Friday, June 10, 2016

The future of the Democratic Party: Unity and social democracy

Though it might offend his uber-progressive supporters to hear this, the Sanders insurgency is largely a white revolution. All the talk about Sanders representing the future of the Democratic Party because of his overwhelming popularity among young people leaves out an important caveat: He couldn’t persuade minority voters to sign on. 
Isaac Bailey gets this wrong every single step of the way. Not only did Sanders "persuade minority voters to sign on": he wins Asians by 7.9%, Hispanics by 26% and Native Americans by 29%. Overall he only loses minority voters by 6%, largely because of Clinton's advantage among black voters: but even in that case, he won 31.5%, a huge share that we can only ignore at our moral and political peril. That number, moreover, simply expresses preference rather than opposition: 82% of black Americans report that they'd vote for the Democrat whether it's Clinton or Sanders. Finally, it appears that most of these numbers are an artifact of polling: presented with the choice to actually vote for Clinton, about 88% of black voters didn't bother.

In short, Bailey's argument relies on portraying a 25% preference among black voters - which doesn't impact the way 80-90% of them actually vote - as some monolithic mandate among "minorities" that threatens a dystopian "racial split that could haunt the party well into the future".

That last point is what makes Bailey's analysis truly nonsensical. Even if we accept his (dubious) theory of a "racial rift" in the present, there is zero evidence that it will persist into the future. In fact, all of the available evidence suggests the exact opposite. Bailey claims that "talk about Sanders" and "his overwhelming popularity among young voters leaves out" consideration of minority voters, but that's easy enough to remedy:


What rift? All I see here is a future of Democrats of all races overwhelmingly united by their love of social democracy and their fond memories of Bernie Sanders.