As a Democrat, the GOP’s performance impressed me

Supporters+of+US+President+Donald+Trump+rally+at+Freedom+Plaza+in+Washington%2C+DC%2C+on+December+12%2C+2020%2C+to+protest+the+2020+election

Jose Luis Magana/AFP via Getty Images from Tribune News Service

Supporters of US President Donald Trump rally at Freedom Plaza in Washington, DC, on December 12, 2020, to protest the 2020 election

Jhony Chau, Reporter

While he may have lost the presidential election, Trump and the Republicans have showed that they are better at politics than we expected. Democrats need to learn from this election.

Although Trump lost the presidential election, Republicans are expected to keep control of the Senate, and the GOP made a dent into the Democrats’ majority in the house. The Republicans were able to flip House districts in places like Orange County and the Miami area. And although Trump lost five states he won in 2016, he managed to win the key swing state of Florida, which frightened many Democrats (including myself) on Election Day.

One thing that surprised many Democrats was Trump improving his support with Latinos. Latino support for Trump mostly surged in South Florida and the Rio Grande Valley in South Texas, but it also increased as far north as Philadelphia. According to Politico, “Trump improved his margins in 78 of the nation’s 100 majority-Hispanic counties.” Trump courted Latinos with bilingual campaigning and appealing to working-class entrepreneurs. 

The Republican Party’s base mostly consists of white voters, elderly voters, Christians, and people living in rural areas. As America continues to grow more diverse and urbanize, white voters, rural voters, and Christians will decline as a percentage of the population. It has long been assumed that if the GOP didn’t try to expand their base, the party would die off. The only problem with that claim is that they have been diversifying their base. 

According to an article by the Brookings Institution, “The Black Democratic Margin—while still high, at 75%, was the lowest in a presidential election since 2004. The Latino or Hispanic and Asian American Democratic margins of 33% and 27% were the lowest since the 2004 and 2008 elections, respectively.”

Us Democrats have taken Latinos for granted. You may want me to use the word “Latinx”, but I likely won’t. To me, it’s a silly word. It’s a word used to describe Latinos, but it’s mostly used by people who aren’t Latino. Only 3% of Latinos used the word “Latinx”, and a good chunk have never heard of the term. The word is one of many things from the left that have turned off or scared many Hispanic voters, as well as defunding the police and the fear of socialism.

Despite Joe Biden not being a socialist or wanting to defund the police, the fear alone tipped Florida for Trump. Latino voters are not a monolith. Cuban-Americans are different from Mexican-Americans and Puerto Rican-Americans. The same goes with Asian-Americans like me. Vietnamese and Filipino Americans vote differently from Korean and Japanese Americans. We must not assume everyone of a certain race, place, or age will vote the same way. 

On the other hand, while Donald Trump’s gains among Hispanics were notable, Hispanics also helped Biden win in Georgia and Arizona. There are other things for Democrats to celebrate. The same Brookings article previously cited shows that Biden made modest gains among white voters and older voters. The latter is important because older voters have notably high turnout. Joe Biden flipped rapidly growing cities like Fort Worth, Phoenix, and Jacksonville. 

To conclude, Democrats should not take any group for granted, and they should never underestimate Republicans.