Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Eligible whites, blacks more likely to vote than Hispanics, Asians

The Pew Research Center recently put out a report entitled "Dissecting the 2008 Electorate: Most Diverse in US History". This translates as the white percentage of total voters being the lowest it ever has been in a Presidential election. Recognizing the slow but steady relative reduction in the size of the white vote is nothing novel. It has been occuring for several decades, to the enormous benefit of the Democratic party.

What I found interesting was the level of voter participation relative to eligibility, by race. The following graph shows actual voters as a percentage of eligible voters, by race, on a relative scale for the population as a whole. That is, if the graph included a line for the entire electorate, it would be a perfectly horizontal with a y-value of 100. If in a given election cycle whites represent 80% of actual voters and 75% of eligible voters, they have a civic score of 107 ((80/75)*100). Whites are represented by the white line, blacks by the black line, Hispanics by the brown line, and Asians by the yellow line:


With the exception of the steady increase in civic-mindedness among blacks over the last couple of decades, the relative values are pretty steady. Hispanic and Asian electoral participation has consistently remained below that of blacks and whites for as long as reliable demographic data has been kept. This helps in understanding why, at over 15% of the US population, Hispanics make up less than half that proportion of actual voters (with age structure and illegal residency status completing the picture) and also why anything that facilitates casting a ballot will tend to be supported by Democrats and opposed by (non-politically suicidal) Republicans.

A few other noteworthy facts gleaned from the report:

- The percentage of eligible white males who voted in 2008 dropped to 64.2%, down from 65.9% in 2004. That 1.7 point decrease was more than three times larger than the decrease among white females, from 68.4% in 2004 to 67.9% in 2008. White men, the GOP's stalwarts, weren't inspired by what was offered them last November.

- Eligible black women were the most likely group to vote in 2008, and also the most inclined to vote for Obama.

- The male:female participation rate ratio by race follows the common 'hierarchical' pattern found in so many other measures of social variables. Male participation among eligible voters as a percentage of female participation among eligible voters, by race, averaged for the 2004 and 2008 elections:

Asians -- 95.1%
Whites -- 93.5%
Hispanics -- 91.6%
Blacks -- 88.2%

Fascinating how this 'ranking' manifests itself in so many ways.

8 comments:

The Undiscovered Jew said...

I understand why Asians and Hispanics do not vote Republican but there is no overwhelming reason for them to turn out in great numbers to vote for the Democrats simply because they are minorities.

Democrat policy platforms are geared primarily towards pleasing SWPL whites (who stupidly vote against their own financial interests) and black ethno interests.

True, there is some overlap between the interests of blacks and Hispanics in terms of economics. But otherwise, Hispanics are in competition with blacks for a slice of the racial spoils pie the Democrat party carves up for them.

I wonder if economic issues will be strong enough over the longterm to prevent the Democrat party from splitting apart into competing racial factions.

Similarly, William Saletan is worried that whites may support eugenics policies if knowledge of racial differences become widely known, but I don't see why Asians, Middle Easterner, and Hispanics may not also support future eugenics policies because blacks would be disproporitanetly the most affected by any voluntary eugenics program.

Sgt. Joe Friday said...

I think the leadership of the Democrats, including Obama, view the black vs. brown divide among their constituents as one that can be papered over, perhaps indefinitely. Their calculation is probably that whatever antagonisms may exist between them, they can be persuaded to band together (along with gay men and single women) to form a "takers" coalition.

The Undiscovered Jew said...

Sgt. Joe,

Yes the blacks and Hispanics agree on the taxing.

The longterm problem for the Democrats is to whom the filthy lucre goes.

Sgt. Joe Friday said...

TUJ - Then there's the "elephant in the room" that no one wants to acknowledge: identity politics can go both ways. The government says that whites will no longer be the majority by 2042*, so it should not come as a surprise to anyone if around, let's say, 2042, whites start adopting the attitudes and behaviors of a minority group.

