Monday, November 10, 2008

McCain's loss of white support larger than combined loss of minority support

In Steve Sailer's latest VDare column discussing, among other things, John McCain's self-imposed handicaps and the state of exit polling, he tabulates the percentage shifts from Bush in '04 to McCain in '08 by race:

20042008GOP declineVotes lost
Whites58%55%-3%2.8 million
Blacks11%4%-7%1.1 million
Hispanics40%31%-9%0.9 million
Asians44%35%-9%0.2 million
Others40%31%-9%0.2 million

I've added an extra column showing what each percentage decline translates to in absolute votes based on the aggregate data collected from state level exit polling (the vote gap is essentially double the amounts displayed in the last column, as the GOP's lost votes were converted into Democratic gains).

The headlines telling of how Obama won big among minorities aside, relative to Bush's performance in '04, McCain lost more white voters than he lost of all non-white voters combined. The GOP's fortunes hinge upon the electoral decisions of whites.

McCain's big drop among Hispanics is electorally less significant than a 1% decline in his support among whites would have been. Of course, he dropped three times that amount among whites. Yet the breathless media narrative is that while retaining the white vote, McCain's drop among minorities sealed Obama's victory.

9 comments:

JBS said...

Don't forget millions of white Republicans simply did not bother to vote this year.

In addition to winning a greater percentage of the white vote - as Sailer has been proposing - the GOP could simply find ways to boost the mere turnout of whites from about 70% now to 75%, or more in the future.

PS: How was turnout in heavily Hispanic counties in the Southwest compared to 2004?

The NYTimes reported Hispanic turnout was up only by 3% in NYC this year, but of course, many of those Hispanics are AfroCaribbeans who wanted to vote Obama.

Stopped Clock said...

Yet the breathless media narrative is that while retaining the white vote, McCain's drop among minorities sealed Obama's victory.
This is one of the commonest fallacies in statistics. I have to wonder if the people saying this really believe it or if they are just trying to do their part to get the Republicans to move to the left.

Anonymous said...

"I have to wonder if the people saying this really believe it or if they are just trying to do their part to get the Republicans to move to the left."

Both. I'm not kidding either. I'm around these people enough to tell you that that is how they think. And if a GOP candidate wants to win, he should use the Jesse Helms approach: Act like non-whites don't exist. Helms won each time and as a side benefit made liberals crazy with hate.

Sgt. Joe Friday said...

But Michael Medved says that Republicans have to appeal to non-whites if they don't want to become irrelevant. He absolutely insists that the GOP can capture Hispanic votes, because they dislike abortion and gay marriage.

Gay marriage, I would agree, is not popular among Hispanics, but then homophobia, anti-semitism, and a certain degree of misogyny are common attitudes among Hispanic immigrants. If these were blue collar whites from western Pennsylvania (you know, the people Rep. Murtha referred to as racists and rednecks), no politician would admit to wanting their votes.

As for the abortion issue, the GOP leadership is ignorant or willfully blind. Abortion is widely available in Mexico (where do you think American women 50 years ago went to get this procedure?) and is considered by most to be none of anyone else's business, even if they would not themselves abort an unwanted pregnancy. There is a similar attitude toward prostitution as well, i.e. not something that is encouraged, but it's a fact of life that some men will at times prefer to pay a woman for sex.

Anyway, it's silly for the GOP to delude itself into thinking that Hispanics are "natural Republicans" on the basis of these two issues. The unpleasant truth is that Hispanics are less affluent that whites or Asians, and poor people don't vote Republican. There are only two ways Hispanics are going to gain some upward mobility, the first would be to reduce immigration so that they are not in continual competition with millions of their cousins for crappy, low-wage jobs. Niether party is willing to do that though. The other would be through quotas and massive transfer payments, which is basically the Democrat/George Bush approach, with the GOP presumably favoring a cutoff at some unspecified future date. The only problem with that is that it would be viewed as taking the punch bowl away just as the party's getting started, which is not politically palatable.

I don't see how the GOP is going to square this circle, quite frankly.

Audacious Epigone said...

JBS,

It would be interesting to look at voter numbers in heavily Hispanic Southwestern counties and compare their increases from '04 to the rest of the country.

Yes, purusing greater white turnout would be to employ a historically sound strategy, as the GOP has never lost the white vote at least as far back as 1980. Over at least the same period of time, it has never won the Hispanic vote.

SC,

Yes it is. And the white vote was even more important than absolute numbers suggest, as states with large Hispanic populations like California and Texas are electoral locks.

Sgt Joe,

Great comments. Thanks. Same sex marriage isn't popular among most of the electorate, which is why it was shot down in three different states on an election day of great electoral showing for the left. Why must it take Hispandering to attract Hispanics to a position they are naturally inclined to, anyway? The GOP should move in the direction anon suggests and let non-whites support it to the extent they agree with the party.

Anonymous said...

Ha!!!!!

J. McCain only lost 1.1 million black votes to a black candidate. Which goes to show you that the GOP simply cannot do any worse among blacks than it already does, and taking positions that might delight them, but alienate whites, is quite stupid.

jesuswarehouse said...

Since I calculated it earlier for an email and found it interesting, I thought I would mention it here as well.

In reference to Premier-Elect Obama claiming that he could increase black voter turnout by 30 percent if nominated as the Democratic candidate, I was interested in these results.

I have not examined it at the state level (e.g. Mississippi), but nationally, black voter turnout nominally increased by 21.12 percent while whites decreased by 1.51 percent.

However, if one adjusts for the population growth (18 years and over) of these two groups from 2004 to 2007, these numbers are more telling.*

Black voters' real increase from '04 to '08 was 7.88 percent while whites decreased by 6.14 percent.

In other words, Obama actually fell 22.12 percent short of his promise. These are definitely not the dramatic numbers that the media has been chattering about.

*All voting data based on '04 & '08 CNN Exit Polls. All racial population data from '04 and '07 US Census' American Community Surveys.

Audacious Epigone said...

JesusWH,

Great stuff. Any chance you'll post that to your new blog with available data (Swivel is great for this)? It'd be interesting to see voter turnout by race, by state compared for the '04 and '08 elections.

Asher said...

"However, if one adjusts for the population growth (18 years and over) of these two groups from 2004 to 2007, these numbers are more telling.*

Black voters' real increase from '04 to '08 was 7.88 percent while whites decreased by 6.14 percent."

Could you be more specific about these numbers. Are you talking about a real increase in percentages of the total vote? Or percentages of raw population numbers?

This is very interesting.