February 19, 2018

Non-Whites of Every Stripe Vote Democrat

In America, non-White people vote overwhelmingly for the democrat party. Blacks have been voting democrat since the 1930’s, and Hispanics have been as far back as we have been tracking Hispanic voting patterns. Asians used to vote Republican, but came over to the democrats in the 1990’s.

In America, non-White people vote overwhelmingly for the democrat party. Blacks have been voting democrat since the 1930’s, and Hispanics have been as far back as tracking data on Hispanics goes. Asians used to vote Republican, but came over to the democrats in the 1990’s.

AsiansBlacks 2HispanicsWhites

Exit poll data shows the dramatic effect this has had on American democracy: if White Americans were the only people that voted in presidential elections, Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, and Barak Obama would have never been president.

It is important then to understand why non-Whites vote democrat. To many, the proximal cause of non-Whites voting democrat is obvious: non-Whites hold liberal political views relative to Whites.

Bigger vs Smaller Government

Hate Speech

On this view, the question then gets moved one step back and becomes “Why do non-Whites have liberal political views”. Even this first step is a mistake. The blog The Audacious Epigone has recently demonstrated, via an analysis of data from the General Social Survey, that even self-described conservative non-Whites voted for Obama in 2012.

(Links here, here, and here.)

To get a closer look at this phenomena, I examined how people voted, by race, according to how they answered questions about the size of government and wealth redistribution (economic views) and gay marriage and abortion (social views). In 2012, non-Whites who were pro-life and pro choice, for and against gay marriage, for smaller and larger government, and for or against wealth redistribution, all voted for Obama with the exception that Hispanics, who were against wealth redistribution broke for Romney by 6 points.

Abortion, 2012Gay Marriage, 2012Size of government, 2012Size of government, 2024

Even this Hispanic exception is not reliable. See, for instance, this data on the 2008 election:

Redistribution, 2008.PNG

(And yes, the Black patterns stays the same when you look at pre-Obama elections.)

Thinking that the government should be smaller had the largest impact on the Black vote. Because of this, I decided to look at Blacks who self-identify as conservatives and who think the government should be smaller. They still self identified as democrats. (I switched to party ID because the sample size of Black conservatives who think the government should be smaller is not very large and party ID was asked for decades. By contrast, questions on elections are only asked for 3 waves of the GSS.)


Demographic variables follow a similar pattern. Pew data shows that Non-Whites at every level of education and income, and of both sexes, are more likely to identify as democrats than republicans.



Political ideology and demographic data strongly predict how White people vote. To many White people, I suspect that it is almost incomprehensible that these things would not be the major factors determining who someone favors for president. And yet, for non-Whites something entirely different is clearly going on.

Some might suppose that this other factor is racial tribalism and, indeed, measures of racial tribalism do predict how strongly Blacks favor the democrat party. But even Blacks who do not think, for example, that government assistance to Blacks should be increased, or Blacks who think that the republican party is better than the democrat party for Black people, prefer the democrat party.


Similarly, Blacks who do, and who do not, feel that they have been discriminated against because of their race prefer the Democrat party.

Discriminated Against.PNG

In fact, Blacks who both want smaller government and think that government assistance to Blacks should be lower prefer the Democrat party.


Measuring ethnic tribalism among Hispanics is a little less straightforward, but immigration views seem like a reasonable proxy. On a 6 point scale of party affiliation, with 0 meaning strong republican and 6 meaning strong democrat, Hispanics who want immigration increased by a lot had an average score of 3.6 while Hispanics who want immigration decreased by a lot had an average score of 3.3. Both groups of Hispanics preferred democrats, and to roughly equivalent degrees.

All this is not to say that demographics, political ideologue, and ethnocentrism/perception of racism have no impact on non-White voting patterns. The data above shows that they do. However, there is some other factor which biases non-Whites strongly in favor of the democrat party so much so that even with these other factors removed non-Whites would still vote democrat.

I’m not sure what that factor is.To my knowledge, neither is anyone else. This makes the prospects of getting non-Whites to vote republican especially abysmal. First, we would have to figure out what this mystery factor (or factors) is (or are). Then we would have to deal with this factor, racial tribalism, and the fact that non-Whites are mostly liberal. In short, courting non-Whites to the republican party is a pipe dream.

Facebook Comments
  • For Blacks, it’s Goldwater. Black politics have a notoriously strong personality/bandwagon effect -just look at their overwhelming support for the Clintons. For Hispanics, it’s a combo of wealth redistribution, immigration, and other issues.

    • Jeff

      Blacks were voting democrat in the 1930s, long before Goldwater.

  • Jeff

    It’s interesting that blacks were voting for the Democrats in the 1930s, back when it was definitely not a “pro-black” but a “pro white” party.

    Dinesh D’souza’s “Hillary’s America” went over interesting information like that. While a lot of that movie made me cringe with all the cuckservative talking points (“Dems r real racists!”), I did learn some things that I didn’t know before. For example, the white South switching over to the Republican party is a much more complicated picture than from what we usually hear about. You can read this book for more information.


    • Jonathan Gress

      That is certainly true. I remember Ron Paul noting how unusual he was, running as a Republican in Texas in the 1970s. This was long after the South had switched to supporting the GOP presidential ticket, but the Democrats were still the dominant party in their congressional representation and in state politics. Not only that, they were not exactly small-government types, either. It seems to me to be the same dynamics as the conversion of the blue-collars in the North from Democrat to Republican, though maybe anticipated by a couple of decades.

  • John J. Barrister

    Anti-white animus?

  • Snark Jacobs

    The Republican party is in fact not trying to court non-white voters. The national party can barely find its way home at night. Conservatives are, as the title suggests, people voting for the long haul and for keeping the people in charge – in other words, local, state and congressional offices – while the one party system masquerading as D and R parade around DC. The states are reliably conservative and Congress is not likely to be handed over to the party of the executive in the foreseeable future.

    • Benschachar

      “Not trying to court non-whites”?
      Where have you been? Living under a rock?

  • Locus

    they vote this way because they hate white people. its ALL about race. thats why they all need to go.

  • James

    The GOP is in a very awkward position, because, in order to flourish, it needs to become the party of white people, but any steps it takes towards this end lead its opponents to stigmatise it as a ‘white supremacist’ or ‘neo-Nazi’ party – thereby scaring off both nonwhite voters and white voters who are easily intimidated by such smears. What Trump seems to be trying to do is find a way out of this dilemma though economic prosperity, trusting that this will lead many non-whites to defect from the Democrats. (This is why he makes such a big deal out of the low black unemployment rate.) Is this a vain hope? We’ve yet to see.