Whites have fled the Democratic Party. Here’s how the nation got there.
Washington Post ^ | May 22, 2018 | Joshua N. Zingher
Posted on 5/24/2018, 10:16:26 AM by centurion316
With the 2018 midterms months away and the 2020 presidential election cycle approaching rapidly, Democrats are considering how to improve their poor showings in 2014 and 2016. The party has been debating — sometimes heatedly — how to do this. Which voters should they target? How should Democrats target them?
But here’s what’s clear: White voters have been fleeing the Democratic Party, and that’s a big reason Democrats are looking to rebound from back-to-back losses.
Whites have slowly but consistently moved away from the Democratic Party. These recent losses are on top of Democrats’ losses among Southern whites during the 1960s and 1970s after Democrats’ support of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Bill Clinton won 49 percent of the white two-party vote in 1996. Al Gore won 43 percent in 2000. John F. Kerry won 41 percent in 2004. Barack Obama won a slightly larger share in 2008, but then dropped to only 39 percent in his 2012 reelection bid. Hillary Clinton got the same percentage as Obama.
Obama was able to mask the Democratic Party’s weakness among whites by prompting record-high turnout among African Americans, as well as strong turnout from other Democratic-leaning minority groups. Hillary Clinton was unable to generate the same level of enthusiasm from racial and ethnic minorities.
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