U.S. Mid-Term Election Results Mixed, But Demographics Doom Republicans

(by James Knight for H&D)

The mid-term elections took place on November 6 in the United States. They were seen – correctly – as a referendum on President Donald Trump. In general, the results point to some trouble ahead for Trump. Despite a very strong economy, complete with low unemployment, Republicans lost control of the House of Representatives. They are now down by about 37 seats to the Democrats. On the other hand, the party increased its control of the Senate by one and now hold a two-seat lead in that chamber of Congress.

 

Most parties in power get defeated – often quite badly – in the mid-term elections. Trump’s losses are somewhat less that those suffered by Presidents Clinton, Bush and Obama in 1994, 2006 and 2010 respectively. Democrats had a significant advantage in fund raising as almost all of Hollywood and the ultra-rich US elite support “The Resistance” against Trump. And nearly every single close election recount had Democrats winning over Republicans, which was almost certainly due to election stealing/tampering (more common in the US than many suppose).

The demographics of the election show the usual breakdowns. Non-whites voted for Democrats with the following percentages:

Blacks – 90%

Asians – 77%

Hispanics – 69%

Actually, Trump did slightly better among non-whites in 2016 than previous Republicans such as Mitt Romney and John McCain.

Among whites, Republicans only won by a margin of 54% to 44%. White men broke 60% to 39% for Republicans while white women were split 49% to 49%. The fact that so many whites decided to vote for Democrats is a big warning sign for Republicans. For years, the Republican party has been drifting toward becoming the party of white people. With roughly 80% of non-whites voting Democrats, and with the electorate getting less and less white with every election, the writing is on the wall for the GOP. Unless Trump can get the white vote up to 60% Republican in 2020, he will likely lose reelection.

Donald Trump pursuing the white working class vote in West Virginia during his 2016 presidential campaign

Working class whites in states such as Ohio, Michigan and Pennsylvania gave the election to Trump in 2016. This was due to his stance on issues such as immigration and trade and his populist rhetoric on economic issues. This base has been slowly drifting away from Trump in the last two years.

Likewise, the Dissident Right, which also came out for Trump in 2016, has been disappointed with his performance in the last two year. Ann Coulter routinely calls out Trump on Twitter for his tough talk but inaction on a border wall, birthright citizenship and stopping caravans of illegal immigrants. Gregory Hood of American Renaissance is even more blunt:

“President Trump has governed like a moderate, while speaking like a hardliner—the worst possible combination. He has done so unnecessarily. One struggles to recapture the sense of the 2016 campaign. In retrospect, it seems like something out of Homeric times, with almost supernatural forces intervening in the affairs of men. Everything had to break Donald Trump’s way; Hillary Clinton had to make every possible mistake. Somehow, everything happened exactly the way it had to, leading to one of the most remarkable upsets in American political history.

During both the primary and general election, candidate Trump seemed to run as much against the Republican as the Democratic party. Some of his promises had cross-party appeal—notably his calls for a massive infrastructure program and his pledge to protect certain entitlements. His health care proposals were admittedly vague, as he simultaneously promised to repeal Obamacare and replace it with “something great.” However, because President Trump had directly attacked the policy preferences of Republicans such as Speaker Paul Ryan and free-market institutions such as the Club for Growth, it seemed reasonable to believe he could lead the GOP away from the unpopular, wonkish economic policies that had little appeal outside the Beltway Right. The victory of President Trump was a victory for right-wing critics of Conservatism Inc., as he showed that its support for a liberal immigration policy, an interventionist foreign policy, and slashing entitlements had no real support among the conservative grassroots, let alone the larger public.

Yet since taking office, with rare exceptions, President Trump has governed like just another Republican. The president’s first major legislative initiative was a disastrous attempt to replace Obamacare. It is not surprising that President Trump did not have a specific “great” plan regarding healthcare, yet the conservative establishment’s failure to provide a workable alternative to Obamacare is testament to its uselessness.”

Conservative columnist Ann Coulter, once a pro-Trump campaigner, is now a critic

Demographic Realities

Since the election, the press has been making much of how demographics are turning formerly red states (Republicans) into blue states (Democrats). This is entirely due to mass immigration. The US takes in over 1 million legal immigrants every year. About 90% of these people are non-white.

My own Congressional district in northern Virginia (VA-10) is indicative of this. It went for the Democrats for the first time in 40 years. Conservative Republican Frank Wolf won the seat in the Reagan landslide of 1980 and didn’t relinquish it until he retired in 2014. That year, moderate Republican Barbara Comstock (who favors high immigration) won the seat by 16 points (56% to 40%) over her Democratic challenger. In 2016, her margin of victory was only 5.5 points. This year she lost by a margin of 56% to 44% to liberal Democrat Jennifer Wexton.

While there are many reasons for her loss, the main one is this. In 2008, VA-10 was 80% white. It is now 65% white.

Virginia used to be a rural, Southern and conservative state. It is now less than 56% white. Republicans have not won a state-wide election since 2009. This same trend is about to turn once solidly red states such as Georgia, North Carolina, Florida, Arizona and even Texas blue. Orange County, California (outside Los Angeles) used to be perhaps the most reliably conservative district in the nation. It was the home of Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan. Yet it now has all Democrat representatives in Congress.

In terms of the 2020 elections, President Trump still has time to right the ship. Building his promised border wall with Mexico would be a great first step. He has also mentioned ending birthright citizenship (where children born in the US – even to illegals – are automatically given US citizenship) and affirmative action. If his actions can match his talking and threats, Trump can win reelection. But after 2020, demographics may permanently sweep the GOP away at the national level.

James Knight writes from increasingly vibrant northern Virginia.

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