« It almost makes you think nobody believed commercial fusion power was possible ... | Main | Looking back at President Trump »

March 07, 2016

Comments

Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

I have friends who are worried about Trump's ability to win a general election against Clinton. He'll pivot back to the left! they tell me.

They're all white.

There are some positions you don't plausibly pivot from, not in a matter of months. Incredibly enough, George Wallace managed it, but his bigotry looks to have been a pose taken in the pursuit of power, not an expression of deep conviction. And it still took years, and hard work, and a very public repentance, and getting shot and permanently paralyzed from the waist down probably didn't hurt either.

I wonder how badly damaged the Republican brand is for letting this jackass even come this close to the ring. People have been bringing up Pete Wilson and the demise of Republican California for years. I guess now we see what it looks like nationally.

Pete Wilson is poor analogue for Trump. In 1988, Republican candidates in California received between 25-35% of the Hispanic vote, the same as in 2012. It's not that Pete Wilson changed how Californians vote. It's that the population of California changed dramatically due to foreign immigration and domestic migration. After the large inflow of naturalized voters and outflow of native voters, the electorate of California in 2016 has tenuous connections to the swing-state electorate of 1992.

I don't envision the same dramatic replacement of the electorate in many other states unless we dramatically step up immigration and domestic emigration.

If Trump has a durable effect (which I'm skeptical of) it will be like Goldwater in reshuffling party coalitions and causing the next Republican President to be elected with a fundamentally different coalition than the one that elected Dubya in 2004. It would start with Trump's coalition and add the most poachable elements of the Democratic coalition as Nixon/Reagan did.

That's not quite right, Dave. Wilson's Latino support dropped from 47% to 25% between 1990 and 1994. By 1998, Lundgren managed only 14%. Moreover, the situation got worse for the GOP because Mexican-American voter participation jumped: turnout went from 41% to 50% and stayed high thereafter.

You are right that the shift in Mexican-American voting occurred only for California elections. But there is a simple explanation for that: the national GOP had not yet been tarred as an anti-Latino party, not even for Californian voters.

Carlos is suggesting that Trump could have the same effect on the national GOP that Wilson had on the California party. He would worsen the damage inflicted by Romney and make it permanent. An article from today's New York Times is certainly consistent with that hypothesis: http://www.nytimes.com/2016/03/08/us/trumps-rise-spurs-latino-immigrants-to-naturalize-to-vote-against-him.html

Are there any states that actually get flipped by increased Latino turnout against Trump? I doubt Texas (the holy grail) is within reach this cycle. Arizona?

The states with lots of Latinos also have a lot of xenophobic old white people who are getting fired up... but there's probably less potential upside there because those people already turn out anyway.

I could imagine it keeping Florida voting Democratic, especially given that Cuban-Americans are less right-wing and exceptional than they used to be. If so, that's probably enough. But the general-election polling that's already happened in Florida is not encouraging.

It probably does keep Clinton from losing Nevada and New Mexico.

Colorado's primary, combined with general-election polling, suggests to me that CO might be the one and only state in the union that flips Republican specifically because the Democrats didn't nominate Bernie Sanders.

...I do think Clinton has at least an outside shot at taking North Carolina back. Which would be pretty stunning, considering the hard right turn the state's internal politics took after 2010.

But the familiar trio of Pennsylvania, Ohio and Florida are worrying. Pennsylvania had been becoming more and more of a blue state in recent cycles, but the last general-election poll I've seen there shows Trump doing alarmingly well against Clinton. The poll is pretty stale, though.

Trump probably needs to get all three of them to win; if Clinton wins even one it's not that hard for her to get to 270 electoral votes.

African-American turnout is going to be highly motivated but also suppressed by new voter ID laws. There have been some claims that they already had an effect lowering primary turnout.

Matt, that's the backwards way of looking at it.

Imagine you were an alien political scientist presented with US demographic and electoral data. The obvious swing vote in the US for the Republican Party, dirt obvious, as obvious as the tentacle in the middle of your face, is the black vote. All Romney needed in 2012 was to get 27% of the black vote, a miserable showing for a competitive demographic, and he would have defeated the incumbent.

Romney received 6%.

For Latinos, it's harder. The GOP would have had to get 60+% of the Latino vote to win the presidential election, all else being equal. In other words, the GOP would have had to have the same appeal for Latinos as it has for whites. You know, like ethnic whites in the Rust Belt, the "Reagan Democrats."

Romney received 28%.

Instead of pursuing the obvious long-term strategies, the GOP has engaged in a series of double-or-nothing bets, hoping that a higher percentage of white people will vote for one of the circus geeks on parade than voted for Ronald Reagan. Think about that.

Some strategists have thought, well, there's no deep alliance between these different non-white demographics, perhaps we can split them off. A grain of truth to that. The problem is, the United States is still a country where white racism defines the other categories, though we're too polite to say so. Why does an Asian-American category even exist? because white people can't tell the difference between a Hmong guy who works at the sauerkraut plant and a Taiwanese millionaire tech bro -- or sometimes, from a Mexican day laborer, because racists aren't exactly professional anthropologists.

