William Katz:  Urgent Agenda

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MORE DEMOCRATIC EROSION:  There are fewer and fewer rented chairs needed for Democratic Party rallies.  The whole party might soon be enclosed in shrink wrap.

We have received reports for at least the last six months of how support for the Dems within the Hispanic community has nosedived.  Republicans are even dreaming, realistically I think, of winning a majority of Hispanic votes in upcoming elections.  A growing number of Hispanics, according to informed analysts, feel the Democratic Party no longer represents their interests or values, and actually does very little for the Hispanic community, which tends to be hard-working, church-going and socially conservative. 

We've speculated here that other minorities in the Democratic coalition would start to feel the same way, considering the party's lurch to the left, and its fairly strong obsession with African-American concerns.  Minority communities don't necessarily agree with each other, or even like each other.  And when one minority seems favored by the party, the others start to ask, "What about us?"

The fastest-growing minority in the United States is Asian-Americans.  Their general lifestyle doesn't sound much like a Democratic backyard
barbeque.  And indeed, new polling suggests that a number of Asian-Americans are looking for the Democratic off-ramp.  From CNN:

A lot of attention has been paid to the problems President Joe Biden and other Democrats have with core party constituencies, including young and Hispanic voters. And there's been plenty of polling to back that up.

Far less attention, though, has been paid to potential declines in Democrats' standing among groups for which polling is more limited. Getting data on these groups usually requires aggregating polls and looking at trends in real-world elections. I've noted, for instance, Biden's declining approval rating with Black adults.

But what about Asian American voters, who made up only 4% of the electorate in 2020? Asian Americans are the fastest-growing racial or ethnic portion of the electorate, which makes them electorally important.

And that's where we begin our statistical journey today.

My interest in examining Asian American voters within the context of the larger electorate came about because of what has arguably been the political earthquake of the year thus far -- the June 7 recall of progressive District Attorney Chesa Boudin in deep-blue San Francisco.

One big reason Boudin went down to defeat: Asian American voters.

That election result and other data reveal that Asians are still likely to vote Democratic on the whole, but the party has seen a disproportionate decline in support among this group.
Let's start with the national polling. As I mentioned at the top, it's hard to get national polling that tracks Asian voters specifically. I would therefore take these trends as preliminary.

Pew Research Center polling, however, does show that Biden's standing with Asians has dropped precipitously. He's averaged a 53% approval rating and a 47% disapproval rating (or a +7 net approval rating, without rounding) in 2022 data. Biden won Asian voters by 44 points in 2020, according to Pew data.

In other words, his net approval margin with Asian adults now is 37 points lower than his margin over Republican Donald Trump among Asian voters in 2020.

That's far greater than the drop he's had with the electorate overall. Biden's net approval rating has averaged about -14 points this year in Pew polling. He won the 2020 election by a little less than 5 points, according to Pew data. That puts his net approval rating about 19 points lower than his margin over Trump in 2020.

A peek at the generic congressional ballot shows that these trends are not happening in a vacuum.

Pew's March poll gave Democrats a 28-point advantage among Asians on the ballot test, which asks voters which party they would support for Congress in their districts. That's 16 points lower than the margin Biden won them by in 2020. The same generic ballot had Democrats and Republicans tied among all voters, which is only about a 5-point drop for Democrats overall compared with Biden's 2020 margin. So the dip in Democratic support among Asian voters looks to be about 3 times as large as it is overall.

COMMENT:  The Democratic coalition, built largely around identity politics, appears to be crumbling.  We cannot know whether the crumble will stop and be reversed, or will continue and mark the end of the Democratic Party as we know it.   We can ask, of course, who would replace minority voters if they keep leaving.  The party reminds us of the old Soviet Union – people agitating to get out, not many agitating to get in. 

June 21, 2022