The New York Times delivered some surprising news to Democrats on Sunday. The results of a study commissioned by three “major Democratic interest groups,” including Third Way, the Collective PAC and the Latino Victory Fund, showed that except for President Joe Biden, Democrats underperformed expectations in the November 2020 election.
The report, which is essentially an election post-mortem, has apparently left Democrats scratching their heads. According to the Times’ Alexander Burns, the report warns that Democrats are “at risk of losing ground with Black, Hispanic and Asian American voters unless it does a better job presenting an economic agenda and countering Republican efforts to spread misinformation and tie all Democratic candidates to the far left.”
“Democrats in 2020 lacked a core argument about the economy and recovering from the coronavirus pandemic,” the study found.
The Times cited an interview with former Florida Rep. Debbie Mucarsel-Powell, a Democrat who lost her bid for reelection. She had been concerned about “Democratic outreach to Hispanic voters and the party’s failure to rebut misinformation in Spanish-language media.”
Mucarsel-Powell said, “Unfortunately, the Democratic Party has in some ways lost touch with our electorate. There is this assumption that, of course, people of color, or the working class, are going to vote for Democrats. We can never assume anything.”
Obviously, I disagree that the GOP was disseminating misinformation, but, otherwise, she is spot on.
Party insiders said that Republicans’ efforts to paint Democrats as radicals who wanted to defund the police hurt them as well.
Matt Bennett, a Third Way strategist (one of the three groups that contributed to the report), said “We have got to take very seriously these attacks on Democrats as radicals.” Unbelievably, he added, “A lot of this just didn’t land on Joe Biden.”
As for why Biden outperformed Democratic House and Senate candidates, the study concludes that “voters of color loathed Mr. Trump but distrusted the Democratic Party as a whole. Those constituencies included Hispanic voters in Florida and Texas, Vietnamese American and Filipino American voters in California, and Black voters in North Carolina.”
I have my own ideas about why “this just didn’t land on Biden” and why he “outperformed” House and Senate Democrats, but I digress.
As for painting the entire Democratic Party as radicals, while they are not all as radical as Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, there’s no denying the entire party has shifted to the left.
Look no further than the House vote for H.R. 1, which would have taken power over elections away from the states, ended all voter ID laws, and ensured one party rule in America for years to come. It passed in the House by a 220-210 vote. There was no Republican support for the bill and only one Democrat voted against it.
All Republicans oppose the Senate version of the bill and only one Democrat, Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia opposes it.
That gives us a pretty clear idea of how radical the entire party has become.
Moreover, the Democrats had no message other than, ‘We hate Trump and we need to remove him from the White House.’ They had no alternative plan to deal with the pandemic. For all of his criticism of Trump’s handling of it, Biden has simply continued to follow the plan that was put in place by the Trump Administration.
Biden hesitated, wisely, to talk about his radical plans ahead of the elections. Instead, on the few occasions he appeared in public, he was just good old Joe the moderate, and he wanted to unify the country. Once he took office, however, he morphed into Joe the radical and unity was cast aside.
In regard to Democrats taking minority support for granted, that’s a given. The party just keeps on increasing federal entitlements and minorities keep on showing up at the polls to vote for them.
In recent years, that pattern has begun to shift. President Trump was able to attract larger shares of the black and the Latino voting blocks in 2020 than in 2016. In 2016, he won 6 percent of the black vote and depending upon which pollster you listen to, his share increased to anywhere from 8 (Associated Press) to 12 percent (Edison Research) in 2020.
In 2016, Trump received 29 percent of the Latino vote and his share climbed to 32 percent in 2020.
These changes may sound small, but each additional percentage point is significant.
Now Democrats are learning they might have to actually work a little to keep those votes.
Over the weekend, the party had a surprising loss in a mayoral race in the deep blue Texas border town of McAllen, Texas. They also lost a second mayoral race in Ft. Worth, Texas, a city with a history of voting for Democrats.
Could it be that Biden’s open border policy and the humanitarian crisis that has materialized as a result are hurting the party? As excited as Steve Cortes and Ronna McDaniel are about these wins, we can’t divine too much from two mayoral races.
But it’s just possible that minorities are looking at the mess around them, especially those in border states that have been hit hard by the immigration crisis and wondering why the heck they continue to vote for Democrats?
Amazing news! McAllen, Texas is a major border town of 140,000 people. 85% Hispanic — and just elected a Republican mayor.
The macro realignment accelerates in South Texas, and elsewhere, as Hispanics rally to America First:
— Steve Cortes (@CortesSteve) June 6, 2021
Holy cow… Republicans just flipped the mayorship of McAllen, Texas.
This was not expected and shows Hispanics in South Texas may have shifted with the GOP even post Trumphttps://t.co/bFOMpNcNrS
— Ryan James Girdusky (@RyanGirdusky) June 6, 2021
Both rightly rejected Biden and Harris’ failed policies and voted for the GOP. Whether rejecting a crisis at the border or a squandered economic recovery, these municipalities moved decidedly toward the GOP, because our policies work. (2/2)
— Ronna McDaniel (@GOPChairwoman) June 6, 2021