Which brings me to an unexpected phenomenon of the 2020 election...Trump substantially improved his numbers in large cities compared to 2016. For example, Trump's percent in New York City improved from 17.9% in 2016 to 22.6% in 2020. That improvement reflected Trump's marginal improvement with non-white voters, particularly African-American and Latinos.
What changed in the racial and gender dynamics this cycle to produce these apparently extraordinary results? The truth is, absolutely nothing. These trends have been underway for the entirety of Trump’s public life.In fact, Democrat losses with minority voters precede Trump’s candidacy. Over the course of Obama’s tenure in office, Democrats saw attrition with black and Hispanic voters in 2010, 2012 and 2014. Trump won in 2016 precisely because of this long-running erosion. Despite lackluster support among whites for the Republican candidate, Asian, Black and Hispanic voters continued to defect from the Democratic party – tipping key swing states in Trump’s direction, and handing him the election.
Contrary to the prevailing narratives, the Republican party saw continued attrition with whites throughout Trump’s tenure in office. Almost all the losses Republicans saw in 2018, for instance, were due to defections by white voters. As compared to 2016, Republicans slightly improved their numbers with Blacks and Hispanic voters during the midterms. However, the margins among whites shifted 10 percentage points in the other direction, helping Trump’s opposition win the House.
It shouldn't be a surprise that Republicans might at some point start doing better with African-American and Latino voters. Both minority groups tend to be more conservative, especially on social issues, than white voters. And, frankly, the GOP was doing so badly with African-American voters that there was nowhere to go but up.
OOP's short takes:
- Santa keeps a list of "naughty and nice" and rewards the children who have been "nice" with toys. Donald Trump keeps a list of "naughty and nice" and rewards those who have been "naughty" with pardons. Seriously, we need to find a way to reform the pardon power. Contrary to what some legal experts say, I just don't buy the argument that there is a way to do that via statute. It would have to be a constitutional change.
- There is no more perfect metaphor for the incompetence and poor deal-making abilities of Donald Trump than his sending out Treasurer Secretary Steve Mnuchin to negotiate a Covid-19 relief bill with the House and Senate, only to pull the rug out from under the deal his own administration negotiated when right-wing media expressed opposition to the bill.