The real problem for Democrats is not Sen. Joe Manchin, says Jason L. Riley in The Wall Street Journal. No, instead the real problem for Democrats is the increasing tendency of non-white conservatives to vote for Republican candidates. He writes:
Mr. Manchin isn’t being obstructionist so much as practical, and he’s forcing Democrats to confront tensions within their ranks that they can’t ignore forever. As more college-educated whites have joined the Democratic Party, it has lurched further left, causing discomfort among the more moderate black, Hispanic, Asian and working-class white Democrats who outnumber them. Unlike these progressive white elites, polling shows that minorities in the main tend to support things like voter-ID laws, school choice, race-blind college admissions and the presence of more police officers in high-crime neighborhoods.
David Shor, a data scientist and Democratic strategist, first voiced these concerns in an interview earlier this year with New York magazine. Democrats have tended to treat racial and ethnic minorities as more progressive by nature, but Mr. Shor said that view was a mistake. “Roughly the same proportion of African-American, Hispanic, and white voters identify as conservative,” he said. “What happened in 2020 is that nonwhite conservatives voted for conservatives at higher rates; they started voting more like white conservatives.” Mr. Shor cited the left’s attacks on law enforcement after the death of George Floyd as an example. “In the summer, following the emergence of ‘defund the police,’ as a nationally salient issue, support for [Joe] Biden among Hispanic voters declined,” he said. “We raised the salience of an ideologically charged issue that millions of nonwhite voters disagreed with us on.”
A new analysis of the 2020 election published by a trio of Democratic advocacy groups largely confirms Mr. Shor’s observations. “Our assumptions about Dem support among voters of color—and the lack of differentiation in our messaging and outreach within demographic groups—cost us support in key races,” write Democratic operatives Marlon Marshall and Lynda Tran in the report. “Despite historic turnout, even where Black voters were key to Democratic successes this past cycle—including in GA, AZ, and MI—the data show drop off in support in 2020 compared to 2016 and 2018.”
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