Opinion America’s problem is White people keep backing the Republican Party

cigaretteman

HR King
May 29, 2001
73,027
52,690
113
By Perry Bacon Jr.
Columnist |
October 13, 2022 at 11:31 a.m. EDT






A clear majority of White Americans keeps backing the Republican Party over the Democratic Party, even though the Republican Party is embracing terrible and at times antidemocratic policies and rhetoric. The alliance between Republicans and White Americans is by far the most important and problematic dynamic in American politics today.

Sign up for a weekly roundup of thought-provoking ideas and debates

Non-Hispanic White Americans were about 85 percent of those who voted for Donald Trump in 2020, much larger than the 59 percent of the U.S. population overall in that demographic. That was similar to 2016, when White voters were about 88 percent of Trump backers. It is very likely that White Americans will be more than 80 percent of those who back Republican candidates in this fall’s elections.


The political discourse in America, however, continues to ignore or play down the Whiteness of the Republican coalition. In 2015 and 2016, journalists and political commentators constantly used terms such as “Middle America” and “the working class” to describe Trump’s supporters, as though the overwhelming Whiteness of the group was not a central part of the story. In this year’s campaign cycle, recent articles, in The Post and in other outlets, have highlighted Georgia Democratic gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams’s supposed weaknesses with Black voters. This is a strange framing. It is likely that more than 70 percent of White voters in Georgia will back Abrams’s Republican opponent, Gov. Brian Kemp, but fewer than 20 percent of the state’s Black voters will vote for the incumbent. If Kemp wins reelection, it will be because of White Georgians, not Black ones.



Republican voters are not just White people without four-year college degrees (a group Trump won by 32 percentage points in 2020), though that has been the common framing in much political commentary. The Republican Party is the preferred choice of White people who describe themselves as evangelical Christians (whom Trump won by 69 points in 2020), White people in rural areas (Trump by 43 points), White people in the South (29 points), White men (17), White Catholics (15), White Protestants who don’t describe themselves as evangelicals (14), White people in the Midwest (13), White women (7) and White people who live in the suburbs (4). (These numbers come from post-election surveys and analysis from the Pew Research Center, the Cooperative Election Study and Eastern Illinois University professor Ryan Burge.)

Follow Perry Bacon Jr.'s opinionsFollow

In contrast, the people of color in those demographic groups (for instance, Asian Americans without four-year degrees, Black Protestants, Latina women) mostly favor Democrats.
While the majority of White people with four-year degrees backed Democrats in 2020, about 42 percent of them supported Trump. He also won more than 40 percent of White voters in the Northeast and in the West. The main bloc of White voters that overwhelmingly opposes Republicans is White people who aren’t Christians. (Joe Biden won this group by about 30 points in 2020.)















After Trump did better in 2020 with Latino voters (gaining 10 percentage points over 2016) and Black voters (up two points in that period), there has again been an effort by some in the media and even some Democrats to play down race and suggest the Trump base is really one of Americans without college degrees or those annoyed by progressive views on gender and race. But the actual percentage of Republican voters who are Black (2 percent in 2020) or Latino (8 percent) is tiny.
Overall, Republicans win the majority of White voters (55-43 nationally in 2020) in most elections.
Being the party of White Americans has given and will continue to give the Republicans two huge advantages. First, White Americans are about 72 percent of the U.S. electorate, about 13 percentage points more than their share in the overall population. White adults are more likely than Asian and Hispanic adults to be citizens (not recent immigrants) and therefore are eligible to vote. The median age for a White American is higher than that for Asian, Black or Latino Americans, and older Americans tend to vote at higher rates. If the electorate mirrored the country’s actual demographics and those groups voted as they did in 2020, Trump would have won only about 44 percent of the national vote, three points less than his 47 percent two years ago.



Second, the electoral college and the Senate give outsize power to less populated states — which in America today tend to be disproportionately White.
The alliance between White Americans and the Republican Party has existed for decades. The last time a Democratic presidential candidate won the majority of White voters was in 1964, a year before Lyndon B. Johnson signed into law the Voting Rights Act. The Republican Party spent much of the next three decades courting White Americans, in part, by casting Democrats as too tied to the causes of minorities, particularly Black people and Latino immigrants.
Through the presidency of George W. Bush and Barack Obama’s first term, however, Republican leaders generally distanced themselves from this style of politics — feeling that the old tactics were not only morally wrong but also would doom the GOP in a country with a growing non-White population. But Trump and his allies have brought anti-Black and anti-immigrant sentiments and a focus on White identity back to the center of the Republican Party’s electoral strategy.



