Vox: Trump Numbers Improving w/Black Voters

Real world caveat. Republicans are not going to win the black vote in 2020. Obviously. But they don't need to. Cutting into the huge percentages by which Democrats win the black vote alone can cost Dems elections. And even Vox's Yglesias is expressing some concern about Trump's outreach.

And he's citing some statistics.

Turnout wasn’t the issue here, with African Americans constituting 12 percent of the midterm electorate, flat from 2016 and the highest-ever recorded for a midterm. Rather, according to Democratic data firm Catalyst’s analysis of the results, Democrats won the black vote by “only” a 90 percentage point margin in 2018 House races down from 93 percent in the 2016 presidential.

Which is interesting. Really interesting.

In Georgia, for example, Stacy Abrams’s much-touted efforts to increase minority turnout were largely successful and the electorate was less white than the state saw in 2016 or 2014. But in terms of voters’ choices, Abrams did better than Clinton with Georgia’s white population but worse with black voters.

What's interesting here is that increasing black turnout, the number one priority for Democrats, may not actually do what they expect it to.

I would speculate that driving voters who don't usually go to the polls can produce unexpected and non-ideological results. Some of the black voters who don't usually vote may be more conservative in some ways. Or more hostile to political establishments. That's speculation of course.

But the trend is what's important.

“Trump received about 8 percent of the black vote in 2016,” Baker writes, “and has an approval rating of about 10 percent among African-Americans.”

A recent rigorous poll of the main swing states conducted by Sienna College and the New York Times indicated that he might be doing even better than that. Testing Trump head to head against Joe Biden, Elizabeth Warren, and Bernie Sanders, the poll showed all three Democrats even or ahead of Clinton with white voters but distinctly behind with black ones.

That's quite bad news for Democrats because their plan depends on black voter turnout. 

In Minnesota, which featured two separate Senate races, the two Democratic candidates ran 22 points ahead of Clinton with non-college white voters, 28 points ahead of her with white college graduates, and two points weaker with non-college non-whites.

In other words, while Republicans remain deeply unpopular with non-white voters, the clear backlash against Trump-era Republican governance was an exclusively white phenomenon. And there are some real indications that Trump has managed to personally hold on to these gains.

The #resistance is obviously white, aside from paid minority activists. Black women aren't putting on pink genital hats and buying plane tickets to D.C. Not unless they're part of the activist infrastructure. And the numbers should be troubling for other reasons as well.

The Dems are building a movement based around the #resistance. What if the movement they've built is losing their minority base?

Share