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Who voted for who in the US? November 18, 2020

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.

I was so intrigued by Colin Murphy’s recent assertion in the SBP that ‘Liberals last week were talking in dismay about the amount of racism in their country. Republicans were talking about the new coalition forged by Trump: multi-racial and working class’ of which more soon, I went back and had a look at the economic and demographic statistics of the vote.

The Financial Times has a good piece on this breaking down voters into various cohorts.

Interestingly it suggests that the support of white voters without a collegee degree weakened this time around for Trump with 63% supporting him as against 36% for Biden (32% for Clinton).

White college educated voters shifted even further to Biden – and crucially in Wisconsin and Michigan.

The FT argues that of non-white voters ‘ the vast majority still voted for Mr. Biden’ though Trump made ‘slight inroads’. But intriguingly education is more important now a divide than racial identity in terms of voting. So college educated non-whites supported Biden fairly comprehensively whereas non-college educated non-whites saw an increase of 5% for Trump to 25%. The Latino vote remained largely pro-Biden but in Florida in particular (and to a lesser degree IIRC in Texas) there was a significant swing to Trump.

In terms of income more of those in the $100k cohort moved into the Trump camp, up 5% to 50%. Conversely, those on less than $50k increased their numbers for Biden, up 5% to 55% and with 43% voting for Trump, up 1%.

There’s so many ways of viewing this – for example, did Trump contruct a ‘new’ coalition or can one argue that this is yet another spin on the Reagan Democrats – where Reagan was able to prise away a significant number of previously Democrat voting working class voters? The entry linked to just above suggests that ‘of this group also defected to Donald Trump, the Republican candidate for the 2016 presidential election, who won in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, Wisconsin, Iowa, and Florida. All of these were states that voted for Reagan in 1980 and 1984, but voted for Democratic President Barack Obama in 2008 and 2012.[1][2]

And now portions of that cohort returned to Biden. Where does that leave the ‘new’ coalition? Or is the most plausible take on this that political loyalties are more fluid than ever before and arguing that all working class voters are all wedded to the Democrats is simply incorrect, and has been for many many years (and none of this analysis here should be taken as an endorsement of that party either).


1. FergusD - November 18, 2020

Interesting article here on the working class and Trump:


Liked by 1 person

crocodileshoes - November 18, 2020

The writer’s characterisation of working class Trump voters as ‘confused’ is commonplace.We are not to disparage such people as racist or stupid (though they say what they like about their political foes). The Democrats must ‘understand’ the working class Republicans – though I’ve seen few calls for the latter to understand the former.
A friend, living in Republican Iowa, has been reading James O’Brien’s book “How to be Right’, in which O’Brien’s favourite tactic on his radio show is described: asking Brexiteers to give just one example of how life would be better in the UK after Brexit. He seldom got an answer that was true and/or wasn’t racist. That’s my Iowan friend’s opinion: he explains his neighbours’ votes for Trump in one word: ‘ignorance’. When he asks Trumpian acquaintances to justify their preference they have literally nothing to offer, except lies from Fox News and the internet.They say Democrats want to take away their guns and punish them for their religious beliefs – often ‘pro-life’ (neither of these mentioned in the wsws article). And of course nothing is a surer predictor of Trump support than low levels of educational attainment – individually, in terms of city, of state, whatever.
Now, any democracy with a 70-million protest vote is in trouble. Maybe Trump voters are ‘confused’; I certainly am.


2. CL - November 18, 2020

“Joe Biden won the US presidential race after Donald Trump lost support among the white voters who carried him to success in 2016, while Americans have become more divided by place and income.”
(FT, Article)

Trump received 54 percent of the white vote in 2016 (Pew)

In 2020 Trump received 58 percent of the white vote (Edison)


Fergal - November 18, 2020

This may be a silly question but how do they know how people with white skin actually voted? Or brown or black?
Is it a huge exit poll? Does the questioner write down your ‘race’ or do you get to decide?
It sounds appalling and as entrenched and divisive as sectarianism is up north…
Call me old fashioned but I still dig Tom Paine’s
‘The world is my country, mankind is my brother and to do good my religion’


sonofstan - November 18, 2020
3. Joe - November 18, 2020

I dunno. I keep hearing and reading commentators saying that the big story in the US election is that 70 million (72?) people voted for Trump.
But surely the big story is that 75 million (77?) voted for Biden.
Biden won, Trump lost. Both in the popular vote and in the electoral college. By five million in the popular vote. Trump lost, big time. Biden won.

And in a two horse race isn’t it always going to be close enough? Any comparisons for other presidential elections re margins and percentages?
Trump’s 70 million aren’t all incorrigible racists or rightists. Most of them can be won over to common sense. We have to believe that.


WorldbyStorm - November 18, 2020

Agreed, that 70m isn’t comprised of an undifferentiated cohort of reactionaries.


