Black Americans living longer, but racial gap remains, CDC says. To quote the key line of the CNN piece:
“Although blacks are living longer, a racial disparity remains: The life expectancy of blacks is still four years less than that of whites.”
So you can find fateful political implications even in something as dry as an actuarial table. Because Trump’s margin of victory in Michigan, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania was so narrow–about 80,000 votes between the three states–that the disparity in life expectancies between white males and black males might have been enough all by itself to give Trump the edge. Basically a white male will statistically vote in one more presidential election than a black male over a lifetime, meaning that of all the 75 year old men who voted in 2012, there was a higher percentage of white 79 year olds voting in 2016 than there were black 79 year olds. When you factor in the fact that older voters have by far the highest voting rate (upwards of 70% among those over 60), losing those departed voters is like losing about two or even three times that number of the youngest voters. They represented a significant loss to Hillary, compounded by the higher turnout that Trump was generating among his own rural white supporters. I’d have to do the math, but I suspect the numbers would show a far more than 80,000 vote spread. More than enough to tip the three states’ electoral votes to Trump. And though I’d have to work the numbers, lots and lots of numbers, I think it’s a distinct possibility that the Trump campaign benefitted from something so dry and obscure as data off an actuarial table. Not the most exciting bit of political analysis, sure, but by such absurdly arcane little demographic blips the course of civilization is changed. Sad.