Sunday, June 29, 2008

More religious demographics from Pew: Conservative blacks and Mitt Flanders

Pew has released the second part of its series on religion in the US. Razib has a few thoughts. I'd like to add to them by pointing to some interesting things the data reveal.

- It is little wonder why the established left (major media, whiterpeople, etc) despises Evangelicals and affords Mormons nothing of the exalted status given to other minority groups--these two groups tend to vote Republican. And their members are the only ones who do so out of the fourteen religious affiliations Pew profiled. The percentage of an affiliation's members who are either Republican or lean Republican compared to the number of its members who are either Democratic or lean Democratic (if 9 members are Republicans and 10 are Democrats, it's displayed as 90%):

Religious affiliationRep / Dem
Mormon295.5%
Evangelical147.1%
Mainline Protestant95.3%
Orthodox Christian70.0%
Catholic68.8%
Jehovah's Witness66.7%
Other Christian45.5%
Unaffiliated41.8%
Jewish35.4%
Buddhist26.9%
Hindu20.6%
Other faith19.7%
Muslim17.5%
Historically black12.8%

The more multicultural we become, the better off the Democratic party becomes. The understanding of the US as a Christian nation is antithetical to Democratic electoral dominance.

Aside from their theological beliefs and the minority that accepts polygamy as a legitimate family structure, Mormons epitomize the American conservative ideal: Married, firmly middle class baby makers whose communities are characterized by relative equality, both economically and educationally.

- It can be shown that the characterization of Mormons as solidly middle class is appropriate from the report. Looking first at the economic situation using the broad definition encompassing households with annual incomes between $30,000 and $100,000 as George Will does, the percentage of each affiliation's members who are middle class:

Religious Affiliations$30k-$100k
Mormon58%
Mainline Protestant54%
Other faith54%
Evangelical53%
Buddhist53%
Orthodox Christian52%
Unaffiliated52%
Catholic50%
Jehovah's Witness49%
Muslim49%
Other Christian48%
Hindu48%
Historically black45%
Jewish40%

Hindus and Jews are at the bottom because they are so highly represented in the $100k-plus category (43% and 46%, respectively).

Similarly, to gauge middling educational attainment, the percentage of each affiliation's members who've at least graduated high school and gone on to attempt some college and at most have received a bachelor's degree but have not completed post-graduate work:

Religious affiliationHS, no PG
Mormon51%
Orthodox Christian50%
Buddhist48%
Other faith47%
Other Christian46%
Mainline Protestant43%
Jewish43%
Unaffiliated40%
Evangelical37%
Catholic37%
Muslim37%
Hindu36%
Historically black36%
Jehovah's Witness27%

Again, Hindus and Jews do not typify the middle class because they sail above it, with high post-graduate representation (48% and 35%, respectively).

- Whenever I find myself in casual conversation with a Witness, I usually make some comment about how remarkable Witnesses were in Nazi Germany, essentially being the only group persecuted who voluntarily chose to be so. It earns a few innocuous PC points (the only kind I'll take!) and provides an opportunity for the Witness to talk about his religious beliefs, something he's usually more than happy to do. I don't find that eagerness surprising, as the lives of Witnesses are in my experience more religiously-directed than members of any other affiliation.

Understanding that Witnesses tend to be poorer, less educated, and less white (only 48% are according to the report, and other sources put it around 40%) than the nation as a whole, this religious focus nevertheless comes at the expense of secular engagement. Jehovah's Witnesses are really out there. When asked about their party affiliation ("Independent" was an option in addition to Republican or Democrat), 61% of Witnesses refused to answer or said they didn't know. No other group comes close to that figure. Muslims, at 16%, are a very distant second in their level of disengagement.

- A good friend carries with him the slogan "I'm forever a conservative before a Republican". I strive to be an objectivist before either. What does the report tell us about the relationship between political affiliation and political ideology? The percentage of an affiliation's members who are either conservative or very conservative compared to the number of its members who are either Republican or lean Republican (if 9 members are conservative and 10 are Republicans, it's displayed as 90%):

Religious affiliationCon / Rep
Historically black350.0%
Jehovah's Witness210.0%
Muslim172.7%
Catholic109.1%
Evangelical104.0%
Mormon92.3%
Hindu92.3%
Other faith92.3%
Jewish91.3%
Mainline Protestant87.8%
Unaffiliated87.0%
Orthodox Christian85.7%
Other Christian80.0%
Buddhist66.7%

Blacks are clearly the most likely to consider themselves politically conservative while still consistently voting Democratic. Members of historically black churches are as likely to consider themselves conservative (35%) as they are to consider themselves moderate (36%) and nearly twice as likely to consider themselves conservative as they are to consider themselves liberal (21%).

This trend is almost exactly reversed among Jews, who embody the sentiments of whiterpeople better than any other affiliation does. They are as likely to be liberal (38%) as they are to be moderate (39%), and twice as likely to be liberal as they are to be conservative (21%). This despite the fact that black church members are more likely to vote Democratic (78%) than Jews are (65%).

