The Eritrean diaspora

Eritrea, which gained independence from Ethiopia in 1993, and which has been run by the former independence movement leader and now dictator pretty much since, Isaias Afwerki, has one of the most intensely alienated diasporas in the world. 800,000 Eritreans, or 13% live outside the country, some 300,000 of whom live in liberal democracies.  The diaspora population is riven by political schisms. Akwerki rules without a constitution or public budget. It may be the most difficult African country for the diaspora to exert any influence.

The Latino vote in November 2022

“We should aim for new narratives about Latinos that are as complicated and divided as America itself.” — from There Is No One Story About Latino Voters: The results of last week’s midterm elections are good news for Latino voters, who should be viewed with more nuance by both parties, by Geraldo Cadava in The New Yorker, November 14:

In the spring of 2021, after months of analysis, a consensus emerged that Trump won thirty-seven or thirty-eight per cent of the Latino vote in 2020, rather than the twenty-seven per cent reported in the American Election Eve Poll or the thirty-two per cent reported by national exit polls. Today, most professionals have settled on the idea that exit polls aren’t definitive, and the only way to really know how Latinos voted is to wait for precinct-level results, which take time to analyze.…..

Governor Ron DeSantis won the Latino vote outright, and not only among anti-communists. He won sixty-eight per cent of the Cuban vote, but also fifty-five per cent of the Puerto Rican vote and fifty per cent of votes from “other Latinos” (Venezuelans, Colombians, Mexicans, etc.)…..

[The varied results from the November elections] display an image that’s more blurry than clear. That’s a good thing, if not for Republican or Democratic partisans then for Latinos. It shows that both parties have work to do in winning Latino voters, and should lead to more curiosity about Latinos, not as Republicans or Democrats but as a rapidly growing group of Americans. Democrats have argued that Latinos by and large support progressive policies, on issues that include reproductive rights, the cost of health care, climate change, and gun safety. Yet support for those policies hasn’t necessarily translated into votes. Democrats see this largely as a problem of messaging, but it would be a mistake for them to ignore how many Latinos are drawn to Republican support for American exceptionalism, charter schools, religious freedom, lowering taxes, and slashing financial regulations.

What would be most unfortunate is if Republicans and Democrats cherry-picked the results that favored their narrative the most, to help them argue that there’s no need to shift course and no lessons to be learned from what happened in 2022. If the current partisan narratives hold—that Latinos are moving back toward the Democratic Party (not universally true), or that Latinos are becoming Republicans (also not universally true)—the conversation two years from now will be the same as it has been for the past two years. Instead, we should aim for new narratives about Latinos that are as complicated and divided as America itself.

I have commented on the rise of the Hispanic electorate here, here and

 

The upcoming Hispanic vote in November 2022

Hispanic support of the Democratic presidential candidate in 2020 dropped 8-9% from 2016. Democrats have been relying on the support of roughly 90% of Black voters and 70% of Hispanic voters. (Go here.) Will the Hispanic Democratic vote in November be 65% or lower?

The Wall Street Journal reported on October 18: “In the closing weeks of the 2022 midterm cycle, survey research suggests the trends of recent years are likely to continue. In 2018, Republicans won only 25% of the Hispanic vote. This year, the four most recent national surveys of likely voters place the Republican share of Hispanic voters between 34% and 38%. In Florida, where Republican Ron DeSantis leads Democrat Charlie Crist by 8 points in the race for governor, he leads by 16 among Hispanics. In Texas, where Democrat Beto O’Rourke trails Gov. Greg Abbott by 7 points overall, he is managing no better than a statistical tie among Hispanics.”

 

In Sept 2020 I wrote: Hispanics comprise about 13% of the eligible voters and rising. From 2004 though 2018, the number of vote-eligible Hispanics rose by 66% even though the entire population of the U.S, grew by only 10%. That is an annual increase of 3% of Hispanic eligible voters, vs. an absolute decline in white eligible voters. These trends will continue for some years.

