Tuesday’s Big Loser: Identity Politics


It wasn’t clear by Wednesday afternoon who had won the White House, but one bad idea was soundly defeated on Tuesday: identity politics. The concept that the country should be divided into aggrieved categories based on race, national origin or sex—now a core tenet of the Democratic Party—lost from coast to coast.

It lost in Miami-Dade County, Fla., where Cuban-Americans delivered votes for President Trump. We don’t know the final margin, but some polls going into the election had the president leading among Cuban-American voters by a margin as wide as 38 points. Identity politics also lost in Osceola County, near Orlando, where Mr. Trump appears to have done better than expected among Puerto Rican voters.

Identity politics lost in South Texas: Zapata County, 95% Mexican-American, went for Hillary Clinton by 33 points in 2016—but Mr. Trump won with 52.5% this time. Throughout the Rio Grande Valley, President Trump did better in 2020 than in 2016: In Starr County he lost by only five points (47% to Mr. Biden’s 52%), compared with a 60-point spread in Mrs. Clinton’s favor four years ago. In Jim Hogg County Mr. Trump lost by 18 points, down from more than 50 in 2016. In Webb County Mr. Trump won 36.6% of the vote, up from 22.8% in 2016.

Identity politics even took it on the chin in California, where voters defeated an attempt to revoke Proposition 209, the 1996 ballot measure that bans the use of race, national origin or sex by state universities and other agencies. The left has spent almost a quarter-century trying to reverse that decision, but its latest attempt lost handily.

Chinese-American parents in the Golden State led the opposition to this attempt to reintroduce racial preferences, sometimes fighting Asian-American affinity organizations such as Chinese for Affirmative Action and Asian Americans Advancing Justice, which seem to put the interests of leftist white donors ahead of those of immigrant parents.



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