Skip to comments.Changing Demographics and the GOP. They spell trouble for — but not the end of the Republican party
Posted on 10/29/2012 6:33:02 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
When reading one of the endless stories about a just-released poll Thursday night, a pair of numbers struck my eye: 60 and 37.
Those were the percentages of white voters supporting Mitt Romney and Barack Obama, respectively, in the ABC/Washington Post tracking poll. Overall, the poll showed Romney leading Obama 50 to 47 percent.
The reason those two numbers struck my eye is that they are identical to the percentages of white voters supporting Republicans and Democrats in elections for the House of Representatives in the 2010 exit poll. Overall, Republicans won the House popular vote by a margin of 52 to 45 percent, tied with 1994 for the best Republican showing since 1946.
In fact, 2010 saw the Republicans biggest margin among white voters in House elections ever since the party was formed in 1854. Republican presidential candidates have won by bigger margins among whites only in 1920, 1972, and 1984.
Some will ascribe this to racism. But Barack Obama won enough votes from whites to win with 53 percent in 2008, more than any other Democratic nominee except Andrew Jackson, Franklin Roosevelt, and Lyndon Johnson.
Why are whites more partisan than just about ever before? Maybe because theyre constantly being told that theyre headed toward becoming a minority of the electorate. Self-conscious minorities tend to vote more cohesively. Or because theyre the objects of racial discrimination in, among other things, university admissions, as documented by Richard Sander and Stuart Taylor in their recent book, Mismatch. Republicans are often told that their party is headed toward minority status because of the rising numbers of heavily Democratic non-whites. Many analysts, even the perspicacious Ron Brownstein of National Journal, tend to lump all non-whites together.
But the three categories of non-whites blacks, Hispanics, and Asians are strikingly different in partisan terms.
Blacks, 13 percent of the electorate in 2008 and 11 percent in 2010, are almost unanimously Democratic and remain so this year. Theyve been about 90 percent Democratic since 1964. But they are not a rising percentage of the population. And in post-Obama America, they may find themselves split on issues, with some switching parties, as members of other ethnically defined groups have done historically. Even this year, they tend to oppose same-sex marriage, the opposite of the position Obama took last May.
Hispanics were 9 percent of the electorate in 2008 and 8 percent in 2010. Those percentages will rise as young Hispanics come of voting age but probably not to the levels suggested by straight-line extrapolations from the years of heavy Hispanic immigration from 1982 to 2007. Since then, more people have migrated to Mexico from the United States than the other way around. The most recent immigration figures show more Asian than Latin immigrants. Recent polls suggest that Obama may run even stronger among Hispanics than he did with his 2008 margin of 67 to 31 percent. That will help him in target states Colorado and Nevada. But polls in the biggest target state, Florida, show Hispanics about evenly divided, even though less than half are Cuban Americans. Republicans won 38 percent of Hispanic votes in 2010, enough to win the total national vote. In the future, Hispanics are likely to vote more Democratic than average, but not hugely so. And theyre likely to become 12 to 15 percent of the electorate someday, not 20 or 25 percent.
Asians are the third group of non-whites; they were 2 percent of the electorate in 2008 and 2010. Theyre the least Democratic non-white group, 62 percent for Obama in 2008 and 58 percent for House Democrats in 2010. Current polling suggests we will see similar numbers this year. But Asians are not a single cohesive group and may not be reliably Democratic over time. They voted Republican for president in the 1990s. Most Asian Americans live in heavily Democratic California and Obamas birth state, Hawaii. In target states, they formed 3 percent of the electorate in Nevada and Virginia in 2008.
Nevada Filipinos will vote heavily Democratic. But Republicans are working the Korean, Vietnamese, and Chinese communities in Northern Virginia. In non-target state New Jersey, South Asians in Middlesex County cast decisive margins for Republican Chris Christie in 2009.
So puncture a couple of myths: Romney can win even if 80 percent of non-whites vote again for Obama; and rising percentages of non-whites in future electorates will pose challenges, but not threaten doom, for the Republican party.
Michael Barone is senior political analyst for the Washington Examiner.
The title of the article doesn’t seem to match what’s in the article.
But now that I've read the article I have to say it was really good.
I'm looking forward to Michael Barone's reading of the tea leaves on election night....he's always good.
Conservatives are going to have to figure out where they’re going to go because the future of the GOP is pro abortion, pro gay marriage touchy feely compassion.
Talk to just about any college republican and you’ll find a democrat. If you’re lucky he or she will be a straight gay marriage supporter.
I’m sure similar things were being written as waves of Italians were coming here in the 1940’s. (many of them
actual Socialists and Communists back home)
Sooner or later you achieve your own success and leave the party of table-tilting behind.
When I lived in western Canada, one of the things that came out in a major election up there was that the Conservative Party in Canada had a huge swell of support among Asian immigrants -- mainly those from Hong Kong who had migrated to Canada before Hong Kong was turned over to the Chinese. Most of those people aren't terribly pricipled by American standards when it comes to protecting God-given rights, but they have absolutely no patience for welfare queens or nanny-state government. In strictly financial terms, they make even a lot of hard-core conservatives here in the U.S. seem like Marxist pansies.
Or it could be that voting Republican is the perfectly rational and natural thing to do, and the only reason to vote Democrat is because of racism.
If I see two racial groups, one is 60/40 and the other is 90/10, I am going to figure that race figures more in the voting patterns of the latter than in the former.
RE: When I lived in western Canada, one of the things that came out in a major election up there was that the Conservative Party in Canada had a huge swell of support among Asian immigrants — mainly those from Hong Kong who had migrated to Canada before Hong Kong was turned over to the Chinese
Yes, but don’t forget one thing — Canada does not border Mexico and is not close to the Latin American countries. THIS IS WHERE MOST OF AMERICA’s IMMIGRANTS COME FROM.
Many are illegals. Obama has already pandered to them by suing Arizona, by-passing Congress on the DREAM ACT, and refusing to secure our borders.
Not sure of the GOP will do the same. Heck, I don’t even think they’ll do anything in the red state of Texas.
The high birthrates of underclass demographics are enabled by welfare. If the welfare state goes bust, and underclass moms have to support their own kids by their own work, you will see a precipitous decline in underclass birthrates.
Your point makes me wonder whether Obama might have a political Death Wish in forcing free abortions and birth control on them.
When I was one of the district election managers for the Conservative Party in Vancouver in 06’, I had no trouble recruiting Chinese, Filipinos and Punjabi to register for the party.
They were all pro-capitalist, against the homo lifestyle and all for tax cuts. Healthcare, they were for the gubmint’ (go figger). Here in America, they vote Dem because they think whitey is the enemy, and they don’t think of party affiliation which coincides with their principles.
It is the same title also in
If Republicans stood firm for all that is wholesome and decent they could cross racial lines.
The GOP outreach to these groups needs to improve greatly. We can garner their confidence and votes without compromising our principles. Family issues and marriage issues appeal to Latinos, black and Asians just like job issues do. We’re winners on all those pocketbook and family issues.
Our problem is poor outreach.