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Sunday, November 06, 2016

About those missing voters

by digby

So I'm watching the 8,766th story about the white working class voters in Ohio on This Week with pundits on TV going on and on about how the missing white voters Trump needs could be coming out in droves. Ok. Maybe.

But here's the real story from Greg Sargent. He points out that there are lots of "missing" non-white voters too. Lots of them:

This is in part because of nonwhite voters. Of the voters who were registered in 2012 but didn’t vote (among whom Clinton leads by 42-33), there are more nonwhites than whites. And the voters who are newly registered (among whom Clinton leads by 47-33) are disproportionately young and nonwhite, many of them Latinos.

Now, the big question remains: Which of these voters who did not turn out in 2012 will actually do so this time, and what impact will that have?

We won’t have a sense of the answer to this until after Election Day, obviously. But the Associated Press reports that analysts in both parties are seeing signs in Florida’s early vote that Democrats are getting people who haven’t voted before to do so now in greater numbers than Republicans are. Meanwhile, the Latino share of the early vote is up (Democrats are struggling with flagging African American enthusiasm, but that may still get turned around, and Latinos may help mitigate that).

We don’t know why all of this is the case, but it’s plausible that Trump’s candidacy might have something to do with it. And in very close outcomes in these battlegrounds, marginal shifts in the composition of the electorate could matter.

The big potential flaw in Trump’s whole “missing whites” strategy has always been that the measures he’s apparently thought would help get those voters out — in particular, the relentless xenophobia and racist campaign — risked driving up turnout among nonwhites. It would be quite the ironic outcome if Trump’s “missing whites” strategy ended up making “missing nonwhites” matter to the outcome more than they otherwise would have if another Republican had been the nominee. Particularly if it helps deliver a Trump loss.

UPDATE: Since this piece ran, turnout has been exploding in the early voting among Latinos in several key battlegrounds, and crucially, many are first time voters, i.e., the missing nonwhite vote. As the New York Times puts it:

In Florida, at least 200,000 more Hispanics had voted early as of Friday than did during the entire early voting period four years ago, according to an analysis by Steve Schale, a Democratic strategist who helped run President Obama’s two campaigns here.

The turnout has been particularly explosive in South Florida and Central Florida, where thousands from Puerto Rico and other regions of Latin America have migrated in recent years. And 24 percent of the Hispanics casting early ballots were first-time voters, the analysis showed….

In Nevada, which has the fastest-growing Latino population in the West, Democrats appeared to have built a fearsome advantage in Las Vegas’s Clark County at the end of early voting Friday, largely because of a surge of votes from Mexican-Americans…

As of the end of early voting on Thursday, five states with surging Hispanic populations — Arizona, Colorado, Florida, North Carolina and Nevada — had already cast ballots equivalent to over 50 percent of their total turnout from 2012, according to an analysis by Catalist, a Democratic data firm.

Or, as Senator Lindsey Graham neatly put it: “So Trump deserves the award for Hispanic turnout. He did more to get them out than any Democrat has ever done.”

California Republicans tried to warn them. It happened here 20 years ago.You simply cannot go around insulting a gigantic minority or citizens and expect them not to vote against you. It just makes no sense, particularly when a substantial number of white people, Asians, and almost all black people, not to mention a huge number of women of all races are equally offended by your racism. It a multi-racial, multi-cultural society like our the numbers just don't add up.