There was a time I thought the potential for blacks moving closer to the Republican party existed. I knew from the guys I played basketball with that stark gender distinctions, a premium on monetary success and male masculinity, and (extended) family orientation (ie, family reunions lasting several days) are all held in high regard in the black community. When focused on it, blacks tend to be merciless in ridiculing whiterpeople social causes like vegetarianism, opposition to dog fighting (that one can really set them on fire), and pussy Prius cars. Environmentalism is viewed as borderline racism (that is, it is perceived as anti-black). Not surprisingly, members of historically blacks churches are the most likely of all fourteen groups to say that stricter environmental laws cost too many jobs and hurt the economy rather than being worth the cost (Jews are the least likely to hold that opinion). I've also been told on multiple occasions that fags go to Dave Matthews Band concerts.

But black tribalism, the pull of government handouts (black church members are the most likely of the fourteen to support a bigger government that provides more services), and the belief that Republicans are out to get them precludes any shifting. So does the racial alignment of politics in the South. Even though Democratic-voting whiterpeople are objects of derision more than middle class suburban and rural whites are, Republicans are seen as the oppressive white party.

Notice that this conservative-but-not-Republican phenomenon is second and third highest, respectively, among Jehovah's Witnesses and Muslims. Muslims are the second blackest group profiled and Witnesses are the third blackest.

This really works out well for Obama. In contrast to black leaders like Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson, Obama has the highbrow attributes whiterpeople love. Blacks on the street would prefer someone more 'authentic' than Obama if the option existed, but since it doesn't, being (half) black is good enough. He is able to get both the black vote through racial solidarity and the whiterpeople vote through leftist politics.

- Relative economic equality is arguably the second most important determinant of happiness next to physical health. A perceived lack of equality creates an urge to force greater equality.

This is borne out even at the relgious level. As measured by the percentage of an affiliation's members who annually either make less than $30,000 or more than $100,000, the correlation between income inequality and support for a bigger government providing more services is .48. Even if some members of the more disparate groups aren't fond of redistributionist government policies, they tend to vote against politicians who claim they aren't, either. The correlation between income inequality and voting Republican is an inverse .57. Nothing new there.

Libertarians who flippantly dismiss concerns about economic inequality or even embrace it in arguments over trade, immigration, the Federal minimum wage, and the like are engaging in acts of political self-immolation. Economic inequality increases support for so many of the things they oppose. In the words of Randall Parker:

I continue to be amazed at libertarians who favor the immigration of people who will vote for highly anti-libertarian policies.
We should strive for as much parity as is possible without having to resort to forced redistribution. Our immigration policies should increase the size of the high IQ, professional class so they are able to come up with better product designs and ways of doing things while keeping one another's earnings in check. They should also restrict the size of the lower IQ, less skilled working classes to keep their wages from being depressed due to a surplus of supply. The tax structure should encourage the wealthy to have more children and the poor to have fewer. Spreading the wealth of the affluent across several children while concentrating the limited means of the poor across as few as possible is an easy way to reduce the wealth gap from the get-go.

- Support for abortion and distaste for children go hand in hand. The relationship between pro-choice sentiments (always legal or mostly legal) and children at home is an inverse .63.

Those affiliations most hostile to abortion are also the affiliations whose members are most likely to have children of their own. Go figure!

- Also from the no-surprise department, Mormons are the least likely to have never been married (12%). Members of black churches are the most likely to have never been (34%).

- One of the most intriguing ideas bandied about by Steve Sailer (and that's saying a lot) concerns what he calls a return to patriarchy. Conservatives are having more children than liberals are, and thus will have a greater influence in the future than they do today. The phenomenon isn't just at work among whites in the US, but also at the national level, with the liberal West only able to muster a couple of countries with total fertility rates at or above replenishment--the US and Israel (and in both places, those of European ancestry are not the driving force behind the fertility).

Arthur Brooks claimed that this trend bodes well for Republicans going forward. Half Sigma proved Brooks wrong, showing that Democrats actually have slightly more children on average than Republicans do. White Republicans have more children than white Democrats do, but Hispanics are the most fertile racial/ethnic group in the country, and they vote Democratic by a margin of almost 2 to 1. Blacks are the second most fertile group, and they vote Democratic by a margin of more than 9 to 1. Brooks would've been wiser to have said conservatives have more children than liberals do.

We see the same thing when looking at religious groups in the US. The correlation between the percentage of an affiliation considering itself liberal and the average number of children it has living at home is an inverse .56. Conservative affiliations are having the kids, liberal affiliations are not. Yet the relationship between supporting Democrats (rather than being liberal) and having children at home falls outside of statistical significance even at only 80% confidence.

Why? It's not Democrats per se, but liberals who aren't making babies. Affiliations that vote heavily Democratic but who are not heavily liberal, like members of historically black churches and Muslims, are having more kids than most of the other groups, while liberal (and Democratic) affiliations like Jews and "other Christians" are having fewer.

The future looks good for the Democratic party, but it will shift in the direction of greater emphasis on wealth transfers and special benefits for 'disadvantaged' groups at the expense of whiterpeople social causes like environmental protection and the development of sustainable energy sources.

