Understanding what went well – and what went wrong – for Democrats in Nevada and Wisconsin will be immediately important to the party at the midpoint, as both states present hotly contested races in the House, in the Senate and as governor. POLITICO dove into Catalist’s best take-out:
Latino voters walked away from Nevada Democrats
Democrats won a majority of Latino voters nationally and in Nevada. But they struggled to maintain their dominant margins in 2020, especially in Florida and South Texas. And in Nevada, the numbers are particularly troubling for the party, where Biden won the state by the same voting margin as Hillary Clinton, even as voter turnout skyrocketed by 30%.
Catalist found that the Latino voters most likely to walk away from Democrats from 2016 to 2020 were younger, women, and people without a college degree – subsets that generally have a bluer tendency.
Research also showed that the biggest deterioration occurred among Latinas: From 2016 to 2020, support for Democrats among Latinas fell 11 points compared to Latino men, whose support for Democrats fell by 6 points. Notably, the report points out that erosion among Latinas began in 2018 in Nevada, suggesting that the 2020 results are not a “fluke” but “part of a multi-cycle trend.”
A near miss in Wisconsin
When Catalist studied the 2020 national vote earlier this year, he found that one of the key ingredients in Biden’s victory was that he had stopped the Democratic slide among white voters without a four-year college degree. He didn’t do much better than Hillary Clinton – just a single percentage point – but it was quite combined with other changes.
But Catalist’s calculation in Wisconsin gave a different result there: Biden overthrew the state despite performing slightly below Clinton’s among non-graduate whites.
Instead, Biden took a slightly different path to victory in Wisconsin, which hosted some of the country’s closest elections in the past decade. The president did slightly worse among black voters nationally than Clinton, but the decline was smaller in Wisconsin than in other states. Combined with a better performance among college-educated whites and their growing share of the electorate, Biden was able to squeeze his margin of 20,682 votes using a different combination of factors than other key states.
Mobilization or persuasion? It is not that simple.
One of the report’s main findings runs counter to the conventional wisdom that has prevailed in both parties: this higher turnout automatically favors Democrats – especially in training new voters of color, as regular voters in those parties groups are strongly Democrats.
But despite a large influx of new voters to Nevada in 2020, the Catalist report notes that this was one of two states, along with Florida, where Biden did not improve Clinton’s share of the bipartisan vote against. Trump four years earlier. .
“It’s important because people who don’t get involved in politics often don’t tend to have strong ideological or partisan attachments,” Robinson said in an interview. “They are less likely to identify with parties, to attend primaries, to watch the news. I think this is a useful way to understand these constituents. They’re new, they’re not a part of that – they’re different from what a caricature of them might look like. “
This partly explains why Nevada’s rapidly changing population – the share of the electorate that was white rose from 72% in 2008 to 64% in 2020, according to the Catalist Report – did not automatically make Nevada a state. democratic in complete security. during this time.
But the trend has wider implications, and it’s an important data point that Democratic strategists and financiers should keep in mind when designing and funding programs to preserve Biden’s winning electoral map or try to keep it in mind. overthrow new states in future elections.