Guess which one?
Did Hispanics turn out in greater numbers this year than they did in 2014? I didn’t even bother looking at the exit polls for this, since virtually no one seems to trust them anymore. However, before the election Yair Ghitza at Catalist promised a super-sophisticated analysis that would give us the realstraight dope. I looked for it the day after the election, but I guess it took a few days to get the numbers together. Here they are:
If Ghitza’s numbers are correct, all of Donald Trump’s very public hostility to Hispanic issues had pretty much no effect on Hispanic voting. In raw numbers, turnout was up among all groups, but Hispanic turnout wasn’t up any more than anyone else. They’ve been at 6-7 percent of the electorate since 2008, and actually dropped from an all-time high of 9 percent in 2016. What’s more, Andrew Gelman points out that their support for Republicans was actually a bit higher than it was in 2016 (though lower than in 2014).Interestingly, the biggest Democratic pickup among age groups wasn’t the youngest voters, but the 30-44 group. Less surprisingly, the Catalist data confirms that the rift between college and non-college whites has turned into a chasm: compared to 2014, support for Democrats went up 22 points among college whites while it went down 8 points among non-college whites. That’s a net 30-point change in just two years.
My guess is that the Catalist data is the best we have at the moment. As usual, truly good data will have to wait a year or two.
The Hispanic numbers are depressing but understandable. When a group is demonized as they are it’s likely a good number of them just want to keep their heads down and go about their day for fear of harassment. And they probably feel pretty demoralized by the eliminationist rhetoric they hear from major politicians, especially the president. They aren’t exactly being invited to participate in their democracy with open arms, are they?
As for the non-college educated whites, I do take some solace in the fact that the gigantic gap is caused mostly by college-educated moving to the Democrats, not the other moving to the Republicans. It’s not much but it does give some hope that the latter may not be quite as enamored of Trump as the former are horrified by him. That’s something anyway.