In October 2021 Ronald Brownstein wrote: “…lots of working people of all races … want opportunity … They want a way to get ahead of their own effort.” “There are things that people trust Republicans on and you have to neutralize those disadvantages by moving to the center on them, and that includes the size of government, that includes the deficit.”

Hispanic education attainment has increased.  Hispanic home buying is expected to surge.

Anti immigration Republican rhetoric

From NY Times :

A memo written by Jim Jordan: The memo — which is marked “CONFIDENTIAL — FOR INTERNAL USE ONLY” — repeatedly insinuates that immigrants could be sex offenders, highlighting a handful of arrests at the southwestern border and of Afghan evacuees.

From Five Thirty Eight:

FL governor DeSantis: “Joe Biden has the nerve to tell me to get out of the way on COVID while he lets COVID-infected migrants pour over our southern border by the hundreds of thousands. No elected official is doing more to enable the transmission of COVID in America than Joe Biden with his open borders policies.”

From Axios:

Nevada Republican Senate hopeful Adam Laxalt touts his opposition to protections for Dreamers. Laxalt is seeking the nomination to run against Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (D), the nation’s first Latina senator.

In Ohio, GOP Senate candidate J.D. Vance claimed President Biden supported “open borders.” He referenced his own mother’s heroin addiction by saying, “This issue is personal. I nearly lost my mother to the poison coming across this border.”

BUT Voters in the Southwest in recent elections have rejected conservative candidates who have used harsh anti-immigrant language, GOP consultant Mike Madrid told Axios.

Trends in public opinion re unauthorized persons

Americans are sharply divided over legalization of unauthorized persons. (From Civiqs). Keep in mind that 60% of unauthorized persons have resided in the U.S. for at least ten years.

Overall, the division has been stable, turning more towards deportation very recently. These figures are for April. It used to be about 57-32. It is now 53-37

Whites are far less willing to grant citizenship that other racial / ethnic groups.




Strong support for citizenship is concentrated in young people.





Hardly any Republicans support citizenship.




Mexican Americans vs. Cubans in political clout

Mexican Americans are relatively weaker than Cuban Americans in national politics. Mexican Americans account for 11% of the total population but only 3% of Senators and 6% of Congresspersons. Cuban Americans account for 0.7% of the population by 3% of Senators and 1.7% of Congresspersons.

There is 1 Mexican American Senator for every 10 million persons of Mexican descent but 1 Cuban American Senator for every 666,000 Cuban American.

The Senate includes three Mexican Americans — Sens. Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.), Ben Ray Luján (D-N.M.), and Alex Padilla, (D-Calif.). — with the Mexican American population overall of about 37 million people. Roughly a quarter of Mexican-Americans are unauthorized. They were subjected to decades of discrimination. Many have little formal education – until very recently less than 10% of new Mexican immigrants had a college degree. . They are concentrated in states which are not swing states, such as Texas and California.

Cuban Americans, who number just 2 million, are represented by three Cuban American senators: Sens. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Ted Cruz (R-Tex.), and Bob Menendez (D-N.J.). Large numbers of Cubans, many from elite, mostly white wealthy families, started arriving in the 1960s after Fidel Castro overthrew dictator Fulgencio Batista. Over 20% are college educated. They form a potent voting bloc in a swing state – Florida.

Cold War Cuban refugees were given clear and quick paths to U.S. citizenship. Since 1966, the Cuban Adjustment Act treats all Cubans as refugees. Cubans who arrive in the United States are eligible for legal permanent residence one year after arrival. Under a1980 law, certain Cubans are also eligible for welfare benefits similar to refugees. No other nationality group has such preferential or immediate access to green cards and welfare benefits. Cuba has refused to take back its nationals who have been ordered deported.

Mostly from Axios, here.

Central American governments and emigration to US

Juan Orlando Herandez. president of Honduras, was an unindicted co-conspirator in his brother’s trial for drug smuggling into the U.S., and has been reported to having accepted bribes from drug smugglers. Three former attorneys general from Guatemala and El Salvador who have been forced into exile over the past four years.

