Are Dems Heading for Extinction-Level Election?

Donald Trump has held a narrow but consistent lead in just about every poll for several months now—having never led in the polls in either the 2016 and 2020 election cycles. More significant is where this lead has come from. Trump has not improved his share of white vote at all; his improved standing has come from huge gains in minority votes, as John pointed out recently in drawing our attention to a Financial Times meta-analysis of polls going back several cycles. That chart, in case you don’t remember, looks like this:

Nate Silver looks closer at the trend in a new Substack, noting a breakdown compiled by Adam Carlson that looks at voting group and age that produced this terrifying (for Democrats) table:

Note especially the numbers for the shifts in blacks and hispanics in the right-hand column. This finding has also been consistent for several months now. Silver comments:

I’m not going to cover every possible difficulty when surveying non-white voters, who generally have lower response rates to polls than white voters do. I’m just saying this has been a consistent pattern; Carlson has been doing the same analysis for months now, and he’s been finding the same thing every time. So at the very least, Democrats can’t wish this problem away by complaining about small sample sizes, although that doesn’t mean they won’t try.

But polls, schmolls. Is it really plausible that there could be swings this large when it comes to actual votes?

Sure. It’s at least plausible. Let’s look at data from two places where non-white voters are plentiful. One is somewhere I’ve never been to, Starr County in South Texas, and the other is the place where I live, New York City.

Says Silver: “I’ve rarely seen anything like that, especially in the contemporary American political landscape where partisan preferences tend to be relatively stable.” He adds: This “is an enormous problem for the [Democratic] party. . . Democrats’ increasing progressivism and generational turnover is the root of the problem. . .”

Or have a look at this:

If this trend holds up on election day, it portends a near-extinction level event for Democrats. Democrats depend on minority votes to win elections. They haven’t won the white vote in a presidential election for 60 years. This can only mean one thing: Democrats will turn up the racism charge all the way to 11 and beyond. But after dealing the race card from the bottom of the deck for so long, will it still work as well (except among guilty white liberals and the college-miseducated)?

Postscript: For political science geeks, one fact of this election cycle is that Trump is closer to the views of the “median voter” than Biden. That’s what Silver means by saying “Democrats’ increasing progressivism and generational turnover is the root of the problem.” In other words, Trump is the more moderate candidate in this race, which explains his huge gains among independent voters. Don’t expect the media to recognize or report this. This aspect of the race will require a separate note.

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