As somebody who is Very Online™, I find it helpful to sometimes take a step back from the outrage du jour and remember what most people actually think. So, I was excited to see that Nate Cohn and Kevin Quealy have a piece in The Upshot today outlining the difference between ‘online’ Democrats and ‘non-online’ Democrats.
Today’s Democratic Party is increasingly perceived as dominated by its “woke” left wing. But the views of Democrats on social media often bear little resemblance to those of the wider Democratic electorate.
The outspoken group of Democratic-leaning voters on social media is outnumbered, roughly 2 to 1, by the more moderate, more diverse and less educated group of Democrats who typically don’t post political content online, according to data from the Hidden Tribes Project.
Gov. Ralph Northam of Virginia was pummeled on social media after [the yearbook pictures came out], and virtually every Democratic presidential candidate demanded his resignation.
Yet the majority of ordinary Democrats in Virginia said Mr. Northam should remain in office, according to a Washington Post/Schar School poll a week later. And black Democrats were likelier than white ones to say Mr. Northam should remain.
I know that we’re all familiar with these facts, but they’re worth repeating:
The rest of the party is easy to miss. Not only is it less active on social media, but it is also under-represented in the well-educated, urban enclaves where journalists roam. It is under-represented in the Northern blue states and districts where most Democratic politicians win elections.
Many in this group are party stalwarts: people who are Democrats because of identity and self-interest — a union worker, an African-American — more than their policy views. Their votes are concentrated in the South, where Democratic politicians rarely win.
There are lots of good figures in the article, as well as links to source data for those so inclined. Below the fold here, you’ll find screenshots of the topline demographic differences between meatspace and the Internet.
The fine print says that these are using a likely voter screen. (For what it’s worth, I test as a Traditional Liberal. You can take the quiz here if you’d like. It says it takes eight minutes.)