Team Trump’s outreach was stuck in 1984, when the black electorate was a GOP afterthought at best.
Despite the best efforts of Beyoncé, Jay Z and Stevie Wonder, the minority voters who twice propelled Barack Obama to White House victories didn’t turn out in the same force for Hillary Clinton, which may have cost her the presidency.
According to CNN exit-polling data, Donald Trump slightly outperformed Mitt Romney in 2012 among blacks and Latinos, even though the president-elect did next to nothing to court the former and mostly antagonized the latter with his immigration rhetoric. Four years ago blacks were 13% of the electorate, and Mr. Obama won them, 93% to 7%. This year Mrs. Clinton beat Mr. Trump, 88% to 8%, among blacks, who comprised a smaller 12% of the electorate.
Among Latinos the story was similar. Mr. Trump did two points better than Mr. Romney’s 27% in 2012, and Mrs. Clinton did six points worse than Mr. Obama’s 71%, even as the Hispanic share of the electorate rose a point to 11%. She won 65% of the Asian vote, but Mr. Obama received 73% four years ago. The final part of the Obama coalition is young voters, where she easily outpaced Mr. Trump, 54% to 37%, but trailed the president’s 60% in his re-election bid. No one expected the former secretary of state to match Mr. Obama’s minority appeal, especially among blacks. But her big primary victories over Bernie Sanders in states with large black populations had the campaign hoping that she would come closer to holding that Obama coalition than she did on Tuesday.
Republicans who look at these results and conclude that outreach isn’t a priority because the party can still win elections without minorities are being shortsighted. Democrats can’t be counted on to nominate historically unpopular presidential candidates, and the demographic clock is working against the GOP as Mr. Trump’s overwhelmingly white core of supporters declines as a share of the electorate. Whites were 88% of the national electorate in 1976, 83% in 1992 and 72% in 2012. According to the Pew Research Center, whites made up 69% of eligible voters this year “but accounted for 76% of all eligible voters who died (6.6 million of 8.7 million) between 2012 and 2016.”
Asians are the fastest-growing racial group in the country, and their numbers have exploded in…
This article is republished with permission from our friends at the Manhattan Institute for Policy Research.
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