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Don't Blame Romney

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Don't Blame Romney

Mensaje por MarlboroMan(aka Lexus) el Jue Nov 08, 2012 4:09 pm


DON'T BLAME ROMNEY

ANN COULTER


We spent billions of dollars and billions of words on an election to switch from President Obama, a Democratic Senate and a Republican House to President Obama, a Democratic Senate and a Republican House.

Every election predictor was wrong, except one: Incumbents usually win.

Republicans have taken out a sitting president only once in the last century, and that was in 1980 when Ronald Reagan beat Jimmy Carter. Sadly, Reagan's record remains secure.

The Democrats ran up against the incumbency problem in 2004. The landslide election for Democrats in 2006 suggests that Americans were not thrilled with Republicans around the middle of the last decade. And yet in 2004, President George W. Bush beat John Kerry more handily than Obama edged past Romney this week.

Democratic candidate John Kerry won 8 million more votes than Al Gore did in 2000, and he still couldn't win. All the Democrats' money, media, Bush Derangement Syndrome and even a demoralized conservative base couldn't trump the power of incumbency in 2004.

After supporting Mitt Romney in 2008, some of you may recall, I ran off with New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie midway through Obama's first term for precisely that reason: The near-impossibility of beating an incumbent president. Christie seemed like the kind of once-in-a-lifetime star who could pull a Reagan upset against an incumbent president.

But I was wrong. Romney was the perfect candidate, and he was the president this country needed right now. It's less disheartening that a president who wrecked American health care, quadrupled gas prices, added $6 trillion to the national debt and gave us an 8 percent unemployment rate can squeak out re-election than that America will never have Romney as our president.

Indeed, Romney is one of the best presidential candidates the Republicans have ever fielded. Blaming the candidate may be fun, but it's delusional and won't help us avoid making the same mistakes in the future.


Part of the reason incumbents win is that they aren't forced to spend half the election year being battered in primaries. Obama started running anti-Romney ads in Ohio before the Republican primaries were even over. Noticeably, Romney's negatives were sky-high in Ohio, but not in demographically similar states like Pennsylvania.

One of Obama's first acts in office was to bail out the auto industry to help him in states he'd need in the upper Midwest, such as Michigan and Ohio. He visited Ohio nearly 50 times, while not visiting lots of other states even once. Obama was working Ohio from the moment he became president. Meanwhile, Romney didn't wrap up the primaries until the end of May.

A little less time beating up our candidate in the primaries so that he could have started campaigning earlier would have helped. In this regard, please remember that no mere House member is ever going to be elected president. Most of them harm their political careers by running. (Where's Thaddeus McCotter these days? Michele Bachmann is fighting for her political life.)

Please stop running. You're distracting us from settling on an actual nominee.

No one can be blamed for the hurricane that took the news off the election, abruptly halting Romney's momentum, but Todd Akin and Richard Mourdock can be blamed on two very specific people: Todd Akin and Richard Mourdock.

The last two weeks of the campaign were consumed with discussions of women's "reproductive rights," not because of anything Romney did, but because these two idiots decided to come out against abortion in the case of rape and incest.

After all the hard work intelligent pro-lifers have done in changing the public's mind about a subject the public would rather not think about at all, these purist grandstanders came along and announced insane positions with no practical purpose whatsoever, other than showing off.

While pro-lifers in the trenches have been pushing the abortion positions where 90 percent of the country agrees with us -- such as bans on partial birth abortion, and parental and spousal notification laws -- Akin and Mourdock decided to leap straight to the other end of the spectrum and argue for abortion positions that less than 1 percent of the nation agrees with.

In order to be pro-life badasses, they gave up two easy-win Republican Senate seats.

No law is ever going to require a woman to bear the child of her rapist. Yes, it's every bit as much a life as an unborn child that is not the product of rape. But sentient human beings are capable of drawing gradations along a line.

Just because I need iron to live doesn't mean I have to accept 100,000 milligrams, which will kill me. If we give the guy who passed bad checks a prison furlough, that doesn't mean we have to give one to Willie Horton. I like a tablespoon of sugar in my coffee, but not a pound.

The overwhelming majority of people -- including me -- are going to say the law shouldn't force someone who has been raped to carry the child. On the other hand, abortion should be illegal in most other cases.

Is that so hard for Republicans to say?

Purist conservatives are like idiot hipsters who can't like a band that's popular. They believe that a group with any kind of a following can't be a good band, just as show-off social conservatives consider it a mark of integrity that their candidates -- Akin, Mourdock, Sharron Angle, Christine O'Donnell -- take wildly unpopular positions and lose elections.

It was the same thing with purist libertarian Barry Goldwater, who -- as you will read in my book, "Mugged: Racial Demagoguery From the Seventies to Obama" -- nearly destroyed the Republican Party with his pointless pursuit of libertarian perfection in his vote against the 1964 Civil Rights Act.

I like a band that sells NO albums because it proves they have too much integrity to sell out.

We have a country to save. And just as the laws of elections generally mean the incumbent president wins, they also mean the party out of the White House typically stages a big comeback in midterm elections. BIG. Don't blow it with purist showoffs next time, Republicans.
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Re: Don't Blame Romney

Mensaje por Charlie319 el Jue Nov 08, 2012 9:46 pm

The problem Romney had developed after he clinched the candidacy. He fell into the clutches of GOP Inc. and its neo-con mavens.
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Re: Don't Blame Romney

Mensaje por MarlboroMan(aka Lexus) el Jue Nov 08, 2012 11:33 pm

Even Reagan couldn't have won with this electorate and a nasty primary.......I have to agree with Ann Coulter, Obama always had the upper hand in this election and the republicans didn't help themselves at all or help Romney.

The attacks from Governor Perry and Newt Gingrich on Bain Capital and Romney's taxes during the primary just help Obama define Romney early....Reagan didn't have to go through this in 1980.

Plus the idiot Rick Santorum during the primary playing into the Obama and the media's hands about abortion and social issues that really isn't the big picture which is the economy, jobs and the huge national debt.


and last, W BUSH, this guy messed the Republican national brand for the presidency for a long time. This is the first time that a 2 term President didn't even campaign for GOP candidate or even show up at the convention.....that's how bad W BUSH messed up the party.

and RINO Christie didn't help during Sandy by nut licking Obama and praising his leadership 5 days before the election. He didn't have to do that. That was uncall for.


Romney was a good candidate for the country's economic problems, it just he had to go up a huge mountain and republicans didn't help.





Última edición por MarlboroMan(aka Lexus) el Vie Nov 09, 2012 11:52 am, editado 1 vez
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Re: Don't Blame Romney

Mensaje por Boriquesazo el Vie Nov 09, 2012 10:48 am

I agree that the GOP primaries didn´t help Romney.

But you can´t deny that his comments immediately after the Lybia incident didn´t help him. The 47% comment was devastating for him.

Whether you agree with him or not on what he said, the public perception of him with these comments got increasingly negative. There was no spin to be made about this. All you have to do is watch these comments in real time and you would realize that he truly didn´t care about a good portion, if not a majority, of Americans.

Romney is the kind of guy that would buy a politician, not the kind of guy that would be a politician.

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Re: Don't Blame Romney

Mensaje por MarlboroMan(aka Lexus) el Vie Nov 09, 2012 12:25 pm

Bori:

the Lybia comments and the 47% is not the reason Romney lost........Obama's Benghazi cover up and mistakes is a bigger story and way more legit but its nice to have the media on his side......the CBS report (that came out too late by the way, they were holding on to it) proved Obama lied and blamed a youtube video on 4 American deaths.


The media ran more negative stories on Romney than Obama by far.........the media has been on Obama's bandwagon ever since 2008 in the primary against Hillary.

If it was the other way around, you and the left would be crying RACISM and foul from the media.


By the way, here is Romney's comment about the 47%, the left with a huge help from the media took out of context and distorted it. What can you expect, this was one of thr most negative campaigns run by an incumbent president.....so much for HOPE and CHANGE Rhetoric that Obama promised in 2008 to change Washington.....we are more divided today then when Obama took office.....Hope and change, right?


