By GARY LANGER
Updated an hour ago
Sen. Bernie Sanders ran competitively in unaccustomed support groups amid the Nevada Democratic caucuses while sweeping the table among Latino, young and very liberal voters, leaving his competitors wrestling inconclusively over the sharply fragmented remains, according to ABC News’ entrance poll results.
Latinos joined the Sanders brigade in Nevada, the most diverse state to participate so far, giving him 51% of their votes, a vast tally in a seven-candidate race. Sanders fell off sharply among blacks, to 27% — yet that was good enough for second place to former Vice President Joe Biden’s 39% among blacks, Biden’s single best group. The Vermont senator won 29% of whites, easily first in this group…
I’m reminded of the arguments in the 2000s over whether Hispanics were Natural Conservatives as mainstream Republicans liked to theorize or whether Hispanics were primarily concerned about immigration policy. As I wrote skeptically in 2002, my impression is that Hispanic voters more tended toward family economic self-interest, which generally meant what FDR’s right-hand man (or to be ideologically more accurate: left-hand man) Harry Hopkins called “tax tax, spend spend, elect elect.”
Are Hispanics - or, for that matter, blacks - going to vote Republican based on these moral views? The answer is already in: no. Except when voting on rare single-issue referendums, such as California's anti-gay marriage initiative California two years ago, the Hispanic electorate seems far more concerned about bread and butter issues. Indeed, in their new book The Emerging Democratic Majority, John Judis and Ruy Teixeira contend that in American politics, social issues are essentially a luxury item that primarily interest better-off groups.
My general impression of Hispanic voters has long been that outside of some megachurch Protestant evangelicals, they aren’t really all that worked up over family values issues.
Nor, outside of the Diversity Inclusion Equity racketeers are they all that worked up over immigration. (Much less use of terms like “Latinx”: The Sanders campaign did focus groups on whether Hispanics like the term “Latinx” and found that practically nobody did, so they announced they weren’t using it. In contrast, Elizabeth Warren did use “Latinx” and got something like 7% of the vote in Nevada.)
Instead, they tend to be kind of poorly informed and not that interested in politics, but basically open toward voting themselves some benefits at other people’s expense in a no-hard-feelings but-this-is-good-for-me-and-mine way that I don’t take too personally either.
They didn’t vote much for Sanders in 2016 because they didn’t know who he was, but now they know and they like what he’s selling.
If and when this tips Texas Democratic, well, the GOP’s chances in the Electoral College are more or less over, except in occasional Schwarzenegger-in-California type elections. But the Republicans can’t say nobody warned them.