Speed Reads

Clinton v Trump

David Frum explains the demographic folly that's 'doomed' Donald Trump's campaign

If you have followed the 2016 presidential race, you've probably heard that Donald Trump is doing much better among white voters than Latinos, Asians, and black voters — and that, demographically, this is a problem for Trump. New U.S. Census data released Thursday added 31 new counties to the list of those whose population of non-Hispanic whites is less than 50 percent, bringing the total number of majority-minority counties to 370 in 36 states as of July 2015. That's only 12 percent of the 3,142 U.S. counties in the U.S., The Wall Street Journal says, but they collectively hold a third of the U.S. population.

On BBC News, David Frum, a conservative commentator (whose resume includes a stint at The Week), points to this demographic shift, noting that 69 percent of the 2016 eligible electorate will be white, down from 78 percent in 2000, and arguing that this shift spells trouble for Trump — and not just in the obvious way. "The very strategy that helped him lock up the white voters who don't have university educations is endangering his appeal to white voters who do have university educations, especially women," Frum says:

The Donald Trump people point out he's doing very, very well with the white vote, and then they look yearningly back at the past and say, "If only we had the same electorate as we did a generation ago, then this share of the white vote would be enough to make him president." But what they don't understand is that a generation ago, his issues would not have worked — the white vote would have been more divided, because this type of appeal to white consciousness that Trump is making is only effective because of the very demographic transition that makes the appeal to white consciousness a doomed political strategy. [David Frum]

Watch Frum's argument — and the curious graphic the BBC chose to represent non-college-educated whites, plus its musical selection — below. Peter Weber