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Friday, March 27, 2015

David Brooks, "The Field Is Flat": Can Hillary Bring in the Black Vote?

In his latest New York Times op-ed entitled "The Field Is Flat," David Brooks would have us know of a "series of trends that may cancel out the Democratic gains with immigrants, singles and the like" in America's 2016 presidential election. Brooks explains:

  • "People tend to get more Republican as they get older, and they vote at higher rates."
  • "Democrats continue to lose support among the white working class."
  • "Democrats are now doing worse among college-educated voters."
  • "And, most significant, there are signs that Hispanic voters, at least in Sun Belt states, are getting more Republican as they move up the educational ladder."

Actually, the mechanics of the 2016 presidential election are a heck of a lot simpler than David thinks. As reported in an August 28, 2013 Washington Post article entitled "The wide racial gap in Obama’s presidential elections, in 2 charts" by Peyton M. Craighill and Sean Sullivan:

"Ninety-three percent of black voters supported President Obama in 2012, exit poll data show. By comparison, just 39 percent of white voters supported a second term for the president. The 54-point racial gap (nearly identical to the 52-point gap in Obama's first election in 2008) was the widest since 1984, when blacks were 55 points more likely than whites to back Democratic nominee Walter Mondale.

. . . .

Obama's 2012 victory was due in no small part to both strong support and strong turnout from minority voters. No other Democratic president in history had won with as large a deficit among white voters.

Blacks made history in 2012, voting at a higher rate than whites for the first time ever, Census Bureau data show. Sixty-six percent of eligible black voters cast ballots, compared to 64 percent of eligible white voters."

Or in other words, it all boils down to whether Hillary will be able to attract an overwhelming majority of African American voters in 2016, and whether they will turn out in the same numbers for her as they did for Obama. If she fails to gain this kind of support, she loses the election to her Republican opponent.

It's that simple.

[Those who read this blog know that I requested a correction of would-be Middle East expert Thomas Friedman's last Times opinion piece, and lo and behold:

"Correction: March 27, 2015

Thomas L. Friedman’s column on Wednesday incorrectly described the Taliban as an Arab movement. Most of its members are Pashtuns, not Arabs."

Will wonders never cease!]


  1. I hope you are right, Jeff, because if you are then Hillary (or any other Democrat) can't win. After Obama, the Democrats don't deserve the W.H. I am concerned, however, that Hillary could beat Jeb Bush in a low turnout election. My concern is twofold: 1. Hard core conservatives consider Bush to be too liberal. 2. Jeb Bush is Catholic. I would not underestimate my second point. I'm a newer Christian. I love God, Jesus and the Bible. I am not, however a big fan of religion. As I have tried to find a church over the last several years I notice there is (still) a lot of anti-Catholic rhetoric. If many Christians don't like Catholics you can guess what they think of Mormons. Where am I going with this? I suspect that Mitt Romney's religion cost him more votes that any poll could measure because some people just stayed home. I fear something similar could happen in a Bush-Clinton election. Also, aside from "Thank God he's not Obama", what's your opinion of Jeb Bush regarding Israel?

    1. Thanks for your comment. I doubt that Jeb Bush actually has an opinion about Israel, and after Baker's appearance at J Street, I question whether Bush has any foreign policy awareness at all. I would much prefer to see Marco Rubio as the Republican candidate.

    2. I'm afaid I wasn't aware that James Baker is an advisor to Jeb Bush. (I also didn't know he was still alive.) Yikes! But, "foreign policy awareness", isn't that all one really needs to have? It's in The best interest of the U.S. to support Israel (and vice-versa). I don't expect any two contries to agree on everything, but in the face of a hostile Muslim world, The U.S. and Israel must stand together, particularly outwardly. If Iran gets a nuclear bomb, for example, WE WILL be on the same side. It really is that simple.

  2. Do we know what Hillary and Barack talked about in their secret WH meeting? The always reliable Jewish vote? That vote is big enough to make NJ, PA, CT, and OH a swing state.

    Maybe she just wanted to congratulate the president who leaked Israel's nuclear secrets on Feb 12, 2015?

    As for the 2016 election, my theory about Jeb Bush is that he entered to stop Romney (done), and Christie (workin' on that), and, if another Bush gets the nomination, and it is another Clinton, then that dynasty issue becomes the election.

    As for Senator Rubio? no one really wants another young silver-tongued senator with no executive experience.
    The GOP has so many good governors to choose from.

    The Dems will have to nominate Michelle Obama :)

    Congrats on getting that correction from the NYT.


    1. "The heavily redacted, 129-page report, titled “Critical Technological Assessment in Israel and NATO Nations,” describes the nuclear powers of the country as they blossomed over the span of two decades."

      WaPo forgot to mention that all sections related to NATO countries were redacted.
      Read more:
      Follow us: @washtimes on Twitter

  3. k, I'm not familiar with Rubio at this point, but to suggest that he is not qualified to be President because he is another "young silver- tounged senator with no executive experience" creates the impression that if Obama had executive experience prior to being president he would have been just dandy. Nothing could be futher from thr truth. Rubio is just a senator. I will count that as one strike against him, but I wouldn't disqualify him based on that alone, even after Obama.

    1. I was just posting what the conservative media is saying about the Senators Rubio, Paul, and Cruz. I agree that Rubio's worldview is normal, compared to what Obama believes, but, experience in management is actually useful in this messed-up system of government that has spawned an Executive Branch that only retired Senator Tom Coburn tried to wrestle into something like efficiency.

      The GOP has the governors, and here is Jennifer Rubin on Scott Walker and Rick Perry, here is an interview:

      The GOP has such a deep bench.

      The Democrats are fracturing in real time, e.g., the Maryland Senate primary to replace Mikulski is already divided by Israel as an issue.

      As soon as Harry Reid endorsed Schumer as the next possible Dem minority leader, the left went ballistic, allegedly because of Chuck's ties with Wall Street.

      I meant to add that I do believe Jeb Bush is sincere in pursuing the nomination, if only to redeem the family name, but his timing did knock out Romney, maybe Christie, and that is what is important.