Trump Increased His Black and Latino Vote This Time

It’s well known that a substantial majority of African American voters are consistent Democrats.  It’s also well known that most African Americans regard Donald Trump as a racist.  However, exit polls show that 12% of Black voters in this election voted for Trump, and that’s an increase from 2016.  What’s more, 32% of Latino voters went for Trump in 2020, also an increase.

It needs to be noted that “Latino” is an artificial category, because it includes immigrants and their descendants from many different countries, having little in common besides a language.  It includes Cubans, many of whom have been Republicans right along due to their hatred of the Castro regime and their desire for hardline US policies towards it.  It also includes Venezuelans, many of whom are persuaded by the notion that the Democratic Party in the US, if given unchecked power, could turn the US into the same kind of socialist dictatorship that they fled from in Venezuela.

Now, about African Americans.  Obviously, African Americans don’t all think alike, and it would be insulting to suggest that they should.  But probing a little deeper, let’s consider for a moment the differences between the two parties in their approaches.  The Republican Party believes that what’s best for Black Americans is the same thing that’s best for White Americans:  unfettered opportunity for economic self-advancement, with the government staying out of the way.  The belief is that what’s good for the overall economy is good for everybody, Black and White.  Moreover, the Republicans accuse the Democrats of overemphasizing “identity politics,” the notion that particular affinity groups–Blacks, Latinos, LGBTQ persons, etc.–should be seen as special groups with special needs requiring special attention from government and from candidates running for office.  My point isn’t who’s right or wrong; my point is, the Republican approach, even with Donald Trump at the helm, seems to be working with some number of nonwhite voters.

With these results, you can expect to see both parties doubling down on their efforts to woo nonwhite voters, because as the population becomes increasingly nonwhite, the nonwhite vote–which is clearly not monolithic–is going to make more and more of a difference in election outcomes.  And it may well be that both parties have something to learn from each other in their approach.

Exit poll numbers in the New York Times, November 5, 2020

Report on NPR, November 5, 2020

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