Monday, January 18

A Small, Enduring Bloc – The New York Times


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Since taking office, President Trump has lost support among most major demographic groups: women and men, older and younger voters, college graduates and non-graduates. But there are at least two big exceptions: Black and Latino voters.

Trump will lose both groups badly in November, polls show. But his support among them has not slipped. If anything, it may have risen slightly. Close to 10 percent of Black voters and roughly 30 percent of Latinos back Trump.

“I think there’s a lot of denial about this fact,” David Shor, a top Democratic data analyst, recently told New York magazine.

This enduring Black and Latino support for Republicans has had big consequences. It helped the party win victories in 2018 in Florida, Georgia and Texas, and could help decide Senate control this year.

Mark Hugo Lopez of the Pew Research Center notes that Latinos are a diverse group. In focus groups in Florida, Lopez has seen Dominican- and Cuban-Americans react to Trump’s harsh comments about Mexican immigrants with lines like, “That’s unfortunate but not necessarily me.”

Finally, some analysts say that Joe Biden and other Democrats haven’t given voters of color enough reason to support the party. “Dems need to give them something to vote for, not simply against,” Cornell Belcher, a Democratic strategist, told me.

“Latinos don’t have a strongly formed opinion” about Biden, Stephanie Valencia of Equis Research told Vox’s Matthew Yglesias.

For more: Shor’s wide-ranging interview with Eric Levitz is full of fascinating political analysis.

Protests across the U.S. grew more volatile over the weekend, spurred by the presence of federal agents in Portland, Ore. In Seattle, protesters smashed windows and set fires, and the police responded with flash grenades and pepper spray.

“I’m furious that Oakland may have played right into Donald Trump’s twisted campaign strategy,” said Libby Schaaf, the mayor of Oakland, Calif. “Images of a vandalized downtown is exactly what he wants to whip up his base and to potentially justify sending in federal troops that will only incite more unrest.”

In Austin, Texas: A demonstrator carrying a rifle was shot and killed on Saturday by a motorist who had threatened protesters with his car, the authorities said.



Abortion-rights advocates have long claimed Margaret Sanger — who opened the first birth control clinic in the U.S. — as a hero. Abortion opponents have long argued that Sanger’s advocacy for eugenics — limiting child birth among the poor, disabled and others — was a precursor to abortion.

Planned Parenthood’s decision last week to drop Sanger’s name from its Manhattan clinic, citing her support for eugenics and tolerance of racism, has rekindled the debate.

Anti-abortion writers argue that Planned Parenthood’s leaders have effectively acknowledged the connection between abortion and racism. “This does not excuse their continued perpetuation of her legacy through their insidious practice of targeting the most vulnerable, especially poor women and women of color (both of whose populations so often intersect), by locating the vast majority of Planned Parenthood clinics within walking distance of nonwhite neighborhoods,” Serrin Foster and Damian Geminder write in America, a Jesuit publication.

The Times’s Ross Douthat cites the writing of both Ibram X. Kendi and Justice Clarence Thomas to argue that abortion fails the test of anti-racism.

Cathy, a Times reader in Hopewell Junction, N.Y., responded in the Comments section:

“You can convince me that structural racism, poverty, lack of opportunity, expensive child care, wage inequality and any number of social ills make abortion more necessary, but the sin lies with our society, not Planned Parenthood. If we want to reduce abortion, and want to argue that racism is an inherent part of abortion, we need to reduce the demand, not the supply.”

Roxane Gay has previously written in The Times that Sanger “freed women from indenture to their bodies.”



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