Speaking to donors after the election, Mitt Romney attributed his loss to President Obama to the administration's strategy of "giving a lot of stuff" to blacks and Latinos, citing in particular "free health care" and "amnesty for the children of illegals." But data show a more plausible explanation: Black, Latino and Asian-American voters, who overwhelmingly voted for Obama, were simply evaluating the long-term record of each party.
The data we analyzed show unequivocally that minorities fare better under Democratic administrations than under Republican ones. Census data tracking annual changes in income, poverty and unemployment over the last five decades tell a striking story about the relationship between the president's party and minority well-being.
Under Democratic presidents, the incomes of black families grew by an average of $895 a year, but only by $142 a year under Republicans. Across 26 years of Democratic leadership, unemployment among blacks declined by 7.9 percent; under 28 years of Republican presidencies, the rate increased by a net of 13.7 percent. Similarly, the black poverty rate fell by 23.6 percent under Democratic presidents and rose by 3 percent under Republicans.
The results for Latinos and Asians, though based on fewer years of data, show the same pattern. For example, Latino incomes grew an average of $627 a year under Democrats and fell by $197 a year under Republicans. The data similarly show that the living standards of Asian Americans have improved under Democrats and stagnated under Republicans.
More important, these gains do not come at the expense of whites. On average, white incomes have similarly grown, and white joblessness and poverty have likewise declined, under Democratic administrations. These numbers show that economic condition need not be a zero-sum game pitting races and ethnicities against one another...
...Zoltan Hajnal, is a co-author of "Why Americans Don't Join the Party: Race, Immigration, and the Failure (of Political Parties) to Engage the Electorate" and a professor of political science at UC San Diego; Jeremy D. Horowitz is a UC San Diego political science doctoral student. They wrote this for the Los Angeles Times.
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