* Frankly I think 2042 is not at all accurate - it's likely to be much sooner. The Hispanic population has been doubling every 20 years since 1940, so it is likely to be 25-28% of the population by 2020. Add to that 13% black and 6% or so Asian and other, and you're already up to nearly half the population in just 9-1/2 years. If, God forbid, there's an illegal alien amnesty, you can bet that there will be a tsunami from the south of people clamoring to get in on what is sure to be the next amnesty. We should also not overlook the phenomenon that Steve Sailer has pointed to, i.e. higher fertility rates for amnestied illegal alien women and "generational momentum," the tendency for Hispanics to have more numerous children, and at a younger age. The government's demographers are either incompetent (always a possibility) or are being ordered to manipulate the data so as to obfuscate what is actually going on. I tend to believe the latter, since "2042" is so far in the future that it's an abstraction to most people, and is therefore less likely to provoke outrage. OTOH, tell people that within 15 years we will be a majority non-white country with roughly 1/3 of it Spanish speaking, well then you never know what the yahoos might demand. Why, they might even insist on having an actual border...can't have that now, can we?

David said...

This is a very interesting post. Although I find it stunning that the American Idol show garners more votes than the Presidential Election. This is because people can vote more than once and kids/teenagers are more into things than older people?

Audacious Epigone said...

UJ,

Yes, that question, in addition to the question of whether or not Asians will 'return' to the GOP--recalling that Bush41 split the Asian vote with Clinton and Dole won it--as NAM representation in the Democratic party continues to grow, are two of the biggest political unknowns going forward.

Sgt Joe,

With whites comprising 3/4s of the electorate, that strategy seems pretty sound to me, at least at the national level. Black unemployment is at 15% and rising. Probably not the best time for Obama to push for an amnesty, or so I'd think. But it looks like I'm wrong.

Also, another question about a potential storm gathering--by mid-Century, over half the working age population will be non-white, while the retired population will be two-thirds white. What consequences will this have on social security and other wealth transfers from the young to the old? Hard to see how this won't further stoke racial tensions.

David,

Any idea how many actual individual voters there are for American Idol? Also, do participants have to be in the US? I have no idea.

Sgt. Joe Friday said...

AE - If I make it to 2050 I'll be over 90. Whether I'm around or not is another question.

As for the non-white working population vs. the white retirees, that sets up a very interesting scenario. Old timers have traditionally been thought of as part of the welfare or takers coalition because of Social Security politics, but my guess is that the retirees will actually control much of the nation's wealth.

The politics will be extremely nasty, since you can bet that the debate will be framed by the media as "greedy, old white people" who dislike young brown people. A forcible transfer via punitive taxation (I'm guessing a net worth or "wealth" tax, since retirees don't ordinarily have much earned income) will be the blunt instrument used to accomplish this. Of course, the big problem with this is that once all the money has been taken away from the geezers, who will be left to pay the taxes? Lower social and human capital + punitive taxes + fiscal irresponsibility = banana republic.

The Undiscovered Jew said...

Yes, that question, in addition to the question of whether or not Asians will 'return' to the GOP--recalling that Bush41 split the Asian vote with Clinton and Dole won it--as NAM representation in the Democratic party continues to grow, are two of the biggest political unknowns going forward.

AE,

Asians might go to the GOP on economic issues as the Democrats become more financially leftist, though I'm more inclined to think Asians and Hispanics just won't turn out much.

Even Jews under the age of 35 are starting to vote more GOP* and in line with their financial interests - and this is at a time when the Democrats are still viewed as moderate on economic policy thanks to Bill Clinton's center right fiscal policies. Obama and Pelosi are now pulling the Democrats way to left on fiscal matters compared to where they were under Clinton.

It will be interesting to see if SWPLs, modderate white Democrats, Asians and younger moderate Jews get turned off by Obama's tax and spend policies.

* Below is a link to Gallup's late October 2008 poll of Jews. Older Jewish voters gave only 15-19% of their vote to McCain whereas Jews under 35 voted 29% for McCain in 2008 and about a 1/3rd for Bush in 2004:

Obama Winning Over the Jewish VoteThree-quarters of U.S. Jewish voters now plan to back Obama for president

http://www.gallup.com/poll/111424/Obama-Winning-Over-Jewish-Vote.aspx

snip

Recent support for Obama is a bit higher among older Jews than among Jews younger than 55. According to combined Gallup Poll Daily tracking data from Sept. 1 through Oct. 21, an average of 74% of Jews aged 55 and older supported Obama for president across this period, compared with about two-thirds of younger Jews.

The slightly more pro-McCain orientation of the youngest category of Jewish voters (those 18 to 34) could be related to the fact that they are more apt than older Jewish voters to consider themselves political conservatives (29% vs. 16%). However, ideology does not appear to explain the gap between middle-aged and older Jewish voters. Whereas those 35 to 54 are more likely to support McCain, they are no more likely than older Jewish voters to describe their political views as conservative.