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Women of color present potent threat to Trump’s reelection

Taeku Lee, professor of political science and of law | August 13, 2019

Co-authored with EunSook Lee

Conservatives tacitly recognize the political power of women of color when they try to discredit them through ridicule and harassment. Consider President Trump’s attacks on the members of “the squad” who have proven to be remarkably deft and savvy politicians.Women of color will be a voting force.

Or recall that Gov. Brian Kemp of Georgia played referee, scorekeeper and contestant so he could tip the scales in his favor in the 2018 election for governor against Stacey Abrams, whose voter protection efforts had begun years earlier.

Women of color, especially black women, are potent forces in progressive politics, both in office and as organizers who mobilize voters. It seems that conservatives understand this better than liberals.

That’s why it’s important to note that the outcome of the 2020 election will likely depend upon the efforts of independent groups led by women of color — like Asian Americans Advancing Justice-Atlanta and the New Virginia Majority Education Fund — that are expert at the nuts and bolts of politicking.

A new report called “Ahead of the Majority,” by the AAPI Civic Engagement Fund and Groundswell Fund uses recently released census data, polling data from the 2018 midterm elections and interviews with community organizers to illuminate the political power of women of color. Their numbers are growing, and they are turning out to vote; mobilizing their families, friends and communities; and taking to the streets.

Since 2008, women of color have grown by 18 percentage points in the general population and by 25 percentage points among registered voters. This is starting to show up at the ballot box. The 2018 election set new benchmarks for turnout in a midterm election, with a whopping 30 million more people voting than in 2014. For women of color, the increased turnout was even more stark, at 37 percent; for Latinas it was 51 percent; and for Asian-American and Pacific Islander women, 48 percent.

Women of color incited this change because they mobilized their friends and family in significant numbers. Black women led the way, with 84 percent convincing members of their social networks to register and vote, followed by 76 percent of Asian-American and Pacific Islander women, 72 percent of Native American women, 70 percent of Latinas and 66 percent of white women.

Turnout also substantially relied on the efforts of independent political groups. Consider that nearly half of 2018 voters who were contacted to register or go to the polls reported that the contact came from a group unaffiliated with a political party.

Voters of color were more likely to have been contacted this way, and these numbers buttress the experience of community-based organizations on the ground that carried out an uncommon range of nonpartisan civic engagement activities to reach those who had recently become citizens or who were classified as having a “low propensity” to vote.

Comments to “Women of color present potent threat to Trump’s reelection

  1. I think you might be wrong. Contrary, the women of color are energizing the base. They are not effective in making the counter-argument. If you have not noticed, the country has rejected the idea of diversity and inclusion. If you want to make that argument, a strong young white male much like JKF is needed to counter an old narrative of division and separation. This is not the first time for the country to go through this, and it won’t be the last time. The more you push colored folks in the faces of white-America, the more the country will resent you.

    • How dare you as black Americans are just as powerful as you white Americans who stole our land in the first place so how dare you even speak with your ignorance

  2. tRump is telling rallies that the stock market will collapse if he isn’t reelected.
    Hillary had a reasonably good economic plan which is a big reason she won
    a majority of the popular vote.
    Democrat’s Presidential candidate must have a solid, realistic economic agenda
    so that WOC will have a smart fighter to tout in the brutal competition to come.

  3. It is a partial truth to write that “Trump’s re-election strategy is focused on energizing his base of disaffected white men” because strategists know that that demographic cannot constitute a majority, so their efforts are also focused on suppressing those voters whom they cannot turn to the dark side.

    This is what happened in the electoral win in 2016: fewer POC turned out for Clinton than turned out for the Obama re-election because they were targeted by political ads discouraging them from voting. If the efforts of grassroots organizations like those cited in this piece can counteract the suppression, then indeed the noisy minority of GOP sympathizers will fail to take over the government again. Why does it seem so easy to get POC not to show up at the polls? It has a Stockholm syndrome appearance — don’t fall for it. The way to gain power is to take power. Believe!

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