COMMENTARY: Is America’s Ethnic Vote a Blue Wave Rising or Falling?

By Emil Guillermo

A week ago, there was no Red Wave. Is there a Blue one?

If you look at other exit polls, there aren’t as many.

BIPOC voters were seen and heard on election night. And their unity was the key.

But from the numbers, it appears that the coalition is beginning to travel a bit.

Overall, whites were 72% of voters on November 8, according to the Associated Press Vote Cast exit poll. And they voted Red (Republican) 59% to 39% Blue (Democratic).

Of which 39% are allies of traditional BIPOC voters. And we better hope the number goes up.

Covering less than 25% of the electorate on November 8, BIPOC voters could still use all the help they can get. Although they provided good midterm election results for Democrats, it should have been better.

It is not.

Reason? Blues become ever so slightly less blue.

Sure, on election night BIPOC voters were mostly Democratic, and thanks to that, we saw an unexpected “mini blue wave”.

Black made up 11% of the voters and went 83% Blue, with only 14% Red.

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That’s high, but still lower by up to seven percentage points compared to mid-2018, according to network exit polls and AP VoteCast polls, as reported by the Washington Post.

Hispanic/Latino voters are 11% of the electorate on November 8th and are 56% Blue to 40% Red.

Again, that’s a decrease of about 9 to 10 percentage points from mid-2018.

Asian Americans make up just 2% of voters on November 8th and are 64% Blue to 34% Red.

That’s consistent with what the AALDEF exit poll found in a 15-state multilingual exit poll targeting Asian American/Pacific Islanders.

But in mid-2018, Asian American Blue support was around 71%.

Native Hawaiians / Pacific Islanders were less than .5% of voters and it was 58% Blue to 38% Red. It is lower than the AA section of Asian Ameican Native Hawaiian Pacific Islander.

I am also surprised that American Indian voters, only 1% of voters on November 8, were 37% Blue to 57% Red.

So, have American Indian voters gone where other BIPOC voters are? One can chalk up the ethnic vote slide to turnout. But considering motivating factors like the economy, abortion, or even the fate of democracy, I think even if the turnout is good, some may be tired of the divided government and are willing to test new ideas that can work for them.

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Is that a new idea perhaps Donald Trump?


Trump, who is set to announce his candidacy for a third term for president this week, is doing so against a headwind. The rejection of the election was defeated. For governors, for Congress, for state level election chiefs. He is no longer seen as a champion. He is a bona fide loser among losers. Even exit polls to favor Trump are a disaster.

How can he win? By acknowledging how America’s demographics have changed and begin courting ethnic voices.

I don’t mean Herschel Walkers, who Dave Chappelle on SNL called “observably stupid.”

I mean ordinary folks who see themselves as independent swing voters.

I say this is not a jest, although I wish I was.

Courting the ethnic vote was one of the things the GOP seemed committed to in 2016, but then Trump came in and the GOP embraced Trump’s language.

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It would be ironic if outreach to ethnic voters could be the one thing that could help the future of the GOP and Trump — by taking advantage of what appears to be a dwindling Blue key to ethnic voters.

Of course, it could also lose them to Trump’s rabid and racist base, the whitest people on January 6, who see in Trump a person who will reflect their xenophobic tendencies in a shrinking white world.

That can actually be a good thing to see them shamed back under the rock.

It boils down to which group can make the GOP and Trump the winner again.

If you don’t want to see that, work to keep the BIPOC coalition stronger than ever in the fight for civil rights, voting rights, immigration rights, LGBTQ rights, abortion rights.

The ethnic vote is not bluer than blue, but the majority is still blue.

And that’s all you need in a democracy.

Emil Guillermo is a journalist and commentator. He did the show


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