top of page

College Educated Voters Swung AZ, GA & WI Blue... But Hasidics Didn't Swing Brooklyn Red

Jed Kolko and Toni Monkovic had a fascinating piece in the NY Times this morning, The Places That Had the Biggest Swings Toward and Against Trump. The Milwaukee, Atlanta and Phoenix metro areas swung so significantly against Trump, that Wisconsin, Georgia and Arizona flipped from red to blue. There were no equal but opposite examples of those kinds of consequential swings in favor of Trump that flipped a single state from blue to red. Without a Mormon third-party challenger in the race, Utah swung towards Trump in a big way but Trump had already won Utah in 2016. New York was odd, while the Buffalo and Albany areas swung away from Trump, Hasidic bloc voting in Brooklyn, brought that deep, deep blue borough more in Trump's direction-- but not enough to change a thing.

Reporting for The Forward this morning, Dahlia Scheindlin looked at how alienated the few Biden voters in the ultra Orthodox communities now feel. She even wrote about one who said he stopped discussing politics with his co-religionists because he was feeling like "a punching bag for Jewish Trumpers." A former Reagan Republican whose was disgusted with Trump, he told Scheindlin that "In Orthodoxy, I’m considered a traitor."

Many in the Orthodox communities are just flat out right-wingers, a kind of a mass Stockholm-syndrome embrace of the politics that sent their predecessors to concentration camps. Others were convinced that a vote against Trump was a vote against Israel. Although normal Jews overwhelmingly opposed Trump-- over 70% of Jews voted for Biden-- 80% of Orthodox Jews were on the Trump bandwagon. And in the primitive, tribal, self-imposed Haredi ghettos it was as much as 95%.

Shmuly Yanklowitz, a 39-year old Orthodox rabbi in Phoenix, voted for Biden and summarized the Orthodox attitude for Scheindlin-- a matter of loyalty to Trump. "You’re a traitor if you’re not robustly pro-Trump, because if you love your people, you’re pro-Trump, everything we need, he will provide... One of the most central Jewish values is to stand with the marginalized and the oppressed and raise a voice of conscience against injustice," which was the lens he looked out that turned him against Trump Hasidics aren't exactly known as a people interested in or capable of abstract thought.

The pro-Trump swing among Hispanics is far more worrying. Kolko and Monkovic wrote that "Most metro areas swung Democratic, but the most extreme swings were toward Mr. Trump, and the biggest of those were in heavily Hispanic metros, like Miami and areas along the Texas border. Initially it appeared that President Trump’s strength in 2020 relative to 2016 in heavily Hispanic counties might have been specific to South Florida and Texas border areas, despite the very different national origins and identities in those two regions. But data from later-reporting counties points to a national trend. The correlation between a county’s percent Hispanic population and its swing toward Trump was 0.41. Even excluding Miami-Dade County and all of Texas, the correlation is still 0.30. The Bronx, Los Angeles, Osceola County near Orlando, and Hudson and Passaic Counties in Northern New Jersey are all at least 40 percent Hispanic and swung toward Mr. Trump by at least five percentage points."

I don't have any final numbers on this yet, but it looks to me like Hispanic migration towards Trump and the GOP cost the Democrats at least 7 congressional seats: FL-26 (Debbie Mucarsel-Powell), FL-27 (Donna Shalala), CA-21 (TJ Cox), CA-39 (Gil Cisneros), CA-48 (Harley Rouda), NM-02 (Xochitl Torres-Small), and OK-05 (Kendra Horn)-- not to mention at least a dozen pick-up opportunities, like TX-23, a 70% Latino district where Hillary had beaten Trump by over 3 points in 2016, but where Republican Tony Gonzales beat Democratic Gina Ortiz-Jones in the open seat election by 4 points this year. This is something Democrats are going to have to address with some sense of urgency-- and immediately.

bottom of page