Who had the most impact on swing state outcomes?
As Shamontiel L. Vaughn points out later in her article, you have to look at the marginal impact on the outcome of the POTUS election. Which were the swing states in play (because of that racist anti-democratic institution that. no other country in the world uses)? Which districts swung the state? In which demographics in those districts did voter turnout increase dramatically (and who did that work)? What percentage of the population did those demographics count for? How overwhelmingly did they support Biden?
The answers? They are in Shamontiel’s article.
Swing states: Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Nevada, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin.
Districts: racially diverse inner cities and diversifying suburbs.
Increased voter turnout: Black people, Black people, Black people. (Some increases in White turnout as well, but we know how they swing and they were not disenfranchised as a whole to begin with.)
Who did that work: Stacey Abrams’ Fair Fight, Black Voters Matter and other grassroots power organizations. In Nevada, Hispanic/Latin dominated Unions.
Percentage of population in those key districts: about 20% were Black women in most of those swing states. In Nevada, Hispanic/Latin voters dominated. (But, let’s not forget the descendants of Cuban and Venezuelan aristocratic white colonial families allied with their right wing dictatorships who are solidly pro Republican. If the Latin/Hispanic vote is a monolith, these need to be discounted from the beneficial impact in Nevada, or we should count them as a separate demographic, in which case the non-Cuban-Venezuelan Hispanic/Latin percentage of the US population will reduce.)
Who did they support: Overwhelmingly Biden.
So, Black Women turning out in large numbers in key districts swung states significantly towards Biden.
Black Women saved us.
Whose votes contributed most to the margin of victory?
Some Latina TV personality or real housewife claims that “Latina women were the real heroines here.” This can be evaluated quantitatively. What we are interested in is which votes contributed most to Biden’s margin of victory. If a neighbourhood of a 100 people split their votes 50 each for Biden and Trump, the neighbourhood has not contributed to either candidate’s margin of victory. On the other hand, if in a two person household both vote for the same candidate, the household has contributed 1 vote to the margin of victory, the number of votes over and above an even split. So a demographic’s contribution to the margin of victory is a product of the percentage in favor of a candidate above that required for a win and the proportion of the voting population the demographic accounts for. So a smaller population with a strong favorability towards a candidate can contribute more to that candidate’s margin of victory than a larger population with a weak favorability. Let’s see how this works out in POTUS 2020. (Data from NYTimes)
Let’s look at the contribution to the margin by Black Males (4th row). 80% of Black Males voted for Biden (5th column), 31% more than the 49% expected from a random even split between Biden and Trump (2% voted for other candidates). But they are only 4% of the voting population (7th column), so their relative contribution to Biden’s margin is 31 * 4 = 124, which is in the 8th column.
The relative contributions to Biden’s margin, by race X gender demographic: To no surprise, White males tried to knock it out of the park for Trump, with strong support from their handmaidens, err, White women. Luckily, every other major demographic came out in favor of Biden: Black women, Black men, Latinos, Latinas, Indigenous people and Asian Americans. But who won the “real heroes” Olympics? Latinas? As Longoria claimed? No.
Black women are the real heroines.
By a factor of 2.
Even though they are the same fraction of the population as Latinas, twice as many more than random (91–49 = 42%) voted in favor of Biden as did Latinas (70–49 = 21%). Black men, who have been maligned because three of them came out publicly in support of Trump, did really well. With only one eighth of the population as White women, their pro-Biden votes overcame a good chunk (5/8) of the Karen vote.
The real disappointment? Latin men, and their measly 12% above random support for the opponent of someone who calls them rapists.
So Longoria, ally yourself with Black women and get to work on your men.
Curious about the 6th column? We know how the race X gender demographics voted. But we also know how the races voted and how the genders voted, collectively. The question is whether the race X gender vote is correctly predicted by the mathematical combination of the race vote and the gender vote. As and Asian man, how accurately is my actual propensity to vote for Biden predicted by my propensity as an Asian and my propensity as a man? That is the prediction error in column 6.
Latinas and Latinos voted as predicted by a combination of their race and gender. White women and Black men voted less strongly in favor of Biden than one would have expected given the competing race and gender factors. Black women and White men, on the other hand, voted more in favor of Biden. So there is some hidden factor of Black-woman-ness that makes them more pro-Biden than just their Blackness or woman-ness.
Black women lead again.
And White men who didn’t vote for Trump — thank you for your support and for bucking the White patriarchy trend.