Tomorrow night a small New England state that has almost no minorities will vote in a Democratic primary. This comes a week after a wacky caucus in a small Midwestern state that has almost no minorities. Democratic primary voters nationwide, however, are overwhelmingly racially diverse.
What’s the point? The results up to this point really don’t matter that much. And they really won’t until larger, more diverse states with significant minority populations actually vote.
You wouldn’t know it from some of the cable networks or the newspaper headlines or an industry designed to breathlessly make “narratives” out of these things early. But history, including very recent history, has shown how little impact this will have on the ultimate outcome of the nomination race.
Next up after New Hampshire is Nevada, where 37% of the primary electorate comes from communities of color. Then comes South Carolina where 62% of the primary electorate comes from communities of color. The average % in Iowa and New Hampshire? Somewhere between 8% – 9%. Unfortunately, the order of the primary has already influenced other factors: if states like SC went before IA or NH, there would likely be more candidates of color still on that stage.
The main point is this: the Democratic Party is defined by its broad diversity. The first two states do not represent the actual makeup of the Democratic Party.
So, if your preferred candidate did well in Iowa & NH, congratulations! But don’t get “too high” until we see if they are able to do well in larger states that aren’t over 90% white. If your preferred candidate did not do well in IA & NH, relax. Things can be turned around in the relatively near future so don’t get “too down” either, because if he or she can connect with a more diverse audience, there is PLENTY of time to turn it around. In either case, give a few bucks and support whom you want. The worst thing to do would be to give up on a candidate just because they didn’t top one or two small states.
Also, don’t listen too closely to pundits until we get through states like South Carolina. This is not a way to advocate for or against any candidate, but only to say I hope that this is the last time these two states ever go first in a Democratic primary, and until this month is over, try to tune out a lot of the noise.
This post contains opinion and analysis