There are 47 percent of the people who will vote for the president no matter what. All right, there are 47 percent who are with him, who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe the government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you-name-it. That's an entitlement. The government should give it to them. And they will vote for this president no matter what. And I mean the president starts off with 48, 49...he starts off with a huge number. These are people who pay no income tax. Forty-seven percent of Americans pay no income tax. So our message of low taxes doesn't connect. So he'll be out there talking about tax cuts for the rich. ... [M]y job is is not to worry about those people. I'll never convince them they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives. What I have to do is convince the 5–10% in the center that are independents, that are thoughtful, that look at voting one way or the other depending upon in some cases emotion, whether they like the guy or not.
—Mitt Romney at the private fundraiser of May 17, 2012


I and many understood what he said and I agree because I lived it in Puerto Rico and I see it in states like California who are bankruted, high unemployment and a big welfare state and people who refuse to work looking for any handouts from the goverment because like in Puerto Rico, they think its a "right".

Again, Romney never said he doesn't care for them, he basically was saying if he doesn't offer free stuff and handouts those people will never vote for him and he was right......but the media and the left distorting the facts.

again, you live in Puerto Rico and know for a fact that a big welfare state and having more takers than people who produce is bad for the country.......when the government spends $11 for every $7 they bring in to give to people that refuse to produce , how is that good for the economy, jobs, investment and the value of our dollar?


Under Obama people on Food Stamps went from 30 million to 47 million in 4 years and that is not counting Puerto Rico.....how is that good for the country?


I agree with Romney's 47% comment......you can argue the %, it might be 40% or 35% but what he said was true, Puerto Rico is a fine example. Spain and Greece are another examples.



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Re: Don't Blame Romney

Mensaje por MarlboroMan(aka Lexus) el Vie Nov 09, 2012 12:41 pm

I guess we went from JFK famous speech ""Ask not what your country can do for you - ask what you can do for your country.. to give me , give me, give me..." its my right" mentality under Obama.

Now to get elected you have to offer more free stuff than the other guy and just pander away to the takers of this country while the producers get vilified that we are not working hard enough and not giving enough.

.


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Re: Don't Blame Romney

Mensaje por Charlie319 el Dom Nov 11, 2012 3:17 am

Boriquesazo escribió:I agree that the GOP primaries didn´t help Romney.

But you can´t deny that his comments immediately after the Lybia incident didn´t help him. The 47% comment was devastating for him.

Whether you agree with him or not on what he said, the public perception of him with these comments got increasingly negative. There was no spin to be made about this. All you have to do is watch these comments in real time and you would realize that he truly didn´t care about a good portion, if not a majority, of Americans.

Romney is the kind of guy that would buy a politician, not the kind of guy that would be a politician.

You have to be kidding me... The 47% comment was taken out oof context. There is/was a 47% of the electorate that was "in the tank" for Obama. That is something that nobody has bothered to deny and the numbers do bear out. Within that 47% there are welfare recipients, folks who feel the government owes them, nad even thsoe who view themselves as victims. Those folks who don't pay income taxes are stone deaf to any "low taxes" message from the GOP, and would not be receptive to a cut in their dear entitlement programs. so I can nderstand why candidate Romeny would not worry abouot those voters who are not going to veer one iota from the pandering party and its benefit doling candidate and sitting president.

You are mistaken when you say that there was no spin. The news themselves were spin as the recording is quite clear. However, in the absence of a strong rebutal, it became a "perceived truth".

As for not caring for Americans, I can tell you that Obama does not care for that other 47% of Americans that do pay substantial taxes. His plan for government calls for ever more welfare and less employment.

Lost in the argument is that the White electorate is 72 percent, 13 percent is black, 10 percent Latino and 5 percent “other.” If we concede that 93% of the black vote went to Obama, and about 70% of the Latino vote also went to the Mulatto President, then we can see that the problem with the GOP was not on the minorities side. These are groups that see government and its spending as the answer and not "the problem".

His problem as a candidate began when GOP-Inc in the person of John Sununu and his similars got a hold of Romney's campaign and veered him towards center which cost him a substantial (as many as 7 million) number of white votes while the African-American vote only increased by about 300,000 votes, or 0.2 percent, from 2008 to 2012. The Latino vote increased by a healthier 1.7 million votes, while the “other” category increased by about 470,000 votes. In other words, the much vaunted growth of the Latino vote is mostly hot air and the GOP stands to create more democrat voters if it caves in to presure from the left to grant any kind of amnesty. Black voters did not increase by much, but the lack of a Democrat primary served the president well in allowing him more than half a year to get his "get out the vote" machine up and running.

So what is the answer???? If the GOP were to run a campaign like the afrocentrist one waged by Obama for the black vote, but aimed at tthe white vote, the accusations of racism will be immediate. But, the Democrats did fire the first volley and what is good for the goose should be good for the gander.

Rather than caving in to the Neo-Con's in the GOP, the Conservatives should return these strong on defense Democrats back to their party rather than allow this ideological cancer to persist in the GOP.
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Re: Don't Blame Romney

Mensaje por Charlie319 el Lun Jun 03, 2013 8:51 am

Interesante colummna del WaPo y la columnista Esther Cepeda:




The GOP’s Hispanic problem


By Esther J. Cepeda, Published: May 15

CHICAGO — The U.S. Census Bureau released its November voting data and one thing is clear: The so-called Latino Sleeping Giant is still snoozing — fewer than half of all eligible Hispanics turned out to vote in 2012.

After nearly a year of breathless reports about how Latinos were going to trip over themselves to get to the polls and vote against Mitt Romney’s hard-line immigration stance — remember Time magazine’s Spanish-language cover “Yo Decido”? — the reality is less dramatic.

Yes, 11.2 million Latinos turned out to vote in 2012. But these headlines tell a different story: “As Hispanic Vote Lags, Millions of Votes Left on the Table,”“‘Record’ Hispanic Voter Turnout In 2012 a Misnomer, Census Numbers Show,” and “Gains in Hispanic vote fall short of projections.”

Last year I took heat for suggesting that the Latino vote wouldn’t live up to the hype. But the numbers don’t lie.

According to the Census Bureau, the percentage of Latinos casting ballots went down to 48 percent from 49.9 percent in 2008.

Paul Taylor and Mark Hugo Lopez summarized it for the Pew Research Center: “Hispanics continue to punch below their weight. Much was made right after the November election about the clout of the Hispanic vote (by, among others, the Pew Research Center). But the new Census Bureau data show that Hispanics’ turnout rate -- just 48 percent — as far below that of whites (64.1 percent) or blacks (66.2 percent).”

Taylor and Lopez noted that because of population growth, the number of Latinos who voted for president did increase, but the number who were eligible but chose not to vote increased even more — by 2.3 million — from 9.8 million in 2008 to 12.1 million in 2012.

The reason you don’t hear much about these sobering numbers from the Hispanic advocacy organizations — as opposed to how they react with any statistic even remotely suggesting an impending Latino supremacy — is obvious. After all, immigration reform is only in play because Republicans are scared witless that unfavorable Latino voting power will sink their party in upcoming elections.

But how true can this be when fewer Latino voters bothered to vote in a contest featuring an incumbent Democrat and a Hispanically tone-deaf Republican candidate who could never quite get past “self-deportation” than in 2008, when Barack Obama and John McCain — a longtime supporter of immigration reform -- were running?

Yes, Republicans have a Hispanic problem, but it may be less a voting-power dilemma than it is a perception issue.

One big misperception is that Latino voters care foremost about politicians’ stand on immigration, a notion that has been disproved time and again. And even though it is a topic of importance to them, Latinos do not speak with one voice on immigration, as [url=http://www.people-press.org/files/legacy-pdf/5-9-13 Immigration Release.pdf]a recent study by the Pew Research Center for People and the Press[/url] reaffirms.

When asked whether those living in the U.S. illegally should be allowed to stay legally, 9 percent of Latinos said “no” and another 6 percent didn’t know. Asked about giving those in the U.S. illegally a way to obtain legal status, 29 percent of Latino respondents said it would be “like rewarding them for doing something wrong” and another 10 percent weren’t sure. Yes, these are minority opinions, but they point to a diversity of thought Latinos are rarely credited with.

Another perception is that Republicans hate Hispanics.

Many Latinos see the Republican Party as a mix of a few opportunistic politicians trying to make inroads to win their votes and many xenophobes who believe not only that most Hispanics are living here illegally but that they’re intellectually inferior.

It’s hard to assume otherwise after the controversy over the Heritage Foundation’s estimates on the cost of legalizing the 11 million immigrants living here illegally.