Excerpts from an article on Central America:

Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador are not just poor and violent; they are beset by corruption and ineffectual, often predatory governance. On nearly all of the World Bank’s Worldwide Governance Indicators, including the effectiveness of government, rule of law, and control of corruption, countries in northern Central America lag well behind even their Latin American and Caribbean peers.

Over the past three decades, irregular migration from northern Central America has steadily grown, resulting in a dramatic increase in the number of non-Mexicans (predominantly Central Americans) apprehended at the southern U.S. border—from the low 10,000s in the 1990s to nearly 700,000 in fiscal year 2019. The Biden administration is now bracing for even more irregular migration across the U.S.-Mexican border. Through a series of executive actions, it has begun to reform antiquated border-processing infrastructure and the overtaxed asylum system, slowly unwinding Trump-era policies that eliminated migrants’ ability to claim asylum at the U.S. border and crippled the already limited capacity to deal with increased migration.

The United States cannot, of course, impose change. Rather, it should lift up local actors who are already responding to legitimate, popular demands for better governance. Where governments are open to reform, such as empowering national prosecutors to root out corruption and reforming laws to allow for the collection of more income and wealth taxes, Washington should provide political and technical support for those efforts. But where corrupt governing elites are resistant to change, Washington should partner with civil society.

The Trump administration turned its back on anticorruption efforts led by three former attorneys general from Guatemala and El Salvador, who have been forced into exile over the past four years. The United States must never betray such officials again. Instead, it should create a protection program to allow vulnerable officials and civil society leaders to seek refuge in the United States, signaling clearly that such actors are U.S. allies.

From Central Americans Are Fleeing Bad Governments To Stanch Migration, Washington Must Address a Deeper Crisis, By Dan Restrepo

What happened with the Hispanic and Asian vote in November?

Analysis of the Presidential election by David Shor  In November 2020. Hispanic support dropped by 8 to 9 percent. The jury is still out on Asian Americans. We’re waiting on data from California before we say anything. But there’s evidence that there was something like a 5 percent decline in Asian American support for Democrats. [PFR: Due to social conservatism and anti-Communism of many Hispanics and Asians, I am surprised that the decline is this modest.]

Democrats gained somewhere between half a percent to one percent among non-college whites and roughly 7 percent among white college graduates (which is kind of crazy). Our support among African Americans declined by something like one to 2 percent. And then Hispanic support dropped by 8 to 9 percent. The jury is still out on Asian Americans. We’re waiting on data from California before we say anything. But there’s evidence that there was something like a 5 percent decline in Asian American support for Democrats, likely with a lot of variance among subgroups. There were really big declines in Vietnamese areas, for example.

One important thing to know about the decline in Hispanic support for Democrats is that it was pretty broad. This isn’t just about Cubans in South Florida. It happened in New York and California and Arizona and Texas. Really, we saw large drops all over the country. But it was notably larger in some places than others. In the precinct-level data, one of the things that jumps out is that places where a lot of voters have Venezuelan or Colombian ancestry saw much larger swings to the GOP than basically anywhere else in the country. The Colombian and Venezuelan shifts were huge.

One of my favorite examples is Doral, which is a predominantly Venezuelan and Colombian neighborhood in South Florida. One precinct in that neighborhood went for Hillary Clinton by 40 points in 2016 and for Trump by ten points in 2020. One thing that makes Colombia and Venezuela different from much of Latin America is that socialism as a brand has a very specific, very high salience meaning in those countries. It’s associated with FARC paramilitaries in Colombia and the experience with President Maduro in Venezuela. So I think one natural inference is that the increased salience of socialism in 2020 — with the rise of AOC and the prominence of anti-socialist messaging from the GOP — had something to do with the shift among those groups.

