Democrats Continue Alienating Working-Class non-White Voters, Can Republicans Secure Their Trust?

Joe Biden's facing near-historic deficits for an incumbent U.S. President

Texas Insider Report: WASHINGTON, D.C. — While virtually all data analysis sources studying the voting behaviors of U.S. citizens agree the Republican Party has improved its performance among the Minority Voters without a College Degree during the past decade, new nationwide polling data collected throughout 2023 appears to show that Joe Biden’s growing weakness among "non-White Minority Voters" is boosting the GOP's chances of solidifying its most important political breakthrough in modern times – the rightward shift of White- and non-White Voters without a College Degree.

Some Democrat analysts fear Mr. Biden's current standing has the potential to reshape the Democrat vs. Republican alignment for years to come in the process.

Just as millions of working-class White voters recoiled from the Democrat's cultural push toward liberalism during the social upheaval of the 1960s & '70s, working-class Latino and Black voters are now shifting toward the Republican Party in rejection of Democrat's “woke” ideology on issues such as crime, immigration and LGBTQ rights.

A wide array of recent polls among both Black & Latino Voters have shown President Joe Biden with an unusually small lead for a Democrat going into a potential 2024 rematch with Donald Trump.

While White voters without a college degree have long been seen as the foundation of the modern GOP's base, the most consequential political gain for Republicans in recent decades has been their increasing strength among Working-Class White Voters – a process that began under President Ronald Reagan in the 1980s, and was rejuvenated in recent years under President Donald Trump.
As a growing and more vocal list of Democrat leaders voice their belief that Working-Class Minority Voters are moving along the same track – largely for the same reasons – their concerns are fueling an increasingly common assertion that Republicans are building a “multi-racial populist coalition.”

GOP pollster Patrick Ruffini substantiates the transition in his copiously researched recent book, “Party of the People.”

While “the rightward shift” to the GOP of both White- and non-White voters without a college degree during the Trump presidency “might seem like two discrete, unrelated events… the two groups share a common working-class DNA – and their political shift stems from the same root,” Ruffini writes.

But many political analysts say it’s less clear that Democrats are facing a lasting structural realignment among minority voters – much less a change rooted in a long-term cultural alienation from the party – rather than immediate dissatisfaction with the economic conditions created under Joe Biden.
“I keep looking for it as well, but, you're not seeing as much evidence for a culture war driving any kind of change at this moment,” said Carlos Odio, Senior V.P. for Research at Equis Research, a Democrat polling firm that specializes in Latino voters.

“What’s driving Trump and the Republicans is the economy. At the end of the day, ‘It’s the economy, stupid’
over and over again.
A spate of recent polling, including a new CNN poll, indicates the chronic issues currently plaguing voters.
  To strategists like Ruffini, the GOP's competitive gain over time in growing its vote among non-White voters – especially those without college degrees – could be even more substantial given the current economic difficulties among minority voters who feel squeezed by the cost of living under President Biden.
For many, perhaps the most surprising result of the 2020 Presidential Election was the improvement President Trump made among minority voters.
  • Exit polls conducted by Edison Research for a consortium of media organizations (including, for instance, CNN) found that Trump’s vote among non-White Voters without a College Degree increased from just 20% in 2016, to 26% in 2020.
  • Research by Catalist, a Democrat voter targeting firm, found that Trump’s vote among Latino Voters without a College Degree spiked from 61% in 2016 to 72% in 2020.
  • Trump also enjoyed a modest 3% gain among Black Voters without a College Degree over that same period, Catalist found.
Exactly why Trump made those gains remains a matter of dispute – but both sides agree, the movements hold important potential implications for the 2024 Presidentl Election, and beyond.

And the stakes in the struggle are enormous.
Advocates of the Minority Voter realignment theory argue that Trump’s gains within the minority communities represent an ideological rejection of Democrat's leftward lurch under President Biden – prompted in part by their opposition to Law Enforcement nationwide and the often-violent riots or calls to “Defund the Police.”
They point to evidence in exit polls that show a much higher percentage of minority voters identifying as "conservative," and whom voted for Trump in 2020 than did so in 2016.

Others believe Trump’s 2020 non-White improvement was grounded in the belief that he was "more qualified" to run the nation's economy successfully.
And, they warn Democrats not to take much comfort from any 2022 election successes among minority voters, and to clear 2022 out of their minds.