At the same time as some conservative leaders were rushing to register their disapproval with the report — which accounted for costs, but not benefits, of legalization — others were quiet after news outlets reported that one of co-authors of the study had written a Harvard Ph.D. dissertation contending that Hispanics have low IQs that will likely never reach parity with whites and will produce more low-IQ children and grandchildren.

Shout this from the rooftops: Perception, not voting power, is the Republican Party’s biggest Hispanic challenge.





Obviamente ella no menciona lo que aparece en el reporte del censo: http://www.census.gov/prod/2013pubs/p20-568.pdf

Esta lleno de graficas y de informacion muy util para los que tratamos de advertir los ciclos politicos..

Lo que gano las elecciones de Obama fue el voto negro que crecio aun mas a comparacion del 2008 y marcadamente en el sector de los envejecientes afroamericanos. Vemos en este articulo del NY Times:








For First Time on Record, Black Voting Rate Outpaced Rate for Whites in 2012
<H6 class=byline>
<H6 class=byline>By SARAH WHEATON</H6>

WASHINGTON — The turnout rate of black voters surpassed the rate for whites for the first time on record in 2012, as more black voters went to the polls than in 2008 and fewer whites did, according to a Census Bureau report released Wednesday.

The survey also found that Hispanics and Asians continue to turn out at much lower rates than other groups, and that women turn out at higher rates than men. The increase in black turnout was driven in significant part by more votes from black women.

According to the Census report, 66.2 percent of eligible blacks voted in the 2012 election, compared with 64.1 percent of eligible non-Hispanic whites. An estimated two million fewer white Americans voted in 2012 than in 2008, just as about 1.8 million more blacks went to the polls, more than 90 percent of them voting to re-elect President Obama, exit polls showed.

“In 2008, we changed the guard. In 2012, we guard the change,” said Michael Blake, who ran the Obama campaign’s effort to reach out to black and minority voters, Operation Vote.

The overall turnout rate nationwide was 61.8 percent in 2012, a decline from 63.6 percent four years earlier. Researchers cautioned that their estimates might overstate how many people voted across all categories, because they are based on surveys in which people were asked whether they had voted — a “socially desirable” activity.

Some researchers cautioned against treating 2012 as a watershed moment for the black vote. For example, Michael P. McDonald, an associate professor at George Mason University — using the same data but with a slightly different calculation — determined that black voters first turned out at a higher rate than whites in 2008.

The increase in black turnout seemed to stem from both energized voters and a successful voter-mobilization effort by the Obama campaign and civil rights groups. Many black voters were motivated not only to protect the president, political organizers said, but also to demonstrate their own right to vote.

In several states, Republican legislators tried to increase voter-ID requirements, limit voting times and make registration more difficult, efforts that civil rights groups aggressively opposed.

We are accustomed to people trying to deny us things, and I think sometimes you wake the sleeping giant, and that’s what happened here,” said Marvin Randolph, the N.A.A.C.P.’s senior vice president for campaigns.

Mr. Randolph cited an Obama campaign memo boasting that the black early vote was up by at least 17 percent in a series of battleground states that offered the option, including Ohio, Florida, Iowa, Nevada, Colorado and North Carolina. “They stood in line so they wouldn’t get their vote denied,” Mr. Randolph added.

But geographic figures also suggest that black voters flocked to the polls even with little nudging from political organizers. Among the states where blacks had the highest turnout rates relative to whites were Republican bastions where neither campaign devoted many resources, like Mississippi, Alabama, Tennessee and Kentucky.

Thom File, the Census report’s author, said in a conference call with reporters on Wednesday, “Blacks for the first time in 2012 actually voted at rates higher than their eligibility would indicate.”

It remains unclear how lasting the increase in black turnout will be. Mr. Randolph acknowledged that 2016, when a black candidate may not be at the top of the ticket, would present more of a test.

Dan Pfeiffer, a top adviser to Mr. Obama, said in a Twitter message that it was “not written in stone” that the next Democratic nominee would generate the same enthusiasm, calling it a challenge for 2016 and beyond.

Democrats also face the challenge of raising turnout among Latino and Asian-American voters, both of whom voted overwhelmingly for Mr. Obama, while also holding on to their support as Republicans woo them.

For Republicans, the new data showed that the newly diverse electorate of recent years is likely to become only more so. In 2012, 73.7 percent of voters were white, according to the census, down from 82.5 percent in 1996.

The key to increasing Hispanics’ share of the vote is “closing the registration gap,” said Clarissa Martinez, director of civic engagement and immigration for NCLR, a Latino organization also known as the National Council of La Raza. The study, which showed that fewer than half of eligible Latinos voted in 2012, foreshadows their “tremendous additional potential,” Ms. Martinez said.

The study also found a significant gender gap, with women voting at a rate 4 percentage points higher than men. Among blacks, the gap was 9 percentage points.
</H6>


Basta decir que no esperamos que se repita esto en el 2016


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Re: Don't Blame Romney

Mensaje por Charlie319 el Jue Jun 27, 2013 1:51 pm

Este es el primer y segundo articulo por Sean Trende sobre el rendimiento del voto blanco en el GOP:
PART 1:

The Case of the Missing White Voters, Revisited
By Sean Trende - June 21, 2013


With a cloture vote on the Senate's immigration reform bill expected next week, countless commentators have expressed the view that if Republicans don't sign on for reform, the party is doomed at the presidential level for a generation.

This is the first in a two-part series explaining why this conventional wisdom is incorrect. Signing on to a comprehensive immigration package is probably part of one way for Republicans to form a winning coalition at the presidential level, but it isn’t the only way (for more, I’ve written a book about this, as well as countless articles here at RCP). Today I’ll re-examine what was really the most salient demographic change in 2012: The drop-off in white voters. Next time, we’ll confront some of the assumptions embedded in the “GOP has to do this” argument head-on.

I should re-emphasize at the outset that I think that embracing some sort of immigration reform probably helps with Republicans’ outreach efforts to Hispanics, and the idea that there is a treasure-trove of votes to be had for Democrats here is almost certainly overstated. I should also re-emphasize that from a “pure policy” standpoint, I find quite a bit to like in the basic “Gang of Eight” framework. But regardless of whether Republicans could or should back the bill, it simply isn’t necessary for them to do so and remain a viable political force.

1. The most salient demographic change from 2008 to 2012 was the drop in white voters.

Let’s start with the basics: Just what were the demographic changes in that four-year span? I did some preliminary work in November 2012 suggesting that the largest change came from white voters dropping out. Now, with more complete data, we can re-assess this in a more precise manner.

Using the most commonly accepted exit-poll numbers about the 2008 electorate*, we can roughly calculate the number of voters of each racial group who cast ballots that year. Using census estimates, we can also conclude that all of these categories should have increased naturally from 2008 to 2012, due to population growth.

From mid-2008 to mid-2012, the census estimates that the number of whites of voting age increased by 3 million. If we assume that these “new” voters would vote at a 55 percent rate, we calculate that the total number of white votes cast should have increased by about 1.6 million between 2008 and 2012.

The following table summarizes these estimates for all racial groups, and compares the results to actual turnout.



Now, the raw exit-poll data haven’t come out yet, so we can’t calculate the 2012 data to tenths: The white vote for 2012 could have been anywhere between 71.5 percent of the vote or 72.4 percent (with 26,000 respondents, analysis to tenths is very meaningful). So the final answer is that there were 6.1 million fewer white voters in 2012 than we’d have expected, give or take a million.**

The Current Population Survey data roughly confirm this. As I noted earlier, if you correct the CPS data to account for over-response bias, it shows there were likely 5 million fewer whites in 2012 than in 2008. When you account for expected growth, we’d find 6.5 million fewer whites than a population projection would anticipate.

This is the real ballgame regarding demographic change in 2012. If these white voters had decided to vote, the racial breakdown of the electorate would have been 73.6 percent white, 12.5 percent black, 9.5 percent Hispanic and 2.4 percent Asian -- almost identical to the 2008 numbers.

2. These voters were largely downscale, Northern, rural whites. In other words, H. Ross Perot voters.

Those totals are a bit more precise and certain (and lower) than my estimates from November of last year. With more complete data, we can now get a better handle regarding just who these missing white voters were.

