The Coming Democratic Majority Isn’t Guaranteed

Ruy Teixeira finds that Hispanics aren't yet woke.

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In the comments of my post “A Great Realignment?” which pondered why Hispanics have shifted ever-so-slightly to the Republicans despite a reasonable perception that Donald Trump and his acolytes are openly peddling white nationalism, if not white supremacism, regular commenter @Sleeping Dog points to a post by Ruy Teixeira at his Substack blog entitled “Working Class and Hispanic Voters Are Losing Interest in the Party of Abortion, Gun Control and the January 6th Hearings.”

He’s relying on the same polling data that prompted Josh Kraushaar’s pieces but he dives into the crosstabs and provides some valuable insights. His top-level analysis:

Recent data indicate that success for the abortion-gun control-January 6th strategy, to the extent it is working (and might work in the future) is attributable to those voters for whom these issues loom large and are less likely to be influenced by current economic problems. Such voters are disproportionately likely to be college-educated whites and it is here that Democrats have been demonstrating unusual strength.

In the just-released New York Times-Sienna poll, Democrats have a 21 point lead in the generic Congressional ballot among these voters. Shockingly, white college Democratic support in this poll is actually higher than support among all nonwhite voters. This is remarkable and has much to do with anemic Hispanic support for Democrats, who favor Democrats over Republicans by a scant 3 points.

More broadly, the lack of Democratic support among working class (noncollege) voters is striking. Democrats lose among all working class voters by 11 points, but carry the college-educated by 23 points. This is less a class gap than a yawning chasm.

It is difficult to avoid the conclusion that Democrats’ emphasis on social and democracy issues, while catnip to some socially liberal, educated voters, leaves many working class and Hispanic voters cold. Their concerns are more mundane and economically-driven. This is despite the fact that many of these voters are in favor of moderate abortion rights and gun control and disapprove of the January 6th events. But these issues are just not salient for them in the way they are for the Democrats’ educated and most fervent supporters.

Caveating all of the systemic issues that Steven Taylor (especially) and I have gone on about ad nauseum that over-represent conservative voters, this is my sense as well. To be sure, my analysis coincides with my preferences in that I’m more conservative than most Democrats. But Teixeira has been actively hoping for a new Democratic majority for two decades and titled his most recent book The Optimistic Leftist. So, I don’t think I’m committing the Pundit’s Fallacy here.

Recent data from Echelon Insights provide an interesting window on this contrast. Their analysis breaks down the electorate into four quadrants (conservative, populist, libertarian and liberal) and further breaks out a “strong progressive” subset of the liberals who are highly liberal on most issues and also happen to be very highly-educated (and more likely to be white). They are about 10 percent of voters and bear some similarity in size, demographics and inclinations to the “progressive activists” group broken out in the More in Common study—a group with tremendous weight in current Democratic party politics who are described as “deeply concerned with issues concerning equity, fairness, and America’s direction today. They tend to be more secular, cosmopolitan, and highly engaged with social media”

So, again, I’m an anomaly. I voted for every Republican nominee from Reagan in 1984 to Romney and 2012 and for the last two Democratic nominees. I’m “deeply concerned with issues concerning equity, fairness, and America’s direction today” and also “secular, cosmopolitan, and highly engaged with social media” and yet probably more on the libertarian-conservative axis than progressive-liberal.

Here’s the part @Sleeping Dog pointed to:

The crosstabs provided by Echelon allow for a comparison of strong progressives’ basic political views with those of Hispanic and working class voters. Here are some examples:

1. America is not the greatest country in the world vs. America is the greatest country in the world. By 66 percent to 28 percent, strong progressives say America is not the greatest country in the world. By 70-23, Hispanics say the reverse and working class voters as a whole concur by 69-23.

2. Racism is built into our society, including into its policies and institutions vs. Racism comes from individuals who hold racist views, not from our society and institutions. Strong progressives are very, very sure of America’s systemic racism, endorsing the first statement by an amazing 94-6 margin. But Hispanics disagree, endorsing the second statement that racism comes from individuals by 58-36, as do working class voters by 57-33.

3. The government should deal with illegal immigration by making it easier to immigrate to the US legally vs. The government should deal with illegal immigration by increasing border security and enforcement. Strong progressives have no doubts on this one, favoring easier immigration by 97-2. Hispanics, however, are split down the middle with 44 percent favoring increased border security and enforcement and 47 percent opting for easier immigration. Working class voters go farther, endorsing more border security and enforcement by 58-32.

4. Transgender athletes should be able to play on sports teams that match their current gender identity vs. Transgender athletes should only be allowed to play on sports teams that match their birth gender. Strong progressives overwhelmingly endorse allowing athletes to play on the sports team that matches their gender identity by 66-19. But Hispanic voters by 64-22 say athletes should only play on teams that match their birth gender; working class voters are almost identical at 63-22.

