02 March 2016

A racial issue in the Democratic contest

Super Tuesday's results are in and they're pretty much as anticipated.  Hillary won seven states, mostly by large margins, including the giant state of Texas.  Bernie won four -- definitely a less successful result, but not the kind of total defeat that would induce him to drop out.  The contest continues.  Hillary remains the presumptive nominee, but it is not a done deal yet.

Here's the thing, though.  Of all the states that have voted so far, Hillary has won Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Iowa, Massachusetts, Nevada, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and Virginia.  Bernie has won Colorado, Minnesota, New Hampshire, Oklahoma, and Vermont, and came very close in Iowa and Massachusetts.

Notice the pattern.  Bernie does well only in states with an overwhelmingly white population.  Hillary has swept every Southern state that has voted so far.  Most Southern states have large black populations, as does Texas (Texas and Georgia also have large numbers of Latinos) -- and in those states, those minority populations form the core of the Democratic party.  Starting with South Carolina, they've voted overwhelmingly for Hillary.

For a discussion of why black voters favor Hillary so strongly, see this post at Horizons -- it has also been observed that Bernie's tendency to view all issues through the lens of economic inequality does not play well with those who demand recognition of racism as a separate problem existing beyond economic issues.  (And "Bernie-splaining" to black voters is not going to work.)

The US population is 13% black and 17% Latino.  Within the Democratic party, the percentages are obviously even higher, since few members of those groups identify as Republican.  The fact that Bernie has been unable to win much support among them suggests that he would have great difficulty unifying the party if he were to be the nominee.  Beyond that, it is actually necessary and appropriate that the party's choice of nominee should be ratified by the black and Latino voters without whom the party has no hope of winning on a national level.  We can't have a nominee chosen with only, or nearly only, white support.  We need a candidate who can fully engage the support of all of the Democratic base in order to be sure of beating Trump, or whomever the Republicans nominate, in November.

Something to consider, when your state's primary arrives.

15 Comments:

Blogger Shaw Kenawe said...


I've read on several far right Tea Party blogs that they actually WANT to see the GOP crash and burn, taking its party "elites" along with it. This is what's propelling Trump -- a determined recklessness and a deliberate short-sightedness about what actually wins elections.

I believe Bernie is a decent guy who'll tell his supporters to coalesce behind Hillary, should she become the nominee. And there, I think, is the key to winning a presidential election: the Democrats will be united, while the GOP will be in disarray, clawing at each others' throats on their way to destroying their party.

02 March, 2016 07:29  
Blogger Murr Brewster said...

Wake me up in November and tell me who the Democratic candidate is and I'll vote for that one.

02 March, 2016 10:55  
Blogger Rational Nation USA said...

There are two candidates vying for the nomination that personally seeing the party self destructing could very well be better than either becoming president.

Neither front runner for their party's nomination is a desirable candidate imo. Should both receive the nod I will likely vote Gary Johnson as MA is a solid blue state and will likely go democrat.

If it looks like a close election in the Bay State I'll hold my nose and vote democratic because it's better to hold your nose than vomit.

IMO the quality of candidates across the board has slipped in recent years with the current crop of GOP candidates near gutter levels. Kasich, Rand, and Carson have been the excludes exceptions.



02 March, 2016 20:42  
Blogger Infidel753 said...

Shaw: I've seen that too. I suppose it's the natural end of the nihilism they've brought into their process.

Murr: Better to stay awake and help ensure that the candidate with the best chance of winning is chosen as our nominee.

RN: It's not just Trump and Cruz -- any of the current crop of Repubs becoming President would be worse than the party self-destructing.

I've explained in enough detail already why Hillary is a desirable candidate.

Kasich is a bit less nutzoid than most of them, but still basically a Christian nation type. Rand is less dangerous on foreign policy, but that's pretty much it. Carson is on a book tour. Any of them that became President would be beholden to the gibbering lunacy that now dominates the Republican party. Any suggestion of equivalence between the two parties is, as always, simply a lie.

03 March, 2016 03:22  
Blogger Ranch Chimp said...

I went to Bernie's rally/ town hall here in downtown Dallas sometime in 2015 (it was hot out, like 95 degrees, so probably July or so), one of my friends that attended with us was black (a guy I known for years and we played music together back in the day), he is active in local Democrat politics too, and told me that at that time, Bernie was so "unknown" all over southern Dallas County, which covers South Central Dallas to Oak Cliff to DeSoto, etc, highly communities of colour, he was actually trying to spread word of Sanders, because Sanders was so unknown (I personally know a couple other black people that support Sanders too). Also, there was roughly 8000 or so, that attended that in Dallas at a hotel ... it had to be at least 95% WHITE crowd, mixed with several latinos, but there was hardly ANY black people, was one of the first things I noticed, and most were young, I was probably one of the oldest there it seemed. On the other hand ... the Clinton's are a well known name in black communities across America, kind of like the Kennedy's were and are I guess. But Clinton won a couple state from what I seen in graphs by a landslide over Sanders, so no one can say that the voting was close or rigged on that ... the numbers were clear. Of course I still support Sanders, and will as long as he is in there as I promised to.

03 March, 2016 04:56  
Blogger Rational Nation USA said...

Equivalency is a word not used nor intended in my previous comment. HRC is establishment democratic party, both her and her husband are quite wealthy and there are ties to Wall Street. HRC is conventional Christian and has sent that message in her recent statements. Although she certainly is not an evangelical Christian nation nut-ball.

Cruz and Trump are the worst of the worse followed by Rubio who retains a chance albeit a miniscule one. Rubio could be a force in the next election cycle. All dangerous.