4. oliverbohs - November 18, 2020

Anyone here for whom the name Matt Christman means anything would know that he sees the future of US politics as the college educated vs non-college educated as the essential dividing lines. An ongoing culture war long since spun away from material concerns or analysis because the two main parties either will not or cannot offer solutions to credibly improve the lives of working people eg M4A, taxing the rich, better labour conditions. The college educated cadres leverage “wokeness” and proffer respectability, while the other side play on their appeal to the “undesirables” via via nihilism and grievance

Liked by 1 person

sonofstan - November 18, 2020

Agree. The detachment of the educated Democrat/ Labour voter from the supposed base of each party is dangerous in the extreme.


WorldbyStorm - November 18, 2020

Supposed being the operative word re the Democrats. But yes, it’s incredibly dangerous when no party is open to the working class or seems dismissive of same.


5. CL - November 18, 2020

Account should also be taken of the key role played by Niall O’Dowd in swinging Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and Michigan to Biden.


WorldbyStorm - November 18, 2020

Is that accurate CL would you think?


CL - November 18, 2020

No, I don’t think Niall O’Dowd was instrumental in Biden winning Penn, Wisc, and Michigan.
In a close contest the votes of any particular group can be taken as the decisive factor. True, in these 3 states the Democrats did a little better among whites than in 2016. But its doubtful that there is an ‘Irish’ voting bloc distinct from white voters generally.

A lot of these estimated metrics are still preliminary but the overall trend is fairly clear.
Nationally, Trump received 58 percent of the white vote in 2020 as against 54 percent in 2016.
Biden won with 42 percent of the white vote, 87 percent of the Black vote, 66 percent of the ‘Hispanic’, and 63 percent of Asian American voters…..

Now, on to Georgia…..


WorldbyStorm - November 18, 2020

Yep, thought it far fetched. 58 percent – wow


CL - November 19, 2020

“White people once again largely backed a president who champions a brand of nationalism that is steeped in racism and xenophobia”

The percentage of the electorate that is white in 2020 is estimated at 67%, down from 71% in 2016.
So Trump received a higher percentage from the shrinking white electorate.

The ‘Hispanic’ vote and its apparent shift to Trump has received a lot of attention.

“Maybe most troubling, Trump’s strength among Latinos helped doom Democratic hopes in Texas (somewhat realistic), Florida (less realistic), and some other less-expected districts around the country. Although so did the party’s tendency to treat “Latinos”—a diverse community including Mexicans, Cubans, Puerto Ricans, Venezuelans, Central Americans, and more, that consists of both recent immigrants and people whose families have lived here for generations—as a monolith that was inevitably trending Democratic, and its failure to invest in long-term organizing.” -Joan Walsh, The Nation.

““The main story is that in an election which saw historic turnout, people of color — and especially Latinos — had an unprecedented increase in voting,” says Democracy Now! co-host Juan González. “After decades of political experts talking about the growing Latino vote, this year it actually happened.”…
In raw numbers, 8 million more Latinos voted this year than in 2016. That’s a 63% increase over the last presidential elections…..
the biggest increase in both percentages and actual votes from four years ago came from Latino voters. Their jump in number of ballots cast nearly equaled that among white — the increase among white and Black voters combined. The next biggest jump, in percentage term, came among African American voters, who increased by 20%, Asian Americans by 16%, while white voters increased by just under 6%….
the big difference now is that the Latinx vote is so much larger. When you get two-thirds of a vote, that has tripled in size in just a few years, you begin to achieve critical mass….
Latino turnout in states like Nevada, Arizona and Pennsylvania helped Biden win those key battleground states….
All of this fixation on Latinos, however, ignores the fundamental question of this election, which very few political observers I’ve seen have dared to tackle: Why the heck did 58% of white Americans vote for Donald Trump, including 55% of white women?”

“At Columbia College he was active in the anti-Vietnam War movement and played a leading role in the protests that shut down the college in spring 1968 as one of three “Strike Central” representatives on the strike coordinating committee.[6]:70 In the student strike that followed the police riot that ended the occupation he continued in this role and in negotiations at the apartment of Eugene Galanter.[6]:94–5 He was a member of Students for a Democratic Society and a founding member of the New York City branch of the Young Lords, serving on its first central committee as its Minister of Education.[7][8]-Wiki.


6. CL - November 18, 2020

Biden’s English roots;

“it is clear that Joe Biden has his English roots firmly in Sussex, and the county can finally lay a proper claim to a President of the United States of America. And if this honorary Sussexonian makes a future visit to the UK, I’m sure many would be delighted if he were to make a stop-over in his ancestral homeland. What do you say, Joe?”

A pity this wasn’t known before the election and Biden could have made a credible appeal for the Wasp vote.

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