5. We need to reallocate funding from police departments to social services vs. We need to fully fund the budget for police departments. Strong progressives want to reallocate police funding by 87-12. In contrast, Hispanic voters want full funding of the police by 50-41 and working class voters are even stronger on full funding by 59-31.

6. Hard work and determination are no guarantee of success for most people vs. Most people who want to get ahead can make it if they’re willing to work hard. Strong progressives don’t evidence much faith in upper mobility, endorsing the first statement on the questionable efficacy of hard work by 88-12. Hispanic voters, on the other hand, embrace the view that hard-working people are likely to get ahead by 55-39, as do working class voters by 55-40.

Hispanic and working class voters are pretty damn conservative, in a non-ideological sense. They’re not radicals advocating a return to an idealized version of 1950, as so many MAGA types are. Nor, though, are they on the cutting edge of social change. And treating them as idiots or evil because of that is, to say the least, counterproductive.

Now, @Gustopher is right: “it’s a mistake to compare strong progressives and Hispanics, and then attempt to infer anything about Democrats as a whole.” But the problem is that, like it or not, the strong progressives are driving the national narrative even though they’re not in the party leadership. Joe Biden ran as a moderate and explicitly rejected “Defund The Police,” which is a fringe position even within Black Lives Matter, but the outsized platform given AOC, the Squad, Bernie Sanders, and Elizabeth Warren make the progressive agenda seem much more central than it is. It’s not like trans issues are at the top of Biden’s agenda, either, but the party is nonetheless seen as the flag-bearer for that movement.

That’s almost certainly good in the long term, as it makes the GOP anathema to most under-35s. But right now, it’s easy for working class voters—and not just white ones—to think the Democrats are focused on a “woke agenda” rather than on the things that matter in their everyday lives.

Alas, I don’t have any great ideas for how to thread this particular needle. As folks on the transgender and abortion rights threads point out, those are existential issues for a whole lot of people. They literally fear for their lives.

Further, while I was a skeptic of the January 6 committee for a variety of reasons, I simply don’t know how we simply call “bygones” on a violent attempt to overturn a free and fair election. I think it’s fair to say that it’s efforts likely aren’t going to persuade voters pissed off about the price of ground round to vote for Democrats. But there are times when doing the right thing is required regardless of the short term consequences.

UPDATE: I see from today’s open thread that Texeira has recently left the Clintonite Center for American Progress for the libertarian-right American Enterprise Institute. That’s interesting news, indeed, and context I was unaware of when writing the piece. I haven’t processed it enough to know how or if it changes my analysis. The polling numbers are the polling numbers. And folks like James Carville have been preaching this message for quite some time now. It may well be an age thing, as I don’t think either have become Republicans or white nationalists.

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. Jay L Gischer says:

    Yeah the trans people in sport issue is kind of a stalking horse. If only that were the most serious issue facing trans people. Why were people polled on this rather than the question of whether treating a trans child with approved medical procedures constituted child abuse?

    How do working class people and/or Hispanics feel about that?

    3
  2. Lounsbury says:

    Alas, I don’t have any great ideas for how to thread this particular needle. As folks on the transgender and abortion rights threads point out, those are existential issues for a whole lot of people. They literally fear for their lives.

    Rather more realistically they are addicted to Very Dramatic internet language, and have the comfort of priviledge to render linguistic identarian issues as life threatening, rather reminiscent for me of the 1920s-early 1930s splintering Left for whom ideological purity and Bolshie version of academic hair-splitting trumped again and again a cold blooded realisation that their own actions were contributing to opening up ground for the various flavours of Fascism. Intello eggheadism.

    Although the evolution under the MAGAista movement should indeed make one genuinely worried, and genuine worry should focus the mind on pragmatic defence and recalibration – not launching yet another flying column to Kiev… because It Must Be Done and other dramatic declarations. Grinding attrition is most unforgiving.

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  3. Matt Bernius says:

    Apparently today is Ruy Teixeira day on OTB and no one told me.

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  4. Lounsbury says:

    @Jay L Gischer: One should rather expect that you will get results rather uncomfortable for the current US cultural left ideological mindframe as unsurprisingly general polling indicates the average parent is not very keen on the pre-adult treatment. Nor is it an established medical consensus. As adult quite another matter

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  5. James Joyner says:

    @Jay L Gischer: I wasn’t consulted in constructing the poll but would guess that the sports issue is both more publicized and less complicated. Hormone blockers, etc. is simply much less well understood and, frankly, much more controversial.

    @Lounsbury: I think it’s true that most OTB commenters are likely of sufficient means to travel to an abortion safe haven in the unlikely event they don’t already live in one. But women do literally die from non-medical abortions. And there are certainly places in America where a gender-nonconforming individual has a perfectly reasonable fear of being beat up or worse.

