Electoral Racial/Gender Diversity?

Senator Cory Booker has just dropped out of the Democratic Presidential campaign, following the departure of Julian Castro and Camilla Harris. Except for Andrew Yang, the remaining men and women are all white.

According to various polls, none of the black candidates succeeded in gaining more than a few percent of the support of Democratic voters, despite the fact that there are more than forty million Americans classified as black. Even with nearly sixty million Latinos in the United States, Julian Castro couldn’t raise enough funds and support to stay in the race.

In short, with over a third of the U.S. population comprised of minorities, not a single minority candidate garnered more than a few percent of Democratic voters, even though over 80% of black voters have historically voted Democrat. Although less than ten percent of black voters have voted for Republican presidential candidates in the past, and the higher levels of the Republican Party effectively remain a white male preserve of privilege, polls show that Trump has higher levels of black support than any previous Republican candidate.

Since 1980, a higher percentage and a greater number of U.S. women than men have voted in every election, and in 2016, ten million more women than men voted, and that likely accounted for the all-time high in female U.S. Representatives and Senators in Congress, but women still only account for roughly a quarter of the Senate and of the House of Representatives.

As I have noted before, gerrymandering certainly accounts for the diversity discrepancy in national offices, but I have trouble understanding it being the cause of the diversity discrepancy in Democratic Party politics. Poll after poll shows that roughly half of black Democrat voters favor Joe Biden, and more black Democrats favor Bernie Sanders than any of the black candidates. If Bernie and Joe aren’t old white males, no one is.

All of this suggests to me, old white male that I am, that diversity isn’t what black Democrats, or indeed the vast majority of Democrats, are looking for, and the fact that Biden, the most “centrist” of the remaining candidates, has the greatest support among black voters also suggests that an ultra-liberal Democrat nominee, particularly a female ultra-liberal, may well spell disaster for the Democratic Party in the Presidential election.

4 thoughts on “Electoral Racial/Gender Diversity?”

  1. Steve says:

    James Carville’s slogan from the 1992 Clinton campaign, “The economy, stupid”, still rings true. We are enjoying a strong economy that is lifting all socioeconomic levels no matter the race or nationality. When things are going well it is hard to vote for change. If you do, it will usually be a vote for small, specific change and not for a radical ideologue who will bring sweeping change.

    1. Lourain says:

      Funny, my socioeconomic level hasn’t changed, and my income is being eaten by healthcare costs.
      For the first time in my life, I am embarrassed by the president of my country (USA), and ashamed of actions of the US on the world stage.
      Oh, yes, I will vote for change.

    2. Alan says:

      The economic levels for the wealthy, for businesses and the stock market are certainly rising, but like Lourain says, mine are not. Nor are those of the people I work with an interact with on a routine basis.

      Wage growth has not improved. It has averaged about 3% per year for the last 5 years, but if you look at the data more closely than the overall average, you will see that for low and median income groups wage growth is effectively stagnant. Large wage growth by the upper income brackets off sets the tiny wage growth for the lower income brackets.

      Additionally much of the lower income wage growth has come out of rising minimum wage levels. Of course this has had other impacts outside the market, including increased costs of goods and reduced jobs available as companies automate to reduce job openings in order to pay higher minimum wages.

      I consider myself firmly in the middle of the middle class wage bracket, as are those around me. We have generally seen little to no change in our incomes, despite who has been in office. In fact the 401k return for 2018 was a -8% for the company though it did recover in 2019.

  2. Steve says:

    “Lies, damn lies, and statistics” I’m not saying your statements are untrue, it is simply that your personal experiences reflect a small slice of reality and your statistics reflect the sources you choose to use. Obviously not everyone is better off economically than four years ago. It doesn’t work that way and is a straw man argument to rebut that “Not everyone is better off!” But since we are giving personal experience I will share that my general contractor brother on the east coast, my policeman brother and my sisters and brothers who are teachers here in the West are all better off. I am sorry the economy hasn’t worked for you or others.

    However, you missed the point of my comment. There are people doing well economically but who are not inclined to vote for Trump. They might vote for a moderate Democrat and not someone advocating burning down the current system.

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