There was a measurable shift away from Democrats and toward former President Donald Trump by minorities in the 2020 presidential election, and speculation has run amok since about what the driving force was.
The shift to Trump was primarily found in Hispanics and black men, and it occurred as Democrats surged to the left on social and cultural issues. The problem for President Joe Biden and his party: Black and brown Americans may not be as “woke” as white liberals believe them to be.
Trump’s overperformance with these demographics is undeniable. He improved his share of the vote with Hispanics by double-digits, with gains particularly concentrated in south Florida and border counties. His share of support among black men increased to double-digits. In fact, after being lambasted for five years as a racist, Trump’s performance in 2020 improved with every single demographic group in America except white men.
A post-mortem analysis of the 2020 election that was released on Friday shows that Donald Trump succeeded in peeling away significant amounts of Latino support, and not just in conservative-leaning geographic areas. https://t.co/BffQux4II4
— The New York Times (@nytimes) April 3, 2021
The policies being talked about by some Democrats during the 2020 election cycle represented a marked shift from past years. The summer was largely defined by protests and riots after the death of George Floyd, including the emergence of “Defund the Police” as a slogan of choice for some progressive activists.
LGBT issues have largely shifted away from gay rights questions, such as gay marriage. The current debate centers around topics like transgender women in sports and gender reassignment treatments for minors. (RELATED: Tucker Carlson Criticizes Arkansas Governor: ‘You Have Come Out Publicly As Pro-Choice On The Question Of Chemical Castration Of Children’)
Progressives have exhibited increasing hostility toward religious Americans. Pro-life Democrats are virtually extinct, at least in Congress. Seemingly every issue, from COVID-19 outcomes to education to economics, is now framed by progressives in terms of race and systemic oppression.
While the Democratic Party underwent this dramatic transformation, from the party of the working class to the party of college-educated white liberals, polling data and other research suggests that America’s minority voters did not all join them for the ride.
Left-wing data analyst David Shore pointed this out.
“White liberals are more left wing than Black and Hispanic Democrats on pretty much every issue: taxes, health care, policing, and even on racial issues or various measures of ‘racial resentment.’ So as white liberals increasingly define the party’s image and messaging, that’s going to turn off nonwhite conservative Democrats and push them against us,” Shore wrote.
A clear example is present in the “Defund the Police” movement. Some establishment Democrats blamed a disappointing 2020 election cycle on the slogan. However, it was defended by the left flank of the party and figures like New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.
Polling shows that defunding the police isn’t actually popular with Black Americans, which is the group the activists claim they are trying to help the most. More than 80% of Black Americans say they want police to spend the same amount of time, or more, in their communities, not less.
Fewer than half of black American adults support reducing funding for law enforcement, according to Pew Research. Still, millionaire celebrities and liberal activists made it a key talking point of the 2020 cycle.
Religiosity is another area of disagreement between white and non-white Democrats. Nearly twice as many black Democrats attend a religious service weekly than non-black Democrats.
It doesn’t appear that disparity is caused by Latino Democrats, either. Fully 77% of Latinos overall identify as Christian, and almost half of them are Catholic. Roughly the same portion of black Americans are religious, according to Pew.
This disproportionate membership in the Christian church manifests itself in attitudes on LGBT issues and abortion. Only 46% of black Americans say that abortion is morally acceptable, according to Gallup. Even among black Democrats, that view is only held by 62%.
That stance conflicts with messaging from mainstream Democrats, such as former presidential hopeful and current New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand. The Democratic Party should be “100 percent pro-choice, and it should be nonnegotiable,” she said during her failed 2020 presidential campaign.
The numbers don’t shift much when Hispanics are added to the mix. Gallup has found that 63% of non-white Americans believe abortion should be legal in only a few or no circumstances.
Black Americans are more than 10% less likely to support gay marriage than white Americans, according to Pew. Hispanics are slightly more accepting of same-sex marriage, but still only 58% of them support it, lower than the 62% of whites who do.
Another thing Hispanics aren’t particularly keen on is white liberals trying to change the Spanish language to be more “inclusive.” Only 3% of Hispanics use the term “Latinx,” and three-quarters of them have never even heard of it. The term is used by white progressives who find Latino or Latina offputting because they are gendered terms, which is the case for the entire Spanish language.
Black Americans also consume media differently than white Americans. Research indicates that black Democrats are far less likely to get their news from NPR, The New York Times or The Washington Post than white Democrats. More than one-third of black Democrats even watch Fox News.
Some on the left are aware of these divides and are trying to address them. In Politico, Marc Caputo wrote that more Hispanics are identifying as working class, and they’re less concerned with the cultural fights being picked by the white liberals driving the Democratic Party. (RELATED: ‘Blatantly Lying Or They Do Not Understand Critical Race Theory’: Parents Group Releases Evidence Of Indoctrination In Virginia County Schools)
I never met a black person in my entire life that had a problem with Aunt Jemima, white liberals took it upon themselves to think for us ????????♂️
— , (@Zvbear) April 5, 2021
As coalitions shift, so do political priorities within parties. If Democrats are going to continue to pursue educated, white, upper-class suburbanites, it may come at the cost of their dominant share of the minority vote.