- Who does the most procreating? The survey only inquired about the number of children under the age of 18 living at home, not total fertility. Those with four or more kids under the roof are grouped into a single 4+ category. Following is a fecundity index computed by taking the percentage of an affiliation with X number of children and multiplying it by X, then adding each of these figures up and multiplying by 100 for an index total. So a group where 5% of the members have one kid, 10% have two, 2% have three, and 1% have four or more comes to 35 (5*1+10*2+2*3+1*4). I assumed that those with four or more kids had exactly four for lack of a way to be any more precise:

Religious affiliationFecundity index
Mormon114
Muslim102
Catholic80
Hindu79
Jehovah's Witness72
Historically black71
Evangelical69
Unaffiliated62
Jewish59
Orthodox Christian56
Other Christian56
Mainline Protestant55
Other faith52
Buddhist51

Mormons get it done. Episcopalians, Congregationalists, Presbyterians, Methodists, and Lutherans--the "mainline Protestants--are near the bottom. Pentecostals, Baptists, and Adventists--the Evangelicals--are more middling, while Catholics (in large part due to the Hispanic contingent) sustain the stereotype about having lots of kids.

- Finally, it is curious that Mainline Protestants are outnumbered by Evangelicals (Protestants) nearly 2-to-3. They are a the mainstream minority among Protestants, apparently. "Evangelical" has always struck me as an imprecise term. I guess it insinuates an even stronger focus on the Gospels as well as greater emphasis in "spreading the good news" than non-Evangelical Protestantism or Catholicism, but definitionally the lines are blurred. Respondents who identified themselves as belonging to the Evangelical Church of America (ELCA), of which I am part, for example, are classified not as Evangelicals but as Mainline Protestants, while members of the Missouri Synod (the second largest Lutheran group in the US) are counted as Evangelicals and not Mainline Protestants.

The easiest way to separate the two for the purposes of the Pew report is to think of mainline Protestants as those outside the broad South (including Kentucky, Tennessee, Indiana, and parts of Ohio and Illinois) and Evangelicals as heavily concentrated there.

If interested, please also see my post on the first report of the series.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Don't like Krusty Brand Imitation Gruel? Then have some more, on us!

I heard a Match.com ad on the radio noting the 'satisfaction guarantee' the service offers:

If you don’t find someone special during your initial 6-month subscription, we will give you an additional 6 months at no additional cost to you to continue your search.
If it doesn't work, feel free to keep on using it!

If a service has failed me from the beginning, I'm not sure how extending the time I'm able to use the service is going to be of much value to me. I think I'd just want my money back.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Two years later, WSJ silent on Cannon fodder

Restrictionists have cause for celebration in Chris Cannon's crushing primary defeat in Utah on Tuesday to Jason Shaffetz, 60%-40%. The same primary contest two years ago received lots of national coverage. Political newcomer John Jacob challenged similarly challenged Cannon on immigration. To the WSJ op/ed board's satisfaction, he fell short, garnering only 44% of the vote:
Mr. Cannon defeated millionaire real-estate developer John Jacob, who spent more than $400,000 in the race, much of it assailing Mr. Cannon's support for President Bush's comprehensive immigration reform. Mr. Jacob was also adopted by Colorado Representative Tom Tancredo's political action committee, Team America, which wants to make the GOP an anti-immigration party. Mr. Tancredo's PAC spent $40,000 on radio ads attacking the incumbent, and its Web site even posted a picture of Mr. Cannon with a red target around his head.

What the disingenious board failed to mention then was that Cannon spent more than $800,000 in the contest. Additionally, he had the backing of the Bush Administration and a top ranking by the American Conservative Union in one of the nation's most conservative districts. However, the board did make the following assertion:
Mr. Cannon has now survived a single-issue immigration assault from a well-financed fellow Republican. GOP voters are smarter than GOP Members think they are.
All quiet on the western front this time around, though.

Cannon won in '06 not because voters were with him on immigration, but because the GOP was still cruising along in the driver's seat. Keep in mind, the '06 primary took place five months before Republicans were thrashed in the November mid-term elections. The GOP controlled both chambers of Congress in addition to the Presidency. Cannon's open borders position alone wasn't cause enough for a mutiny.

Outspending Shaffetz nearly 7-to-1 and again enjoying the full backing of the party's national leadership, Cannon still went down in flames this time around. Shaffetz opposition to illegal immigration (his position on legal immigration is similar to Mitt Romney's, in which high value-adding immigration is encouraged) clearly distinguished itself from Cannon's unfettered support of open borders. The goodwill is now gone.

Minorities in both Houses, the GOP is set to nominate the most neoconservative Senator in the party. As a testament to how distasteful that is to many on the right, Ron Paul, the black sheep of the party's national establishment, took a quarter of the vote in Idaho, and one-sixth of it in New Mexico and Oregon as the Republican primaries finished up, three months after McCain had been crowned and the contests had been reduced to mere formalities.

Cannon's obliteration portends a rough November for leftist Republicans facing reelection, as conservative voters reclinate to their roots and refuse to tolerate deviation from the core foundation of their political beliefs.

