Trump Gaining Black and Hispanic Voters

Some surprising poll numbers.

Official White House Photo by Shealah Craighead

When I saw the FiveThirtyEight headline “Trump Is Losing Ground With White Voters But Gaining Among Black And Hispanic Americans,” I was expecting to find a case of modest regression to the mean. After all, Blacks have historically voted so overwhelmingly for Democrats that some gain by Republicans is almost inevitable. But something else seems to be going on.

First, though, I hasten to point out that the first part of the headline is far more important: Joe Biden’s margin with white voters is significantly stronger than Hillary Clinton’s and whites make up 70ish percent of voters. Thus, he’s very likely to win the election. Still, given that President Trump has doubled down on white nationalism as the basis of his appeal, the second part is for more interesting.

Trump has also gained real ground among nonwhite voters. To be clear, he still trails Biden considerably with these groups, but in UCLA Nationscape’s polling over the past month, he was down by 39 points with these voters, a double-digit improvement from his 53-point deficit in 2016.

While older Black voters look as if they’ll vote for Biden by margins similar to Clinton’s in 2016, Trump’s support among young Black voters (18 to 44) has jumped from around 10 percent in 2016 to 21 percent in UCLA Nationscape’s polling. Black voters remain an overwhelmingly Democratic-leaning constituency, but a notable reduction in their support could still be a problem for Biden.

Notably, young Black voters don’t seem to feel as negatively about Trump as older Black Americans do. For instance, an early-July African American Research Collaborative poll of battleground states found that 35 percent of 18-to-29-year-old Black adults agreed that although they didn’t always like Trump’s policies, they liked his strong demeanor and defiance of the establishment. Conversely, just 10 percent of those 60 and older said the same.

Graphically, it looks like this:

We’re seeing much the same with Hispanics:

It’s a similar story with younger Hispanic Americans, a group where Trump has also made gains. According to UCLA Nationscape’s polling, Trump is attracting 35 percent of Hispanic voters under age 45, up from the 22 percent who backed him four years ago in the CCES data.

Most notably, even though Trump stands to gain with nonwhite voters across the board, his support seems to have risen the most among Hispanic voters with a four-year college degree. We don’t want to overstate the influence of this group — they make up about 2 percent of the population age 25 and older nationwide — but they are disproportionately concentrated in one especially vital swing state: Florida. In fact, 24 percent of Hispanic Floridians have a college degree, compared to 16 percent of Hispanic adults nationally.4 So even if Trump isn’t doing as well among older white voters, his gains among Hispanic voters, including highly educated ones, could offer a path to victory in the Sunshine State.

Visually:

Moreover,

One last point on where Trump has made gains among Black and Hispanic voters: He has done particularly well with Black and Hispanic men, which might speak to how his campaign has actively courted them. For instance, the Republican National Convention featured a number of Black men as speakers this year. And Politico talked with more than 20 Democratic strategists, lawmakers, pollsters and activists who explained that many Black and Latino men are open to supporting Trump as they think the Democratic Party has taken them for granted. The same can’t be said of Black and Hispanic women, though, and the gender gap among nonwhite voters is shaping up to be even bigger than it was in 2016. Ninety percent of Black women supported Biden in UCLA Nationscape polling — unsurprising, as this group is arguably the most staunchly Democratic demographic in the electorate — whereas less than 80 percent of Black men did the same. And among Hispanic voters, 64 percent of women backed Biden compared to 57 percent of men.

The analysts caution that the 2016 and 2020 numbers aren’t precisely comparable, in that the former surveyed those who actually voted and the latter those expected to vote. Still, the size and direction of the moves strike me as nontrivial.

I find the whole thing befuddling, as it’s hard to conceive of a woman or person of color who wouldn’t find Trump personally repugnant. It just goes to show how incredibly complex the human psyche can be.

Additionally, it points again to the fact that racism doesn’t explain everything. There was doubtless a strong racial element to both the rise of the Tea Party and the nomination and subsequent election of Donald Trump. But we’re seeing some of the same frustrations that fueled those movements at work here, I think.

FILED UNDER: Campaign 2020, Donald Trump, Public Opinion Polls, Race and Politics, US Politics
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. drj says:

    One last point on where Trump has made gains among Black and Hispanic voters: He has done particularly well with Black and Hispanic men [emphasis mine, obvioulsy]

    Assuming the figures are comparable (a big if – as we are talking about different groups/methodologies), there is your answer: identity is not monolithic. One is never just “black” or just “Hispanic.”

    Trump’s manly manliness(tm) may appeal to voters who previously didn’t really care about tax cuts for the rich and forever wars in the Middle East.

    Also, “white women” who voted for Trump are both “white” and “women.” I’d argue it’s the first part of that combined identity, rather than the second, that motivated their votes.

    10
  2. Bob@Youngstown says:

    Just my personal observation:
    Among young African Americans (emphasis on young), they seem to think it would be great fun to punk the pollsters.
    Actually a couple, quite seriously, wanted to reinforce the notion that the black community is not monolithic and are angry that pollsters project them in that fashion.

    5
  3. J. Foobar says:

    My first thought was that black and Hispanic voters tend to be far more actively religious than white voters. This is especially true among black voters. However, since the trends you cite also show his support growing specifically among younger voters, a group that tends to be less religious, that kind of shoots holes in that theory.

