A Reliable Voting Bloc For Decades, Minorities Now Look For Alternatives To Democrats

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by Tyler Durden
Sunday, Apr 14, 2024 - 06:00 PM

Authored by Lawrence Wilson via The Epoch Times (emphasis ours),

Democrats gathered at the state fairgrounds in Columbia, South Carolina, to await the results of their party’s primary election. President Joe Biden, the only candidate to campaign in the state, won handily, as expected.

(Illustration by The Epoch Times, Getty Images, Shutterstock)

From the podium, Rep. James Clyburn (D-S.C.), 83, took a call from the chief executive, who thanked South Carolinians for their support. Applause followed, with congratulations all around.

As the modest crowd dispersed, Mr. Clyburn spoke with the press. The veteran congressman and staunch Biden ally said that the president’s support among black voters remained unshakable.

The best illustration of that is that he got 96 percent of the vote in this primary,” Mr. Clyburn said. “But his largest percentage—over 97 percent—was in the town of Orangeburg, where there are two HBCUs [historically black colleges and universities] and a community college.”

“I go to an African American barbershop,” Mr. Clyburn said. “I go to an African American Church. Joe Biden is as strong with African Americans as he has ever been.”

Mr. Clyburn’s view defies the findings of several recent polls and contradicts a trend that has been observable for several years. Namely, that Democrats have a problem with black voters, especially men. Hispanic voters, too.

Over the last eight years, minority voters have slowly but steadily migrated away from associating themselves with the Democratic Party, a movement that appears to be led by men.

An April poll from The Wall Street Journal shows that 30 percent of black men in battleground states intend to vote for Donald Trump. Hispanic voters who lean Republican are approaching parity with those who lean Democrat.

In simplest terms, analysts say, it amounts to a classic case of leaders being blind to generational change, taking their constituents for granted, and failing to deliver on the most basic function of government—to create conditions in which people can thrive.

It is unclear whether Democrats can halt—or at least counter—this decline in minority support before the November election. What is clear is that the demographic composition of both parties is in flux. These shifting political allegiances could significantly impact both the 2024 election and the future of party politics.

A man holds a 'Blacks for Trump' sign as he waits to see Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump at an event in Sterling Heights, Mich., on Nov. 6, 2016. (Jeff Kowalsky/AFP via Getty Images)

Steady Migration

Support for the Democratic Party among black and Hispanic voters has been eroding for years.

The percentage of black voters who “lean Democrat” topped out at near 90 percent in 2008 but fell to 66 percent by 2023, the lowest level yet recorded according to data from Gallup’s annual polling on the subject.

Meanwhile, the percentage of black voters who “lean Republican” rose from single digits to 19 percent over the same period.

The percentage of Hispanic voters who “lean Democrat” fell from about 60 percent in 2016 to 47 percent in 2023, while the percentage of those who “lean Republican” rose from about 25 percent to 35 percent.

A similar shift occurred among Asian-American voters. Some 30 percent of Asian Americans voted Republican in 2020 according to Gallup. That’s up from 18 percent in 2016, according to exit polling. In California, the shift was even more pronounced with 54 percent of Asian American voters favoring Trump in 2020 according to the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund.

It shows up consistently in survey after survey, and it also shows up in actual electoral results going back to 2016,” Matthew Wilson, a professor at Southern Methodist University, told The Epoch Times.

“And there’s just real movement and more diversity in the electoral outcomes in [predominantly black and Hispanic precincts] than had been true in the past. So I think Democrats who are inclined to write it off as artificial are engaged in wishful thinking because it shows up in multiple different indicators.”

And the shift is being driven by multiple factors, observers say, which may vary by ethnic group.

Supporters cheer President Joe Biden as he speaks during a rally at Florida Memorial University in Miami Gardens, Fla., on Nov. 1, 2022. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Failure to Improve

A signal issue that cuts across ethnic lines is the perceived failure of the Biden administration to improve the economic condition of the people.

Unfortunately, Biden can’t hide from this economy, and minorities are losing trust in it,” Charlie Kolean of the R.E.D. political action committee told The Epoch Times. “Minorities see that big government is no longer helping them but hurting them.”

That matches the finding of Whitley Yates, diversity engagement director for the Indiana Republican Party.

For the black community in general, they have been lied to consistently. They have been promised things every election cycle and have been used by the Democratic Party to remain in positions of power without any type of progress for those communities,” Ms. Yates told The Epoch Times.

Black unemployment was low and median household income rising under President Trump, according to Ms. Yates, but President Biden was able to appeal to black voters based on promises of student loan relief and the legalization of marijuana, seen as a criminal justice issue by many black Americans.

While hundreds of thousands of student loans have been partially paid or forgiven under President Biden, the economic life of many black citizens has worsened. “The way this economy has impacted the black community has been catastrophic. Inflation and the consumer price index have gone up astronomically, which has hurt businesses,” Ms. Yates said. “People began to realize that it was a lot of smoke and mirrors.”

To some extent, this shift in allegiance plays out along generational lines, at least among black voters, according to Marcurius Byrd, a Democratic organizer from Columbia, South Carolina.

“Our generation didn’t grow up with the things that a lot of people who lived through the Civil Rights era did,” Mr. Byrd told The Epoch Times. “The Democratic Party has given them more victories within their lifetimes. We haven’t really seen that in the younger generations.”

For many black voters, the question for Democrats appears to be “What have you done for me lately?”

There’s a thirst for someone who’s not going to just talk about what’s wrong, but who is going to produce tangible policies that people can feel,” Ms. Yates said.

“Biden’s biggest worry is that black voters see him as not delivering on voting rights, responsible for inflation, and failing to stop Israel’s devastation of Gaza.” Donald Nieman, professor of history and provost emeritus at Binghamton University, State University of New York.

Democrats are also at risk of losing Asian American voters based on economic performance. In a recent AAPI Data/AP-NORC survey, 67 percent of Asian voters said they disagreed with President Biden’s handling of inflation (67 percent), the economy (58 percent), and student debt (54 percent). More than 40 percent of registered Asian voters said inflation was the most important issue in a Gallup survey.

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