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  6. Sleeping Dog says:

    The truth, as unfortunate as it can be, is that when looking at a range of issues in politics one needs to chose those that bring the largest number of voters to your cause. Yes, that means some important and for some, critical, agendas will become afterthoughts.

    Fareed Zakaria has a piece up in the WaPo, calling for Dems to abandon the Woke and begin building things, echoing and referencing Ezra Klein’s Times essay of a couple of weeks ago. And he talks about the process barriers that are keeping that from happening, barriers mostly built by earlier Dems and now enforced by the the party’s white, college educated base. He’s right.

    Right now, for those who aren’t socially and financially secure, Dems are offering weak tea. Presently, Dems have a strong hold on younger voters, but the party is at risk of losing those voters as well.

    In his column this morning, the insufferable David Brooks, mentioned that interest in a 3rd party is at or near, a post WWII, all time high, which should be good news, but there is little agreement as to what that party would look like.

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  7. Jay L Gischer says:

    @Lounsbury: Citation needed.

    4
  8. Jay L Gischer says:

    Undiagnosed, untreated, unexpressed trans nature nearly killed my daughter. I am not exaggerating. She only survived it because she was lucky. I’m not going into details because of privacy issues.

    Meanwhile, you are making oh-so-comfortable pronouncements about my exaggerations…

    I’m a bit salty about that.

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  9. Michael Reynolds says:

    It seems I am a Hispanic voter.

    I keep flashing back to 1968. I’d have been 14. My father was in Vietnam, and I was attending my first anti-war demonstration in Des Moines of all places. I had a nice vantage point, high up a set of steps at what I think was City hall. So I had a clear view of the Viet Cong flags being broken out by demonstrators. My heart sank because I knew if that shit kept happening, we were going to lose.

    Fortunately I was totally wrong because thanks to the energy and idealism of the anti-war movement it was a mere seven more years and ~20,000 more dead Americans and hundreds of thousands of dead Vietnamese and millions of dead Cambodians, before the war ended. Yay!

    Mainstream Democrats just want to bank contributions, and progressive Democrats just want to parade their virtue. We’re getting beat by idiots and loons and fascist LARPers. And we’re the educated party.

    “Depend upon it, sir, when a man knows he is to be hanged in a fortnight, it concentrates his mind wonderfully.” Samuel Johnson

    The problem is that Democrats on both ends are not taking the threat seriously. If they were feeling as threatened as they should be feeling they’d be concentrating their minds and trying to actually win.

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  10. Michael Reynolds says:

    @Jay L Gischer:

    Yeah the trans people in sport issue is kind of a stalking horse. If only that were the most serious issue facing trans people. Why were people polled on this rather than the question of whether treating a trans child with approved medical procedures constituted child abuse?

    Why? Because it’s a weak spot. Weak spots invite probes.

    Also I doubt very much that either you or I would be any more gratified by the response to your proposed question.

  11. I have thoughts I don’t have time to commit to paper (so to speak) at the moment.

    But I do feel compelled to point out that James Carville’s heyday was three decades ago (also Paul Begala’s–he wrote a similar piece for CNN this week). He may have been a master strategist (as defined as winning the election) in 1992, but he has basically been a gadfly pundit since.

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  12. Sleeping Dog says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    The problem is that Democrats on both ends are not taking the threat seriously. If they were feeling as threatened as they should be feeling they’d be concentrating their minds and trying to actually win.

    Allowing my cynicism to run free for a moment. The modern Dem party, like the majority of the anti-war movement of the Vietnam era, has nothing to lose. Win, lose or draw most Dems will go back to their well paying careers or continue to draw on their retirement savings, all the while living comfortable neighborhoods. Even the under 35s will mostly be OK. Though they probably won’t have the financial success of their parents and grandparents. It’s Maslow applied to politics.

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  13. Michael Reynolds says:

    @Sleeping Dog:

    Win, lose or draw most Dems will go back to their well paying careers

    Maslow indeed. The temptation comes to me from time to time. I live in Los Angeles, not Idaho, and we’ll have reproductive rights, and my trans kid and my Chinese kid will be as safe in the Bay Area as anywhere in the country. No one is gunning for well-off, sexagenarian white men. I’ll be fine. Push comes to shove I can bail on the country, get a golden visa in Portugal or Malta and be done with it all.

    I don’t like the trends. I see a bad moon rising. And when I look at the forces on my side I am not reassured.

    4
  14. wr says:

    @Sleeping Dog: Wow. Both Fareed Zakaria AND David Brooks came out against progressive ideas. That’s amazing. Hold on while I check something.

    Okay, back from the kitchen. It will stun you to learn that when I turned on the faucet, the water was wet. What a day!

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  15. wr says:

    @Michael Reynolds: You mean if people hadn’t protested the Vietnam War it would have ended sooner?

    5
  16. Gustopher says:

    Texeira has recently left the Clintonite Center for American Progress for the libertarian-right American Enterprise Institute.

