Is the Republican Party the one building the “coalition of the ascendant” as it draws support from an increasingly diverse constituency?
“Over the last four years, white liberals have become a larger and larger share of the Democratic Party,” says Democratic polling maven David Shor in an interview with Eric Levitz of New York magazine. The events of 2020 inspired many conservative minorities to vote their values, and current events are yielding another opportunity to advance an agenda of ordered liberty.
An Obama campaign veteran, Mr. Shor tells New York that more data on voter history and additional surveys provide a clearer picture of what happened in November than was available at the time. One thing that hasn’t changed, of course, is the need to be wary of the claims of pollsters, but Mr. Shor’s analysis is bound to be interesting to both major parties. Here’s how he sees the 2020 results:
Democrats gained somewhere between half a percent to one percent among non-college whites and roughly 7 percent among white college graduates (which is kind of crazy). Our support among African Americans declined by something like one to 2 percent. And then Hispanic support dropped by 8 to 9 percent. The jury is still out on Asian Americans. We’re waiting on data from California before we say anything. But there’s evidence that there was something like a 5 percent decline in Asian American support for Democrats . . . I don’t think a lot of people expected Donald Trump’s GOP to have a much more diverse support base than Mitt Romney’s did in 2012. But that’s what happened.
“One important thing to know about the decline in Hispanic support for Democrats is that it was pretty broad,” says Mr. Shor, adding:
One of my favorite examples is Doral, which is a predominantly Venezuelan and Colombian neighborhood in South Florida. One precinct in that neighborhood went for Hillary Clinton by 40 points in 2016 and for Trump by ten points in 2020. One thing that makes Colombia and Venezuela different from much of Latin America is that socialism as a brand has a very specific, very high salience meaning in those countries. It’s associated with FARC paramilitaries in Colombia and the experience with President Maduro in Venezuela. So I think one natural inference is that the increased salience of socialism in 2020 — with the rise of AOC and the prominence of anti-socialist messaging from the GOP — had something to do with the shift among those groups.
As for the story with Hispanics overall, one thing that really comes out very clearly in survey data that we’ve done is that it really comes down to ideology. So when you look at self-reported ideology — just asking people, “Do you identify as liberal, moderate, or conservative” — you find that there aren’t very big racial divides. Roughly the same proportion of African American, Hispanic, and white voters identify as conservative. But white voters are polarized on ideology, while nonwhite voters haven’t been. Something like 80 percent of white conservatives vote for Republicans. But historically, Democrats have won nonwhite conservatives, often by very large margins. What happened in 2020 is that nonwhite conservatives voted for Republicans at higher rates; they started voting more like white conservatives.
The scary phenomenon for the left—unlikely as this may seem given the editing choices of Silicon Valley media giants—is that there’s actually a large conservative majority in the United States. Why did a significant segment of this population begin to express their views with their votes in 2020? Mr. Shor reports: