One Thing Keeping Democratic Strategists Up at Night

The composition of the minority electorate in the United States is rapidly changing. This constituency was once dominated by Black voters loyal to the Democratic Party. Now, African- American clout has been eclipsed or at least threatened by Hispanic, Asian American and other nonwhite voters whose less firm loyalty to the Democratic Party lowers the party’s Election Day margins among people of color overall.

This multiracial, multiethnic population constitutes one third of the electorate, according to an article published by the Center for Politics at the University of Virginia’s, “The Transformation of the American Electorate,” which was written by Alan Abramowitz, a political scientist at Emory.

“Eight months out from the election, polls are still suggesting 2024 will be the largest racial realignment since the Civil Rights Act was passed,” Adam Carlson, a data analyst with the Brunswick Group, a corporate consulting firm, recently posted on X (formerly Twitter).

Three days later, John Burn-Murdoch, chief data reporter for the Financial Times, contended that “American Politics Is Undergoing a Racial Realignment”:

Most recently, on March 15, the polling expert Nate Silver, citing Burn-Murdoch’s racial realignment article, posted “Democrats Are Hemorrhaging Support With Voters of Color” on his Substack.

These claims of a racial realignment in partisan politics have not gone unchallenged.

Brian Schaffner, a political scientist at Tufts who oversees data collection at the Cooperative Election Study, described his views in an email:

Along similar lines, Jacob Grumbach, a political scientist at the University of Washington, replied by email to my inquiry about racial realignment:

There was universal agreement among those I contacted that recent polling data is problematic for the Biden campaign, which is reflected in the RealClearPolitics analysis of the 13 most recent surveys, which in aggregate give Trump a 1.7 percentage percent lead over Biden, 47.2 to 45.5.

The debate is over whether the adverse trends for Democrats are long-lasting and structural or temporary vacillations unique to the current campaign.

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