    This does not surprise me. I’m not familiar with Texeira, but his cherry picking has a very clear agenda.

    I’m not saying that Democrats are having problems reaching the Latinx community (exemplified by calling the many Latino communities a single LatinX community… we should be ex-LatinX by now), but he(?) is selecting data to create a very particular story, telling certain people what they want to hear rather than trying to reveal anything.

    The anti-anti-Trumpers and the hippie punchers have found common ground, and it’s kind of amazing to watch people abandon what they would have claimed to be deeply held principles. I don’t know that this is what is happening with this guy, but we’ve seen that story play out with Glenn Greenwald and Matt Taibbi. I don’t know what to make of it.

    That’s interesting news, indeed, and context I was unaware of when writing the piece. I haven’t processed it enough to know how or if it changes my analysis.

    I think the underlying article you’re commenting on isn’t news. It’s heavily skewed opinion.

    the outsized platform given AOC, the Squad, Bernie Sanders, and Elizabeth Warren make the progressive agenda seem much more central than it is.

    I would start here — is there evidence to show that this is how Latinos view the Democrats, or is it merely supposition on your part?

    Latinos are less progressive than the Progressives. But, when looking at the parties, how much weight do they put on the Progressives in the Democrats?

  17. Michael Reynolds says:

    @wr:
    I mean if they had been smarter, yes, it might well have ended sooner. Yes.

    It was idiotic and hypocritical to wave Viet Cong flags. And it was insane to attack the ’68 convention. Absolutely, batshit insane. It ensured Humphrey’s defeat and Nixon’s victory. It is not a secret that HHH wanted out of Vietnam, or that a substantial number of mainstream Dems like William Fulbright wanted out of Vietnam. With HHH in the WH there was a chance. With Nixon there was none.

    I don’t really give much of a fuck about people’s professed motives, I care about results. Did the protests end the war? No. Did it go on for another seven years? Yes. So, was the movement effective? No. Given that the movement failed in its objective, is there perhaps room for some criticism? No, of course not, because even though they failed, their hearts were pure.

    Right now we are losing. We’ve lost reproductive rights and we are losing trans rights. But I guess as long as we all mouth the same platitudes and RT the same hashtags, it’s all just fine.

    5
  18. Assad K says:

    A few idle thoughts..
    1. Why this qualifier of ‘strong’ progressives? Aren’t the positions being stated that of most progressives or liberals? Or indeed most young people..?
    2. Critics seem to be talking as if D’s are ignoring bread and butter issues and focusing on culture topics. I don’t really think CRT and Trans rights and replacing latin with latinx in all books were at the top of actual legislation like BBB or the infrastructure bill.
    3. Most of the time D’s start speaking up in opposition to acts taken by R’s. For instance, schools could have decided upon their bathroom policies but R legislatures decided that was something important to step into. The impression I’m getting from a lot of comments is that ‘Yeah, that’s bad but we really shouldn’t comment on it, EVENTUALLY things will get better on their own.’ That seems an odd argument. Or it’s just coming from people who live in states where it’s not an issue, or are personally totally unaffected. The same argument could probably be made about making a stand on any minority deprived of rights – it’s too bad, but leave it alone, it could cost us votes.

    7
  19. Gustopher says:

    @Lounsbury:

    the average parent is not very keen on the pre-adult treatment. Nor is it an established medical consensus. As adult quite another matter

    You may need to modify your position,
    As per the medical consensus on transition.
    The changes that come with puberty,
    Make greater intervention necessary.
    And so acting before such an event,
    Is considered beneficent.
    There is however some medical divide,
    On utilizing the extra time blockers can provide.
    The potential mental effects of teenage prepubescence,
    Leaves some medical professionals on the fence.
    So whilest some some prefer a strategy of delay
    Others advocate an earlier, active intervention day.

    5
  20. Scott F. says:

    I’d like to have even one of the pundits or commentators arguing that the Democrats are doing messaging all wrong to lay out, with some specific language, what the messaging would be were they to be doing it right.

    As James notes, democracy is actively under attack. To not respond with some urgency to that would be dereliction of a core civic duty.

    The Hobbs decision just clawed back 50 years of constitutional rights which will now threaten not only bodily autonomy for women, but potentially marriage for same-sex partners and access to contraception for all. Sorry, but that can’t receive just a shrug of the shoulders. It is existential for some people.

    Frankly, I don’t know where everyone else sources their media diet, but where I get information I don’t see an outsized platform for AOC, the Squad, Bernie Sanders, or Elizabeth Warren and consider myself Internet savvy. I somehow doubt that the voting bloc that is NOT the one being described as “secular, cosmopolitan, and highly engaged with social media” is having the Democratic agenda defined by those people rather than Fox News with maybe some CNN thrown in.

    Here’s what is happening. People are upset about inflation. Full stop. They blame the party in power, while the party out of power can make noise about the price of milk without offering anything close to a solution for it.

