It's Not Just Hispanics. The Democrats Are Losing the Black Vote | Opinion

The Democratic Party has a huge problem. For decades now, they have been hemorrhaging white rural and working class voters to the Republicans, a trend they have managed to offset with super majorities of voters of color. This was the basis of the "Emerging Majority" theory popular in Democratic circles just a few years ago, which posited that as America became less and less white, it would become more and more firmly attached to the Democratic Party.

The problem with this theory is that it relied the premise that minorities were going to remain solid Democrats. And that premise is turning out to be false. What we're seeing today is that working class Hispanic voters and conservative Black voters are a lot more like their white counterparts than anyone in the Democratic Party had bargained for. And that spells serious trouble for the Left.

Much has been made of the Republican shift among Hispanic voters. And to be sure, it has been significant; between the 2018 to 2020 elections, Hispanic voters without a college degree swung to the GOP by a whopping 30 points.

This was even more pronounced in Texas border counties, where local communities are experiencing the crisis at the border first hand. The county with the highest percentage of Hispanic voters once backed Hillary Clinton by 60 points; but they only backed then-candidate Joe Biden by five.

It is clear to many that the Hispanic vote is far more competitive than Democrats would like them to be. But fewer are willing to accept a possibly more significant trend: the attrition of Black voters that the Democrats are dealing with.

According to Pew Research Center, fully 25 percent of Black Democrats identify as "conservative" (around 40 percent identify as "moderate"). And with these voters, like their Hispanic counterparts, there was also a massive shift between 2016 and 2020.

In 2016, Hillary Clinton won Black conservative voters by 58 points. But in 2020, now-President Joe Biden won them by just 20 points, a 38 point drop. And the trend is holding; since taking office, Biden went from an 87 percent approval rating among Black voters overall to 67 percent, a 20 point drop.

"There's just no recent historical analogy for what happened with conservative Black voters in 2020," writes Harry Enten at CNN. "It really broke the mold."

If the current polls hold up, Democrats have the lowest margins of the Black vote in 2022 since at least 1990.

So what's happening here?

Democrats are losing the Black vote
SELMA, ALABAMA - MARCH 09: Marchers lead chants during the Black Voters Matter's 57th Selma to Montgomery march on March 09, 2022 in Selma, Alabama. People gathered alongside organizations: Black Voters Matter, Rainbow PUSH Coalition, and the Transformative Justice Network to march the 11-mile original route that the late U.S. Rep. John Lewis and other civil rights leaders marched on March 7, 1965. In 1965, the march began at the Edmund Pettus Bridge and was met with brutal beatings of civil rights marchers at the hands of law enforcement. The march would later become known as "Bloody Sunday". The televised attacks were seen all over the nation, prompting public support for the civil rights activists in Selma and for the voting rights campaign. Brandon Bell/Getty Images

Because the Black vote has been solidly Democratic since 1964, political prognosticators tend to ignore and even deny the diversity of thought in the Black community. It's how they missed the fact that for a majority of Black voters, being a Democrat does not mean being a liberal, and it certainly doesn't mean being "woke." It has always been more complicated than that, part of a communal identity that rejected the historic racism of Republicans and viewed progress as building out the achievements of the civil rights movement.

And as the Democratic Party started to cater more and more to white coastal elites, it revealed a deep tension between the needs of a mostly moderate Black community anxious for a fair shot at achieving the American Dream and a party catering to a college-educated professional class that doesn't think much of America.

This tension has always been there. If you look beyond the surface, the modern Democratic coalition has always been a house of cards. How do you create an agenda that appeals to both a conservative, Black, churchgoing southerner and a liberal, white, secular atheist? How do you serve the needs of both Hispanic working class voters and rich elitists?

When elections were more localized, it was easier to campaign as a "different kind of Democrat." But in this age of nationalized campaigns, the real dividing lines are becoming harder to ignore. And the opposition party is noticing.

Republicans in previous years had a minority outreach "strategy" that consisted of blaming voters for rejecting them. For years, the GOP's arrogant approach to Black voters (who once were loyal Republicans) has been that of the jilted lover determined to prove that they can be successful without the one who left them.

Ironically, it has been the party's populists that have changed the trajectory. As today's Republicans focus more on class and culture, it is beginning to attract voters of all races who share their views on those issues.

This new Republican approach met a Democratic Party dominated by far left elites, giving it an even harder time convincing Black conservatives that there's a place for them on the Left. And as Republicans begin to finally learn how to tone down the "stuck on the Democrat plantation" rhetoric and get serious about winning over black voters by offering them what they're looking for, those Black voters who are already more ideologically aligned with the GOP are becoming more comfortable voting for that party's candidates.

The future for American politics could be similar to what we often see with political parties in Europe, where polarization is typically based more on class and ideology than of race. And if the Democratic Party is determined to fully turn into the party of the white liberal, they will displace millions of Black and Hispanic voters.

These voters already have more in common economically and ideologically with their counterparts on the Right than they do with white progressives. If the Democrats are hellbent on alienating the very voters that they need the most, the elections in November will be the least of their problems.

Darvio Morrow is the CEO of the FCB Radio Network and co-host of The Outlaws Radio Show. Follow him on Twitter @DTheKingpin.

The views in this article are the writer's own.