    That leaves me with the following response: Huh.

    2
  4. James Joyner says:

    @drj: Oh, absolutely. People have multiple, conflicting identities. That people can be gay and conservative, for example, makes no rational sense but sexual orientation is but one aspect of a person’s worldview.

    6
  5. Kylopod says:

    I’m skeptical and I don’t think we’ll know the true picture until after the election, but no matter what, Trump will do poorly among blacks and Hispanics. He might do a little better than in 2016, but that doesn’t mean these groups are suddenly defecting en masse to him–we’re talking about the most infinitesimal shifts among a minority of a minority. That should be kept in mind before people start breaking out the psychoanalysis about why young blacks or Hispanics would find Trump appealing (which often involves a level of stereotyping, I’ve noticed).

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  6. mattbernius says:

    This came up last week in the comment threads via @JKB. It’s worth noting that the Trump campaign has been specifically targeting young black and latino men with a lot of targeted advertising. And it definitely seems like it might be working (it’s also very easy to talk about “doubling” support when the inital numbers were so low).

    This is some additional reporting from a more recent poll:

    Our research has found that in just September, 18% of Black men under 50 say they support Trump. Black men support for Trump has doubled from 2016 to now as a result of his aggressive marketing targeting Black voters. For a president who is regularly called a racist in liberal media, this is money well spent.

    source: https://blavity.com/trumps-strategy-to-win-over-black-men-is-working-heres-how-democrats-need-to-fight-back?category1=opinion&category2=politics

    That said, there is a really critical caviat here — young men (esp PoC) are the least likely demographic group to vote. So even if this support is real (which it could be for a variety of reasons) it could also be like Bernie’s support–very strong in polls but often does not material en mass *at polls.*

    6
  7. Scott says:

    I suspect that mainstream folks are more comfortable talking about race and racial politics than religion. But it is evangelical Christians that are driving the Hispanics to the Republicans. The evangelical gains separating Hispanics from their Catholic roots is huge. So it is not just White evangelicals that are overwhelming for Trump, it is all evangelicals.

    It is what Mike Madrid of the Lincoln Project has been talking about. Here is his Atlantic Monthly article:

    What Democrats Don’t Understand About Latino Voters

    Curiously, one segment of the Mexican American electorate is showing a growing alignment with Trump: According to polling by Equis Research, U.S.-born Mexican American men without college degrees are inching toward Trump, mirroring the voting trajectory that non-college-educated white men have followed. They may be following the traditional pattern of assimilation, in which an immigrant group’s voting behavior becomes less distinct over the course of generations. Still, two caveats apply. First, support among these men for Trump remains relatively soft; second, Mexican American women are running in the opposite direction, toward Biden.

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  8. CSK says:

    @James Joyner:
    I’ve spent my life in academe and in writing (fiction and non-fiction), where there are more gay men than in some other lines of work, and I was initially startled to discover how many of those men are politically conservative. It seems counterintuitive, but…there it is.

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  9. mattbernius says:

    Good point @Scott: about the evangelical move amoung hispanics/latinx folks.

    2
  10. wr says:

    Isn’t this all just from one poll/pollster? With no disrespect for “UCLA Nationscape,” I haven’t seen a hint of this coming from anyone else. Maybe this is one of those stories that’s too good to question?

    4
  11. gVOR08 says:

    Last I saw, Trump leads Biden by 10 on who’s better for the economy. You and I know that the good economy (before COVID) was coasting on the Obama recovery, but most people only know they felt more comfortable the last few years under Trump than before. Republicans have always argued Blacks should vote for them for economic reasons. You and I know that’s crap, but there’s no reason to expect minorities to be any better informed or more rational than all the White people who buy that message.

    There’s a lot of talk that this will be a Blue Wave that will blow up the Republican Party. Were I Chuckles Koch, I’d look at this and say that despite my efforts we nominated, and then elected, the worst president in history, and the most personally repugnant. And we’re still going to get 40+% of the vote to reelect him. This plan is still working pretty good, we just need a better front man.

    What I expect the GOPs to do is go back to their 2012 post-mortem and invite Hispanics, at least “White Hispanics” into the tent. They’ll still go after Blacks and “immigrants”, darker brown immigrants. Divide and conquer is the classic conservative establishment response.

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  12. Jen says:

    That the “alpha male” misogynist vote isn’t limited to white men shouldn’t be that much of a surprise. I remember in 2016 a number of interviews with Hispanic men who were pretty clear that they were voting for Trump because he was, well, a HE.

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  13. CSK says:

    @Jen:
    Tom Nichols asked the relevant question about Trump’s manliness in a great article for The Atlantic:

    “Why do working class white men–the most reliable component of Donald Trump’s base–support someone who is, by their own standards, the least masculine man ever to hold the modern presidency?” Later on Nichols describes Trump as “a vain, cowardly, lying, vulgar, jabbering blowhard.”

    http://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2020/05/donald-trump-the-most-unmanly-president/612031/

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  14. CSK says:

    Deleted. Repetition.

  15. Kylopod says:

    @gVOR08:

    And we’re still going to get 40+% of the vote to reelect him.

    Hoover got about 40% of the vote in 1932. Nuff said.

