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How Trump Can Bring the Minority Vote Back to Republicans

Trump has recently made large gains among minority voters. Could this be the start of a demographic change?

Credit: Politico/AP photo

The election of Donald Trump was a bombshell for the Democratic party in many ways. Firstly, the Democrats were 98 percent sure they were going to win in 2016. Spoiler alert, they didn't. But the biggest surprise had to have come from the major demographic change the Democrats saw during the election.

The change is jarring. In 2008, Obama won 95 percent of the black vote against McCain, while only winning 49 percent of the white vote. However, in 2016, Democrats fell from a +90 lead to a +80 lead in blacks with Trump. While Democrats can still comfortably say blacks are in their camp, the Hispanic vote is worrying many top Democrats. Even with Trumps anti-illegal immigrant message, which was skewed by the media as an anti-immigrant message, Trump made a 12 point gain in the hispanic Vote. 

The shift among black voters continues during the Trump Presidency, citing the lowest black unemployment rate in history. Trump's approval among black men has hit an unheard of 22 percent. The hispanic approval rate is sitting at 36 percent—both according to a Reuters poll. 

Fast forward to Midterms. According to a recent Reuters poll, only 70 percent of blacks plan on voting for a democratic candidate. The rest are either not going to vote, voting for a Republican (15.8 percent), or don't know. With hispanics according to a poll on May 20th, only 37 percent planned on voting for a Democrat, while 27 percent said they were voting for a Republican.

So according to midterm polling, here is how the vote has shifted. From 80 percent black Democrat vote to 70 percent, +10 for Republicans. For Hispanics from a 65 percent Democrat vote to a meager 37 percent vote. A +28 shift to Republicans. Now if we just take the percent voting for Republicans, the numbers don't change much. Eight percent of blacks voted for Trump in 2016, 15.8 percent plan to vote for a Republican in the midterms; a +7.8 Republican gain. With hispanics, 29 percent voted for Trump in 2016 while 31 percent plan on voting for a Republican in 2018, a +2 Republican gain. 

Could this be the start of a major demographic change in our political parties? No one can really say; however, Democrats should be worried about the faltering support from minority voters, because before voting for the other party, first comes staying home. If the Democrats want to win in November, they need to find a message that will get minorities out to vote, because it seems right now, many are planning on not voting altogether or even switching sides. For many minorities that have seen a lot of benefits from the Trump presidency and booming economy, Democratic policies have failed them. Looking at heavily Democratic areas such as Chicago and Detroit, you see the highest levels of black poverty. In areas of high illegal immigration such as California and New Mexico, you see many hispanics and blacks being left behind competing with illegals for work. All of these effects, have led to disillusion with the Democratic platform among many minority voters.

As the elections get closer, polling becomes far more accurate. While many people hover over the polls and cite them as 100 percent fact, as we saw in the 2016 election, it is important to remember that polls can be wrong. While trying to take an unbiased look at polls, it is also important to understand that they have a wide margin of error, some polls have a lower margin of error than others, but sampling size, polls of likely voters, and bias of pollsters, is an important metric when deciding how seriously you should take a poll.

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