improved from 39 to 43 percent of the white electorate from 1988 to 2020. This is a significant change, and perhaps to cover the entire margin of Mr. Bush’s victory in the 1988 election, without any demographic change.

It is easy to see the importance of democratic gains among white voters at the state level. According to AP / Votecast data, Mr. Biden won white voters in states with 211 electoral votes. Democrats such as Jimmy Carter in 1976, Michael Dukakis in 1988 or John Kerry in 2004 did not win white voters in states with more than 60 electoral votes based on exit polls and other poll data.

Mr. Biden also mobilized white voters in several states, where increasing diversity of voters is considered the main source of new democratic power, including California and Colorado. And he also won white voters in many large, diverse states across the North, where Republicans win and where non-demographic demographic change could be considered a decisive source of Democratic strength, such as Illinois, New Jersey, Connecticut, and Maryland, nearly Republicans at the presidential level in the 1980s used to vote entirely.

According to AP / Votecast data, Mr. Biden won seven states – Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Virginia, Arizona, Nevada and Georgia – while losing among white voters. In these important states, Democratic strength among non-voters was essential to Mr. Biden’s victory.

But of these states, there are actually only three where Mr. Biden clearly prevailed over the margin of increased racial diversity of voters over the past few decades: Arizona, Nevada and Georgia. He did not need to win any of these states to occupy the presidency, but he would not have done so without a long-term increase in both non-voting power and democratic power among white voters.

The story is quite different in the northern battlefield states. According to new census data, white voters still represent more than 80 percent of voters in Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. The nonwhite population in these states is predominantly Black; Their population share has remained fairly stable over the past few decades. But Mr. Biden won these states so narrowly that relatively minor demographic shifts of the past few decades prevailed for him in Wisconsin and Pennsylvania.

If Mr. Trump could have won in 2020, if he had only been among white voters, as he did in 2016, it is hard to call it a great replacement.

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