North Carolina voter
Polling place in Durham, North Carolina. JONATHAN DRAKE/Reuters

Over the past few months, numerous polls have shown President Joe Biden's support among Latinos has been declining steadily, even being overtaken by Donald Trump in the latest surveys.

In fact, a New York Times/Siena College poll from early March showed the former president with a six percentage point lead over the current one, 46 to 40%. The accompanying article highlighted some nuance, saying that "because Latino voters make up just 15 percent of the electorate, the poll's sample size is not large enough to assess small difference reliably," and that for a "subgroup that size, the margin of error is 10 percentage points."

However, the study did show a continuing trend, and a recent deep-diving analysis by the Financial Times' John Burn-Murdoch added more evidence to it, looking at data from "America's gold-standard national election surveys" and concluding that "Democrats' advantage among Black, Latino and Asian voters at its lowest since 1960."

Even though the analysis doesn't delve into each demographic in particular, it discusses a "weakening correlation between income and voter choice," as the Republican Party's image of one exclusive for wealthy elites is moving to one that encompasses voters from all income levels and demographics.

But Burn-Murdoch points at a more "ominous" dynamic: "Many of America's non-white voters have long held much more conservative views than their voting patterns would suggest. The migration we're seeing today is not so much natural Democrats becoming disillusioned but natural Republicans realizing they've been voting for the wrong party," he explained.

Support for gun rights, the size of government and its input on people's daily lives are some of the preferences illustrating the "incongruity between many black Americans' policy preferences and votes," the author adds to back up his point. "Very few white voters who take these positions identify as Democrats, but much larger shares of Black, Latino and Asian conservatives do," he adds.

Community norms have played a role in this, but as they weaken and the U.S. becomes less racially segregated, "the frictions preventing non-white conservatives from voting Republican diminish." This trend could create a "cascade," potentially leading to further defections from Democrats.

Burn-Murdoch concludes by clarifying that the trends are not fully cemented and that many "deserting Democrats will become swing voters rather than solid Republicans," but that the left's challenge is "much deeper than it first appears." "A less racially divided America is an America where people vote more based on their beliefs than their identity. This is bad news for Democrats," he concludes.

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