Tangentially, I've followed the WSJ since '03, and everything the board has backed--open borders, military interventionism and nation building, unrestricted trade (even if unreciprocated)--has characterized the Republican Party's national leadership over the same period of time. What a disaster neoconservatism has been for the GOP thus far this century.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Democratic nomination voter totals by race, gender

With the Democratic nomination process essentially over, it might be of interest to see basic demographic breakdowns of who voted for whom. The number of voters are in thousands. Green shows the percentage of the candidate's total base the category represents (without respect to Asians and "others", as explained below). Blue shows what percentage of the category each candidate garnered relative to the other.

Hillary's malesObama's malesHillary's femalesObama's females
6,859 38.1% 43.6%8,857 45.7% 56.4%11,166 61.9% 51.5%10,520 54.3% 48.5%

Hillary's WhitesBlacksHispanics
13,617 79.1% 56.0%1,0025.8% 14.9% 2,589 15.1% 63.7%

Obama's WhitesBlacksHispanics
10,68859.7%44.0%5,74132.1% 85.1%1,472 8.2% 36.3%

Notes on the methodology come after my blather. The beginning of that section is indicated by brackets.

The first thing that jumps out is how little things changed since I attempted a similar analysis following the "Super Tuesday" contests that included all primaries that had taken place up to that point. The percentages are nearly identical (Hillary's numbers are very slightly worse across the board as I did not attempt to include caucusing states the first time around but did so this time), even though this time around there are 2.5 times more votes to contend with. Recall how much of a harpy's nest the Democratic party has become--60% of primary and caucus voters this year were women. The evidence that female suffrage drove the US sharply leftward keeps mounting.

The white and black splits nearly mirror how the two racial groups voted in the '04 Presidential election. Hillary received 56% of the white vote; Bush got 58%. Obama received 85% of the black vote; Kerry took 88%.

So if Hillary's support looked like Bush's among whites, and she also cleaned up among Hispanics, why didn't she win? Bush did so comfortably even without Hispanics. Well, this is the Democratic party. It's a lot blacker than the national electorate is. Whites comprised 69.2% of voters in the Democratic contests (not including Asians and others) compared to 81.9% of the '04 general. Blacks made up 19.2% of the Democratic contests compared to 11.7% of the general.

When black support is so overwhelmingly one-sided, that 7.5 point jump makes an enormous difference. It clearly put Obama over the top. Without blacks, Hillary crushes Obama, 57.1%-42.9%; a victory more lopsided than George HW Bush's win over Michael Dukakis in '88.

Since the Hispanic population is growing while the black population is basically holding steady, might this mean Republicans catering to Hispanics will be able to use the Hillary coalition to win in the general? No, for several reasons.

First, polls show Hispanics strongly backing Obama against McCain, 62%-29%, despite the Arizona Senator being the most recognizable champion of open borders in the entire Republican party. It's hardly surprising that a group that is 'eligible' for affirmative action benefits and experiences low levels of educational attainment, low incomes, high poverty rates, and high welfare use rates is going to find a home on the Democratic side.

Second, even if Hispanics are reluctant to vote for blacks, there are more potential Hispanic Presidential candidates on the Democratic side than there are black ones. Obama, the only (half) black Senator, is a unique case. As the Hispanic population continues to grow as a share of the total population, Hispanic representation in the Democratic party will continue to increase.

Third, there is no reason to presume blacks will ever vote for a white Republican over a Hispanic Democrat as Hispanics might do in the case of a black Democrat facing a white Republican--the only way GOP peeling-off could conceivably work is an ever less likely scenario going forward.

Fourth, the Hispanic establishment (in Congress, La Raza, etc) are even more Democratic than the Hispanic population as a whole is. More than nine-of-ten Congressional Hispanics are Democrats.

Fifth, we're looking at Hillary Clinton's support. Unless the Republican party wants to get in step with her politics, the comparison is flawed from the beginning.

More likely, the Democratic contests portend the future of American politics, where white electoral power dwindles and black and especially Hispanic electoral power correspondingly increases. John Savage has argued that an Obama nomination is desirable in that it allows white Democrats to see what their party is becoming--a party whose leadership has made a career of benefitting non-whites at the expense of whites. The white vote is still the 800 pound gorilla of US electoral politics, but it won't rule the jungle by itself for too much longer.

The tables above only consider white, black, and Hispanic votes in the 50 states and DC. Including all primary votes (and caucus estimates) in addition to the four participating US territories, Obama comes out ahead, 19,555,861 to 18,344,087 (51.6% to 48.4%). As discussed below, that artificially inflates Obama's numbers by assuming states holding primaries and states holding caucuses saw similar voter turnouts, but I think for the purpose of distilling the 'will of the people', it makes sense to go about it this way.

Even though Hillary outdid him for the last three months of the campaign, her 'momentum' (a word that vanished from media discourse as soon as it shifted from Obama to Hillary) came too little, too late. I remember recently reading commentary on how Hillary's campaign ran on leftist assumptions (she staffed her campaign with women and beta males, believed whites in flyover country were too bigoted to vote for a black man, etc) while Obama's took a more hard-nosed realist approach. I can't recall where I read it, though (please let me know if you're aware of what I'm referring to). Adding to that, she clearly should've made Wright and Obama's racialist obsessions an issue instead of waiting for it to finally spill out 'on its own' after being made public by Steve Sailer more than a year ago.