Even when Republican politicians are not campaigning directly on racial issues, the party is organized around defending the status quo in America, which is weighted toward White Americans. Policies such as raising taxes on upper-income people and making college free would reduce gaps in income and opportunity between White Americans and people of color. By opposing them, Republicans in effect protect White advantages.
So it’s no accident that Republicans are winning the majority of White voters. It is in many ways the result of a successful strategy. It’s not that Trumpism brought White voters as a bloc to the Republican Party (they were already voting Republican) — but rather that it hasn’t scared many of them off.
Perhaps the best way to understand American politics is an overwhelmingly White coalition facing one that is majority-White but includes a lot of people of color.
Perry Bacon Jr.: Have Democrats reached the limits of White appeasement politics?
Democrats are doing a lot of White appeasement to address this Republican tilt: nominating White candidates in key races; moving right/White on racialized issues such as policing and immigration; trying to boost the economy particularly in heavily White areas where the party has declined electorally.






ADVERTISING


Some of that has worked; Democrats did somewhat better among White voters in 2018 and 2020 compared with 2016. But it is very likely that the majority of White voters will again vote Republican in 2022 and 2024.
And because White people are likely to be the majority of voters for at least two more decades, America is in trouble. Across the country, GOP officials are banning books from public libraries, making it harder for non-Republicans to vote, stripping away Black political power, aggressively gerrymandering, censoring teachers and professors and, most important, denying the results of legitimate elections. The majority of America’s White voters are enabling and encouraging the GOP’s radical, antidemocratic turn by continuing to back the party in elections.
It’s not, as much of our political discourse implies, that the Democrats have a working-class or Middle America or non-college-voter problem. The more important story is that America has a White voter problem. And there is no sign it’s going away anytime soon.

 
  • Haha
Reactions: ICHerky

Chuck C

HR Heisman
Mar 6, 2011
8,391
14,545
113
10f41b63-f837-47e5-9a99-6f15df2efea0_text.gif
 

NorthernHawkeye

HR Legend
Dec 23, 2007
26,935
16,823
113
By Perry Bacon Jr.
Columnist |
October 13, 2022 at 11:31 a.m. EDT






A clear majority of White Americans keeps backing the Republican Party over the Democratic Party, even though the Republican Party is embracing terrible and at times antidemocratic policies and rhetoric. The alliance between Republicans and White Americans is by far the most important and problematic dynamic in American politics today.

Sign up for a weekly roundup of thought-provoking ideas and debates

Non-Hispanic White Americans were about 85 percent of those who voted for Donald Trump in 2020, much larger than the 59 percent of the U.S. population overall in that demographic. That was similar to 2016, when White voters were about 88 percent of Trump backers. It is very likely that White Americans will be more than 80 percent of those who back Republican candidates in this fall’s elections.


The political discourse in America, however, continues to ignore or play down the Whiteness of the Republican coalition. In 2015 and 2016, journalists and political commentators constantly used terms such as “Middle America” and “the working class” to describe Trump’s supporters, as though the overwhelming Whiteness of the group was not a central part of the story. In this year’s campaign cycle, recent articles, in The Post and in other outlets, have highlighted Georgia Democratic gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams’s supposed weaknesses with Black voters. This is a strange framing. It is likely that more than 70 percent of White voters in Georgia will back Abrams’s Republican opponent, Gov. Brian Kemp, but fewer than 20 percent of the state’s Black voters will vote for the incumbent. If Kemp wins reelection, it will be because of White Georgians, not Black ones.



Republican voters are not just White people without four-year college degrees (a group Trump won by 32 percentage points in 2020), though that has been the common framing in much political commentary. The Republican Party is the preferred choice of White people who describe themselves as evangelical Christians (whom Trump won by 69 points in 2020), White people in rural areas (Trump by 43 points), White people in the South (29 points), White men (17), White Catholics (15), White Protestants who don’t describe themselves as evangelicals (14), White people in the Midwest (13), White women (7) and White people who live in the suburbs (4). (These numbers come from post-election surveys and analysis from the Pew Research Center, the Cooperative Election Study and Eastern Illinois University professor Ryan Burge.)

Follow Perry Bacon Jr.'s opinionsFollow

In contrast, the people of color in those demographic groups (for instance, Asian Americans without four-year degrees, Black Protestants, Latina women) mostly favor Democrats.
While the majority of White people with four-year degrees backed Democrats in 2020, about 42 percent of them supported Trump. He also won more than 40 percent of White voters in the Northeast and in the West. The main bloc of White voters that overwhelmingly opposes Republicans is White people who aren’t Christians. (Joe Biden won this group by about 30 points in 2020.)















