Defund the Police Messaging Likely Hurt Democrats with Certain Minority Groups in 2020

Did Democrats’ “Defund the police” message alienate a number of minority groups? 

David Shor, a data scientist with a specialization in political poll analysis and a Senior Fellow with the Center for American Progress Action Fund, was interviewed by Eric Lievitz of New York Magazine’s Intelligencer about some of the minority gains Trump made during the 2020 elections. 

Shor is currently the head of data science at  OpenLabs, a progressive nonprofit, and is known for his unconventional takes on minority outreach. In his interview with Lievitz, Shor made some interesting assertions. The 2020 elections were notable in that Republicans did make gains with non-whites. Shor observed that “Our [Democrats] support among African Americans declined by something like one to 2 percent. And then Hispanic support dropped by 8 to 9 percent.”

Hispanics were talked about a lot, due to Trump’s strong performance in areas such as South Texas and Miami-Dade. Indeed, these Hispanic groups are quite different in socio-economic and cultural terms, demonstrating a broader national trend of Republicans gaining with Hispanics.

Shor observed this:

One important thing to know about the decline in Hispanic support for Democrats is that it was pretty broad. This isn’t just about Cubans in South Florida. It happened in New York and California and Arizona and Texas.

Broadly speaking, Shor claims that “What happened in 2020 is that nonwhite conservatives voted for Republicans at higher rates; they started voting more like white conservatives.”

Many will wonder why non-whites began shifting their support towards Republicans in 2020. Shor had his take on this development:

And we looked specifically at those voters who switched from supporting Hillary Clinton in 2016 to Donald Trump in 2020 to see whether anything distinguishes this subgroup in terms of their policy opinions.

What we found is that Clinton voters with conservative views on crime, policing, and public safety were far more likely to switch to Trump than voters with less conservative views on those issues. And having conservative views on those issues was more predictive of switching from Clinton to Trump than having conservative views on any other issue-set was.

One of the principal reasons why Hispanics likely flipped to the Republicans was the ‘defund the police” talking point that became prominent during the 2020 during the Black Lives matter unrest. Shor highlighted that “In the summer, following the emergence of “defund the police” as a nationally salient issue, support for Biden among Hispanic voters declined.

A substantial number of non-whites in the U.S. don’t really buy into social leftist causes and only really vote for Democrats largely for economic reasons. Shor believes that non-whites “often have a very different conception of how to help the Black or Hispanic community than liberals do” and don’t really care for critical race theory.  

Shor’s observations drew considerable attention from people across the political spectrum. For example, populist journalist Ryan Girdusky felt validated by these findings. He has historically rejected the Republican Party’s failed minority outreach approaches and instead emphasizes nationalist policies such as immigration restriction, family formation, and law and order. 

On Twitter, Girdusky reminded his followers of his long history of advocating for nationalism and why non-white voters drifted to the Republican Party in 2020 due to social unrest moreso than cringeworthy Republican pandering, 

Additionally, Girdusky argued that Trump’s tepid response to the BLM riots, which was largely shaped by the flawed advice of Kushner and his retinue, likely cost him votes.

Even left-liberals such as pollster Nate Silver recognized that Democrats’ “Defund the police” messaging hurt them with minority groups who generally vote for Democrats by comfortable margins. 

Republican leadership should take note. Campaign messages based on law and order, not pandering or talking about boring subjects such as free markets or the Constitution, will bring non-whites to the Republican fold. 

America Firsters should hammer this point away from here on out.

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