    I firmly believe any movement of Hispanics toward the Republican Party will be short lived. As soon the GOP is allowed back in power, three things would become clear to the Hispanic voting bloc fairly quickly: 1) the GOP doesn’t have an answer for inflation, 2) Republican don’t care if their disenfranchisement of The Other leaves Hispanics that lean to the right without a vote, and 3) the GOP base still hates brown people.

    6
  21. Michael Reynolds says:

    @Gustopher:
    You’re invited to a party. You know that 60% of the people at the party will welcome you with cocktails. And you know that 40% of the people at the party will call you a bigot and shoot you dirty looks. Do you go?

    1
  22. Chris says:

    Another pointless survey to gin up another pointless article. How about we all get to work defending our democratic-republic during an era of treachery and treason.

    4
  23. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Assad K: The same argument couldhas probably always been made about making a stand on any minority deprived of rights – it’s too bad, but leave it alone, it could cost us votes.

    FTFY–Thinking about the times in the past couple of days that MLK has been quoted while discussing Democratic Party policy vis-a-vis public opinion.

    5
  24. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Scott F.: “I’d like to have even one of the pundits or commentators arguing that the Democrats are doing messaging all wrong to lay out, with some specific language, what the messaging would be were they to be doing it right.”

    So would I, but I suspect that nobody knows what messaging would be right and that it might depend on which audience one was messaging to.

    4
  25. Gustopher says:

    @Michael Reynolds: Do you have any evidence that this is what’s happening, or is it a guess based on your own biases?

    Your 40% number is obviously nonsense, as half the progressives will be too busily explaining to that Latinos that they are LatinX not Latino to even bother calling them bigots.

    Things we assume are obvious often aren’t true, especially when it comes to how other groups think. (And often about how we ourselves think — see the horseshoe left making common cause with the far right…)

    2
  26. Michael Reynolds says:

    @Scott F.:

    I’d like to have even one of the pundits or commentators arguing that the Democrats are doing messaging all wrong to lay out, with some specific language, what the messaging would be were they to be doing it right.

    OK.

    We Democrats are a big tent. If you believe that all people should be treated equally, then join us. If you believe that we have an obligation to house the homeless, feed the hungry and treat the sick, join us. If you believe that the luckiest among us should help to pay the country’s bills, then join us. If you believe that we are responsible for the fate of our planet, join us. If you believe in the rule of law and the right of people to choose their own government, join us.

    We are the party that raised the elderly out of poverty with Social Security. We are the party that ensured that our elders do not lack decent medical care, by creating Medicare. We are the party that abandoned the old politics of white supremacy and passed civil rights legislation. We are the party that believes women have the right to control their own bodies. We are the party that made it possible for gays to be treated as equal citizens of the United States. We are the reason there are far more people today with health insurance.

    We will have disagreements among ourselves, but that’s good. We are not afraid of debate. Let’s discuss how best to achieve the results we all believe in because what really matters, what is at the heart and soul of the Democratic Party is that we believe we must care about others and must try to lift them up in order to make the greatest country on earth, greater still.

    5
  27. Scott F. says:

    @Michael Reynolds:
    You’re invited to a party. You know that 40% of the people at the party will welcome you with cocktails. And you know that 60% of the people at the party will say go back where you came from. And you know the host of the party will claim you are bringing drugs, you’re bringing crime, and you’re a rapist. Do you go?

    Apparently so, if the cocktails don’t hit your budget too hard.

    3
  28. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Michael Reynolds: Probably. When have I ever been in a social situation where getting along with 100% of the cohort was necessary to my enjoyment (which enjoyment tends to be evanescent to begin with because I lean antisocial)?

    3
  29. Scott F. says:

    @Michael Reynolds:
    That’s pretty good. I think I’ve actually heard Biden or Harris say something similar sometime in the last few months.

    4
  30. gVOR08 says:

    I’m waiting for the first column pointing out that the loss of educated voters is a political threat to GOPs, much less that they should be embarrassed by it.

    2
  31. Matt says:

    I lived in a city where 70% of people self identified as hispanic. I worked heavily with all kinds from the stereotypical to the fully homogenized. It was pretty shocking to run into work environments where second and third generation immigrants spoke of the southern border the same as the GOP. We needed to secure it stop them illegals from stealing our jobs and profaning our women etc etc. First time I happened into one of those conversations I couldn’t stop thinking “dude your family just got here how could you forget so easily???”.. Those people tended to be gun owners and despite disagreeing with GOP policy time and time again they would still vote GOP only because illegals and guns were their two issues. What’s mind blowing is I’m sure they could see/hear the drones flying out of the NAS to patrol the border just as I was yet claim Obama’s open borders were destroying America. They even visited the border as I did and yet they latched on to GOP talking points with gusto. I eventually became the “leftie liberal” to some of them in that work environment because I just couldn’t keep my mouth shut sometimes. They were Trump voters and they could be persuaded to see the light sometimes. The problem was they were all marinating in the fevered swamps of Fox news and facebook/blogs. So I was constantly having to spend time and effort to swat down one bullshit talking point after another. “WUTABBOUT!??!?” was a common occurrence much like you see here with certain right wingers.