After Trump did better in 2020 with Latino voters (gaining 10 percentage points over 2016) and Black voters (up two points in that period), there has again been an effort by some in the media and even some Democrats to play down race and suggest the Trump base is really one of Americans without college degrees or those annoyed by progressive views on gender and race. But the actual percentage of Republican voters who are Black (2 percent in 2020) or Latino (8 percent) is tiny.
Overall, Republicans win the majority of White voters (55-43 nationally in 2020) in most elections.
Being the party of White Americans has given and will continue to give the Republicans two huge advantages. First, White Americans are about 72 percent of the U.S. electorate, about 13 percentage points more than their share in the overall population. White adults are more likely than Asian and Hispanic adults to be citizens (not recent immigrants) and therefore are eligible to vote. The median age for a White American is higher than that for Asian, Black or Latino Americans, and older Americans tend to vote at higher rates. If the electorate mirrored the country’s actual demographics and those groups voted as they did in 2020, Trump would have won only about 44 percent of the national vote, three points less than his 47 percent two years ago.



Second, the electoral college and the Senate give outsize power to less populated states — which in America today tend to be disproportionately White.
The alliance between White Americans and the Republican Party has existed for decades. The last time a Democratic presidential candidate won the majority of White voters was in 1964, a year before Lyndon B. Johnson signed into law the Voting Rights Act. The Republican Party spent much of the next three decades courting White Americans, in part, by casting Democrats as too tied to the causes of minorities, particularly Black people and Latino immigrants.
Through the presidency of George W. Bush and Barack Obama’s first term, however, Republican leaders generally distanced themselves from this style of politics — feeling that the old tactics were not only morally wrong but also would doom the GOP in a country with a growing non-White population. But Trump and his allies have brought anti-Black and anti-immigrant sentiments and a focus on White identity back to the center of the Republican Party’s electoral strategy.



Even when Republican politicians are not campaigning directly on racial issues, the party is organized around defending the status quo in America, which is weighted toward White Americans. Policies such as raising taxes on upper-income people and making college free would reduce gaps in income and opportunity between White Americans and people of color. By opposing them, Republicans in effect protect White advantages.
So it’s no accident that Republicans are winning the majority of White voters. It is in many ways the result of a successful strategy. It’s not that Trumpism brought White voters as a bloc to the Republican Party (they were already voting Republican) — but rather that it hasn’t scared many of them off.
Perhaps the best way to understand American politics is an overwhelmingly White coalition facing one that is majority-White but includes a lot of people of color.
Perry Bacon Jr.: Have Democrats reached the limits of White appeasement politics?
Democrats are doing a lot of White appeasement to address this Republican tilt: nominating White candidates in key races; moving right/White on racialized issues such as policing and immigration; trying to boost the economy particularly in heavily White areas where the party has declined electorally.






ADVERTISING


Some of that has worked; Democrats did somewhat better among White voters in 2018 and 2020 compared with 2016. But it is very likely that the majority of White voters will again vote Republican in 2022 and 2024.
And because White people are likely to be the majority of voters for at least two more decades, America is in trouble. Across the country, GOP officials are banning books from public libraries, making it harder for non-Republicans to vote, stripping away Black political power, aggressively gerrymandering, censoring teachers and professors and, most important, denying the results of legitimate elections. The majority of America’s White voters are enabling and encouraging the GOP’s radical, antidemocratic turn by continuing to back the party in elections.
It’s not, as much of our political discourse implies, that the Democrats have a working-class or Middle America or non-college-voter problem. The more important story is that America has a White voter problem. And there is no sign it’s going away anytime soon.


 
  • Like
Reactions: seminole97

BioHawk

HR Legend
Sep 21, 2005
39,826
41,919
113
Why do Dems always have to slice and dice this stuff by race? That might be part of their problem. See recent Latino polls.
So....just for those keeping score, you complain about Dems always going by race and then immediately go to a race based statistic for something.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Tom Paris

LuciousBDragon

HR Heisman
Gold Member
Aug 31, 2017
8,305
10,971
113
The American Southwest
The USA will end up like Yugoslavia in time.
The USA will end up bankrupt, in a power vacuum, producing shitty 2-cylinder cars on bike wheels, drinking cool unfiltered coffee?

Maybe you’re right, we are already trillions in debt, have idiots in all parts of government, make millions of Tik-Toks instead of manufactured goods, and drink horribly overpriced coffee!
 

JRHawk2003

HR Legend
Jul 9, 2003
46,020
17,008
113
Montrose
The USA will end up bankrupt, in a power vacuum, producing shitty 2-cylinder cars on bike wheels, drinking cool unfiltered coffee?

Maybe you’re right, we are already trillions in debt, have idiots in all parts of government, make millions of Tik-Toks instead of manufactured goods, and drink horribly overpriced coffee!

Mixed ethnic societies don't exist.