['Discussion' of methodology used to compute totals follows]

States where no exit polling was conducted (primarily small states that caucused rather than holding primaries) do not yield vote totals for the candidates, only state delegates assigned to each. To estimate total turnout, I looked to a nearby state with a similar demographic and political profile (ie, for Wyoming I referred to Montana, for North Dakota I referred to South Dakota). I took the percentage of voters who backed Kerry in '04 from both states and multiplied the respective percentages by each state's total population. Then I divided that figure for the state without exit polling data by the figure for the referential state to come up with a multiplier (sometimes less than 1). I then took the referential state's total votes for this year's Democratic primary and multiplied it by the, uh, multiplier, to come up with an estimate for the total voter turnout in the caucusing state without an exit poll.*

This presumes caucus turnout is similar to primary turnout, which isn't the case. Caucuses bring smaller numbers of voters than primaries do, but I see little reason to presume that Obama's support would've suffered substantially in these states had they held primaries instead of caucuses (it would have required a greater investment of campaign resources though). The intention is to get an apples-to-apples figures by state on the way to voter totals at the national level. Still, this methodology favors Obama, primarily because older folks (who tended to support Hillary) are less likely than younger ones (who tended to support Obama) are to participate in caucuses, which involve greater raucous than primaries do.

Racial/ethnic totals are estimated for whites, blacks, and Hispanics. The exit polling data for Asians and others are to lacking to be computed nationally**. Consequently, the total for the three categories included falls short of the total estimated votes for each candidate.

For states with exit polling data but for which black and/or Hispanic sample size is insufficient to report voting patterns, votes are assigned in accordance with the national trend***. This is reasonable as neither candidate enjoyed a clear advantage among states where the method is necessitated.

For states without exit polling numbers, I simply assume those voting in the Democratic caucus matched the state's demographic profile according to the US Census bureau. Black votes are assigned at a ratio equivalent to how they voted nationally in all states where exit polling was conducted.

Hispanic votes are split equally between the two candidates. Initially, Hispanic votes were allocated in the same way black votes are, but that quickly struck me as improbable. As Obama won all of these states at margins between 2-to-1 and 3-to-1, giving Hillary two-thirds of the Hispanic vote surely led to underestimates of her white support and also of Obama's Hispanic support.

Reductions to the total are made to account for Asian and other voters with the assumption that these groups voted in the same way as the state on the whole, and then the remaining votes are assigned to each candidate as white voters in accordance with each of their total estimated votes in the state.

This method is used because whites show the most variability in their voting patterns, while blacks voted in a predictable way irrespective of which candidate actually won the state. It likely undercounts black votes and overcounts whites a bit. But all states where exit polls were lacking are overwhelmingly white (with the exception of Hawaii and Colorado) and small, so the effects on totals are very marginal. Anyway, exit polls tend to, if anything, overrepresent minorities to ensure sample size adequacy. In the '04 Presidential election, for example, exit polls showed 8% of the electorate to be Hispanic, while Pew later discovered the actual figure to be 6%.

For gender totals in the caucus states without exit polling, a similar method is used. After coming up with a state's total turnout as described previously, I allocate total votes for each candidate in accordance with the number of state delegates awarded to each. Hillary's male and female totals are then arrived at by using the her total support by gender from all states with exit polling data. Obama's support is arrived at by taking the state's estimated total votes and presuming that the gender distribution for primaries with exit polling data is the same as that state's distribution. Hillary's male total is subtracted from this overall male total to come up with Obama's male support. The same thing is done for females^.

Michigan is included, with all uncommitted votes assigned to Obama. This provides a little balance to the way total votes in caucus states are estimated. Puerto Rico, American Samoa, the US Virgin Islands, and Guam are not figured in to gender or racial/ethnic voter totals. They are only included in the national totals for each candidate. To estimate turnout for the latter three, I took Puerto Rico's Democratic primary turnout, 9.7%, and assumed the other places experienced the same turnout, except for the Virgin Islands, where I arbitrarily doubled the estimate to account for the reported surge (actual numbers were not recorded either in '04 or this time around, only delegate totals were) in voter turnout relative to '04.

Why the uptick? Blacks comprise 76.2% of the Virgin Islands' population. And they back Obama, big time. He took 89.9% of the vote. It is interesting to note how clannish blacks are in this majority black territory. In no state do whites come remotely close to showing such racial solidarity. It would be fun to see Richard Cohen chew on that!

This seems like a lot of best-guessing on my part, but these methods only apply to a small piece of all votes. The estimated vote totals from caucuses without exit polls, including three American territories, only comprise 10% of the national total. The other 90% comes from hard numbers recorded in the actual primaries.

* In '04, 39% of Montana went for Kerry, while 30% of Idaho did. Montana's population as of '06 was estimated to be 944,632. Idaho's was 1,466,465. Multiply 944,632 by .39 to get 368,406 and 1,466,465 by .30 to get 439,940. Then divide 439,940 by 368,406 to get 1.1942. To come up with Idaho's turnout this year, multiply 181,423 (Montana's total in this year's Democratic primary) by 1.1942 to get 216,655, Idaho's estimated caucus total.