Below is a map of change in turnout by county, from 2008 to 2012. Each shade of blue means that turnout was progressively lower in a county, although I stopped coding at -10 percent. Similarly, every shade of red means that turnout was progressively higher, to a maximum of +10 percent.



The drop in turnout occurs in a rough diagonal, stretching from northern Maine, across upstate New York (perhaps surprisingly, turnout in post-Sandy New York City dropped off relatively little), and down into New Mexico. Michigan and the non-swing state, non-Mormon Mountain West also stand out. Note also that turnout is surprisingly stable in the Deep South; Romney’s problem was not with the Republican base or evangelicals (who constituted a larger share of the electorate than they did in 2004).


For those with long memories, this stands out as the heart of the “Perot coalition.” That coalition was strongest with secular, blue-collar, often rural voters who were turned off by Bill Clinton’s perceived liberalism and George H.W. Bush’s elitism. They were largely concentrated in the North and Mountain West: Perot’s worst 10 national showings occurred in Southern and border states. His best showings? Maine, Alaska, Utah, Idaho, Kansas, Nevada, Montana, Wyoming, Oregon and Minnesota.

We can flesh this out a bit more by running a regression analysis, which enables us to isolate the effects of particular variables while holding other variables constant.*** We’ll use county-level data, which is granular enough that we can feel more comfortable that we avoided ecological fallacy problems. You can see the overall results here. Almost all of the variables are significant; only the population density variable is of no value.****


For those who didn’t click over to the chart, we’re pretty confident that the voters were more likely to stay home if they resided in states that were hit by Hurricane Sandy, that were targeted by a campaign in 2008, that had higher foreign-born populations, and that had more Hispanic residents. The latter result probably suggests a drop-off in rural Hispanic voters, who are overrepresented in an analysis such as this one.

We’re also pretty confident that the voters were more likely to turn out if they resided in counties with higher median household incomes, high population growth, a competitive Senate race in 2012, or that were a target state in 2012. Counties with higher populations of Mormons, African-Americans, and older voters also had higher turnout, all other things being equal. None of this is all that surprising.

Perhaps most intriguingly, even after all of these controls are in place, the county’s vote for Ross Perot in 1992 comes back statistically significant, and suggests that a higher vote for Perot in a county did, in fact, correlate with a drop-off in voter turnout in 2012.

What does that tell us about these voters? As I noted, they tended to be downscale, blue-collar whites. They weren’t evangelicals; Ross Perot was pro-choice, in favor of gay rights, and in favor of some gun control. You probably didn’t know that, though, and neither did most voters, because that’s not what his campaign was about.

His campaign was focused on his fiercely populist stance on economics. He was a deficit hawk, favoring tax hikes on the rich to help balance the budget. He was staunchly opposed to illegal immigration as well as to free trade (and especially the North American Free Trade Agreement). He advocated more spending on education, and even Medicare-for-all. Given the overall demographic and political orientation of these voters, one can see why they would stay home rather than vote for an urban liberal like President Obama or a severely pro-business venture capitalist like Mitt Romney.

3. These voters were not enough to cost Romney the election, standing alone.

But while this was the most salient demographic change, it was probably not, standing alone, enough to swing the election to Obama. After all, he won the election by almost exactly 5 million votes. If we assume there were 6.5 million “missing” white voters, than means that Romney would have had to win almost 90 percent of their votes to win the election.

Give that whites overall broke roughly 60-40 for Romney, this seems unlikely. In fact, if these voters had shown up and voted like whites overall voted, the president’s margin would have shrunk, but he still would have won by a healthy 2.7 percent margin.

At the same time, if you buy the analysis above, it’s likely that these voters weren’t a representative subsample of white voters. There were probably very few outright liberal voters (though there were certainly some), and they were probably less favorably disposed toward Obama than whites as a whole. Given that people who disapprove of the president rarely vote for him (Obama’s vote share exceeded his favorable ratings in only four states in 2012), my sense is that, if these voters were somehow forced to show up and vote, they’d have broken more along the lines of 70-30 for Romney.

This still only shrinks the president’s margin to 1.8 percent, but now we’re in the ballpark of being able to see a GOP path to victory (we’re also more in line with what the national polls were showing). In fact, if the African-American share of the electorate drops back to its recent average of 11 percent of the electorate and the GOP wins 10 percent of the black vote rather than 6 percent (there are good arguments both for and against this occurring; I am agnostic on the question), the next Republican would win narrowly if he or she can motivate these “missing whites,” even without moving the Hispanic (or Asian) vote.

4. The GOP faces a tough choice.

Of course, it isn’t that easy. Obama won’t be on the ticket in 2016, and the likely Democratic nominee, Hillary Clinton, could have a greater appeal to these voters (current polling suggests that she does). But there are always tradeoffs, and Clinton’s greater appeal to blue-collar whites, to the extent it holds through 2016, could be offset by a less visceral attachment with young voters, college-educated whites and to nonwhites than the president enjoys.

But the GOP still has something of a choice to make. One option is to go after these downscale whites. As I’ll show in Part 2, it can probably build a fairly strong coalition this way. Doing so would likely mean nominating a candidate who is more Bush-like in personality, and to some degree on policy. This doesn’t mean embracing “big government” economics or redistribution full bore; suspicion of government is a strain in American populism dating back at least to Andrew Jackson. It means abandoning some of its more pro-corporate stances. This GOP would have to be more "America first" on trade, immigration and foreign policy; less pro-Wall Street and big business in its rhetoric; more Main Street/populist on economics.

For now, the GOP seems to be taking a different route, trying to appeal to Hispanics through immigration reform and to upscale whites by relaxing its stance on some social issues. I think this is a tricky road to travel, and the GOP has rarely been successful at the national level with this approach. It certainly has to do more than Mitt Romney did, who at times seemed to think that he could win the election just by corralling the small business vote. That said, with the right candidate it could be doable. It’s certainly the route that most pundits and journalists are encouraging the GOP to travel, although that might tell us more about the socioeconomic standing and background of pundits and journalists than anything else.

Of course, the most successful Republican politicians have been those who can thread a needle between these stances: Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan and (to a lesser degree) Bush 43 have all been able to talk about conservative economic stances without horrifying downscale voters. These politicians are rarities, however, and the GOP will most likely have to make a choice the next few cycles about which road it wants to travel.

---

* Ruy Teixeira has mostly convinced me that the correct final exit numbers for 2008 were 74.3 percent white, 12.6 percent black, 8.5 percent Hispanic, 2 percent Asian and 2.6 percent “other.”

**I also note that Hispanic participation probably exceeded projections when you consider that a disproportionate chunk of the Latino population growth consists of non-citizens who are therefore ineligible to vote. Also note the disproportionately large drop-off in “other”; I suspect this is mostly a function of the “rounding issue” I describe above.

***As my independent variable, I used the percentage change in turnout in each county from 2008 to 2012. Since we have over 3,000 observations using this technique, we can run a large number of variables. I went with 13. Five of them were meant to control for basic external effects: population growth, whether the county was in a state targeted in 2008 or 2012, whether it was in a state affected by Hurricane Sandy, whether there was a competitive Senate race in 2012 (the states that had competitive Senate races in 2008 were almost all swing states).

I ran a variety of demographic controls: the percentage of the county that was above age 65, that was African-American, that was foreign-born, and that was Mormon. I also included population density and median household income.

Finally, I included the percentage of the vote cast for Ross Perot in 1992.

**** The r-square is a bit low at 0.3, but we’re trying to explain a vast amount of data that probably relied on thousands of variables (local weather, differing amounts of money spent, other statewide contests). Moreover, a lot of these counties are so small that “quantum effects” -- random individual decisions -- can start to skew things. An extended family afflicted with food poisoning at Sunday dinner can materially affect turnout in some counties in western Kansas. If you exclude the 29 worst outliers (in geek speak, the ones whose standardized residuals exceed 3), the r-square jumps to 0.4.



PART 2
Does GOP Have to Pass Immigration Reform?
By Sean Trende - June 25, 2013



By Sean Trende

Part 1 of this three-part series looked at the broader demographic picture from 2012, established that whites who voted in 2008 but stayed home in 2012 were responsible for a large portion of the demographic change that we saw last election, and sketched out a possible path to victory for Republicans. This path didn’t involve improving their vote share with the non-white electorate, but rather focused on the “missing” white vote. Today I’d like to talk in a little more depth about the immigration debate and the demographic changes facing the country, and ask whether Republicans really do have to pass immigration reform (much less something akin to the Senate’s version of immigration reform) to survive as a party, as too many commentators to cite have suggested.