    3
  16. Michael Cain says:

    Consider the long history of minority groups who were heavily discriminated against in America who eventually became “white”: Germans, Irish, Eastern Europeans, Italians, Greeks. Most Latinos are likely to fall into that same category in another generation.

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  17. Kylopod says:

    @Jen:

    That the “alpha male” misogynist vote isn’t limited to white men shouldn’t be that much of a surprise. I remember in 2016 a number of interviews with Hispanic men who were pretty clear that they were voting for Trump because he was, well, a HE.

    Larry Wilmore’s 2016 segment on black Trump supporters was actually rather interesting and went along with the mindset you’re describing. It also fit into something I saw more broadly in which people were drawn to Trump because of a feeling that he was a disruptive force who would awesomely blow everything up. It appeals to people who are deeply cynical about the entire system, and I have no doubt that includes some persons of color. Notice that the black woman Trump supporter in that segment seems to acknowledge that Trump has racial prejudices–she probably reasons that “they’re all racists” and that both parties have done nothing for black people, so she might as well go for the guy who wears it on his sleeve and who’s at least a little different from the typical politician. (It reminds me of George Lincoln Rockwell’s comment to the NOI in the ’60s: “You know that we call you n*****s. But wouldn’t you rather be confronted by honest white men who tell you to your face what the others all say behind your back?”)

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  18. CSK says:

    @Michael Cain:
    I think Germans were assimilated and accepted into the American mainstream until World War I, when Woodrow Wilson expressed grave distrust of them.

    See history.com/news/anti-german sentiment-wwi

    4
  19. James Joyner says:

    @wr:

    Isn’t this all just from one poll/pollster? With no disrespect for “UCLA Nationscape,” I haven’t seen a hint of this coming from anyone else.

    I think that’s a fair point but this is a MASSIVE survey: “The Cooperative Congressional Election Study is a 60,000+ person national survey administered by YouGov. The Democracy Fund + UCLA Nationscape data is based on about 25,000 interviews conducted between Sept. 3 and Oct. 7, 2020.”

    4
  20. James Joyner says:

    @Jen:

    I remember in 2016 a number of interviews with Hispanic men who were pretty clear that they were voting for Trump because he was, well, a HE.

    Oh, I’m sure. But that should make the numbers go the other way, no? Trump isn’t running against a woman this time.

    2
  21. Kylopod says:

    @Michael Cain: @CSK: The linguist Geoff Nunberg provides an intriguing quote from an early-20th-century immigration reformer listing all the following groups as non-Caucasian: “Tartars, Finns, Hungarians, Jews, Turks, Syrians, Persians, Hindus, Mexicans, Zulus, Hottentots [and] Kafirs.”

    Hungarians?

    3
  22. mattbernius says:

    While I’m waiting for our Black commenters to weigh in on this (in particular I feel like Jim Brown 32 has been talking about this for a while), I strongly suggest folks take a look at the following pollster’s, Terrance Woodbury, twitter feed: https://twitter.com/t_woodbury1

    Woodbury has been doing a lot of in-depth research with minority communities and I think his analysis feels right. In particular:

    1. Democrats have been losing support among black males since it peaked in 2008.
    2. For this demographic the assumption is EVERY candidate is racist. So some seem to appreciate that Trump doesn’t hide it.
    3. Trump’s performative actions like the high profile pardons* and commutations (remember the Superbowl ad?),* the First Step Act**, and promises to support HBCUs have helped a lot.

    * – Again, Obama pardoned and commuted FAR more sentences (of both Black and other offenders) but never really advertised that (in part due to fears about a backlash).

    **- It’s also worth noting that Obama attempted to pass a stronger version of the Criminal Justice Reform package that became known as the First Step Act, but McConnell killed it in the Senate.

    12
  23. CSK says:

    @Kylopod:
    The immigration reformer may have been equating Hungarians with gypsies (Roma), who were often considered to be not white.

    1
  24. Kylopod says:

    @CSK:

    The immigration reformer may have been equating Hungarians with gypsies (Roma), who were often considered to be not white.

    Maybe. But given that the quote was already using a stream of outdated and borderline racist terms for various groups, I think if he’d meant Gypsy, he would have said Gypsy–especially since Roma are found all across Europe and I wasn’t aware they were associated in particular with Hungary. I think Nunberg is probably correct that it’s because Hungarians speak a non-Indo-European tongue (related to the language of the Finns, who are also mentioned in this quote).

    3
  25. Jen says:

    @James Joyner: No, it really wouldn’t change the numbers. It’s not that Trump is running against a woman this time, it’s that he fits what some men believe to be the image of a strong, macho guy. Whether that’s “compared to his female opponent,” or “compared to his male Democratic opponent who wears a mask” etc. is not particularly different to them.

    These are, for example, the types of men who think that catcalling is some kind of form of flattery, instead of street harassment.

    8
  26. CSK says:

    @Kylopod:
    Indeed. I was just speculating. Since the motives behind prejudice are irrational, sometimes speculation is all you can do to discern them.

  27. Michael Reynolds says:

    Several groups have suffered quick and dramatic loss of status. Christians today can be and are openly mocked where just a decade ago that was far more rare, and 30 years ago would have ended your career. Men have lost 99% of their specialness with essentially every occupation now being open to women. The uneducated have for the most part figured out that education as a cure-all is bogus where they are concerned, so have sunk into fantasy and conspiracy. Whites are openly demonized and belittled.