    The democratic party needs to realize that they can’t rely on the GOP’s hatred of browns to keep the Hispanic population as a voting bloc. As each new generation forgets the struggle of the past…

    4
  32. Gustopher says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    If you believe that all people should be treated equally, then join us.

    Slow down there! I don’t know if we want to go that far — people love having someone they’re better than.

  33. Jay L Gischer says:

    I really only have one more thing to say about this topic: I don’t bring this up. That’s not on me.

    I am not the one passing trans bathroom bills.

    I am not the one seeking to criminalize vital medical treatment.

    I am not the one referring to my love and protective feelings for my daughter as “woke”.

    If the topic is inflation, I discuss inflation.

    If the topic is the war in the Ukraine, I discuss drones and tanks and missiles and so on.

    I am completely on board with a broad Democratic push to build things, and be economically relevant.

    I am completely unwilling to stop trying to protect and support my daughter and the other trans people who I have the privilege to know. These are my priorities, these are my values. It may be inconvenient, but them’s the breaks. Remember, I didn’t start this fight.

    7
  34. Stormy Dragon says:

    It’s not like trans issues are at the top of Biden’s agenda, either, but the party is nonetheless seen as the flag-bearer for that movement.

    In your mind, how does a Democratic Party that’s not “seen as the flag-bearer for that movement” differ from the current Democratic Party?

    1
  35. Stormy Dragon says:

    But Hispanic voters by 64-22 say athletes should only play on teams that match their birth gender

    Of course, the reality is they don’t actually believe this either:

    17-Year-Old Transgender Boy Wins Texas Girls’ Wrestling Championship

    The Texas state wrestling championships aren’t usually national news. But they made headlines this weekend when a 17-year-old transgender boy — barred by state rules from competing in the boys’ league — won his weight class, against girls.

    Mack Beggs, the teenage boy in question, hasn’t sought the spotlight. By all accounts he just wants to wrestle.

    But media attention found him anyway. In part, that’s because some parents of female wrestlers have vocally objected to the fact that Beggs, who has been taking testosterone as part of his gender transition, is wrestling girls. One parent even filed a lawsuit against the league that organizes public school sports.

    What they really want is for all transgender athletes to be banned from sports entirely.

  36. Lounsbury says:

    @Gustopher: I have no need to modify my position, as what I wrote is “medical consensus” which is indeed concerned on the balance of decisioning on indeed interventions that are difficult on adult and given the known unknowns relative to adolescent understanding of identity. As the painful instances of de-transitioning. Rather than making such things ideological stances and crusades (in either direction), rather prudence and caution.

    This rather underlines the problematic of taking strong ideological position, driven by activists – who whatever a subject is always tend to be the passionate black-and-white thinkers, in re non-adults, in the face of parents.

    @James Joyner: Yes – such risks exists – however the staking out of the High Drama positions and declarations, the Twitteratism, not the focus and behaviour I see in places where people are in real risk – and I have lived in places where the unmarked vans roll by and do snatch-and-grab for wrong politics or sexuality. No, it is performative cosplaying of danger of the fat and comfortable North American. They need a good slap as the cosplaying, rather similar to the late 20s, early 30s Left is sleep-walking towards real danger.

    1
  37. Lounsbury says:

    As evoked in a comment, have just read the Zakaria comment. Really it is not about essentially ‘progressive politics’ but rather effectiveness and delivering Meat & Potatoes to constuencies – the Economy Stupid reframed if one will.

    The observation here

    Republicans. Despite the fact that much of the GOP establishment despised Trump, once he was elected, they nearly all fell in line, mostly passed his agenda and supported him unfailingly. Democrats, by contrast, rarely remind the public of the two big bills that they did pass — covid-19 relief and infrastructure — and in fact spent months bickering over the third one they’ve proposed, Build Back Better. Why is the Biden administration not announcing large new public works projects every week, financed by the federal funds appropriated in those two bills?

    The observation is pertinent – the egghead intello academic habits that have infected the Left, rather than selling accomplishments (shamelessly even non-accomplishments à le Cretin orange) rather nit-picking, 2nd guessing, and Oh Woe is Us we did not achieve 110% of our already impossible agenda… As was visible here.

    The answer is that it has become very difficult to build anything in America, especially in blue states. President Barack Obama, who passed another big infrastructure bill in 2009, famously said later that “there’s no such thing as shovel-ready projects.” That’s because, as New York Times columnist Ezra Klein has noted, the number of permits, reviews, and delays that have become part of the normal approval process have delayed or doomed the prospects of large-scale public projects. Democrats have become paralyzed by their own ideas and interest groups, and no one seems able to break through and actually get things done.

