Tuesday, August 31, 2021

Will Census Trends Save the Democrats?

Probably not. My latest at The Liberal Patriot:
'The latest data release from the 2020 Census, which will be used to guide decennial redistricting, has been greeted rather breathlessly by the nation’s media and has been absolute catnip for commentators and observers who lean toward the Democrats. Consider some of these headlines:
“America’s White Population Shrank for the First Time”;
“Vast Stretches of America Are Shrinking. Almost All of Them Voted for Trump”.
“Census release shows America is more diverse and more multiracial than ever”
None of this is necessarily wrong, though it’s worth noting that these findings are consistent with trends of long-standing rather than something qualitatively new. What is questionable however is the political gloss that tends to put on these results. Leftist filmmaker Michael Moore called the announcement “the best day ever in US history”, which, while over the top, fairly represents the delight among most progressives that a presumably conservative white population is in precipitous decline while a presumably liberal nonwhite population keeps growing, the harbinger of a diverse, progressive future America.
At least that’s the story. But, as noted, these trends are ongoing, not new. Why should they now lead to progressive hegemony when they haven’t before? Many on the left appear to believe that, whatever the story up ‘til now, we have finally reached some sort of tipping point where the effects of underlying demographic trends can no longer be denied. Maybe. But then again maybe not.
Here are five reasons the Census trends may not be quite the bonus for Democrats so many want to believe (and others fear).
1. Whiter Than You Think. The new Census data pegs the white (white nonhispanic alone) population of the country as around 58 percent down 6 points from a level of 64 percent in 2010. The 58 percent figure was a little lower than expected based on projections (though the 6 point drop over 10 years was actually very similar to previous decadal declines). One possible reason for the unexpectedly large decline might be that the Census changed their race question from 2010 by adding a “print origins” specification after the white checkbox that respondents were instructed to fill out. This may have led to some confusion and probably was a factor in a striking increase in the reported multiracial population.
In addition, and crucially for political-analytic purposes, the proportion of whites who are actual voters is far higher than their percentage in the overall population. Averaging the three best currently available sources on the demographics of 2020 voters (Catalist, the Census Current Population Survey Voter Supplement and the Pew Validated Voter Survey), the proportion of white voters in the 2020 voting electorate looks to be a little under 72 percent. Thus, there is a vast chasm separating the proportion of whites in the overall population and the proportion who are voters, which is much higher."
Read the rest at The Liberal Patriot. And subscribe--it's free!
Will Census Trends Save the Democrats?
Will Census Trends Save the Democrats?
Five Reasons Why That Just Ain’t So

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