** Hillary took the Asian vote in California, 250,900 to Obama's 88,345 (71%-25%). Hawaii, by contrast, is 40% Asian, and backed Obama by a 3-to-1 margin, so they probably favored him at about the same rate Asians in California opposed him (although, in absolute terms, there were about five times as many Asian voters in California as there were in Hawaii).

*** One percent of South Dakota voters were black, according to exit polls. There were 97,590 votes cast for either Hillary or Obama. It is assumed that 976 (97,590*.01) of these voters are black. Nationally, Hillary received 14.9% of the black vote. So she is assumed to have received 145 (976*.149) of these 976 votes, with the rest going to Obama.

^ In North Dakota, Hillary's total is estimated to be 27,192. From the states with exit polling data, 61.8% of her support came from women. Thus her female support is estimated to total 16,807. Her male support then comes to 10,385. The total number of North Dakota voters is estimated to be 72,023. From the states with exit polling data, it is found that 42% of Democratic primary and caucus voters are male. By multiplying 72,023 by .42 we get 30,193. Subtract 10,385 from this (Hillary's male support) to arrive at 19,808, Obama's estimated male voters. The same process, using 58%, is repeated to come up with Obama's female total.

Data are here.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

WSJ for national sovereignty, against stealth legislation!

The WSJ op/ed board has made a startling about-face in its treatment of Congressional immigration legislation (free here):
Politicians need to sell their grand plans in the open, not via stealth, especially when those plans dilute national sovereignty.
They must be censuring Diane Feinstein for surreptitiously trying (she failed) to attach AgJOBS provisions to a war funding bill last month.

Oh, whoops, that's from the board's treatment of the Lisbon Treaty vote in Ireland. I guess consistency isn't really one of Gigot's strong points. His board doesn't take issue with Israel's border fence, nor claims it to be ineffective (which would be an absurd assertion to make), while a barrier along the US-Mexican border surely would be!

Does the Mississippi pose a threat to New Orleans?

Dennis Mangan has posted an email from a reader that captures what more than a couple of people in this area of the blogosphere* have been thinking as flood waters from the Mississippi beat up on Iowa and are now breaching levees in northern Missouri--the scenes of devastation differ from those in New Orleans almost three years ago. The response in Cedar Rapids looks more like the response in Chalmette, not the response in New Orleans, after Hurricane Katrina.

What are the chances of surging Mississippi waters carrying all the way to the Gulf of Mexico, thus passing through New Orleans? How starkly naked an example of human biodiversity would that present?

The river is expected to approach flood stage in Vicksburg, Mississippi, about 170 miles or so north of New Orleans, by the end of this month. The South was hit by droughts, not floods, last summer, and this year has been dry so far as well. But more rain farther upriver could conceivably still cause problems.

* I'll call it the Sailersphere from now on. The perspicacious sites listed off to the right, in addition to many others that I visit regularly, just about all share an interest in Steve Sailer's work, so it captures the essence of what I'm trying to get at pretty well, even though it's a pretty vague description.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Final Fantasy IV: Call it a classic?

Is 17 years enough time for a story to earn the right to be called a classic? The modern video game industry is only 25 years old, so that's roughly equivalent to Shakespeare in terms of staying power (with the Gutenberg press as a starting point)! Here's a cut scene from Final Fantasy IV, to be re-released yet again on the DS next month:







As the first game to present a story worthy of novelization, the title marked the beginning of an era where epic video games would become part of the broader culture.

The industry has yet to get the critical attention it merits. Reviewers treat games as they would cars, rating them by attributes like play control, sound, graphics, etc--not by the stories they tell and the characters they bring to life, or if they do so, it is in a very superficial way ("I give the story an '8'."). Attempts to tie games into the larger culture--the trade of good movie critics in the film industry--are lacking. I've tried as much, but I'm concerned with professional reviews, not amateur work like my own. Part of the problem is that contemporary role-playing games run 50 hours or more. Thus constructing a review requires a much greater investment of time than is the case with movies.

Still, I think it is not a matter of "if" but "when", as the video game industry continues to grow at a much faster rate than movies, music, and television industries do.

Since I'm already reveling in nostalgic bliss, might as well point this out for the benefit of Chrono Trigger fans:

Friday, June 13, 2008

Surprise, surprise--blacks more 'racist' in how they vote than whites are

Last week the Washington Post's Richard Cohen wrote a lugubrious column lamenting how "rancid" it was that white Democrats were voting for Hillary because of her race. He showed no corresponding disgust at black support for Obama, a risible double standard Pat Buchanan called him on.

The black support Obama received against Hillary, akin to what any Democratic candidate receives against a Republican in the general election, strongly suggested that blacks were more likely than whites to vote for racial reasons. But I hadn't realized exit polling data explicitly backed that assertion up. It does.

