The Left has been playing identity politics for years, yet there’s evidence in 2018 that it isn’t necessarily working with Democrat voters.
FiveThirtyEight has been collecting data on the 811 non-incumbent candidates running in Democrat primaries, and has come to some interesting conclusions. For starters, “being a person of color doesn’t actively help a candidate win a Democratic primary,” three of the outlet’s reporters wrote.
About a quarter of Democrat candidates identified as nonwhite, according to FiveThirtyEight, yet had a winning record of just 28%. Not being white might actually hurt Democrat candidates, though the reporters make sure to note that the “relationship is not statistically significant.”
As for LGBT candidates, there are 34 running on the Democrat ticket, and are on par with candidates who don’t mention their sexual orientation — about 30%. This is also the same win percentage as millionaire self-funders and military veterans.
The only “identity” that appears to boost a Democrat candidate is being a woman.
“In fact, all else being equal, being a woman has been worth an additional 10 percentage points over being a man in the open Democratic primaries we looked at,” FiveThirtyEight reported. “That’s one of the two biggest effects we found among all the variables we looked at.”
The other effect that boosts a Democrat is having prior experience as an elected official, which seems pretty obvious. People who know how to win campaigns tend to win campaigns.
Despite constant claims that they are the party of science, having a background in science, technology, engineering, or mathematics appears to hurt Democrat candidates. Just 23% of candidates with such backgrounds have won Democrat primaries.
Oh, there’s one more thing that might benefit a Democrat running in 2018 — having worked for the Obama administration.
“Finally, 34 alums of the Barack Obama administration or his campaigns have run for office so far this year, no doubt hoping to leverage their association with an ex-president who’s still popular among Democratic primary voters,” FiveThirtyEight wrote. “Of those 34, 13 have won their primary races so far, for a win rate of 38 percent. In our estimation, being associated with Obama in this way was worth about 5 points of vote share in the average primary; however, the standard error is large here, so we can’t say for sure whether being an Obama alum really helps all that much.”