Why rising diversity isn't quite helping Democrats as much as progressives hope or conservatives fear nytimes.com/2021/05/04/us/…
--Most growth is among non-Black groups of nonwhite voters, who back Ds more modestly
--Rs do fairly well among those groups in the red states that Ds need to flip
--Ds made big, overlooked gains among white voters in many states where diversity might have otherwise been key
That second point--the R strength among nonwhite voters in red states like TX/FL--has a blue state corollary: D strength among nonwhite voters in blue states, which adds to the Dem E.C. challenge by padding Dem margins in IL/CA/NY/CT/NJ etc. without adding electoral votes
Here's a somewhat surprising estimate for you, based on census, exit poll and ANES data: Trump '16, Bush '04, Bush '88/84, Reagan 80 all had enough support to prevail if they had faced an electorate as diverse as it was in 2020.
There are two elections that were at least arguably decided by racial demographics, at least judged over a multi-decadal period: Bush '00 and Biden '20. Obviously these were already exceptionally close; most anything can decide these races
If you start turning back the demographic clock, Biden quickly loses AZ/GA/NV and eventually loses PA/WI once you push the racial composition of the nation back a couple of decades.
But even if you go back to the '80s, he's still winning more electoral votes than Clinton
In other words, Biden's quite modest gains among white voters since '16 did about as much for his chances as decades of demographic shifts
I should also note that Obama '12--which is often attributed to racial demographic change--can hold all the way back into the 1980s
(That's because Obama's two big strengths were high black turnout and strength among white northerners, especially in the classic Midwestern battleground states where there's been little demographic change)
He would win with Obama 08/12 black turnout, but he would not win with even 2020 demographics (and his actual turnout rate among black v white voters)
(in general, Obama's ability to mobilize Black voters was way more useful for Democrats than demographic change. Black voters are concentrated in many key states and far more Democratic)

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More from @Nate_Cohn

29 Apr
New census data on 2020 turnout is out:
White, non-Hispanic share of the electorate drops to 71 percent from 73.3 in 2016
Black share of the electorate drops slightly, from 12.4 to 12.3 percent
Hispanic share increases to 10.6 from 9.2 percent
Demographic change was the main driver of the shift.
The turnout rate among non-Hispanic white voters increased by 5.6 points, slightly above the 5.4 point national average
Black turnout rate increased by just 3.2 points
Hispanic turnout rate increased by 6.1 points
Here's the change in the white share of the electorate, by state.
State data is pretty noisy, don't interpret the details!
One preemptive example: it's likely the white share of the electorate declined slightly in both PA/MI, rather than big drop in one and increase in the other
Read 7 tweets
29 Apr
A nice FiveThirtyEight summary of some of the various GOP electoral biases, which were quite extreme in 2020 and could conceivably get worse
(by their definition, the GOP E.C. edge grew from 3.5 to 3.9 points with the new population figures on Monday)
One minor thing: just because something is biased doesn't mean it's counter-majoritarian. The House is conceived to reflect majority will. The Electoral College is complicated, but it's not really counter-majoritarian and to the extent it is, that's not why it's biased
The Senate, on the other hand, really is designed to check the majority (the extent that's good or bad is another question, ofc).
What's fascinating is that the Senate, EC and House are all similarly biased against Dems, despite being intended to be biased in very different ways
Read 6 tweets
28 Apr
It's 2028. Kamala Harris loses the election by the margin of... 89 census takers in New York and Minnesota
It's a tough map to pull off, but there are a few other ways to get there (if Dems get 269 and MN is red, then Democrats lost by the margin of MN getting the final vote over NY)
Read 5 tweets
23 Apr
Important @rickhasen piece on the growing danger of election subversion, which has been painfully overlooked in recent months
He offers a few possible actions Congress might consider:
--ensure paper balloting
--fix the electoral count act
--impose basic safeguards on vote counting
--support local election administration
My sense is that this is probably only the start of the conversation on how to address these kind of issues.
Progressives have spent years thinking about expanding voter access. Few people have spent time any time thinking about election subversion
Read 5 tweets
19 Apr
The rise of political sectarianism is a growing threat to American democracy
I'm a little surprised this concept hasn't already taken off! There was a paper in Science by a lot of prominent political scientists last fall. It deserves a book--it's a clarifying lens for thinking about America today--so I'm giving it an article
In recent news, I think sectarianism helps make sense of the declining role of policy debate in sustaining partisan conflict. It's hard to make sense of, say, Dr. Seuss or Rubio on Amazon unionization unless you put intergroup hostility at the center of politics
Read 9 tweets
16 Apr
One thing about Democratic gains in the Sun Belt and Republican gains in the Rust Belt is that it's at least beginning to upend the 2010-era story about gerrymandering, redistricting, and the Democratic 'geographic' disadvantage in the House
From 2010-2014, the main story about the Democratic disadvantage in the House centered on purple/blue states where Democrats faced a two part problem: Republican gerrymandering and a Democratic 'geographic' inefficiency problem
The geograhpic problem was simple: in the blue/purple states, Obama's strength mainly depended on running up the score in areas that were already blue (thus yielding few new D districts), while Republicans won rural/exurban areas narrowly, netting more districts with fewer votes
Read 13 tweets

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