From Pennsylvania on (excluding Montana and South Dakota, due to so few blacks in both), exit pollsters broke down by race the question of whether or not race was important in determining who the voter choose. Following is how likely a black voter is to choose his candidate for racial reasons relative to the likelihood of a white voter doing the same, by state. Thus 100% indicates equal likelihood, 50% indicates blacks are half as likely as whites to vote for racial reasons, and 200% indicates blacks are twice as likely as whites to do so:

Pennsylvania: 200%
Indiana: 241%
North Carolina: 205%
West Virginia: 148%*
Kentucky: 105%
Oregon: 395%*

The intuition was correct. Blacks have shown themselves to be considerably more 'racist' in the way they determine who they'll vote for than whites are.

To pick on Cohen a little more, let me make it clear that I don't find this "good, bad, or indifferent". For those who don't have their heads in the sand or have actually spent time in black environments, it's not the least bit surprising. Even on radio and television blacks are unashamedly clannish, showing far more interest in what's going on in "the community" (the black community, that is) than in what's going on in the, uh, broader community.

In the words of Lee Kwan Yew:
In multiracial societies, you don't vote in accordance with your economic interests and social interests, you vote in accordance with race and religion.
Whites, as both a market dominant majority and the most liberal latitudinarians on the planet, don't do so as overwhelmingly as other racial groups do (at least not yet).

Of course, for guys like Cohen and most of the major media establishment that favor non-white candidates on the left, it is crucial that whites do not vote in racial solidarity with those seeking office. On the other hand, it is crucial that non-whites do.

The best way to divert attention from this glaring double standard is to decry racialism by pointing to and attacking whites, and then, if necessary, to throw up the hands in frustration over identity politics in general when it is pointed out that whites are the least racialist in the way they vote. Let the situation diffuse a bit, and then start up again, going after whites anew.

* Blacks only comprised 3% of the total voting population in WV and OR, so rounding could have conceivably shifted the ratio quite a bit in either direction.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Asians are suffering in the white establishment, too!

Steve Sailer posted on a story in the NYT about a report on the putative fallacy of perceiving Asians to be the model minority. Half Sigma actually suffered through the report and finds the expected. I've little to add, but want to point out this excerpt from the article:
"Certainly there’s a lot of Asians doing well, at the top of the curve, and that’s a point of pride, but there are just as many struggling at the bottom of the curve, and we wanted to draw attention to that,” said Robert T. Teranishi, the N.Y.U. education professor who wrote the report.
If tautologically true, musn't the Asian mean be identical to the national mean? That, of course, is not the case. What a blatant lie.

Sounds like the strategy is to bring all non-whites into the affirmative action tent. By including Pacific Islanders (categorically separate from Asian even when only five or six race choices are available) who underperform whites with Asians who outperform them, the report is able to give the appearance of more variability than actually exists.

Humorous that the NYU education professor would make the grammatical choice he does. By using "is", he's referring to the group of Asians at the top of the curve as a homogenuous group--"a lot", quite literally. Heterogeneity would've been better insinuated by saying "there are a lot of Asians doing well..." But Teranishi's area of expertise doesn't appear to be related to the rules of English language usage. As this NYU bio makes clear, his business is the race racket in academia, from a uniquely "Asian American and Pacific Islander" (AAPI) post.

Also, are Pacific Islanders in the US generally thought to enjoy the same levels of success as East Asians in the US do? They don't. I am not aware of people tending to assume Hmong and Cambodians in the US enjoy the same levels of success as Chinese and Japanese here do. At least the report does dispel that notion (see page 21), for anyone who actually held it.

Monday, June 09, 2008

So they can't say, "A woman killed him!"

I'm currently reading a one year NIV bible, as I've never actually gone through the thing in order from start to finish. As it is the best selling book in the history of the world (and probably the single most important literary compilation in Western civilization), it seems overdue.

The gauntlet throwers of the OT weren't sissies! 'Twas a time when men were men in the Levant, you see, as Abimelech demonstrates (Judges 9: 52-54):
Abimelech went to the tower and stormed it. But as he approached the entrance to the tower to set it on fire, a woman dropped an upper millstone on his head and cracked his skull.

Hurriedly, he called to his armor-bearer, "Draw your sword and kill me, so that they can't say, 'A woman killed him.'" So his servant ran him through and he died.
That time has passed.

Silliness aside, I'm struck by the sense of distance reading from the Old Testament brings. It feels as foreign as the Epic of Gilgamesh or the Koran. The New Testament, by contrast, feels worlds closer. Its influences, much like Plato's writings on Socrates, are easily palpable in the contemporary West. In my annotations, I literally have dozens of references to the teachings of Jesus that are foundational beliefs of today's political liberalism.

Friday, June 06, 2008

Obama lost his momentum three months ago; Hillary's second wind wasn't enough

As was pointed out, a few days ago on MSNBC Pat Buchanan challenged Richard Cohen on the latter's assertion that it's understandable for blacks to vote for Obama because he's black but "rancid" when whites back Hillary for the same reason. Cohen had preceded Buchanan's challenge by pointing out that Obama was "stumbling to the finish line" without enjoying "a triumphant win" (view the full segment).

