Wednesday, August 29, 2007

White bread swing states, Strassel, and the WSJ's slow immigration evolution

The WSJ's Kim Strassel indicates that the op/ed board is in the seminal stages of abandoning a couple of its most ludicrous claims, downplaying the first:
Here's some math for the numerically challenged at certain GOP campaigns: Bob Dole got 26% support from the Hispanic community and lost. George Bush in 2000 got in the mid-30s and barely made it to the White House. By 2004, the president had increased his share of that vote to close to 44%, and won decisively.
At least, she needs to augment this with other relative data. Dole received 46% of the white vote, Bush took 54% in 2000, and then 58% in 2004. That proportional increase in the white vote represents over 11 million voters. By contrast, even using the inflated 44% figure, the Hispanic improvement translates to 1.3 million voters. The increase in the white vote meant nine times more additonal votes for the Republican Presidential candidate than the rise in Hispanic support over the same period did.

Anyone who claims that Bush garnered 44% of the Hispanic vote in the 2004 Presidential election reveals himself to be an ignorant amateur. The actual percentage is somewhere between 38%-40%, in line with Bush's improvement from 2000 of about 3% across the geographic and demographic spectrums.

For the numerically challenged, if in not a single state in any of the four broad regional geographic categories (East, Midwest, South, and West) did the percentage of Hispanics voting Republican equal or exceed the Hispanic percentage for that entire region, it is not possible for the regional totals to be as high as they were initially reported to be.

The WSJ has made the bald assertion on multiple occasions anyway, even after the 44% figure had finally become discredited in the mainstream media (Steve Sailer, sparked by the astute observation of John S Bolton, had exposed it to be flawed a week after the election). It's nice to see the open borders WSJ now beginning to ditch the myth almost three years after it was debunked.

Having downplayed one ludicrous claim, Strassel qualifies another:
While Hispanics make up only about 7% to 8% of the vote nationally, they have far larger constituencies in key swing states.
Actually, more than half of the country's Hispanics live in California or Texas, two of the most electorally reliable states. Of the ten most competitive states in the 2004 election, only two are proportionally more Hispanic than the nation at large, New Mexico (third closest) and Nevada (seventh closest). The other eight (in order of competitiveness)--Wisconsin, Iowa, New Hampshire, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Minnesota, and Oregon, have (far) smaller Hispanic proportions of their total populations than the country does as a whole.

Clearly, the "key swing states" are much whiter than the rest of the electorally predictable states are. So in reality the size of the national Hispanic vote overstates, not understates, the actual importance of the Hispanic electorate in Presidential elections. Strassel has the second part of that excerpted sentence completely backwards.

But let us be more celebratory. The other frequently mentioned falsity in the pages of the WSJ's op/ed section--that the Hispanic vote is a behemoth growing exponentially--is here explicitly admitted to be mythical. Indeed, for each Hispanic voter that pulls the lever for the first time, seven new white voters join American democracy in action. Meanwhile, the national black vote is 76% larger than the national Hispanic vote is. There are nearly two black voters, most of whom are understandably hostile to current immigration levels, for each Hispanic voter.

Where Strassel comes up with the 7%-8% range is unclear. In 2002, Hispanics votes comprised 5.3% of the total in 2002, 6.0% in 2004, and 5.8% in 2006. If the average increase of about .2% per election cycle continues, her low-end estimate will not become plausible until sometime in the middle of the next decade. Still, that the use of hard numbers, wrong though they are, is even attempted is a marked departure from the usual WSJ open border advocacy pieces.

Strassel wants the majority of Hispanic voters to become reliably Republican. Well, an ethnic minority that stands to gain from affirmative action mandates and is concentrated in urban areas, with lots of social and cultural pathologies, political ineptness, low educational attainment, and high entitlement usage, only becomes the profile of the Republican voter if the GOP moves sharply to the left of the Democratic party.

If you're a partisan, everything the party putatively stands for is subordinate to its hold on power. If you're a grassroots activist, a donor, or just an informed voter, however, what the party stands for is of greater importance than the number of politicians who have the capitalized letter next to their names. This distinction is academic, though, with the humiliating resignation of Karl Rove and the electoral failure of his grand pandering strategy.

