Ruy Teixeira: “these Hispanic voting trends have not been favorable for the Democrats”
Ruy Teixeira, the political scientist behind the much-lauded (and much-maligned) leftist mantra that “demographics is destiny,” has some bad news for today’s Democrats: not only do they still need white, particularly working class, voters, but their radical leftist socio-cultural and economic agenda is turning off too many Latino and Hispanic voters for their ‘demographic destiny’ to manifest.
Back in 2002, Teixeira co-penned a love letter to Democrats—The Emerging Democratic Majority—in which he argued that America’s shifting demographics would result in a perpetual Democrat majority for decades to come, maybe forever. If only those dastardly whites could be replaced with and outnumbered by Latinos and Hispanics, the totalitarian progressive utopia would be a lock.
Democrats and their media lapdogs latched onto this narrative as if it were the Holy Grail. “Demographics is destiny,” they mindlessly chanted. All we need are millions of illegal aliens flooding the country from Central and South America, amnesty for them all, and we have the demographic key to an anti- and unAmerican commie utopia. It’s going to happen, they breathlessly declared. The arc of history, they solemnly intoned at the altar of “demographics is destiny,” tells us so! And stuff.
That was always a load of fantastical drivel, but it empowered leftists and communists like Bernie Sanders and other once-fringe elements of the Democrat party to push ever leftward. Socially, culturally, economically, and politically, they were going to rule over and ‘fundamentally transform’ the country. It was destined by demography. Suddenly, there were no boundaries, every half-baked radical leftist lunacy was suddenly on the table.
Open borders! Amnesty for all! Defund the police! Abolish prisons! Abortion on demand up to actual birth! America sucks! Capitalism is racist! Destroy American energy independence! Undermine the family unit! Tax relentlessly and spend frivolously! Down with opportunity and the rule of law! Up with lawlessness and race-based segregation! History didn’t happen! There are fifty-eleven genders! Property ownership is fascist! Mothers are “birthing people” and men need free tampons! Facts must be subjugated to feelz! Shut up!
America was their oyster, and they were going to tax it, control it, debase and humiliate it. They were going to cut that hated, despised, racist America down to size!
Teixeira has watched it all, and he’s been watching voting trends among the demographics the Democrats believe they own (after all, if you don’t vote for Biden, you ain’t black, right?). This casual racism is one of the problems that Teixeira is now pointing out as problematic for the Democrat party and its (dashed) dream of an emerging demographic-based Democratic majority.
In fact, Teixeira is now saying to Democrats, remember that whole demographics is destiny thing I said back in ’02? Um, yeah, forget it. You have destroyed any hope of achieving what was right in your grasp with your absolute crazy.
Okay, he doesn’t say it that way, but the message is clear.
Teixeira writes at his substack:
The latest data release from the 2020 Census, which will be used to guide decennial redistricting, has been greeted rather breathlessly by the nation’s media and has been absolute catnip for commentators and observers who lean toward the Democrats. Consider some of these headlines:
“America’s White Population Shrank for the First Time”;
“Vast Stretches of America Are Shrinking. Almost All of Them Voted for Trump”.
“Census release shows America is more diverse and more multiracial than ever”
None of this is necessarily wrong, though it’s worth noting that these findings are consistent with trends of long-standing rather than something qualitatively new. What is questionable however is the political gloss that tends to put on these results. Leftist filmmaker Michael Moore called the announcement “the best day ever in US history”, which, while over the top, fairly represents the delight among most progressives that a presumably conservative white population is in precipitous decline while a presumably liberal nonwhite population keeps growing, the harbinger of a diverse, progressive future America.
White people and their silly ideas about equal opportunity, personal liberty, and American exceptionalism are about to be drowned out by a flood of Latinos who . . . wait, want equal opportunity, personal liberty, and to contribute to American exceptionalism, to bask in it?
Teixeira shares five key points (Whiter Than You Think, The White College Factor, The Hispanic Problem, The Class Problem, and Inefficient Distribution of Voters) that are each riveting analyses in their own right (read the whole thing), but I want to focus on the Democrats’ disastrous misread of Hispanic and Latino voters as told by Teixeira.
Generally speaking, these are not voters who will ever refer to their mothers as “birthing people,” they do not support abortion on demand or as birth control, and they do not care what pronouns you prefer while insulting them, their culture, and their language by referring to them as “Latinx.”