    Men, whites, and the backward and religious of all colors. All the losers of the last 20 years of social change. Trump is their pitiful silverback, their natural leader, the con man to lead the losers.

    Too much, too fast, and now we have the backlash, the counter-revolution. Women don’t yet vote as a bloc and a lot are perfectly happy as second class citizens. Many Blacks are so caught up in victimology that some aren’t seeing how much worse it’s likely to get. Hispanics don’t care about what liberals thought they’d care about, and many are in the I got mine, fuck you camp when it comes to immigration. They don’t see themselves as Black-adjacent, they see themselves as aspiring to whiteness.

    Like the Balrog at the bridge they’re falling but lashing out with their whip hoping to drag us all back into the mud.

    The thing is, they aren’t wrong. White males, males of all colors, Christians and people on the left side of the IQ bell curve are the losers. It’s not that they refuse to get on-board the train of progress, they can’t unless they’re willing to move to the back of the train. They have no solution, there is no way this works out for them, they can’t catch up, so they look to their Führer and join his cult of personality, because in faith and submission to a master, an alpha, they hope for reflected status.

    If women step up, we are saved. If they don’t, we’re fucked. Women are the ultimate voting bloc, 52%. They have all the power they need. But women have failed again and again to seize the reins. Maybe this time will be different.

    11
  28. Rick Johnson says:

    My wife is Hispanic and has a large extended family. I am quite surprised at the number of Trump supporters in the family. The majority of those supporting Trump tie their support to the Churches they attend. Many seem to believe that Trump was picked by God to save this country from the Devil himself. Most perplexing are the younger (18-40 yo) members of the family that seem to buy into the idea that wearing masks and taking sensible precautions is an all out assault on freedom and the ability to live their lives as they see fit.

    10
  29. Kylopod says:

    @CSK:

    Indeed. I was just speculating. Since the motives behind prejudice are irrational, sometimes speculation is all you can do to discern them.

    Yes–but historical context can shed light, and it’s easy to make the mistake of viewing these statements through a modern lens. Much of the race theory of the early 20th century had roots in Indo-European linguistics–it’s where the Nazi concept of Aryans came from, despite the fact that Aryans were a group in ancient India. It’s similar to the way Darwin’s theory was distorted into Social Darwinism. Still, other than this quote I wasn’t aware of Hungarians being singled out in this way, so it’s still speculation.

    2
  30. Kylopod says:

    @Rick Johnson: I have come across Hispanics with strikingly negative attitudes toward black people. It’s anecdotal and I don’t know what surveys suggest as to how widespread this is; it certainly hasn’t been examined to the degree of, say, black homophobia or black anti-Semitism.

    2
  31. drj says:

    Still, other than this quote I wasn’t aware of Hungarians being singled out in this way, so it’s still speculation.

    Hungarian and Finish are both Uralic languages, which do not belong to the Indo-European language family. Hebrew is a Semitic language, which also belongs to another language family.

    Persian and Hindi, however, are Indo-European languages (many Hindus don’t speak Hindi, though). But I guess these people were considered too brown.

    So it’s probably some uninformed combination of language theory and misguided racial assumptions.

    3
  32. MarkedMan says:

    I find this fascinating. It may (stressing “may” here) give an indication of where the Republican Party will be in 20-30 years.

    Think back to 1964. The Republican Leadership made a conscious decision to actively recruit racist Dixiecrats into the party. As Jacob Javits made clear in the editorial first naming this the Southern Strategy, the GOP leadership believed they could get the votes without every bringing such people into the senior ranks, or without really altering the policies Republicans pursued. By Reagan’s time, this “steerage class” approach had begun to fail as this very large and vocal minority began to demand influence. And it turned out there were plenty of racist homophobes outside the South too who wanted in. And by the time of Gingrich it had completely inverted. The racist, homophobic, evangelical and anti-abortion factions in the party had become the leadership.

    So what we have here is a similarly cynical move to try to bring Black and Hispanic voters into the Republican fold, without bringing them into party leadership positions or, in fact, altering the party in any way to focus on their interests. If it plays out the same way as the Southern Strategy, the 2050 equivalent of the OTB commentariat may be discussing how the Democrats need to pay more attention to Black and Hispanic issues, just like the more successful Republicans.

    4
  33. MarkedMan says:

    @Kylopod: I think it was Gould (in “The Mismeasure of Man”, perhaps?) who talked about a list of the races floating around 18th or 19th century Europe. As I remember there were well over 200 defined. For example, it was taken as a given that Northern and Southern Italians were different races.

    3
  34. Kylopod says:

    @drj: I definitely agree there are multiple factors here. Jews and Roma were viewed in a similar light, given that they were both groups who had been settled in Europe for centuries but originated from outside Europe. (The verb “to gyp,” which is still used quite a lot, is very similar to the verb “to jew” even though it hasn’t been anywhere near as stigmatized.) The fact that the Roma’s origin was specifically Indian (and therefore possibly related to the actual ancient “Aryans”), that in itself fed into the Nazis’ desire to eliminate them. Indeed, the Nazi policy toward Roma was in some ways an inversion of their policy toward Jews. Half-Jews (known as mischling) were likelier to survive the Nazis than full Jews, whereas half-Gypsies were targeted over full-blooded ones.