    And painfully evident in the Renewable Energy space – rather than the Democrats playing Don Quixote wiht Mr Manchin – and in fact focusing on the wrong subject, mandates and the like, rather focus on streamlining invest in grid upgrades and cutting red tape.

    This is not a perception problem. It is a reality problem. Democrats need to once more become the party that gets stuff done, builds things and makes government work for people. That’s a lot more important to most Americans than using the right pronouns.

    Not an anti-Left comment from Zakaria but an anti-activist identarian focused politcs comment.

    2
  38. James Joyner says:

    @Steven L. Taylor: Oh, for sure. Which is partly why I caveated that it could well be an age/generational thing. Do I think Carville, Texeira, and company still root for Democrats and see themselves as liberals? Yes. But they are clearly stuck in the past a bit. But, then again, so are most voters.

    1
  39. Jen says:

    The numbers and data don’t surprise me.

    Republicans were very strategic about how they built party structures, using the religious right as the door-to-door worker “muscle,” and the business wing as the money. They were also very disciplined about staying on message and focusing voting, money, and attention where it mattered. They got candidates elected from the state level up.

    Democrats have a lot in their favor, but don’t appear to have the party structure or discipline necessary to win–it is depressing AF to see so much on the line and yet they are busy arranging the circular firing squad.

    1
  40. senyordave says:

    @Stormy Dragon: What they really want is for all transgender athletes to be banned from sports entirely.
    What a lot of Republicans (and most of the GOP congress) seem to want is for trans people to disappear from public sight. I think the athletic bills are the canary in the coal mine. They will eventually try to remove protection for trans people regarding employment, housing, etc.
    Trans people just replaced gay people who replaced blacks in terms of the targets for Republican attacks.

    3
  41. Gustopher says:

    @senyordave:

    Trans people just replaced gay people who replaced blacks in terms of the targets for Republican attacks.

    Don’t worry, they will get back to the gays and the blacks soon enough.

    4
  42. senyordave says:

    @Assad K: EVENTUALLY things will get better on their own
    That’s a large part of the argument being discussed. The question is who gets thrown under the bus?
    And often things don’t get better on their own. I’m not sure Jim Crow wouldn’t exist today if not for MLK, Malcom X, and others.

    2
  43. wr says:

    @Michael Reynolds: And the way to win is to bash all of your allies who don’t think exactly like you. Got it.

    3
  44. senyordave says:

    @Gustopher: With regard to the blacks they never stopped, just replaced the normal talk with dog whistles. As far as the gays go, the problem there is that a decent amount of GOP folks have gay people in their own families. Or are closeted gays like a certain southern gentleman. But the GOP is a big tent when it comes to hate, so there is always room for the Christian right and their homphobia.

    1
  45. wr says:

    @Michael Reynolds: “We Democrats are a big tent. If you believe that all people should be treated equally, then join us.”

    All people should be treated equally — is that equality of opportunity or equality of outcome? Here’s a poor black with with a 3.9 GPA from a public school and some rich alum’s kid who has a 4.5. Who gets the last ticket into Harvard? How do you treat them equally?

    Say, isn’t it treating everyone equally to do away with the ACA and say that rich and poor still have equal access to health care, since both are being charged the same?

    Oh, and how about marriage equality? Is it equal to say that everyone can marry whomever they like? Or is it equal to say that everyone has an equal right to marry someone of the opposite sex?

    “If you believe that we have an obligation to house the homeless, feed the hungry and treat the sick, join us.”

    What about those homeless people who are there because of drugs? What about the ones who are poor because they make lousy life choices? What about the ones who don’t want to be housed — do you jail them? Institutionalize them?

    It’s all obvious platitudes with no substance and all of it will be attacked just as surely as “defund.”

    You might as well say “vote for us, we’re the nice ones.”

    3
  46. Stormy Dragon says:

    @Lounsbury:

    As the painful instances of de-transitioning.

    Without gender affirming care, the suicide rate for trans people is 41%, but we need to deny them that care because only 89% of the ones that do get gender affirming care report being satisfied with the results (as well as ignoring that the vast majority of that remaining 11% say the de-transitioning was driven by societal hostility rather than a realization they weren’t actually trans).

    5
  47. Stormy Dragon says:

    @wr:

    You might as well say “vote for us, we’re the nice ones.”

    Even that would get attacked “Democrats are a bunch of weaklings worried about being nice, when we need tough leadership who will help America succeed in a cruel world!”

    2
  48. Stormy Dragon says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    I don’t really give much of a fuck about people’s professed motives, I care about results. Did the protests end the war? No. Did it go on for another seven years? Yes. So, was the movement effective? No. Given that the movement failed in its objective, is there perhaps room for some criticism? No, of course not, because even though they failed, their hearts were pure.

