Is the racial divide shrinking?

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David Catron’s article for The American Spectator focuses on how the racial divide in North Carolina’s Ninth District is closing. Catron writes “Last week the Democrats were touting the special election in North Carolina’s 9th District as the first major contest of the 2020 cycle, and the polls indicated that Democrat Dan McCready might win what should be a pretty safe GOP seat. By Wednesday morning, after Republican Dan Bishop had won, their focus had shifted and much commentary was devoted to his ‘thin margin of victory.’ Little notice was taken of certain voting patterns that should frighten the Democrats. Specifically, McCready did far worse than expected in every county but one, and many of those counties are dominated by minority voters.”

In this paragraph, though, Catron notices that “The most unnerving example, from the Democratic perspective, is rural Robeson County. The ethnic makeup of this county is as follows: Native American (38.6%), White (25.7%), Black (24%), Hispanic (8.52%), Two or More Races (2.15%), Asian (0.66%), Other (0.275%). On Tuesday the Democrat received a fraction of the votes he received in 2018, running for the same seat. Ryan Matsumoto of Inside Elections provides the gory details: ‘McCready won Robeson County by only 1.11 points, a MASSIVE decrease from his 15.31 point margin last November.‘ In 2012, Obama carried Robeson by 17 points.”

That isn’t the type of performance that Democrats should be happy with. Still, Republicans shouldn’t be too overjoyed. The margin was still too narrow for my liking. This might explain why Bishop did so well with minorities:

One result: the persistent gap between white and black unemployment also narrowed to its smallest on record. The unemployment ratio has averaged around 2 to 1 or so for decades, meaning the black unemployment rate is typically twice the white unemployment rate. In good times, the unemployment rate of whites and blacks falls but the gap remains…. [B]lack unemployment typically remains around twice that of white employment…. In other words, the decline in employment inequality now is undeniably the best on record because it comes in the context of falling unemployment.

If that performance can be replicated in other battleground states and swing districts, that would make quite a difference. The fact that President Trump’s policies are helping narrow the unemployment gap between minorities and whites is a great selling point for President Trump’s campaign. It shows that he’s actually accomplishing things that are making life better for minorities.

By contrast, Democrats have overpromised and underdelivered for decades. In answer to President Trump’s question to minorities of “What do you have to lose?”, it’s pretty obvious that minorities have another generation to lose. Finally, there’s this:

The voters who elected Dan Bishop to the House of Representatives are the people who actually work for a living in places like Cumberland, Richmond, and Robeson counties. They are by no means all white, and they remember all too well what it was like during the Obama years and how it felt to go hat in hand to the unemployment office. That should frighten the Democrats badly.

Let’s see who wins that district in 2020.