Lack of diversity in Bernie support will contribute to his unelectability
I’m writing this column just a day away from March 1 — Super Tuesday. For Bernie Sanders, Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, and John Kasich, it is judgment day. That’s right, after Tuesday we voters will finally get a better picture on who will be duking it out 1-on-1 come fall of this year. How the next 13 states vote will determine who’s in, who’s out, and it will also determine if my “dream come true” of a Republican-brokered convention becomes all the more likely after all the votes are in. But before all the fun begins, I would like to touch on a subject that has been oh-so important thus far in the election cycle: Bernie’s electability.
An issue that has been hammered home by the Clinton camp time and time again is that Bernie has an electability problem. It is not because of his age, nor really because of his socialist rhetoric, but because of the voting coalition that he has created. During his run for the White House, Bernie has relied almost exclusively upon the youth to turn out and vote for him time and again. It has worked for him well enough; he came but a few delegates shy of winning Iowa, finished within striking distance in Nevada, and absolutely demolished Hillary in New Hampshire. But it was the South Carolina primary on Saturday that meant defeat on Super Tuesday for good ol’ Bernie, as he lost by an astounding 47% in the Palmetto State. One major reason? The fact that 61% of Democratic voters were black, and that 86% of the black vote went to Hillary. Bernie has an electability problem because he has a diversity problem.
Today’s Democratic Party is only 60% white, that’s it. 22% of the Democratic Party is black, 13% Hispanic, 2% Asian, and 3% undesignated, with all of this data coming from Gallup in 2013. Four out of 10 Democratic voters are of color, standing in stark contrast with the Republican Party’s lack of diversity with one in 10 voters being people of color. The Democratic Party’s base is no longer racially homogenous, and Bernie’s electability suffers because of it. In 2012, 66% of all black voters turned out with 93% voting Democrat. Black voters actually voted at higher rates than did their white counterparts for the first in a very long time, and any Democrat running for President wants to either maintain or build upon that magical number. A candidate accomplishes this by wooing voters of color, and Bernie just hasn’t been doing that. That’s why Bernie has an electability problem; he is just too white.