It's not an academic distinction to Strassel, however. It's hypocrisy. She wants the party's boosters to give up on their own interests and throw in to support hers. For them, it's party first. For her, it's her own ideology first.

Regarding immigration, what its supporters want it to do and what will reinstate it as the majority party are one in the same. While only 5.9% of the Tancredo-led restrictionist Immigration Reform Caucus members lost their House seats in the 2006 elections, 16.7% of non-caucus members did.

Realizing that non-partisans are not going to be swayed by appeals to do the party well at all costs, Strassel throws out the common argument that on a couple of 'hot-button' issues, Hispanics are socially conservative:
This resonated in particular with foreign-born immigrants, who are more socially conservative on issues such as abortion and marriage...
Like Hispanics, American blacks are more pro-life than whites. Blacks are the least likely to support same-sex marriage, while whites are the most likely, with Hispanics in between. And what a Republican stalwart this has made black voters!


John said...

Advice on practical politics from radicals or nihilists should always be under suspicion. Her lack of regard for truth, picking up any easily discredited numbers, and using them as talismans, is more than enough to show she's got some other motive than helping the republican party. Probably it would be that she doesn't like successful societies, but longs for some anarcho-libertarian free-for-all. Progress goes toward the direction of Somalia?

savage said...

It is amazing that one so sloppy in the use of numbers while so flippant in the arguments employed manages to be so condescending in tone. The supposed vocal minority of Republicans must stop picking on immigrants in such a supposedly mean spirited way. Yet she drips with meanness. She is displaying the intellect and temperment of a child. It's embarrassing, really.

Anonymous said...

I fully expect the Republican Party to have some sort of schism in no small part because of the immigration issue.

Audacious Epigone said...


The MNC business interests she represents won't have to suffer that free-for-all, nor pick up the tab for all the costly externalities it entails. They have no geographical anchor, and have the resources to separate themselves from it wherever they are, anyway.


Yes, her piece has the flavor of a child throwing a temper tantrum. She pushes as veracious things that have been positively disproven, and laces the thing with disdainful adjectives directed at the public majority that is much more restrictionist that she is.


I, for one, welcome it. The demographic profile of the parties may change substantially because of it. There is the potential for a coalition comprising of some traditionally Democratic constituents on the restrictionist side of that schism.

Anonymous said...

If there is a schism in the Republican party along immigration lines how would that help end immigration? Wouldn't the pro-immigration Republicans work closer with their Democratic counterparts to ensure these insane proposals go through? Even if the majority of Republicans are forced into a more conservative stance on immigration reflecting their electoral base, there would enough siding siding with the Democrats to push any legislation through. It seems a little bleak this election if you ask me, unless of course Tancredo somehow wins the nomination.

Audacious Epigone said...


The Democratic party is not monolithic with regards to immigration reform, especially among the newest class of House members. What would be lost in terms of Rockefeller Republicans might be gained in Blue Dogs.

Tancredo isn't going to win the nomination, but he, Paul, and Hunter are forcing the frontrunners to take pro-sovereignty stances. That, I suspect, is the genesis of Strassel's frustration and the reason for her throwing this latest tantrum.

savage said...

The pinstriped Republicans have no choice but to see a schism over immigration hostility. They have forced it to the fore and have insulted their foot soldiers for disagreeing with them. They have brought to the fore a fight they cannot win, and as such they deserve to be thrashed for it.

green card visa said...

The Audacious Epigone debunks the assertions makes by the WSJ regarding the growing power of the hispanic vote. First of all, the WSJ asserts that Hispanic voters are growing and will force "key swing states" in their favor. The fact is that they are not the majority even in their most populated states( with the exception of Texas and California) and already happen to be conservative on such issues as same-sex marriage and abortion. Of course they are more liberal when it comes to welfare. Nonetheless, the fact that the GOP is pandering to the Hispanic community regarding immigration is an outrageous scheme to maximize its vote is corrupt political manipulation of thethe green card visa with the sole aim of capturing the minority vote, those spineless vultures.