    How long would the war have gone on without the protests? We were in Afghanistan for more than two decades…

    3
  49. OzarkHillbilly says:

    I wish somebody would tell Republicans. Maybe some of them wouldn’t be so xenophobic and racist in their policies then.

  50. senyordave says:

    @Stormy Dragon: Civil rights movement – failure, took over a century, still not complete. Gay rights movement – failure, took many decades

    1
  51. DK says:

    @James Joyner:

    Which is partly why I caveated that it could well be an age/generational thing. Do I think Carville, Texeira, and company still root for Democrats and see themselves as liberals? Yes. But they are clearly stuck in the past a bit. But, then again, so are most voters.

    This is all to your credit Dr. Joyner, but generational might be the column, not the caveat. Anxious, middle-aged white guys are becoming the Karens of the Democratic coalition. It serves a good purpose, gotta have skeptics. But how come these concern trolling articles are so rarely written by the Hispanics and blacks with working class roots?

    Because to actually listen to the vast majority people of color (not to the wealthy, aging men claiming to speak for us, God bless em tho) would mean adding nuance to the intellectuslly lazy cherry-picking, and our establishment media Karens and their minions are incapable of that.

    Hence we are supposed to suspend disbelief and use one outlier crosstab and one election’s results in a few Texas and Florida border counties to pretend the GQP is becoming a hotbed of racial diversity.

    California Hispanics, suburbs, and working class voters, who turned the state from the land of Nixon and Reagan into Bernieville? Oops, hide them. Arizona Hispanics, who flipped the state from the land of Goldwater and McCain to blue? Erase them. Working class blacks in Georgia, who are finishing what native son MLK started? Ignore them. And under-44 voters everywhere? Who?

    If Republicans had the problems with youth voters, black voters, Hispanic voters, queer folk, women, and educated voters that Democrats do, we’d never hear the end of it. In that case, my working class black Georgia family members in Savannah, in “Ahmaud Arbery” country, and in suburban Atlanta would finally be endlessly interviewed in diners about why they’re suddenly motivated to punish Republican extremism.

    Like with But Her Emails, the cheap, lazy Twitterbrain narrative must be fed, no matter what. But there’s a reason Republicans are now fully dependent on undemocratic relics like the Supreme Court, the electoral college, vote suppression, gerrymandering, and the Senate to fight themselves to parity. It’s not because Hispanic voters or any other rising demo is rushing to endorse the super popular right wing agenda, sorry.

    Happy for Teixeira he found one crosstab to flog his dying hobby horse, tho.

    2
  52. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    I’m getting the feeling that LGBTQ+ is turning into the same type of “reasoned discourse” that we’ve started to have with 2nd Amendment here. Oh well. If there’s no external enemy to fight, fighting among yourselves is the next best thing. (And the American Way.)

  53. Kari Q says:

    Way late to this discussion, but I have a question that I haven’t seen addressed. Have any of these discussions considered whether the perceived shift in Hispanic votes is coming from rural voters?

    Generally, second (and later) generation immigrants have identified with the majority culture. If a second generation Hispanic American lives in an area where people love guns and hate immigrants, I would expect them to feel the same even though their grandparents were immigrants. But if they are living in a suburban area where people hate guns and welcome immigrants, I’d expect them to hate guns and welcome immigrants, regardless of whether their grandparents owned guns.

    I haven’t seen this discussed at all. Every article and discussion I’ve seen has treated Hispanic voters as monolithic.

  54. Gustopher says:

    @Lounsbury:

    what I wrote is “medical consensus” which is indeed concerned on the balance of decisioning on indeed interventions that are difficult on adult and given the known unknowns relative to adolescent understanding of identity. As the painful instances of de-transitioning.

    Your language remains silly and preposterous,
    And often the meaning is lost to us.
    The medical consensus is that early action is needed,
    Before natural hormones cause body changes to be seeded.
    But Republicans insist this consensus must not stand,
    As both hormones and puberty blockers must be banned.
    Your claims of no consensus is false,
    Perchance you were kicked in the balls?

    (Anyone have a better rhyme for that final line?)

    On the subject of the detransitioning risk,
    It’s mainly a disingenuous and dishonest fisk.
    The odds of painful or tragic consequences is greater,
    If one waits until after puberty or later.
    On that there is general medical agreement,
    So take your nonsense and get bent.

    2
  55. senyordave says:

    @Gustopher: The thing I have noticed is that some of the anti trans people seem to be moving into cult territory. There is the big pharma theory, that the drug companies are making big bucks off trans people so they are pushing it. There is the “its all made up” theory, in that there is no such thing as gender dysphoria, its all some type of plot with the medical community pushing their liberal agenda. The vitriol is definitely getting worse. The idea that it was really about women’s sports for most of the anti trans people is ludicrous. The Republicans have found what they think is a perfect group to demonize. Most of their base doesn’t know anyone who i trans, and if the do, they consider them to be a freak.