Democrats and Biden Beating Trump’s Republicans on Identity Politics

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[2020 Elections]
Five-Thirty-Eight: "America is talking about identity and race, and so are both presidential candidates. And all that racial talk seems to be helping Democrats, not Republicans."
Photo: YouTube

After President Trump won the 2016 election, there was a big debate over the role “identity politics” played in his victory.

Some scholars argued that many white voters without a college degree — a group that proved pivotal in that election — jumped from supporting then-President Barack Obama in 2012 to Trump in 2016 largely because they liked Trump’s framing of identity issues, such as immigration, more than Hillary Clinton’s.

After the election, some (usually white) liberal and Democratic-leaning voices said that Democrats needed to abandon “identity politics” or face more defeats like Clinton’s.

Other liberal voices (often Black) said that Trump had successfully tapped into the racist views of many white Americans.

Both of those perspectives implied that debating issues of identity and race was bad for Clinton and good for Trump, and in the future it would be good for the GOP and bad for Democrats.

Never mind all that, at least for now. America is talking about identity and race, and so are both presidential candidates. And all that racial talk seems to be helping Democrats, not Republicans.

Joe Biden led Trump by about 6 percentage points in national polls on May 25, the day a Minneapolis police officer killed George Floyd. Biden leads Trump by an average of nearly 10 points now, after weeks of race and racism dominating the national discussion.

Obviously a lot of factors could explain Trump’s decline in the polls, most notably the coronavirus outbreak and the president’s failure to come up with any real plan to limit the virus’s spread.

For the rest of this Five-Thirty-Eight story log on to:https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/if-talking-about-race-hurts-democra...

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