If one reads the Trump commenters on various websites, it appears the old Cuban-American firewall of a different Latino identity has pretty much collapsed in the minds of racist America -- and it's precisely because of Cruz and Rubio, in the same way that the political dislike of Obama allowed the anti-black racism that had been hidden for years to come out again. Normalization of relations with Cuba is not going to help that.

The reemergence of a popular, broad-based, partisan racism, lumping together Black Lives Matter activists, Mexican-Americans, Muslim Americans (and the Sikh Americans that racists can't tell apart), the Chinese, etc, but even visually white Cuban-Americans who are nominally leaders of one's party?

Yeah, that's going to hurt for a long time. Especially since our kids are going to outnumber theirs. Like, next week.

2012: Obama can't win reelection because he's so unpopular with white voters. Result, Obama wins reelection because of strong turnout and support from non-white voters.

I don't want to parody significant cultural movements but can we get a #NonWhiteVotersMatter campaign going among pundits and prognosticators?

We've talked about how Bernie Bros are worried that Trump will out populist Hillary in a general, as if he's not deeply poisoning the well among non-white voters. White voters are the only ones to matter?

Colorado had a caucus, not a primary. Not representative. It's been a crazy state, bucking the trend in 2010, and then the other way in 2014. But the GOP's 2014 victory in Colorado depended far too much on declines in Latino turnout and a shift away from Udall for me to believe Trump can replicate it.

A more active enforcement of the VRA could create 14 more minority-majority or at least minority-influence districts in the South. That's roughly half the gap between the two parties in the House AFTER a rough 2014 election. Based on current Southern CBC and CHC members those new 14 would probably include an influx of moderate center-left members that could arguably help with the decline in bipartisanship in Congress.

Side note: it's been interesting, if that's the right word, to watch the American concept of whiteness to have visibly rolled back and unravel in the last few years. Not very long ago, there was no question that Arabs were included in the American coalition of whiteness. John Sununu, Donna Shalala, Ralph Nader. Danny Thomas, Tony Shalhoub, Jamie Farr. Doug Flutie and Jeff George.

Today, not so much. Some politicians have tried to split the difference regarding Syrian refugees indistinguishable in physical appearance from the earlier waves of Lebanese immigrants, separating the Christians from the Muslims, but it works very differently on the ground. Again, racists aren't professional anthropologists. On the other hand, a folk definition of "taqiyya" circulates among these people so they feel entitled to hate, fear, and harass thoroughly assimilated Arab-Americans, and also people they believe are Arab-looking or behaving. Utterly grotesque.

There have been a lot of stories about Trump's ability to turn out first-time voters and party-switchers. I was wondering whether this might lead him to some kind of surprise overperformance from high base turnout.

But so far, I'm not seeing it even in the primary results. Trump is winning a lot of primaries and caucuses but he's not doing any better than you'd expect from the pre-election polling; in delegates he's doing a little bit worse, in fact.

Because Ted Cruz is the one who's overperforming his polls. He's probably not going to catch Trump, but his people turn out to an unusual degree, apparently, whereas if Trump is boosting turnout it seems to be just as much against him as for him, which is a wash.

That reassures me a bit about a Clinton vs. Trump general election. I can't imagine that Democratic constituencies will be less motivated to hate-vote against Trump than Republican ones.

If one reads the Trump commenters on various websites, it appears the old Cuban-American firewall of a different Latino identity has pretty much collapsed in the minds of racist America -- and it's precisely because of Cruz and Rubio, in the same way that the political dislike of Obama allowed the anti-black racism that had been hidden for years to come out again. Normalization of relations with Cuba is not going to help that.
That is really interesting. I was wondering if Cruz even coded as not-one-of-us to these people. If he does, that's a real problem for any attempt to get the party behind him.

The folk "taqiyya" thing is particularly stupid and alarming; I've seen that going around for years, people trying to tell me that friends and acquaintances of mine are some kind of jihadist deep-cover agents. The unfalsifiability of it is striking, the way any evidence to the contrary just shows how deep the rabbit hole goes.

>Because Ted Cruz is the one who's overperforming his polls. He's probably not going to catch Trump, but his people turn out to an unusual degree, apparently, whereas if Trump is boosting turnout it seems to be just as much against him as for him, which is a wash.

You can thank the devoutly Christian Religious Right for this effect on Cruz.

I think Carlos is right about black voters as the obvious Republican swing voter. The last national Republican to get a third of the vote was Nixon in 1960. Is it even possible for a Republican to do that well again in a national election? I'm uncertain how that could plausibly occur.

Perhaps as the Democratic Party gentrifies and completes its welfare state goals, it opens wedge for the downwardly mobile Republican Party to appeal to more voters on a non-ideological basis. Sort of like the Centre Party in Finland.

African-American swing voters may have given the Michigan primary to Bernie Sanders. Up to now they were assumed to break heavily for Hillary Clinton, but that effect seems to be strongest in the South; a majority still voted for Clinton in Michigan but not nearly so overwhelmingly.

The primary is probably going to be spun as a sign of weakness for Clinton and good news for Trump, but I don't think those particular voters are going to go for Trump. Nor will the Arab-Americans who voted for Sanders in Dearborn. The trade-protectionist and racist angles are pushing in opposite directions for some of these demographic segments.

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Working...
Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been posted. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.

Working...

Post a comment

Your Information

(Name and email address are required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)

Categories