Carson is a decent nan, although a bit misguided imo, and, he is not a politician and will never hold any office of consequence. He will continue to influence thought but from outside of politics. This potentially make him "dangerous".

Kasich is the establishment. Far and above the most rational and reasonable of the lot. Experienced with a track record of some successes in the 90's and I believe really wants what is best for the USA. He is the only republican that might be the unifier Trump is now claiming to be.

I like Kasich, just as I like Baker. But Kasich has a snowball's chance in hell of gaining the nomination or control of the party.

Trump, Cruz, and Rubio in that order are the only viable opposition at this point. Well, should any of then ascend to the presidency the high court becomes an issue big time.

Americans are an interesting lot.

03 March, 2016 04:57  
Blogger Infidel753 said...

Ranch: Thanks for the first comment that actually addressed what the posting was about. Given the size of the black and Latino population in DFW, a 95% white crowd (at a Democratic event, no less) is pretty striking. The Texas primary result was 65% to 33% in Hillary's favor, so it seems that the pattern holds there as elsewhere.

It is striking that younger people are another group that leans toward Bernie. No doubt they're less allergic to terms like "socialism" than older people are. That suggests socialism will have a bright future in this country as they grow up -- but it will have to find representatives who do better at appealing to blacks and Latinos.

RN: I'm agnostic about how Christian Hillary (or Obama) really are, but of course one still has to put on a show of being such to win elections here.

Kasich favors things like a government department to spread Christianity overseas. Only in today's party of wall-to-wall flaming lunatics would he be the most sane guy in the room.

03 March, 2016 05:50  
Blogger Rational Nation USA said...

Of course such a department is something I absolutely oppose. Our government has no business in promoting any religous faith. Either here or abroad.

Sanders hails from VT, a state that does not have a large black population. IMO Bernie should have began reaching out to African Americans more actively the moment he decided he might run for national office. And, imo he shouldn't hsve picked Sharpton as his first high profile individual to meet with.

Personally I think Sanders is by far more honest than HRC and likely would do more for African American interests than HRC.

03 March, 2016 06:12  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

HRC has also won the States with the most delegates. Bernie can't win by winning Colorado, Minnesota, and other small delegate States. Bernie needs the revolution of voters he has been talking about, but it's clear that's not happening. In fact, Democratic voter turnout is down, which favors Trump for president.
Democrats have a bad history of winning the presidency. Kennedy/Nixon was one of the closest elections in history, even though Nixon had the "red bait" baggage from the 1950's. Nixon won a landslide over McGovern even though newspapers around the country had Nixon tied to Watergate before the election. Carter might have been the smartest president ever, but brains alone don't win the presidency. Democrats couldn't even beat GB in the second election, when the country knew about his dishonesty. Obama won by 3-1/2 percent, which IMO was because about 5% wanted to vote for a black man for president. Hillary might win by the same margin just because she is a woman, but don't count on it, her negatives are much higher than Obama's were.

03 March, 2016 10:58  
Blogger Green Eagle said...

I am about to make the most politically incorrect comment I have ever made, but here goes: Surveys have repeatedly shown over the years that anti-Semitism is vastly higher among both black people and Latinos than it is among whites.

Of course, no one is willing to consider this issue in regard to who is supporting Bernie and why.

Well, I'll just wait for the heaping portion of abuse that I will probably get for making this remark.

03 March, 2016 11:41  
Blogger Alessandro Machi said...

Colorado and Minnesota don't have the stature of other contests because they were caucuses and caucuses favor the younger voter over the older voters.
If Colorado and Minnesota had been primaries Hillary Clinton would have won both. Plus, Hillary Clinton plucked Massachusetts from under Sander's nose, and that carries weight as well.
Lets not forget that Vegas and Iowa were also caucuses and once again the automatic edge goes to the younger voters, who favor Sanders.
In primaries only, where truer accuracy can be attained, Hillary Clinton has a significant advantage.

03 March, 2016 13:40  
Blogger Alessandro Machi said...

I would like to suggest that the make-up of the 2008 and 2016 democrat race really puts Hillary Clinton at a disadvantage by having caucuses carry so much weight early on.

03 March, 2016 13:44  
Blogger Infidel753 said...

RN: I have no doubt Bernie's intentions are good, but even as President he would actually have a lot of trouble doing the things he says he wants to do.

Anon: Mostly good points, but don't forget Johnson/Goldwater -- the biggest popular-vote landslide in US history. And 2004 was the only time a Republican candidate for President has won the popular vote since 1988. As for the difference in primary turnout, it's open to varying interpretations.

Green: No worries about political correctness here. However, I've seen no evidence that anti-Semitism plays a role in the black and Latino rejection of Bernie -- I doubt it's even very widely known that he's Jewish. The points I raised in the post seem quite adequate to explain why they prefer Hillary.

Alessandro: Good points. Caucuses are certainly less democratic than primaries. They strike me as a compromise between the old back-room ways when party leaders chose candidates, and the modern primary system where the broad membership chooses them -- but without either method's claim to legitimacy.

03 March, 2016 18:14  
Blogger Rational Nation USA said...

I agree with you Infidel that Sanders would have trouble accomplishing what he would like. I am certainly not suggesting he should be the nominee. Just that he is more honest and has more integrity imo than HRC has.

03 March, 2016 18:36  
Blogger Infidel753 said...

I don't see any problems with Hillary's honesty or integrity, any more than with any other politician. That stuff seems to be just made up by the wingnut media with no substance to it, like the Benghazi and e-mail nonsense.

04 March, 2016 05:10  

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