Report: The 2020 electorate was the most diverse ever | Friday Morning Coffee

May 14, 2021 7:15 am

Voters line up at a polling place on Election Day. Source: Wikimedia Commons.

Good Friday Morning, Fellow Seekers.

new report by Catalist, a major Democratic data firm, provides some big picture perspective on the changing face of the United States, and the impact that an increasingly diverse electorate had on the 2020 race for the White House, Congress, and other contests.

The bottom line: The 2020 electorate was the most racially diverse electorate ever. And they played a significant role in helping President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris capture the White House.

(Source: Catalist.)

If you take a look at the table above, you can see that, while white voters still make up nearly three-quarters of the electorate, their share has been declining since the 2012 election. That  shift “comes mostly from the decline of white voters without a college degree, who have dropped from 51 percent of the electorate in 2008 to 44 percent in 2020,” the analysis notes.

WASHINGTON, DC – JANUARY 20: President Joe Biden speaks during the the 59th inaugural ceremony on the West Front of the U.S. Capitol on January 20, 2021 in Washington, DC. During today’s inauguration ceremony Joe Biden becomes the 46th president of the United States. (Photo by Patrick Semansky-Pool/Getty Images)

Thirty-nine percent of the coalition that backed Biden and Harris was made up of voters of color, the analysis found, while the remaining 61 percent of voters were split more or less evenly between white voters with and without a college degree.

Biden and Harris “also made significant gains among white voters compared to 2016, particularly among white college and white suburban voters, who have shown a solid and consistent backlash against [former President Donald Trump’s] Republican party.”

The analysis found pretty significant homogeneity in the Trump-Pence base, with nearly 60 percent of this vote drawn from white, non-college voters. Trump voters, overall, were 85 percent white, with 15 percent of the GOP vote coming from voters of color, the analysis found.

That diversity in the GOP base came from Latino voters, who “as a whole swung towards Trump by 8 points in two-way vote share compared to 2016, though Biden-Harris still enjoyed solid majority (61 percent) support among this group,” the analysis found.

“Some of the shift from 2016 appears to be a result of changing voting preferences among people who voted in both elections, and some may come from new voters who were more evenly split in their vote choice than previous Latino voters,” the analysis found.

Crunching the data, University of Virginia political analyst Larry Sabato concludes that, “Biden won the presidency by doing a bit better with white voters, especially those with a four-year degree, than Hillary Clinton, while doing worse than she did among voters of color.

“This was particularly true among Latinos, a group that shifted from a roughly 70 percent-30 percent Democratic margin in both the 2012 and 2016 two-party vote to a 63 percent-37 percent Democratic edge in 2020,” Sabato continued. “This Democratic drop jumps out in the results, not only in heavily Latino South Florida and South Texas, but other places across the country with sizable numbers of Latino voters.”

Pennsylvania State Capitol Building. (Capital-Star photo by Cassie Miller.)

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Hours later, the state updated its own mask rulesCassie Miller reports.

Gov. Tom Wolf and other Chesapeake Bay state governors have written to the top leaders in Congress, seeking a new infusion of funding for Bay cleanup and related initiativesJosh Kurtz, of our sibling site, Maryland Matters, reports.

On our Commentary Page, opinion regular John A. Tures can’t help but notice that GOP pols on Capitol Hill are just fine with cancel culture when it comes to silencing internal opponents of Donald Trump. And Andrea Custis of the Philly Urban League offers her prescription for closing the digital divide in communities of color.

En la Estrella-Capital: Nuevo estudio: La expansión del vehículo eléctrico podría ayudarle a Pa. cumplir sus objetivos climáticosla fecha límite de presentación de impuestos es en una semana. Así es como los residentes de Pa. lo pueden solicitar gratis en línea.

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Here’s your #Pennsylvania Instagram of the Day:


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10 am., Live-Streamed:
 Senate Democratic Policy Committee

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You Say It’s Your Birthday Dept.
Best wishes go out in advance this morning to Ezra Thrush, of PennFuture; Debra Erdley, of the Tribune-Review, and to state Rep. Mike Schlossberg, D-Lehigh, all of whom celebrate on Saturday. Congratulations, all.

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And now you’re up to date.

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John L. Micek

A three-decade veteran of the news business, John L. Micek is the Pennsylvania Capital-Star's former Editor-in-Chief.