    It’s also interesting to note that Iran (related to the word Aryan) got its name because the leader of Persia at the time was a supporter of the Nazis. I saw an interview with Richard Spencer in which he denied that Jews were white, but claimed that Persians were white. Go figure.

    2
  35. MarkedMan says:

    @MarkedMan: Clarification: I’m not saying it was generally accepted that there were hundreds of races, merely that at least one such list cirulated.

  36. Kylopod says:

    @MarkedMan: It should be kept in mind that the word “race” itself was used a lot more broadly than it is today, and in some contexts it was used to mean what today we would call an ethnicity. Still, the notion of the three-part division of mankind into Caucasoids, Mongoloids, and Negroids goes back to the 1700s, and despite its being discredited scientifically, and despite some evolution of which people were included in which groups, I believe it still hovers over most people’s conception of race today.

    1
  37. charon says:

    @Rick Johnson:

    Religion trumps race and or ethnicity. I have asian relatives who are evangelicals and very right wing.

    @MarkedMan:

    “…the GOP leadership believed they could get the votes without every bringing such people into the senior ranks, or without really altering the policies … “ Republicans pursued.

    School prayer? Anti-abortion? Ballot initiatives against same sex marriage? Done to attract the fundies, attracting whom was also implicit in the Southern Strategy.

    So what we have here is a similarly cynical move to try to bring Black and Hispanic voters into the Republican fold,

    Which is mainly succeeding where combined with religion.

    If it plays out the same way as the Southern Strategy, the 2050 equivalent of the OTB commentariat may be discussing how the Democrats need to pay more attention to Black and Hispanic issues, just like the more successful Republicans.

    Assuming there still are Republicans by then – this is a party that is progressively becoming non-viable.

    1
  38. charon says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    The thing is, they aren’t wrong. White males, males of all colors, Christians and people on the left side of the IQ bell curve are the losers.

    Religious fundamentalism is patriarchal, sexist, male privileged- that is what is being lost.

    5
  39. Blue Galangal says:

    @Rick Johnson:

    Most perplexing are the younger (18-40 yo) members of the family that seem to buy into the idea that wearing masks and taking sensible precautions is an all out assault on freedom and the ability to live their lives as they see fit.

    I’ve also read someone pointing out that the 40 year olds came of age in an era where they repeatedly heard that government was corrupt. I anectdotally can say that my sister, a non-Hispanic, turned 18 during the Clinton years and she is a rabid nihilist anti-masker evangelical Christian. It’s so weird. EVEN WHEN HER PASTOR SAYS WEAR A MASK SHE REFUSES.

    (Sample: “God made our faces and masks hide the face of God.” Uh, if you believe that, you believe God made our a**es too…) She also refuses any medication because Big Pharma is mind controlling us and so is fluoride. I haven’t heard the fluoride conspiracy since the 70s.

    This is just a bizarre situation.

    1
  40. Monala says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    White males, males of all colors, Christians and people on the left side of the IQ bell curve are the losers. It’s not that they refuse to get on-board the train of progress, they can’t unless they’re willing to move to the back of the train.

    Except for the last group (left side of the IQ bell curve), this just isn’t the case. The first three groups no longer get automatic deference, that’s true. But they still control the vast majority of all positions of power in this country, both in the public and private sector. People of color, women, and non-Christians still have to struggle to obtain or maintain a fraction of that power. Just because white people/men/Christians are no longer automatically deferred to (and so have to join the struggle just like everyone else), and sometimes see other groups obtaining some of the power that was once their sole purview, doesn’t mean they are “losers.” In fact, claiming such feeds into their false sense of victimization, because they think they’re entitled to be winners, rather than having to compete with all the other groups.

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  41. MarkedMan says:

    @charon:

    School prayer? Anti-abortion? Ballot initiatives against same sex marriage? Done to attract the fundies, attracting whom was also implicit in the Southern Strategy.

    Yep. If you look at the Southern Strategy there is a pretty steady takeover of the party. The first and most important decision in 1964 was to simply embrace the idea that Republican = Conservative. Up until then (and for a decade or so after), there were card carrying Liberal Republicans. So they changed the party from the get go, but that was seen as a victory in a long war. In other words, rather than the Southern Strategy changing the party in that first case, the SS was used to push the agenda of the Conservatives. Barry Goldwater was running on a Conservative platform, not a SS one. So aside from that, the SS Republicans only needed to stress one part of their conservative beliefs: pushing decisions down to the lowest level, a.k.a “Local Control” or “States Rights”. The party leaders felt that this tenet would appeal to those who wanted to keep Jim Crow in place – and they were right.

    As time went on, however, the re-branding of the Republican Party as the anti-civil rights party drove away those who felt strongly in social justice, and the party had to regain those votes from elsewhere. So in the Nixon era they became “strong on crime” but made it clear this was about “urbans” and “hippies” so they had to show adherence to socially conservative ideals. But that drove away progressives. By the time of Reagan they needed another large chunk of voters in order to make up for what they lost, and they found success with allying themselves with the Evangelicals. The very conservative Republicans, bastions of old-line Protestism, suddenly embracing the bad suit/speaking in tongues crowd was actually pretty ugly. That association changed the party yet again, as it was necessary to actually focus on those issues. Abortion had by then proven to be a big money raiser for the Catholics and Evangelicals, so Republicans had to join in and discovered it was a big motivator. The Bush Jr. era brought in trying to make gay citizens life actively worse as an actual campaign strategy.