Those who try to answer this question usually do so along these lines (sadly, I’m not deleting that much substance with this paraphrase): Republicans did poorly among Hispanics and lost the 2012 elections with a candidate who was easily tagged as anti-immigrant. In 2004, they did reasonably well among Hispanics with a candidate who supported a path to citizenship. Hispanics are a fast-growing portion of the population. Immigration reform affects Hispanics, many of whom are immigrants. Therefore, if Republicans don’t get behind immigration reform, they will never win another election.

This is extraordinarily sloppy thinking -- groupthink at its worst. For one thing, I don’t think it gets the Hispanic vote right. We’ll talk about that next time. For now, I want to focus on the 85 percent of the electorate that this analysis tends to ignore, with two critical questions.

What happens to the black vote in 2016?

The most important demographic question for 2016 -- where we should be focusing our discussion -- has little to do with the Hispanic or white votes (or the Asian or “Other” categories). It is: What will happen to the African-American vote?

Here’s the African-American share of the presidential electorate according to exit polls, from 1980 to 2012:


And here’s the Republican share of the African-American share of the presidential electorate from 1980 to 2012:
[

As you can see, between 1980 and 2004, the African-American share of the electorate moves within a fairly narrow band, at 10 percent of the electorate, give or take a point (the dip in 1992 is due to a surge of white voters in that election). It then jumps to 13 percent of the electorate in 2008 and 2012.
[
Likewise, the GOP typically won about 10 percent of the African-American vote before it dropped back to 4 percent in 2008.


A 3 percent jump in a group that votes overwhelmingly Democratic is a tremendously important electoral effect. If it continues, Republicans’ chances of winning elections in the near future are bleak with or without immigration reform. What we should be asking -- it’s a very, very interesting question -- is what happens in 2016, when Barack Obama isn’t on the ballot?

There’s one line of argument suggesting that these voters will stick around. Blacks make up 13 percent of the population, so the recent turnout spike could simply mean that blacks are finally voting at their “natural” rate.

Moreover, while Obama probably turned out a fair number of African-Americans who had never or rarely voted before 2008, reaching into the ranks of those marginally attached to the political system but eager to make history, by the time they voted a second time they were no longer marginally attached to the system. They had become regular voters: They now know where their polling place is, are on the political party mailing lists, and their precinct captains know who they are. This makes a difference.

The counterargument here is threefold. First, even with Obama atop the ticket and Organizing for America working like mad, fewer blacks did vote in 2012 than 2008; the drop-off was just masked by a sharper decline among whites.

Second, voter participation is, and has for a long time been, a socioeconomic phenomenon regardless of race. African-Americans are disproportionately poor in this country, hence the lower turnout rates during the 1990s and 2000s. Until that changes, it seems unlikely that there will be a sustained bump in their share of the electorate.

Finally, what little data we have from elections where Obama hasn’t been on top of the ballot seem to be consistent with at least some drop-off in black participation in 2016. In 1998 and 2006, blacks comprised 10 percent of the electorate; they comprised 9 percent in 2002 (though exits that year are a bit dodgy). This roughly mimicked the share of the electorate that they comprised in 1996, 2000 and 2004 electorates. Yet in 2010, they comprised 11 percent of the electorate, up only one point (unlike the three-point rise that occurred in presidential elections from 2000 to 2008).


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

We don’t have exits for the odd-numbered elections before 2009, but we can look at actual vote numbers there and do a bit of deduction (though drawing hard inferences is difficult). There are eight majority-black locales in Virginia. They comprised 5 percent of the electorate in 2001, 4.8 percent in 2005, and 4.2 percent in 2009. Now, Creigh Deeds ran a weak campaign for governor in 2009, and had some serious problems with prominent African-American politicians in the state, including Doug Wilder. Also, the rest of Virginia is growing. Still, I don’t think these numbers are what we’d expect if the surge in black votes we saw in 2008 had real staying power. We might have a better idea after 2013.

Now, just to be clear here, I’m not making the ham-handed argument that blacks voted for Obama because he is black. Blacks voted Democratic long before Barack Obama appeared on the scene, for rational policy preferences. The experience of black Republican candidates demonstrates that African-Americans tend to vote for Democrats, not African-Americans.

At the same time, I think you have to be rather naïve to suggest that the chance to make history in 2008 and (to a lesser extent) in 2012 played no role in black turnout, or that identity politics don’t matter at the margins.

My own expectation, considering all of the above, is that African-American participation probably won’t stay at the 2008/2012 level, but neither will it drop back to somewhere between 9 and 10 percent. This is still a significant change. If African-Americans had comprised 11 percent of the electorate in 2012, and Republicans had won 10 percent of the African-American vote, Obama’s victory margin would have been one point instead of four, even with everything else staying the same.

As a final, intriguing point, it’s worth noting that immigration reform doesn’t play exceptionally well with African-American voters. Majorities voted for Prop 187 and Prop 227 (reducing bilingual classrooms) in California, and some political science research suggested that African-Americans there increasingly identified with the Republican Party in the mid-1990s.

The most recent Pew Poll found that while blacks were more likely than whites to support finding a way for illegal immigrants to stay in the country, 20 percent were still in opposition. In addition, they were more likely than whites to support the imposition of fines prior to naturalization, to support a 10-year waiting period for permanent residency, and to believe that legal status should be granted only after the border is secured. On questions like whether legalization would be a drain on government services or take jobs from United States citizens, blacks looked a lot like whites.

The point here isn’t to suggest that the GOP can win 40 percent of the African-American vote by running against illegal immigration. That would be an absurd argument. The point is just to emphasize the fluid nature of political coalitions. This fight isn’t likely to have a substantial impact on African-American voting, but it is an issue that cuts across traditional racial cleavages and could impact things at the margins, particularly if Republicans run on a more populist economic message in the future.

2. Do Democrats have a floor with whites?

We all know the trend lines that should scare the pants off of Republicans. Here’s the trend line that should scare the pants off of Democrats: It shows the “PVI” of white voters. That is to say, it shows how the white population has voted in each election, relative to the country as a whole. So in a year like 1992, when Bill Clinton got 43 percent of the vote while winning 39 percent of the white vote, we show white voters as -4 percent. This is just a way of controlling for “national effects” like the economy so we can see the underlying trend:
http://www.realclearpolitics.com/images/wysiwyg_images/Chart-3-6-25.gif

It’s been in long-term decline, and the decline is accelerating; about a point-and-a-half toward Republicans per cycle since 1992. Now you may think this is a function of antipathy toward Barack Obama. But it has been on a similar tangent in Congress as well, also at a rate of about 1.5 points every four years:
img]http://www.realclearpolitics.com/images/wysiwyg_images/chart4-6-25.gif[/img]

This has had a profound effect on the electoral vote, and not necessarily in the Democrats’ favor. People like to focus on shifts in places like Nevada. The state is trendy, multicultural, and who doesn’t love visiting Las Vegas? It used to be a Republican stronghold. But over the past decade, its PVI has done this:


Six electoral votes and two Senate seats are clearly moving toward Democrats. But think of another state, West Virginia. It doesn’t get as much attention. Most people associate it with “Deliverance” (though that story was set in Georgia) and few East Coasters go there (unless they’re skiing or road-tripping from D.C. westward).

But West Virginia has five electoral votes, and elects the same number of senators as Nevada. It has done this:


Other heavily white areas, the Upper Midwest in particular, are seeing a less pronounced version of this shift:



Perhaps we can see this best by looking at PVI shifts from 1988 (the election before the Clinton Coalition really emerged) to 2012. Each gradation of red marks a move toward Republicans (capped at 10 PVI points), while each gradation of blue marks a move toward Democrats (same):


The diversifying parts of the country have shifted toward Democrats, as has the Northeast. But far overlooked is the movement in the heavily white interior. This really does matter: It wasn’t that long ago that states like West Virginia, Kentucky, Tennessee, Arkansas, and Missouri were places where Democrats could win regularly at the local level, and be competitive at the presidential level.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Nineteen states have moved at least a point toward Democrats, while 25 have moved toward Republicans by a similar amount. If you weight the shift in each state by electoral vote, it actually works out to a slight shift toward Republicans overall.

