Examining Biden’s drop among young and nonwhite voters
Plus: More book coverage, a polling experiment on abortion and democracy, who the Harris-not-Biden voters are, America's population bust, and the politics of TikTok
No. 293 | November 24, 2023
🐘 Party of the People
Why non-white voters are abandoning the Democratic Party (The Economist)
“‘Party of the People’, a book by Patrick Ruffini, a Republican pollster and data maven, brilliantly dissects the changes within the disparate voting blocs in America, combining rich data analysis with vignettes from American history. Democrats misunderstood Hispanics, cringingly insisting on rebranding the race as “Latinx” and mistaking a pathway to citizenship for illegal migrants as their most pressing concern. Polling shows that Hispanics are almost as likely to support border security as other Americans. Second- and third-generation Hispanics are more likely to be Republican, mirroring a rightward shift that was seen with white Catholics, once the fuel of the Democratic city machines, over the last century.”
Andrew Egger: A Party in Trump’s Image (The Dispatch)
“Andrew Egger is joined by Patrick Ruffini, a Republican pollster and co-founder of Echelon Insights. The two discuss the shift in non-white voting habits, how Trump activated the populist coalition on the right, and the role of pro-life politics in that coalition.”
Kyle Kondik and Carah Ong Whaley: 'Party of the People' ft. Patrick Ruffini (UVA Center for Politics)
“In this episode, Kyle Kondik and Carah Ong Whaley talk with Patrick Ruffini, a Founding Partner of Echelon Insights and Republican pollster about his new book Party of the People: Inside the Multiracial Populist Coalition Remaking the GOP. The book examines an unfolding political realignment especially along class lines with implications for the 2024 elections and beyond.”
@jburnmurdoch: NEW: how worried should the Democrats be by recent polls, and are they losing young and non-white voters? Recent polls show significant shifts away from Biden among core Democratic demographics, but is everything as it first appears? Let’s take a closer look (X)
“Around 40 percent of voters agreed that Donald J. Trump was “bad” for democracy in our latest poll. Only around a quarter said that issues like democracy and abortion were more important to their vote than the economy.
But in election after election, the final vote tallies seem to tell a very different story. Last fall, Democrats excelled when abortion and democracy were at stake, even though our pre-election polls offered little indication that these issues were driving voters. It raises the possibility that the usual poll questions simply failed to reveal the importance of abortion, democracy and perhaps other issues as well.”
“In our recent poll of voters in battleground states, we asked how people would vote if Kamala Harris were running for president. Though Donald J. Trump still led in this hypothetical matchup, Vice President Harris performed slightly better than President Biden.
She did particularly well among young and nonwhite voters — voters who were a key to Mr. Biden’s 2020 victory but who the poll suggests are less supportive of him this time.
The voters who backed her but not Mr. Biden — about 5 percent of swing-state voters — would have given Mr. Biden the lead in the New York Times/Siena polls if they had supported him.”
“The 2023 elections were a victory for liberal governance. Democratic Gov. Andy Beshear won reelection in Kentucky. Ohio voted to enshrine abortion rights in its state constitution. Democrats won control of both chambers of the Virginia legislature and strengthened their hold on New Jersey's. The main bright spot for Republicans was that Republican Gov. Tate Reeves won reelection in Mississippi.
Yet it seemed like the only thing people cared about was what the results augured for the 2024 election. I get the impulse — I used to be one of those people who read way too much into these off-year election results. But after a Republican sweep in the 2021 elections failed to predict a mixed-but-generally-good-for-Democrats 2022 midterm, I took a closer look — and found that off-year election results aren't the best predictor of future elections. As a result, it's not clear what, if anything, we learned about 2024 from last week.”
@IrishPatri0t: New map from me: Last week Virginia Democrats held their state senate majority by a 21-19 seat margin, achieving control of both chambers of the legislature in a result disappointing for Governor Glenn Youngkin, Below is those results by precinct in each of the 40 districts. (X)
“His focus underscores the rising awareness of the importance of state legislatures in US politics. Long overlooked by parties and reporters, there has been a much greater understanding of the consequential power state legislatures have to set policies on issues like abortion, gun rights, education and voting. Just a handful of races in a single chamber can determine which party has control.
‘Your state legislature is going to affect your day-to-day life a lot more than Congress is,’ Nuttycombe said. ‘State legislative elections are a million times more important than congressional elections, but I’m obviously biased on that front.’”
“America will enter the 22nd century with a shrinking population unless immigration increases, according to new U.S. Census Bureau projections released Thursday.
Why it matters: Beyond changing what the country looks like, these demographic trends could profoundly reshape the economy and alter society.”
Daniel Cox: The End of Religious Morality? (American Storylines)
“As recently as 2008, most Americans agreed with the statement “It is necessary to believe in God in order to be moral and have good values.” A lot has changed over the last fifteen years. When we asked this same question in a recent poll, nearly two-thirds (64 percent) of the public rejected the once-popular idea. Only about one in three (34 percent) Americans still believe that morality and good values require belief in God.”
📊 Public Opinion
“Inflation is still very much on the minds of voters and politicians.
A recent poll by the New York Times/Sienna College shows Biden trailing Trump in key battleground states, and many analysts point to Americans’ concerns about inflation as a continued source of discontent. During the RNC’s third presidential primary debate, candidates highlighted how inflation is burdening – or to use Chris Christie’s term, ‘choking’ – American households.
The performance of the U.S. economy has historically been an important factor in presidential elections. By important objective indicators such as growth and employment, the economy is healthy and recovering faster than similar economies. But partisan polarization injects politics into subjective perceptions of how the economy is doing.”
📰 Media Habits
“A small but growing share of U.S. adults say they regularly get news on TikTok. This is in contrast with many other social media sites, where news consumption has either declined or stayed about the same in recent years.
In just three years, the share of U.S. adults who say they regularly get news from TikTok has more than quadrupled, from 3% in 2020 to 14% in 2023.”
@EchelonInsights: Last night, Republican candidates pointed to TikTok for influencing younger Americans on foreign policy; we found Twitter and Instagram use strongly correlated with support for Palestine as well. (X)