    So, in the beginning it was thought that pointing out one tenet of Conservative Republican philosophy was all that was needed. But a downward spiral ensued, until today, where we have a Republican Party which spends most of their time protecting statues to the founder of the Ku Klux Klan, or railing against minority athletes who take a knee, or defending bakers who don’t want to ice cakes for the queers.

    1
  42. MarkedMan says:

    Arghh, edit!

    suddenly embracing the bad suit/speaking in tongues crowd was actually pretty ugly

    should be “actually pretty shocking”.

  43. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @J. Foobar: Perhaps it is the fact that they are less religious that makes the trigger here. If less religious, they may be more nihilistic, in the sense of another post today. Using King Daddy’s perspective on what nihilism might be, nihilists are at least as likely to lean Trump. Maybe more so.

    1
  44. Just nutha ignint crackerff says:

    @CSK: I can’t remember who it was–some comedian/actor who was popular on Comedy Central, among other places, in the early days–so somewhere in the early-mid 90s I would guess. In any event, he noted that when he was younger, he was liberal, but as he became successful, and as a consequence wealthy, he became more conservative. Holding on to his money became more of a factor for him, so Republican politics made more sense to him as he got older/wealthy. Maybe a similar thing happens among gay men. Having followed Sullivan from his first days at The New Republic, it certainly seems to me that he became more conservative as he grew in fame and fortune. (He was part of “rethink liberalism and get paid for it,” so he was probably never liberal/progressive in the sense of people at say, The Nation, but he was hardly Bill Kristol.)

  45. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @gVOR08:

    This plan is still working pretty good, we just need a better front man.

    This! Exactly!!

    2
  46. Michael Cain says:

    @CSK:

    I think Germans were assimilated and accepted into the American mainstream until World War I…

    Ben Franklin was notoriously outspoken against allowing Germans to immigrate to the colonies. There was a whole series of riots in the 1850s between nativists and German immigrants.

    1
  47. grumpy realist says:

    @Just nutha ignint crackerff: I think it’s also that “the gays have already got theirs” when it comes to marriage and being treated more-or-less equally in society. So rich men who would have otherwise have identified as Republican only stuck around the Democratic Party until they got what they wanted and are now vamoosing.

    It’s the same way the Second Wave of the feminist movement finally died out as more and more barriers were broken and more “bread and butter” issues were solved. The only women who stuck around the feminist movement were the more radical types, who hung around until their problems were solved, at which point they left and the even more radical types remained active. Do this enough times and you end up with a “feminist movement” so small you can seat it around a table in a jazz bar in NYC and Robespierrian in its fanaticism. At which point the movement usually breaks apart as everyone argues over who is the purest radical…..

    2
  48. CSK says:

    @Just nutha ignint crackerff:
    I’d say that was generally true, but for the fact that a lot of the gay men I knew at that time were in their mid-twenties to mid-thirties. (As they grew older, their politics didn’t change.) They were all highly educated, cosmopolitan, and employed in one or another high-profile occupation.

    I was having drinks with one of them once when he professed his great admiration for William F. Buckley. This was after Buckley suggested that HIV-positive gay men be tattooed on their buttocks to warn potential lovers of their status. I alluded to this, and my friend shrugged and said he ignored the things Buckley said with which he disagreed.

  49. CSK says:

    @Michael Cain:
    I was just reading about the Lager Riots in Chicago.
    A year or so ago, I encountered a piece by a so-called “race realist” who proposed (I think seriously) that U.S. citizenship be limited to those who could prove themselves to be of pure English or German ancestry.

  50. gVOR08 says:

    @Kylopod:

    Hungarians?

    I’m only surprised he didn’t include Poles, Slavs, and Italians, although he may have thought “Hungarian” captured “Bohunks” broadly. The Blazing Saddles line about ‘We’ll take the n*****s and the c****s, but no Irish.’ is funny because it’s the way it really was. One of the things that makes it so hard to take racial and ethnic prejudice seriously is the way prejudice is constant but the targets are so scattergun and malleable.

    3
  51. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @CSK: In my mind, your description of them as “highly educated, cosmopolitan, and employed in one or another high-profile occupation” is more reinforcing in that their interest centers on keeping what they have. The fact that people who already start out as fairly advantaged might lean conservative is not surprising. It’s certainly not an absolute, but neither is it an anomaly.

    1
  52. MarkedMan says:

    @Just nutha ignint crackerff: Sullivan started off as a Thatcherite conservative, which is pretty darn conservative. He was 100% behind the Iraq War. The only reasons he comes across as a liberal of any kind is a) he is actually willing to engage honestly with arguments from the other side, and b) that willingness to engage honestly led him to see how disastrously wrong he was about the Iraq war. Other than that he has always been very conservative and mildly racist. He’s also sexist, but not in the same way as he is racist. I honestly think he just cannot see women. He lives in a completely male world.

    2
  53. Sleeping Dog says:

    @Just nutha ignint crackerff:
    @MarkedMan:

    The only reasons he comes across as a liberal of any kind is a) he is actually willing to engage honestly with arguments from the other side, and b) that willingness to engage honestly led him to see how disastrously wrong he was about the Iraq war.