First the data (from Teixeira’s piece):
As the Census documents, the biggest single driver of the increased nonwhite population is the growth of the Hispanic population. They are by far the largest group within the Census-designated nonwhite population (19 percent vs. 12 percent for blacks). While their representation among voters considerably lags their representation in the overall population, it is fair to say that voting trends among this group will decisively shape voting trends among nonwhites in the future since their share of voters will continue to increase while black voter share is expected to remain roughly constant.
And these Hispanic voting trends have not been favorable for the Democrats. According to Catalist, in 2020 Latinos had an amazingly large 16 point margin shift toward Trump. Among Latinos, Cubans did have the largest shifts toward Trump (26 points), but those of Mexican origin also had a 12 point shift and even Puerto Ricans moved toward Trump by 18 points. Moreover, Latino shifts toward Trump were widely dispersed geographically. Hispanic shifts toward Trump were not confined to Florida (28 points) and Texas (18 points) but also included states like Nevada (16 points), Pennsylvania (12 points), Arizona (10 points) and Georgia (8 points).
These reduced margins are why, despite Hispanics’ increased vote share in 2020, their contribution to Democrats’ improved national margin in this election was actually negative—that is, they made a negative one point contribution to Biden’s vote margin relative to Clinton’s in 2016. The same pattern can be seen in key swing states.
Next, the Democrat miscalculation of Hispanic and Latino voters and their likelihood of voting as a single bloc who will vote for, as Pelosi snarked about AOC, a glass of water with a (D) after his or her name. While studies suggest that the vast majority of black voters tend to vote (D) no matter what, Hispanics and Latinos will not fall in line with the current Democrat party’s crazy.
What lies behind these unfavorable trends which surprised most Democrats? One possibility is that Democrats fundamentally misunderstood the nature of this voter group and what they really care about. Hispanics were lumped in with “people of color” and were assumed to embrace the activism around racial issues that dominated so much of the political scene in 2020, particularly in the summer. This was a flawed assumption. The reality of the Hispanic population is that they are, broadly speaking, an overwhelmingly working class, economically progressive, socially moderate constituency that cares above all, about jobs, the economy and health care.
For example, in the post-election wave of the Democracy Fund Voter Study Group (VSG) panel survey, well over 70 percent of Hispanic voters rated jobs, the economy, health care and the coronavirus as issues that were “very important” to them. No other issues even came close to this level. Crime as an issue rated higher with these voters than immigration or racial equality, two issues that Democrats assumed would clear the path to big gains among Hispanic voters.
In this context, it is interesting to note that the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement did not rate very highly among Hispanics. In the national exit poll, Hispanic voters were split close to evenly about BLM, 47 percent unfavorable to 49 percent favorable. This significantly trails not just black voters, but also white college graduates, who rated BLM 61 percent favorable to 35 percent unfavorable.
Consistent with this, Latino voters evinced little sympathy with the more radical demands that came to be associated with BLM. In VSG data, despite showing support for some specific policing reforms, Hispanics opposed defunding the police, decreasing the size of police forces and the scope of their work and reparations for the descendants of slaves by 2:1 or more.
And the news gets worse for Democrats as Teixeira lays out exactly what the Democrats get wrong about the Latino and Hispanic voters. They actually LIKE America, they want to work hard and have the opportunity to excel, they are patriotic, and they reject Democrat ideas about America being irredeemable, steeped in “systemic racism” and “white supremacy.”
An important thing to remember about the Hispanic population is that they are heavily oriented toward upward mobility and see themselves as being able to benefit from available opportunities to attain that. Three-fifths of Latinos in the national exit poll said they believed life would be better for the next generation of Americans. In the VSG data, these voters agreed, by 9 points, that racial minorities have mostly fair opportunities to advance in America, by 11 points agreed that America is a fair society where everyone has a chance to get ahead and by 20 points agreed that “Irish, Italian, Jewish, and many other minorities overcame prejudice and worked their way up. Blacks should do the same without any special favors.”
They are also patriotic. By well over 3:1, Hispanics in the VSG survey said they would rather be a citizen of the United States than any other country in the world and by 35 points said they were proud of the way American democracy works. Clearly, this constituency does not harbor particularly radical views on the nature of American society and its supposed intrinsic racism and white supremacy.
Equally clearly, assumptions that the continued growth of the Hispanic population, as revealed by the Census, is an automatic dividend for the Democrats are highly questionable.
Trump was so successful in making great strides in winning Latino and Hispanic votes because he got them, and they got him. America First and Make America Great Again resonated with these voters in ways “birthing people,” rampant crime, and open borders never will.
The GOP has an “in” here, a way to build on Trump’s successes with Hispanic and Latino voters.DONATE
Donations tax deductible
to the full extent allowed by law.