Cohen got that one right. Indeed, from the beginning of March onward, Obama's 'momentum' dissipated. As Hillary picked up steam, the previously ubiquitous word all but vanished from media coverage of the campaign. From March through the end of the primaries on June 3, Hillary beat Obama 6,974,327-6,369,076 in total votes*. That's a comfortable 52.3%-47.7% margin.

Despite this post's title and the paragraph above, demography told the story. Braying punditry, campaign speeches, media coverage, and polling data couldn't compete with the value of demographic data in predicting outcomes, especially as the campaign wore on.

I'm currently working on estimates of vote totals by race (non-Hispanic white, black, and Hispanic) and gender for the Democratic campaign in its entirety. Because of the number of caucuses without exit polling data, it's a tedious process.

* I estimated the total turnout for Guam by presuming the population voted in the Democratic caucus at the same rate (9.7%) as those in Puerto Rico voted in the primary there. As caucuses tend to draw smaller numbers than primaries do, this probably overestimates the actual turnout somewhat. Even so the total votes via this estimate only come to 21,105. Obama won by the narrowest margins in Guam (50.1%-49.9%), so if this is artificially boosting his advantage, it's probably doing so by the tens!

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Immigrants (Hispanics) and identity theft

Randall Parker reports on an article by Steven Malanga on identity theft and illegal immigration. Malanga points out that the "epidemic" rise in ID theft has paralleled the rise in the number of immigrants (specifically illegal immigrants) in the US. Citizens who share their state with lots of immigrants are at the greatest risk of having their identities stolen:
The top five states in terms of reported identity theft in 2007 all have large immigrant populations—the border states of Arizona, California, and Texas, as well as Florida and Nevada. ... “To many law enforcement leaders in Arizona, this suggests that Arizona’s identity-theft epidemic is directly linked to the problem of illegal immigration,” says a recent report by Identity Theft 911, an Arizona company that helps businesses and individuals protect themselves.
His observation can be stated more forcefully in another way. The correlation between a state's ID theft victimization rate and its foreign-born population is a vigorous .75. That means more than half (56%) of the magnitude of the ID theft problem in a state is found by simply looking at the relative size of its non-native population. For each 1% increase in the proportion of a state population that is foreign-born, the number of ID theft victims per 100,000 people increases by three. Put in another way, for every 1% increase in the proportion of the total US population that is foreign-born, we can expect another 9,000 citizens to have their identities stolen each year.

The other conventional social indicators of crime do not share anywhere near as strong a relationship: Economic inequality has no statistically significant relationship with ID crime, nor does the percentage of the population that is black, the average educational attainment of adults in a state, or a state's poverty rate; a state's violent crime rate correlates at .54 with ID theft victimization but that is largely a result of how strongly, at .78, the percentage of the population that is Hispanic correlates with it.

The whiter the state, the less ID theft is a problem, as the percentage of a state's population that is white inversely correlates with victimization at .64. The data are here.

The targets tend to be affluent, with households of annual incomes over $75,000 the most likely to be hit by ID thieves. As income increases, so does the likelihood of being victimized. The racial variance among victims isn't large, but whites (5.6%) are more likely to suffer than blacks (4.8%) or Hispanics (4.4%) are.

In addition to the headache of trying to recover one's identity, there is a financial cost as well. Illegal immigrants are more likely to steal information that ends up being the most costly:
People who pilfer legitimate identities in these states are much more likely than in other parts of the country to use them to gain employment unlawfully—the most common reason that illegal aliens steal personal information. In Arizona, for instance, 36 percent of all identity theft is for employment purposes, compared with only 5 percent in Maine, a state with far fewer illegal aliens.
The average victim was setback $1,620 in '05 according to the Bureau of Justice, but the kind of theft that illegal immigrants are more likely than natives to engage in--the theft of personal information like Social Security numbers--cost each victim an average of $4,850. The filching of credit cards, in contrast, brought an average monetary cost of $980.

It's not surprising that those who flout residency laws to live in the US quasi-anonymously are going to have relatively few qualms about stealing the identities of American citizens. By failing to control who enters the country, we are assenting to ignorance of who is here. By failing to punish and remove illegal immigrants who are in the US, we are bringing more identity theft on ourselves.

Pat Buchanan and Richard Cohen on racial solidarity

In this video clip, Pat Buchanan stultifies Washington Post columnist Richard Cohen by posing a simple question as to why Cohen thinks it rancid that whites in West Virginia voted for Hillary (69%-23%) but has nothing disapproving to say about blacks voting for Obama in Philadelphia (92%-8%), or everywhere else by almost the same overwhelming margin, for that matter.

Buchanan's point is not novel in this area of the blogosphere. Blacks are far more clannish than whites are. But Cohen's visible discomfort makes the video worth watching. Near the end of the clip, when Buchanan jocularly offers Cohen a studio mug, a rattled Cohen says of the segment, "I didn't have such a good time." Clearly Cohen is not used to being challenged, even in the polite and measured way that is a staple of Buchanan's presentation, when he embraces such a blatant double standard.

As the Inductivist points out, the video is also remarkable in the making of an argument that whites should be able to vote for other whites in solidarity just as every other identity interest does.