    That Sully came across as a Thatcherite shouldn’t be a surprise as his conservatism is of the classical liberal variety, individual freedom, property rights and minimal government intervention in the marketplace. Sullivan himself has stated his conservatism is based in his Roman Catholic faith and his adoption of Oakeshott’s political philosophy.

    The fact that he’s a classical liberal, would differentiate him from American conservatives, particularly Republicans and he also rejects authoritarianism, which separates him from people like Buchanan. But it is his Roman Catholicism that makes him harder to read. Today, when the Catholic Church is mentioned most think of child abuse, opposition to abortion/birth control and gay rights. Pretty much that is what the church has been since the elevation of John Paul II as Pontiff. But there is significant, social welfare, communitarian tradition that was marginalized under JP (and is being revived under Francis). Sully tends to reject the JP authoritarianism and hearkens back to the teaching that came out of Vatican II, which were far more liberal that what the church has been for the last 50 years. That of course is confusing when you try to place him on the liberal-conservative continuum as defined by US politics.

    1
  54. JohnMcC says:

    @Michael Cain: The central European migration to the US that we think of as ‘German’ is associated in my mind with the failed revolutions of 1848. Dredging deeply into a history major of 50yrs ago…it was when the US anti-emigrant tendency wrapped itself in a political, anti-revolutionary cloak.

  55. flat earth luddite says:

    @Michael Reynolds:
    @charon:
    I’ve been waiting for anyone else to chip in on this, but Social Darwinism, maybe?
    I grew up surrounded by these types who never recognized the smallness of their minds, or of their worlds. My willingness to graduate from high school, put myself through college, and take professional (pink and white collar) jobs was met with open contempt.

    2
  56. flat earth luddite says:

    @JohnMcC:
    And the day’s irony award goes to those who forgot (and continue to forget) that this country was founded in a revolution, IIRC.

  57. Pylon says:
  58. Jim Brown 32 says:

    @mattbernius: Liberals are going to learn the hard way that the ‘POC’ fiction they’ve invented isn’t going to survive beyond a universal enemy like Trump. POC to myself and other AAs is the liberal version of All (minority) Lives Matter. The only Latino ethnicities aligned with AAs are Puerto Ricans and Dominicans (at least in the South)—with the rest there is no love lost. There was real disappointment that given the percentage of AAs that came out of Obama–there was no policy measure specifically targeted for us. There were for LGTBs and even Hispanics via DACA–nothing for us. Obama didn’t even put a black person on the SCOTUS to cancel out the stench that is Clarence Thomas.

    Look at the Ice Cube interview with Cuomo–he basically was the mouthpiece for the point of view of a large percentage of Black Men who are not interested in any POC talk and want policy proposals directly relevant to Black People, specifically–the descendants of Slaves. Now, the majority of Black Men understand what a screw up Trump is and will vote against him. But make no mistake–they are not voting FOR the Democratic party or Biden. This is mostly to destroy the power pill Trump is to the Bubbas of this Country because we don’t want to have to live in an environment where we have to demonstrate to Bubba and Karen that this is 2020 not 1920. Getting Trump out is for Bubbas safety–so he can continue to tell N1gger jokes and share Monkey pictures privately amongst his buddies and not let Trump get him eff’d up when he thinks its ok to put ‘teh Blacks’ in their place in his daily encounters.

    I would agree with your assessment that Trumps performative measures (HBCU executive orders, Black Economic Empowerment Zones) has resonated with a good deal of poorly read black men. 18% feels a little high–12% feels a little bit closer. Whatever the percentage–the lion’s share of these men are disenfranchised and believe there is little value to voting and that there is little difference in the Parties–they are not likely voters by any stretch.

    I mostly agree’d with Cube in his interview with Cuomo–but feel he should have been more careful not to let himself be part of Trump’s political theater. My social media lit up about how we had nothing to lose by voting for Trump with $500B in access to capital on the Table. Now to your typical blue collar type this sounds like a lot of money–to people that pay attention to this stuff it sounds like BS. Even giving that Trump would deliver the carrot at the end of stick–the US economy is 14Trillion Dollars–Black people are about 13% of the population. $500B????–GTFOH and come back with something a number that measured in Ts.

    5
  59. mattbernius says:

    @Jim Brown 32: That was pretty much what I was expecting you would say. 100% your point about the major failure of seeing PoC as a uniform group.

    I do think that Obama in fact did a lot of stuff for Black folks from a policy perspective. But he, for arguably understandble reasons, could never take a victory lap on most of that stuff. And that’s been a problem.

    3
  60. Teve says:

    @James Joyner:

    James Joyner says:
    Monday, October 19, 2020 at 08:37
    @drj: Oh, absolutely. People have multiple, conflicting identities. That people can be gay and conservative, for example, makes no rational sense but sexual orientation is but one aspect of a person’s worldview.

    I know a gay man named Austin who votes Republican. His entire rationale is that his daddy is rich, and when his daddy passes he wants to inherit all of his daddy’s money, not most of his daddy’s money.

    1
  61. Scott O says:

    The Daily podcast from the NYT talked to Trump supporting Hispanics in Arizona today. It seemed to be a mix of alpha male wannabes, religious pro lifers and Qanon types.

