Democrats have long argued that “demographics are destiny,” meaning that the nation’s growing minority and immigrant population will ensure the Democrat Party’s long-term political dominance in America. But Hispanic voters in Florida delivered a powerful rebuttal to such an assertion, solidifying Florida’s transformation into a red state Tuesday night by helping reelect Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis and Sen. Marco Rubio by landslide margins. For those who have paid attention, Hispanic voters’ shift to the political right is not a one-time outlier but has been part of a decade-long trend.
The U.S. Census Bureau predicted that by 2050, Asians, Hispanics, Africans, and other minorities would make up most of the population. Democrats were convinced that such a demographic trend would cement their political destiny because their party had the monopoly of minority votes. In his book, “40 More Years: How Democrats Will Rule the Next Generation,” Democratic strategist James Carville declared that America’s demographic trend would keep Republicans out of power and Democrats in control for years to come.
President Obama’s two presidential election victories seemed to affirm the Democrats’ “demographics are destiny” assertion. Obama won his first presidential election in 2008 by winning a combined 80 percent of minority votes. For his reelection in 2012, Obama captured 93 percent of African American votes, 71 percent of Hispanic votes, and 71 percent of Asian American votes.
Minority voters also went to bat for Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential election. About 79 percent of Asian American voters, 88 percent of African Americans, and 66 percent of Latinos supported Clinton.
In recent years, however, the Democrat Party’s hold on minority voters has waned, owing mainly to the party’s ideological shift and taking extreme positions on social and cultural issues. Ideologically, socialist talking heads such as Sen. Bernie Sanders, an independent who caucuses with Democrats in the Senate, and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez have become dominant voices in the Democratic Party and pulled it further left. Hispanic and Asian voters who lived or had family members who lived under socialistic regimes were alarmed by the Democratic Party’s lurch into socialism.
On social and cultural issues, many found the Democratic Party’s emphasis on skin color over meritocracy, and equal outcome over equal opportunity, un-American and divisive. Those socially conservative minorities have also become uncomfortable with Democrats’ extreme positions on cultural issues, such as no-restriction, on-demand abortion, teaching sexually explicit materials to children, and indoctrinating them with critical race theory.
As the Democrat Party moved to the far-left, minority voters shifted to the right. While Democrats’ policies and extreme positions turned them off, minorities appreciated Trump’s pro-growth economic policies, which resulted in a booming economy and all-time lows in unemployment rates during Trump’s first term. A flourishing economy and Trump’s willingness to fight back against cultural issues enabled him to make in-roads with minority voters in the 2020 presidential election.
Polls show Trump won 19 percent of black men’s votes, a 6 percent increase from 2016. About 34 percent of Asian Americans voted for Trump, a 7 percent increase from 2016. Trump’s performance among Hispanic voters was the most exceptional. According to The New York Times’s analysis, “votes in the nation’s 47 counties with a Hispanic majority went up by 37 percent from 2016 to 2020.” And “One of the biggest jumps in votes for Trump was in Miami-Dade County of Florida, where at least 200,000 more people voted for Trump compared to four years ago.” What Trump accomplished in the 2020 election laid the foundation for this Tuesday’s red tsunami in Florida.
Democrats have no one else but themselves to blame for the electoral loss. Before Tuesday, polls showed that rising inflation, widespread economic hardship, and soaring crime resulting from Democrats’ policies had driven more minority voters to favor Republicans. Of course, DeSantis’s policies and performance deserve the most credit for turning Florida red. He led his state out of the Covid lockdown and reopened schools and businesses sooner than most other states. In his own words, “Florida was a refuge of sanity when the world went mad.” He fought the cultural war decisively and smartly. In the words of another conservative culture warrior, Christopher Rufo, “DeSantis knows how to fight the culture war as media combat, but more importantly, he knows how to fight the culture war as public policy. He lays out the agenda, passes the legislation, and governs the state. Substance is ultimately more important than style.”
Voters apparently agreed, and they rewarded DeSantis with a decisive win. According to the Washington Examiner, DeSantis “had a 15-point advantage with Hispanic voters over Democratic challenger Charlie Crist, with 57% of Latinos voting for the Republican governor, compared to 42% for Crist.” And in “Democratic strongholds, including Miami-Dade County, where DeSantis defeated Crist by 11 points.”
Rather than examining how Democrats’ failed policies have driven away so many Hispanic voters, party operatives such as former White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki declared on Twitter, “there is a massive disinformation problem in Spanish language media.” A Hispanic TV host pushed back by pointing out that Spanish language media, mainly Univision, Telemundo, and CNN Español, are known to have disinformation problems because they are “repeating the lies out of the Biden White House.” Psaki was also mocked for implying that Hispanic voters in Florida don’t have the agency to make sound judgments and are easily fooled.
Psaki should have known that disparaging voters is not a winning strategy and is more likely to push them into supporting the other side. Further, many minority voters are not swayed by the left’s racial pandering, such as insisting on affirmative action-based college admission. Instead, minority voters reward politicians whose policies result in a booming economy, well-paying jobs, safe neighborhoods, and good schools and punish politicians whose policies have failed.
It is time Democrats learn that demographics are not destiny, but sound policies are.