Friday, July 16, 2021

Latinos Are Sending a Message to the Democrats

There was an interesting interview with David Shor on NPR recently. Bizarrely, the transcript left every single one of Shor's "you know's in the text and he says "you know" a lot. That makes it hard to read but it's still worth plowing through. Bill Edley had the excellent idea of taking out the you knows from a key part of the interview so it's easier to read. Here it is:
"I'm a liberal Democrat and everything. But I think there's a real point, which is that the big thing that Donald Trump did is he created these large coalitional shifts. In 2016 among noncollege whites, and in 2020 among noncollege nonwhites toward the Republican Party, which pushed college-educated voters toward the Democratic Party.
But these voters aren't distributed efficiently – geographically - because of these coalition shifts that his strategy ended up making happen - the bias of the Electoral College went from about a point in favor of Democrats to being four points biased against Democrats.
Joe Biden got about 52.3% of the vote. And if he had gotten 52% of the vote, he would have lost. And that's a sea change in American politics. That's the way in which I think Donald Trump has helped the Republican Party, is that the coalition shifts that his rhetoric has triggered has made it so that Republicans can win majorities with 48% of the vote consistently. And, contrary to what people might say, this has never happened before in American politics. And I think that this explains a lot of why the Republican Party is acting the way they are"
I give the same treatment here to another part:
"Precinct by precinct what we really found was that even though there were particularly marked shifts- in South Texas, there were 30-point swings in many counties. There were counties that had voted for Democrats solidly in the 70 to 80% percent range since the 1890s that Trump either won or came very close to winning. And in South Florida generally and Florida in general, there was something like a 13 or 14% swing. That said, basically everywhere where there were large concentrations of Hispanic voters, there were large swings in the 6 to 9% range. And that ranges from the Bronx in New York to Arizona to Massachusetts to California. This was a national trend that happened basically everywhere. And one of the biggest predictors of switching from voting for Clinton in 2016 to voting in Trump were attitudes toward crime, attitudes toward policing. I think that that's a microcosm for, like, a larger story....
I think that if you look at defund the police, that's a highly ideological issue where liberals are on one end, and conservatives are on the other. And that really contrasts to other issues like increasing the minimum wage or getting people health care, where there really are a lot of conservatives who defect and have liberal positions on these issues....
I think there's been a really big change in how Democrats talk... Democrats historically were seen as this kind of coalition party that had this broad mix of conservative Black and Hispanic voters and white liberals, and working-class white people. And we try to find language that would make everyone happy. But I think with the rise of online donations, with the rise of social media, this has really changed the incentive structure for how a Democratic politician can get ahead. And I think that that's really changed how we talk and how the party is perceived in really fundamental ways."
I'll add here a few items about Hispanics in 2020 that come out my recent Liberal Patriot piece on the nonwhite working class:
* Hispanic working class voters were particularly likely to shift to the Republicans in 2020. Pew data show a 30 point shift toward the GOP relative to 2018 (2016 not available), more than twice the 14 point shift among college Hispanics.
* In terms of support levels, the Pew data indicate that noncollege Hispanics gave Trump a remarkable 41 percent of their vote in 2020.
* The strong working class Hispanic shift is consistent with the detailed precinct-level analysis of the 2020 vote in Hispanic (and Asian) neighborhoods released by the New York Times last December.
* The Hispanic vote is the most heavily working class nonwhite vote, pushing 80 percent working class according to Pew.
There's a message in all this if Democrats care to hear it.

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