    1
  62. Teve says:

    @MarkedMan: it’s amusing to me to consider that a few hundred years ago, the Picts were an utterly different ‘race’ from the Saxons, for instance. I couldn’t distinguish one from the other if you put a gun to my head. 😀

    1
  63. Teve says:

    @Michael Cain: fuckin’ squareheads.

    😉

  64. Michael Reynolds says:

    @Jim Brown 32:
    It’s not just about what you want, it’s about what you stand to lose. Cube, a rich Black man, must have forgotten that. I wonder just how much money it takes to get a Black man to join a white supremacist party that enjoys watching Black men murdered by cops?

    This idea that the Democratic Party owes Blacks something is foolish. The United States owes Black people plenty. The Democratic Party is the only party that gives a meager shit for Black people. The then overwhelmingly white Democratic Party in the 60’s made a choice – to lose power for a while in pursuit of greater racial justice for the long term. So, white Democrats owe Blacks? No, sorry, it’s the other way around.

    You’re right that ‘POC’ is bullshit. Not that I’d be allowed to say that in polite company, but POC is a white term, a shorthand for anyone white, because we apparently can’t think in anything but binary choices. The coalition of Black, various iterations of Hispanic, gay, trans, feminists and white liberals depends entirely on white racism and white bigotry for its definition. Subtract white racism and bigotry, and Blacks, Hispanics, white libs and LGBTQ have very little in common.

    An example I’ve used before: I don’t care that I’m Jewish, observant Jews certainly don’t care that I’m Jewish, but if there’s a Nazi in the room I get very Jewish. My ethnic identity is a function of someone else’s hate. But I’m not so ignorant of history or devoid of imagination that I forget how much worse it can get. It can get a hell of a lot worse. So push come to shove I’m a Jew and my political identity likewise has to start from, ‘who is less likely to gas me?’

    Politics is not just what do I get, it’s at least as much, what do I avoid? There are armed Nazis in the streets. Some of them wear uniforms and badges. Ice Cube is actively helping those people, actively hurting his own, and there is no excuse for it. He’s a Judas goat.

    4
  65. Anonne says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    You’re not understanding Ice Cube if you think he’s joined the Republicans. He hasn’t. He isn’t endorsing anyone. But he is willing to work with anyone with power that is willing to work with him. It’s a foreign concept in Democratic circles, it seems, as a lot of liberals – especially of the limousine variety – prefer to just smear and dismiss instead of engage on substance.

    Ice Cube is calling for blacks to start exercising sane politics and make voting a transactional action, not one of loyalty. The Democratic Party DOES owe blacks something; without the vast, vast majority of blacks in the coalition, it would not have any power. The Democrats controlled the House of Representatives for DECADES until the 90s. Bill Clinton and Barack Obama would not have won without the black vote, so miss me with that “they don’t owe blacks anything.” They do, as the entire country does, but they in particular do owe blacks way more than the BS lip service to black issues that they’ve been doing for the last few decades.

    A policy of benign neglect that is only marginally better than the Republicans is not a virtue. The Democrats are always putting off black issues, and the reason why it appears like Ice Cube may be biased is because they’re doing it AGAIN. Instead of coming to the table and seriously working on it, they punted whereas Trump didn’t. It’s an easily solvable problem, but in typical liberal fashion, they don’t get what needs to be done and would rather smear and dismiss.

  66. Michael Reynolds says:

    @Anonne:
    He’s not supporting Herr Hitler, he’s just not not supporting Herr Hitler. Got it.

  67. Anonne says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    Keep proving the point, Michael.

  68. Jonathan says:

    @Jen:
    That comment right there can give you more insight than you realize. No we all don’t think that way, we do however feel the so-called liberal elite view us that way. I am a 45 year old maintenance work and vet of primarily Slavic race. I voted for Trump because of his positions on the issues that were most important to me. Even though I did not agree with his position on Mexican/Central American immigrants. I don’t agree with his language, in fact I think he is an ass. I will still be voting for him though. No I don’t think cat calling women is appropriate but I do think that’s how wealthy liberals view us. The comments Obama made about us being bitter, we are not all bitter, those comments did burn into us that we are not welcome in the Democrats view of the U.S.
    I took my dogs walking yesterday to a state wma I grew up hunting. The parking lot is full of trash, three separate groups of people using drugs. Cars meet up for affairs, abandoned cats roam in search of food. As a child it was kids and grandads rabbit hunting. Ofcourse I want that world back. My partner (in a discussion about it) exclaimed that world was not very good for Black Americans. I asked why in the world she would think I didn’t want Black Americans to be a part of a better America just because they were excluded in the past. If the left actually listened to blue collar white males and stopped branding them as stupid and racist you might be surprised. We have little option as to who to vote for. Neither party really cares about me but Trump has a few things that I hope to keep in my America. Biden does not support those positions or is against them all together. Yet the left acts like I should vote for Biden anyway because I’m supposed to care about what they care about. I don’t and many young Black and Hispanic men are starting to feel the same way, to vote for what they care about. Hell if you’d have run Tulsi I’d vote for her instead. We also don’t not like women. We’d be more than pleased to vote for one we actually liked. Another way the left cast us out, not voting for Clinton made you against women.

    1
  69. anonymouse says:

    @Michael Reynolds: This is quite possibly the most elitist thing I have ever read.

    1