Now, there is a theoretical maximum for Republicans among whites; sooner or later you run into Madison, Wis., and Ann Arbor, Mich. But we tend to assume that it’s “natural” for Democrats to win huge portions of conservative Hispanics, and almost all conservative blacks. Against this backdrop, it seems a bit touchy to assume that Republicans will max out at around 60 percent of the white vote. This might be the case, but as we’ll discuss next time, it’s entirely possible that as our nation becomes more diverse, our political coalitions will increasingly fracture along racial/ethnic lines rather than ideological ones.

Look at it this way: In 1988, George H.W. Bush, running against a weak opponent in a fantastic environment for the “in party,” won the white vote by 20 points. In 2012, Mitt Romney, running against an incumbent president in what was a neutral-to-slightly-favorable environment for the “in party” by Election Day, accomplished the same thing.

How does a Republican running in a more favorable environment perform today? I don’t see any compelling reason why these trends can’t continue, and why a Republican couldn’t begin to approach Ronald Reagan’s 30-point win with whites from 1984 in a more neutral environment than Reagan enjoyed. It’s not necessarily the most likely scenario, but it strikes me as more likely than a Democrat winning 90 percent of the Hispanic vote.

We’ll come back to this in the future, but for now I’ll just leave you with the following scenario: Let’s assume that immigration reform doesn’t pass, that the Democratic share of African-Americans reverts to 90 percent, that black voter participation drops somewhat, and that white participation picks up a notch. Let’s assume that the GOP share of the white vote continues to improve according to trend, about 1.5 points per year, with a “kicker” of a couple points for our “missing whites” returning in 2016. We’ll cap the Republicans’ share of the white vote at 70 percent.

Let’s also assume that Hispanic and Asian voters gradually react to this by voting increasingly like African-Americans. To accomplish this, we’ll add three points to the Democrats’ share of the Hispanic and Asian votes each cycle.

We might call this the “racial polarization” scenario, and we can model this out using Nate Silver’s handy electoral widget, which includes estimates for population growth over time. Here are the electoral results:
http://www.realclearpolitics.com/images/wysiwyg_images/chart8-6-25.gif

Of course, this chart also assumes a “baseline” environment similar to 2012. In some years, it will be more favorable to the GOP than these demographics suggest, and the GOP will do better. In other years, the baseline will be worse, and the GOP would suffer accordingly. But as you can see, overall the GOP does quite well with this scenario until 2048, when Texas finally goes blue and the bottom drops out (making policy decisions today based on what might happen in 35 years crazy).

This really just illustrates an overlooked point. Democrats liked to mock the GOP as the “Party of White People” after the 2012 elections. But from a purely electoral perspective, that’s not a terrible thing to be. Even with present population projections, there are likely to be a lot of non-Hispanic whites in this country for a very long time. Relatively slight changes among their voting habits can forestall massive changes among the non-white population for a very long while. The very white baby boom generation is just hitting retirement age, and younger whites, while unsurprisingly more Democratic than the baby boomers (who, you may recall, supported George McGovern), still voted for Romney overall.

Tomorrow we’ll talk in more detail about the Hispanic vote, run some more simulations, and conclude, happily, why this hyper-polarized future probably isn’t going to come to pass.
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Re: Don't Blame Romney

Mensaje por Charlie319 el Dom Jun 30, 2013 1:16 pm

Y aqui esta la tercera parte de Sean Trende y su analisis del voto hispano en las elecciones presidenciales:

This is the third part in a series exploring whether the GOP really needs to pass a comprehensive immigration reform package to continue winning elections (Parts one and two are here). It's worth re-emphasizing that this series isn’t intended to offer a policy prescription. The purpose here is to challenge the almost universally unchallenged argument that the only real debate is whether the GOP will die a slow death or a fast one if it doesn’t back the bill.

What really motivates Hispanic voters?

One of the assumptions lurking behind the immigration debate is that Hispanics spurn Republicans in large part due to identity politics, with immigration as a primary motivator. But there’s usually precious little data offered up to buttress this assumption, aside from the occasional generic poll question of “How important is issue this to you?”

But dig down. When Pew asked Hispanic voters what the most important issue was in 2012, immigration ranked near the bottom of the list. At the top of the list was jobs, just as it was for whites. In the 2008 exits (the last presidential election for which we have full data), a majority of Hispanic respondents told the exit pollsters that they didn’t care much about immigration (regardless of how they ultimately voted), or that they cared a lot (but voted Republican).

Many point to George W. Bush’s performance with Hispanic voters, especially compared to Mitt Romney’s, as evidence that the immigration reform issue is crucial. After all, Bush was strongly in favor of a path to citizenship, and exit polls show him winning 45 percent of the Hispanic vote (though many analysts believe this likely overestimates his share of the Hispanic vote). But there are two counters here.

First, consider a different Bush, George H.W. He had many of the same “pluses” as Dubya did, with the added benefit of having been a part of an administration that signed comprehensive immigration reform in 1986. The result? He lost the Hispanic vote by 39 points, while winning nationally by eight. This is still the worst GOP showing among Hispanics relative to the national vote since the 1970s.

Second, and more importantly, there are a number of potentially important differences between George W. Bush and Romney that don’t directly involve a pathway to citizenship. For example:

-- Bush was a governor of a state with a large Hispanic population, and had a history of interacting well with the state’s Hispanic community;

-- Bush speaks Spanish reasonably well;Bush supported big government programs, and Hispanics tend to be more economically liberal than whites;

-- Bush was a wartime president, and Hispanic voters tend to be relatively hawkish;

-- Bush’s overall native appeal to downscale voters was greater than Romney’s;

-- Bush didn’t say things suggesting that he would make life so miserable for illegal immigrants that they would “self-deport”;

-- Bush was running against a boring, stiff, white candidate who lacked Barack Obama’s innate appeal to young voters.

I suspect that all of these factors contributed to Bush’s strong showing with Hispanics vis-à-vis Romney, in addition to his stance on comprehensive immigration reform. Bush was in many ways the perfect Republican candidate for minority outreach; Romney one of the worst imaginable.

I think the last two issues might be particularly salient here. Though supporting comprehensive immigration reform might be one way to help convince Hispanics that you aren’t a latter-day Tom Tancredo, it’s probably more important to not say things that are aggressive, and even offensive, to Hispanics.

Also, it’s important to remember that Obama had a more generalized appeal to younger voters, and that Hispanic voters are disproportionately young. And, of course, many Hispanic voters are nonwhite. To the extent that Obama had any generalized appeal as a nonwhite candidate, in terms of voting habits and turnout -- and I think there was some such appeal, albeit only at the margins -- it would affect the Hispanic vote and potentially be non-transferrable to another candidate.

My sense is that Romney died a death of a thousand cuts with Hispanics, and that his stance on immigration reform was just one of those cuts. Changing a stance on immigration reform heals one of those cuts, but there are plenty of others that can be addressed as well. It is often asserted that supporting immigration reform is a necessary precondition to addressing other issues, but that’s usually just that -- an assertion.

In the big picture, I think what motivates Hispanic voters isn’t all that different from what motivates white voters:
http://www.realclearpolitics.com/images/wysiwyg_images/chart1-6-27.gif

This is the Hispanic vote according to exit polls broken down by income. Here is what the same chart looks like for whites:
http://www.realclearpolitics.com/images/wysiwyg_images/chart2-6-27.gif

At the end of the day, Hispanics tend to vote more Democratic than whites because they tend to be poorer than whites. There’s still plenty of room for GOP growth in the short-to-medium term -- winning middle-class Hispanics by the same margin that he won middle-class whites would have almost delivered the Hispanic vote to John McCain in 2008 -- but ultimately the GOP doesn’t need more Republican Hispanics so much as it needs more middle-class Hispanics (which should happen, as time progresses).


How much of the Hispanic vote is enough?

Some analysts like to claim that the GOP is unlikely to win the Hispanic vote regardless of what it does on immigration because Hispanics are not, as some have claimed, natural conservatives. They’re actually fairly liberal, relative to whites.

This is true, but it misses the point. If Republicans were actually to win the Hispanic vote outright, our question would quickly shift from whether the Republicans are going extinct to whether Democrats are going extinct.