As for the story with Hispanics overall, one thing that really comes out very clearly in survey data that we’ve done is that it really comes down to ideology. So when you look at self-reported ideology — just asking people, “Do you identify as liberal, moderate, or conservative” — you find that there aren’t very big racial divides. Roughly the same proportion of African American, Hispanic, and white voters identify as conservative. But white voters are polarized on ideology, while nonwhite voters haven’t been. Something like 80 percent of white conservatives vote for Republicans. But historically, Democrats have won nonwhite conservatives, often by very large margins. What happened in 2020 is that nonwhite conservatives voted for Republicans at higher rates; they started voting more like white conservatives.

the fundamental problem is that Democrats have been relying on the support of roughly 90 percent of Black voters and 70 percent of Hispanic voters. So if Democrats elevate issues or theories that a large minority of nonwhite voters reject, it’s going to be hard to keep those margins.

Where immigrant communities swung to Trump

The NY Times reports, “Across the United States, many areas with large populations of Latinos and residents of Asian descent, including ones with the highest numbers of immigrants, had something in common this election: a surge in turnout and a shift to the right, often a sizable one, based on a New York Times analysis of voting in 28,000 precincts in more than 20 cities. Biden won in almost all these precincts but the margin for the Democratic candidate narrowed.

In Cook County (Chicago) Biden won by 50 percentage points but 2,158 of immigrant-heavy precincts shifted right compared with 1,508 that shifted left. The Hispanic vote went more towards Trump. In Chinatown, Trump’s vote increased by 34 percent over 2016, while Mr. Biden received 6 percent fewer votes than Hillary Clinton.

In Miami, where a majority of Latinos are of Cuban descent, Biden’s margin of victory was just seven percentage points, down from Clinton’s margin of 29 percentage points in 2016. And two Democratic congresswomen lost their seats there in this election.

Across Texas, the red shifts were most pronounced in precincts with the highest proportion of Latinos. The Democratic margin in 80 percent Latino precincts dropped an average of 17 percentage points. In Houston’s 245 precincts with the largest share of Latinos, turnout was up sharply from 2016, and Trump won nearly two-thirds of the additional votes.

In Philadelphia, precincts in the Northeast — home to a mix of many Asian and Eastern European immigrants — shifted in Mr. Trump’s direction, even though a majority still favored Mr. Biden.

In New York City, where 38 percent of residents are immigrants, most areas shifted right, even though they all remained strongly Democratic. This included virtually every predominantly Latino precinct and ones where a majority of residents are of Asian descent.

In the city’s 100 precincts with the largest number of Latinos, Mr. Trump received 18 percent of the vote this year, compared with just 7 percent in 2016. In precincts with large numbers of residents of Asian descent, turnout was up 20 percent, with Mr. Trump winning most of the additional votes.

California is home to a third of the country’s residents of Asian descent. One of the most drastic red shifts in the country came in Orange County in precincts with many Vietnamese residents, who basically switched sides.

Asian-American votes for President in 2020

The number of Asian eligible voters rose from 4.6 million in 2000 to 11.1 million in 2020, and from 2.4% to 4.7% of the electorate. This is how they voted for President in November.

The Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund reported that Asian Americans favored Joe Biden over Donald Trump by a margin of 68% to 29%. There was no gender gap between Asian American men and women, with 67% of women and 66% of men voting for Biden and both groups supporting Trump at 31%. Only 35% of Asian-Americans had a favorable view toward Trump.

27% were first-time voters; 73% were not first-time voters. 54% were registered Democrats; 16% were registered Republicans; 27% were not enrolled in a party; and 3% were enrolled in another party. 27% were native-born U.S. citizens; 73% were foreign-born naturalized citizens.

Generally speaking, Asian-Americans who are U.S. born and are English-proficient were more likely to vote for Biden.

Some Asian-American groups were heavily pro-Biden, others voted more for Trump. Almost all Arab voters voted for Biden. Given their high concentration in Michigan, they likely explained the 85% pro Biden vote by Asian-Americans in that state.

Asian Indians voted for Biden by 72% to 26%.

Vietnamese and Cambodians voted Trump over Biden. These voting patterns were not explained; perhaps they are due to a high level of anti-Communist sentiment compared to other Asian-American populations. (Also, Koreans in Georgia voted for Trump over Biden.)

In Georgia, Asian Americans chose Biden by 62% to 36%. In the U.S. Senate races, Asian Americans voted for Democratic candidates over Republicans by a margin of 61% to 34%.