With the 2022 midterms firmly over, at least in most states and elections, now comes the job of discovering just what made 2022 so successful for some while devastating to others. Basically, it’s time to see who voted and who didn’t and, of course, estimate the why behind those decisions.
One major thing that analysts everywhere notice is that one major demographic seems to be vastly missing in the midterm results. And if that trend continues, it could mean bad news for Democrats in 2024.
According to the data, the demographic with the least amount of presence during the midterms was black Americans. In fact, The New York Times even noted that turnout for the “Black share of the electorate sank to its lowest level since 2006.”
Now, as you well remember, ahead of the midterms, many expected what they were calling a red wave, in which people from all walks of life would supposedly vote red or Republican despite being either a Democrat, independent, Hispanic, or black. But things didn’t exactly happen that way.
To be sure, there was significant growth in the Republican Party, as well as in the number of House and Governor seats won by that side of the aisle. But it wasn’t nearly as much as expected. And a large part of that could be attributed to the lack of black voters at polls throughout the United States.
As you likely know, the Democratic Party has long been known as one of supposed “inclusion” and “equality” for all. As such, it has drawn in great numbers of minorities over the years. So much so that it is typically assumed that if you are Hispanic, Black, or even Asian American, you’ll likely vote Democratic.
However, as both 2020 and 2022 proved, such assumptions can get you into a bit of trouble. Remember when Biden told voters, “you ain’t black” if you didn’t vote for him in 2020?
In 2022, Democrats likely didn’t think they needed to do much to convince either Black or Hispanic Americans to vote for them. But as the data shows, they should have. Hispanics continued a trend first seen in 2020, where voting red wasn’t so unheard of. As for Blacks, well, they just didn’t show up to the polls at all, at least in most states.
As Nate Cohn of The Times noted, “With the important exceptions of Georgia and North Carolina, the Black population share was below the national average in virtually all of the key districts and Senate contests.”
How far below the national average? Well, let’s look at the numbers themselves, shall we?
Specifically, we’ll examine the gap between white and Black voter turnout in Georgia, North Carolina, and Louisiana over the last few election cycles.
Back in 2008 and 2012, more Blacks voted than ever before, with a mere 2 and 4 percent gap, respectively. Now, this isn’t all that surprising because during these years, Barack Obama, our first Black president, was on the ballot.
But by 2014 through 2020, that gap rose to between 12 and 15 percent. And by 2022, there was a whopping 26 percent gap between white and Black voters at the polls.
Now, as I’ve already noted, North Carolina numbers were slightly more than this, with only a 16 percent gap in 2022. And while this is lower than the national average, it is twice as high as it was in 2018. And it’s a monstrous three times higher than it was in 2014.
And in some states, such as Wisconsin, that gap significantly affected election results. For instance, Republican Senator Ron Johnson beat out his Democratic opponent, Mandela Barnes, by about one percent, or 26,718 votes. But as Cohn noted, the number of black voters who didn’t show up at the polls in Milwaukee but who did in 2018 was roughly the same amount, 27,612.
Had those voters shown up and presumably voted Democratic, Barnes and not Johnson would have won.
Naturally, this trend is particularly interesting to Democratic operatives looking forward to 2024. In fact, it has most downright worried about their chances of success during that year’s presidential and congressional elections. One has even already said that this is “how we lose in 2024.”
And unless the party does something rather drastic and positive, I don’t see that prediction changing much, no thanks to Biden.