Instead, the questions should be “What share of the Hispanic vote do the Republicans need to win in order to remain competitive with a given share of the remaining populations?” and “What do Republicans need to do in order to get there?” I suspect that to get in the neighborhood of 40 percent with Hispanics, Republicans would need a near-perfect candidate for Hispanic outreach, maybe Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio, or Susana Martinez. But if 35 percent is what they need, it might be enough to have a Democratic candidate with less intrinsic appeal to young voters, and a Republican who disclaims inflammatory rhetoric to reach that goal.

Let’s take a look at what we might see with modest Republican outreach toward Hispanics. In this scenario, the GOP makes some initial gains with Hispanics and Asians by running a candidate more-immigrant friendly than Romney, but loses the full benefits it might gain from a “Bush-like” candidate. It continues to make modest gains over time, but its gains are slowed among white voters from the present trend line.*


The end result is the same as the “polarization” scenario we discussed in Part 2: The GOP remains competitive in elections for quite some time.

What’s the real trend line with Hispanics?

But can the GOP really expect to do better with Hispanics? Hasn’t it poisoned the well?

The latter is possible, but I don’t think so. The truth of the matter is that the Hispanic population has gradually been trending toward Republicans over time, especially when you take account of where the country has been as a whole. This makes sense when you consider the socioeconomic tendencies in Hispanic voting, and the improved socioeconomic standing over time.

Here’s the presidential data. It’s a bit noisy, but even if you ignore the trend line, in 2012 Hispanics were, relative to the country, about five points more Republican than they were in the 1970s. In fact, relative to the country as a whole, Hispanics were more Republican in 2012 than they had been in 1972, 1976, 1984, 1988, and 1996.


In Congress, we see the same thing. In absolute terms, Republicans actually held Democrats to 61 percent of the (two-party) vote with Hispanics as recently as 2010. Through 1994, Republicans never once exceeded or matched 35 percent of the vote; since then, they have done so in 1994, 1998, 2000, 2002, 2004, and 2010. The latter group of numbers is especially intriguing, since many of those elections came right on the heels of the GOP’s mid-1990s battles on immigration.

Here’s the numbers for Congress in terms of PVI. They show the same basic results as the presidential numbers.


It’s worth noting, too, that there is probably a real floor for Republicans with Hispanics. It may surprise a lot of people, but there’s a substantial minority that sides with immigration hardliners in the GOP. Even the latest Pew poll, which has some reasonably favorable question wordings for the pro-reform side, finds a third of Hispanics support a “control the border first” approach. Substantial minorities -- about a third -- supported the three controversial California ballot initiatives from the 1990s. Jan Brewer managed to win about a quarter of Hispanic voters in Arizona in 2010; Romney did about as well in 2012.


We pay lip service to the idea that there is no “Latino vote,” but there really isn’t one. It’s an incredibly broad array of voters lumped together for purposes of data analysis.

How much will the Hispanic population really grow?

For all the talk of the fast-growing Hispanic vote, it’s been pretty quiet of late. Net migration from Mexico stopped during the recession, and Michael Barone makes a compelling argument that it is unlikely to start up again. And the truth remains that you could depopulate Mexico -- take every man, woman and child and move them to the United States -- and non-Hispanic whites would still be a majority here.

Of course, Hispanics living in the country will have children, but the Hispanic birthrate has fallen dramatically. In other words, Hispanic immigrants are behaving an awful lot like older immigrant waves. This all has an impact on socioeconomic standing as well: As fewer new immigrants come in, the Hispanics who ascend to middle-class standing will make up an ever-larger share of the Hispanic population.

The most interesting question, though, is how much “racial attrition” will occur? Reihan Salam observes:

[W]hile virtually all third-generation Mexican-Americans with three or four Mexican-born grandparents identify as being of Mexican descent, Duncan and Trejo observe that only 79 percent of those with two Mexican-born grandparents do the same. For those with only one Mexican-born grandparent, the share falls to 58 percent. Only 17 percent of third-generation Mexican-Americans have three or four Mexican-born grandparents, so the ethnic attrition rate is quite high: 30 percent of Americans with at least one Mexican-born grandparent do not identify as being of Mexican descent.

It seems at least somewhat inevitable that Hispanic population growth will slow somewhat (and this has significant implications for voting, given our earlier observations about socioeconomic status and voting). If it does, it makes a significant difference in the baseline for the projections we’ve been using. Here’s the above “modest nonwhite gains” scenario played out with significantly lower Hispanic and Asian population growth (albeit still higher than white population growth):



Conclusion: Arizona, Rubio, or somewhere in between?

Basically, the choice the GOP has here can be summed up as whether it wants the Arizona model, what we might call the “Rubio model,” or something in between. Arizona has recently operated as something of a poster child for everything you could possibly do wrong as a Republican-governed state bordering Mexico. George W. Bush won the state by 10 points in 2004; hometown hero John McCain won by eight in 2008.

But Republican Gov. Jan Brewer, who spearheaded the state’s controversial immigration law, won by 12 points. Romney won by almost the same margin as McCain (it was a closer race nationally, but Romney didn’t have McCain’s “home team advantage”). The Hispanic vote grew, and dropped off substantially for Brewer and Romney, but it was compensated for by a surge in white support, particularly among non-college educated whites.

A similar effect is probably occurring in Texas. Even if Republicans aren’t losing ground among Hispanics (we don’t know, because we don’t have exits for 2012), the state should still be trending blue due to demographic change. But it isn’t. Romney won it by 16 points, McCain won by 12, Bush won by 23 and 21 points. When you account for changes in the national environment and Bush being a hometown governor, that actually works out to slight movement toward Republicans.

On the other hand, the GOP could go “full Rubio”: Back immigration reform, nominate a Hispanic-friendly candidate, and see what happens if Hispanic population growth slows. This approach works pretty well, even if Republicans sacrifice some progress with white voters:


I don’t mean to leave the impression that the GOP will win no matter what it does. Tweak some of these assumptions, and you get plenty of Democratic wins too. And it may not matter what the GOP chooses. The most dispiriting possibility is that racially diverse electorates may inherently add racial cleavages to otherwise “neutral” issues, and that polarization becomes inevitable. That’s certainly the experience of Northern cities during the great immigrant wave of the early 1900s, as well as of the American South.

My point is simply that there are a slew of realistic scenarios where Republicans do very well in the future. In most of the scenarios I consider reasonable, the elections stay close enough that either party could win most any individual election for the foreseeable future.

My overall view of presidential elections is that they are like giant algebra problems that suddenly simplify down to three or four variables at the end. Both sides have reasonably good arguments and appeals, run decent campaigns, nominate competent (if not outstanding) candidates and raise enough money to be heard. This end result is that this tends to cancel out.

Things like the economy, wars and incumbent fatigue create a fairly narrow playing field. The other factors, under normal circumstances, can probably move things three or four points in either direction. The fundamentals did a pretty good job predicting 2004, 2008, and 2012, without any regard to demographic shifts. I suspect this will continue in the future.

The GOP and Democrats should pursue the policies they believe are best for the country. If they govern competently, the coalitions will take care of themselves.

* I performed this using Nate Silver’s electoral projection calculator. I’ve made some baseline changes here: 40 percent of immigrants become citizens and vote (as I explained here), the black vote falls to 90 percent Democrat post-Obama, the growth of the black population is slowed down a tick to try to compensate for the likely turnout surge in the Obama years, and the white population growth is increased a tick to try to compensate for the return of some white voters who passed on 2012.
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Charlie319
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Re: Don't Blame Romney

Mensaje por Charlie319 el Vie Jul 05, 2013 4:25 pm

4to reportaje en el asunto:

Demographics and the GOP, Part IV
By Sean Trende - July 2, 2013



 
This is part four of a four-part series. Click to read parts one, two, and three
Last week's three-part series on demographics and the GOP generated some thoughtful commentary. These arguments deserve a follow-up response

Karl Rove's contention, published in the Wall Street Journal, is probably the most common variant of pushback on the series’ assertions. Rove dismisses the idea that the GOP’s share of the white vote could increase much more, writing “[t]hat’s a tall order, given that Ronald Reagan received 63% of the white vote in his 1984 victory, according to the Congressional Quarterly’s analysis of major exit polls. It’s unreasonable to expect Republicans to routinely pull numbers that last occurred in a 49-state sweep.”