Those in this camp believe the key factor for many Working-Class Minority Voters was Trump’s determination to quickly reopen the economy after the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.

They caution that a 2024 openness toward Trump and the GOP could be most pronounced among economically marginalized Latino Voters, who are largely disconnected from the political system and are less likely to turn out in mid-term elections, when compared to a contentious presidential election.
Some strategists who focus on the voting behaviors of Black Voters across the United States also believe the same is true for that community.
Especially ominous for Democrats is a large share of both Latino & Black Voters (in multiple polls,) who say Biden’s economic policies have not only not helped them, but have altered their financial or economic outlooks. Those voters say they "trust" the GOP and Donald Trump more than Mr. Biden and Democrats to successfully manage the nation's economic future.

Daron Shaw, a Republican pollster and University of Texas political scientist who recently co-conducted a large national survey of Latino Voters for Univision, says those attitudes indicate “there's absolutely an opening” for Trump or another GOP nominee to make further gains in advancing into the non-White voter communities during 2024.

Just as many White working-class voters “felt like the financial crisis of ’08 and ‘09 left them rudderless and eroded their position in American society… there are voters within the Latino Community as well who feel no one is representing them,” said Shaw.

The risk to Democrats, Shaw argued, is that some of those working-class Latino voters believe the Democrat Party is distracted by what he sees as "cultural" causes, such as LGBTQ rights, and “is not as interested” in their bread-and-butter economic concerns “as they have been” previously.

Sergio Garcia-Rios, another University of Texas political scientist who partnered with Shaw on the Univision Poll, said Latinos supporting Trump are drawn to him mostly on economic grounds.
“To those who are voting for Trump, they remember that in 2016, 2017 and 2018 the economy worked better.”

“You and I can disagree on whether or not that's true, but that’s what they remember.”

Further exasperating Democrat fears will be headwinds of 40-year high interest rates, and the record credit card debt balances that economic reports now show hang over voter's minds. The depth of minority voter's discontent about the economy and their personal finances is likely to remain a crucial hurdle for Biden and Democrats – with few analysts predicting any sign of improvement.

In order to match – or even approach Democrats’ historic performance levels among minority voters, Biden and local Democrat candidates will need other issues to convert Hispanic and Black voters who are increasingly dissatisfied with the president's now-established economic record.

Resistance to the GOP’s priorities, and racially tinged social issues, probably offers the best opportunities.

However, those who assert that minority voters are abandoning the Democrat Party based upon cultural grounds also point to a large share of non-White Working-Class Voters who express a broad-based, pro-American view about the general U.S. society at large.

Ruy Teixeira, a longtime Democrat advisor and political analyst (right,) who has become an unflinching critic of his party's policies on social issues, has noted that most Latinos agree with statements asserting the United States is the greatest country in the world – and they reject Mr. Biden's and the Democrat's claims that "racism" remains or is embedded in America's institutions.
“It is difficult to avoid the conclusion that Democrats’ emphasis on social and democracy issues – while catnip to some socially liberal educated voters – leaves many working-class and Hispanic voters cold,” writes Teixeira in the recent book, “Where Have All The Democrats Gone?

Teixeira makes numerous arguments similar to those written about by the GOP's Ruffini.

While other excesses in cultural liberalism such as Biden's Open Border policies continue to rankle American voters – in many cities making their lives more dangerous – a growing number of Democrats fear the only path remaining to recapture Minority Voters will be to try and convince them of a racially and/or socially tinged "GOP agenda." But after years of Joe Biden attempting to stoke the age-old fears that "the Republicans don’t care,” the tactic appears to have already turned against them.
  • Amid growing concerns over Biden's international leadership capabilities, and
  • Given the losses already occurring among traditional Democrat minority voters,
    • as well as fears of local candidates having to defend "Bidenomics" when debating the future of the nation's teetering economy,
  • Anything summarized by the phrase "Our Democracy" may be Democrats’ last-best hope for appealing to the disenchanted American voter.
If allowing continued alienation to drive Working-Class non-White Voters toward the GOP – and toward Donald Trump should he be the party's nominiee – is truly not an option, the surest way for Democrats to maintain long-term political progress or for Republicans to ensure a lasting political party growth is not just to win a single election. It's to build a durable majority.

That means serving voters' interests – and requires having a uniting, positive message based upon the hope and the historical goodness that is the United States of America,