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Columbia U. scholar explains Trump’s rise in popularity with blacks, Hispanics

According to an Edison Research exit poll published in The Washington Post, President Donald Trump received 12 percent of the African American vote on Election Day, an increase of 50 percent over his share of black votes in 2016.

This was predicted by Musa al-Gharbi, a fellow at the Columbia University sociology department, in a column published Monday at NBC News. According to al-Gharbi, many minority voters simply do not view some of Trump’s controversial comments and policies as “racist,” and in fact, many of Trump’s controversial comments actually resonate more strongly with minority voters than whites, given that different minority groups are often skeptical of one another.

As al-Gharbi writes:

Academics generally avoid examining bigotry among members of minority groups — focusing nearly exclusively on anti-minority sentiment among whites. And they often approach politics in intersectional terms: Campaigns to assist Muslims, poor people, Blacks, Hispanics, Asians, LGBTQ Americans, women, etc. are viewed as fundamentally interconnected — part of the same overarching struggle for justice and equality.

Within this worldview, it would be natural to assume that if Trump says something negative about one minority group, it will likely alienate other minorities, as well. However, as a matter of fact, people from historically marginalized or disadvantaged groups often hold very negative opinions of people from other minority populations — and do not seem to approach social issues in intersectional terms.

Yet even with his growth in support among minorities, Trump’s support among whites receded:

Fortunately for Democrats, Trump has turned off so many non-Hispanic white voters over the last four years that the party can probably avoid a racial reckoning — for now. However, should alienated whites begin to migrate back to the Republican Party post-Trump, Democrats could find themselves in a tough electoral position if they cannot halt the long-running erosion of minority voter support.

Read the full column here.

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