This reminds me of late 2009, when Alan Abramowitz projected that it would be “extremely difficult” for Republicans to take back the House in 2010 because “Republican candidates would have to win almost 60 percent of the white vote in order to win 50 percent of the overall national popular vote in 2010 . . . even more than the 58 percent of the white vote that Republican candidates received in 1994.”

Of course, Republicans did take back the House, winning 62 percent of the two-party vote among whites. In fact, the Democrats’ share of the white vote in 2010 was probably the worst showing among whites for any major party since 1822.* In 2012, Democrats fell below their 1994 margin with whites in a second consecutive election.
This isn’t meant to single out Abramowitz -- very few pundits thought that Republicans’ chances of taking back the House were particularly good at that time. It’s just to illustrate how quickly what was once considered an unusually poor showing among whites for Democrats has now become routine.

This isn’t accidental. As I showed in a previous piece, whites have been trending Republican, relative to the country as a whole, for the better part of two decades now. Romney ran about as well with whites as George H.W. Bush did in 1988. But while Bush was running with 4 percent growth at his back, with a popular member of his own party in the White House, Romney was running against an incumbent president with a 50 percent approval rating on Election Day (54 percent among the actual electorate) who was enjoying 2 percent growth.

In other words, Democrats now fare as poorly with whites while running in neutral-to-somewhat favorable environments as they did in quite unfavorable environments in 1988. What happens if they run into 7 percent growth headwind, as Walter Mondale did in 1984? I bet they’d do worse than 37 percent of the white vote.

To further flesh this out, I turned to one of the most popular political science models of elections: Abramowitz’s original “Time for Change” model, which, my criticisms notwithstanding, did pretty well in 2012. I changed the dependent variable (a fancy term for “what we’re studying”) from “incumbent share of the electorate” to “Republican share of the white electorate for president.” To capture elections held before the advent of exit polling in 1972, I used the National Election Study data. It’s imperfect (as are exit polls), but it’s the best we have. I also reversed the signs for variables when Democrats were in the White House, since positive GDP growth under a Democrat should hurt Republicans.

Importantly, I also added a time-series variable. This tests whether the progression of time has any relationship with the Republican and Democratic shares of the white vote. It turns out that even after controlling for the economy, incumbency, and incumbent job approval, the white vote has become less Democratic over time in presidential races (p=.01, model r^2=.68). This trend stretches back to 1948. It suggests that if a Republican president were to run for re-election with the same fundamentals Reagan enjoyed (solid growth, 18-point net approval, seeking a second term), that president would receive somewhere in the neighborhood of 69 percent of the white vote today.
There are two, non-mutually exclusive theories for this. The first explanation is that wealthy Americans are more likely to vote Republican, regardless of race. Whites have gotten wealthier, at a fairly steady clip, since 1948. Put less abstractly, the working-class Reagan Democrats, who went Republican only in perfect circumstances, are dying, replaced by their children, who live in exurbs and who are simply Republican.

The second, more unsettling possibility is that in a diverse electorate, partisan polarization along racial and ethnic lines occurs naturally, as otherwise innocuous issues take on racial overtones, pushing the voting patterns of all affected groups into one party or the other. As I’ve noted, this was certainly the experience with the American South, and with Northern cities during the great immigrant surge of the late 1800s.
Whatever the cause, the trend is real, and it’s not just due to Obama (in fact, the model predicts the white vote in 2012 within two points). Now, the Democrats clearly have some sort of floor with whites -- it’s why I cap the Republican share of the white vote at 70 percent even in the “polarization” scenario. I just don’t think we’re at that floor yet, but we’ll discuss this in more detail below.

The second, related, objection expresses concern about the type of people who might co-opt my arguments, or the type of campaigns Republicans might engage in to win greater shares of the white vote. This is possible; I’m not so naïve as to believe that all opponents of immigration reform have pure motives. Many don’t.

But I also don’t think that opposition to immigration reform is intrinsically an issue of xenophobia, any more than I think support for it is intrinsically an issue of identity politics. There are legitimate issues with immigration reform that operate outside the world of race and ethnicity. It’s in many ways a close cousin to the trade debate: a complex issue that cuts across neat ideological and racial divides. In the short term, it creates real winners and losers. As with trade, the benefit to the country as a whole in the long term makes it worthwhile, but I can’t really fault parties that give voice to the frustrations of those on the losing side.

Ultimately, the basic prescription for the GOP is a healthy dose of economic populism. This includes a lot of changes Democrats would presumably enjoy, such as jettisoning the pro-big-business, Wall Street-style conservatism that characterized the Romney campaign for something authentically geared more toward downscale voters. It’s effectively a variant of what Ruy Teixeira and Adam Levinson recently urged Democrats to do.

The third argument is encapsulated by Jonathan Chait. Call this the “generational replacement argument.” Chait is certainly correct in observing that just because trends occurred in the past doesn’t mean that they will continue in the future. This objection posits the trend will change because “the oldest white voters are also the most conservative. The youngest white voters split their support almost evenly between the two parties.”



This is a credible argument. The problem with it becomes apparent when you take a different look at the same data:



Young white voters trended more heavily Republican than any other racial group in 2012. They are responsible for most of Romney’s improvement with whites vis-à-vis John McCain. In 2008 they were 28 points more Democratic than older voters. Today they are 12 points more Democratic. (It’s also worth noting that young African-Americans, especially males, were slightly more Republican than older African-Americans, a fact I chalked up to statistical noise until Gallup found similar results earlier this year.)
We’ve seen this movie before, in fact. Whites age 59 to 64 years old are part of the most heavily Republican demographic group in today’s electorate. But in 1972, when they were 18 to 24, the age cohort as a whole voted for George McGovern by two points, and whites in this age cohort were certainly significantly more Democratic than the country as a whole.

Nixon carried 25- to 29-year-olds by a nice margin, but they were still substantially more Democratic than the country as a whole. Indeed, if there was ever a time the GOP was facing demographic doom, it was after the 1976 elections, when Jimmy Carter carried the massive 18- to 44-year-old demographic (then 58 percent of the electorate) by more than his national margin. Today, those voters are overwhelmingly Republican.
Moreover, people are grossly overstating the immediacy of generational replacement effects. The average life expectancy of a 65-year-old white voter is another 20 years, and white baby boomers have only begun to retire and hit peak voting years:



At the end of the day, I remember the aftermath of the 2004 elections, when almost everyone was convinced that Democrats had to reach out to white “values voters” to win elections. God, guns, and gays were killing the Democrats, so the argument went, as was opposition to the Iraq War. Howard Dean was urging the party to send staffers to Mississippi and to learn to talk with voters who had Confederate flags in the back of their pickup trucks. Demographic analysts were trumpeting the fact that Republicans had won 97 of the 100 fastest-growing counties, and claimed that Democrats were in danger of becoming a regional party, concentrated on the coasts, if they didn’t quickly moderate their appeal.

How quickly things change. Democrats did focus on improving their vote share with working-class whites to some extent in 2006, with positive results. But the approach was largely abandoned in 2008 in favor of targeting the “coalition of the ascendant” we hear so much about today. The conventional wisdom about what Democrats had to do was completely, utterly wrong.

The thing is, it was wrong not because of its particulars. It was wrong in a more general sense: Parties always have an almost infinite number of coalitions they can target their pitch to and emerge successfully from elections if the overall environment is favorable to them. That hasn’t changed in the past 100 years, much less since 2004. Put differently, if Hillary Clinton had been the nominee in 2008, she probably would have done somewhat worse with young voters and African-Americans, but probably would have done better in Appalachia. Gordon Smith of Oregon might still be a senator, but Mitch McConnell might not be. As I’ve said here since 2009, there are no permanent majorities, because every action in politics tends to create an opposite one.

I suspect the current conventional wisdom will last only until the Republicans next encounter a favorable national environment, and win an election. (There actually hasn’t been an unambiguously favorable environment for them in a presidential year since 1988, so they’re due.) At that point, the conventional wisdom will likely shift, reflecting a belief that Democrats must undertake some major changes in their coalition if they are going to ever win another election. But that conventional wisdom will be badly flawed, just as the present conventional wisdom is badly flawed.

* Obviously we don’t have exit polling back that far, but we can extrapolate this from National Election Study data and popular vote margins.
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Re: Don't Blame Romney

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