American Politics Now Has Two Big Racial Divides – By Perry Bacon Jr. (FiveThirtyEight) / May 3 2021
There’s been a recent flurry of studies and analyses that take a deeper look at the results of the 2020 election. These examinations don’t contradict our early interpretation of the results from the days and weeks immediately following Election Day: The overwhelming majority of voters backed the candidate from the party that they normally lean toward, though then-President Trump did slightly better with voters of color and slightly worse with white voters than he did in 2016. But the new examinations and other data tell a nuanced story about the role of race in the 2020 contest.
American voters …
- Remain deeply polarized based on ethnicity and racial identity;
- Were less polarized by racial identity in 2020 compared to 2016; and
- Are very polarized by attitudes about racial and cultural issues.
Racial differences in vote choice are still huge.
Since American presidential elections are so close, fairly small shifts in the electorate really matter in affecting who wins. But I worry that the media’s understandable emphasis on those shifts often overshadows longstanding patterns in American politics that include the overwhelming majority of voters, who aren’t swinging between the two parties. Despite the news coverage that sometimes implies that non-Hispanic white voters with college degrees are all flocking to the Democrats, about 42 percent of that group backed Trump in 2020, according to the recently released Cooperative Election Study. About 64 percent of Hispanic Americans backed Biden, per CES, which might be hard to remember amid the intense (and accurate) coverage of Trump’s gains among that voting bloc.