Monday, November 26, 2012

The Myth Of The Hispanic Tidal Wave

The latest rage among Republicans and Democrats alike is the Hispanic vote.

The Democrats smirk that the muscle of the Latino vote is going to make them a permanent majority and make the Republicans extinct, while GOP establishment types (and even some self described conservatives) pontificate that the election of 2012 is a message for the Republican to embrace amnesty for illegal aliens, to try to outdo the Democrats in gimmees and in raising taxes to pay for it and to drop any vestige of social conservatism.

One of these articles (in American Enterprise, no less) by Charles Murray points out that in his view the argument that Latinos naturally skew towards social conservatism is bogus..and as proof he offers another non-white group that went primarily for Barack Obama..Asians, who are another minority that 'should have voted as natural social conservatives' :

My thesis is that the GOP is in trouble across the electoral board because it has become identified in the public mind with social conservatism. Large numbers of Independents and Democrats who are naturally attracted to arguments of fiscal discipline, less government interference in daily life, greater personal responsibility, and free enterprise refuse to vote for Republicans because they are so put off by the positions and rhetoric of social conservatives, whom they take to represent the spirit of the “real” GOP.

This isn't much of a thesis, frankly. First, Asians are an extremely diverse group..everyone from Chinese, Vietnamese and Koreans to Filipinos, Pakistanis and Indians ( a fairly diverse group in themselves). The figures cited make no mention of which Asians we're talking about. I would bet my dollar to your dime that Koreans voted substantially different in the last election than Pakistanis, for example.

Since they're not broken down but lumped together as a group, the best figure available is that Americans of Asian descent constitute 3% of the electorate, about 6, 450,000 voters.

So, what percentage of the Asian electorate actually voted? I couldn't find those figures but let's be very generous and say it was a 40% turnout. This would have been huge given that this was a very low turnout election. 73% of the Asians that actually voted went went for Obama, so we're talking about 1,883,400 votes mainly concentrated in Blue states like California, New York, New Jersey and Michigan ( if we're talking Pakistanis and Asian Muslims). That's a grand total of 28% of the available Asian electorate if we're talking a 40% turnout. It's probably a lot less, especially when you break it down by individual groups.Barack Obama probably did better among Muslim than any other demographic except blacks.In any event, that means that 72% of the Asian electorate is either Republican or available.

Now, that got me thinking along the same lines when it comes to the Hispanic vote.

Hispanics, for example, are 9.07 of the current electorate ( 23.7 million voters). Of those,  only 12 million or so  of that 23.7 million voted and they went for Barack Obama by 67.5%,  a whopping 8 million  of the 12 million whom voted ..or  just about one third of the entire Hispanic votes available.

That means two thirds of the current Hispanic vote is either Republican or up for grabs.

That's what all the verbiage and punditry is about....a grand total of less than 3.5% of the entire electorate, much of it already living in Blue States like California, New York and New Jersey. And that doesn't even account for voter fraud in places like California where there are no voter ID laws.

In other words, the great Hispanic tidal wave was more of a ripple when it came to 2012.

The analysis is mine, but most of the base figures come from Pew.

This is not to suggest that conservatives ignore Asian and Latino voters. But the way to go after them is not to treat them as 'groups' and pander to them. That sort of race based approach is what Democrats do. A message of fairness, conservative principles and economic populism clearly articulated is what's going to appeal to them, as I explain here. The ones it doesn't appeal to aren't going to be won over by 'Democrat-lite'. They'll vote for the real thing every time.

Not only that, but Hispanics being the fastest growing demographic in America, a certain number of them are going to embrace conservative principles as time goes on and they get more established..and so will their children provided they're offered that choice properly in a common sense way. Because, in real life, conservatism works. Statist redistributionism ala' Obama  never has.

As for the real message of  2012...could it be, just maybe that rather than Revenge against the Evil White Man or social conservatives, this was an election where Mitt Romney stupidly allowed himself to be demonized and painted as an uncaring plutocrat by the Obama Administration (with a lot of help from a partisan media), and refused to challenge the president openly and forcefully on his many failures and discrepancies?

Could it be that Mitt Romney just wasn't that articulate at explaining his positions and conservatism in general?

Could it be, just maybe, that a lot of people didn't particularly care for Obama, but stayed home because they didn't care for Mitt Romney? After all, over three million self-identified Republicans did.

Nah, couldn't be. Pundits gotta eat, Jackasses gotta bray...and the GOP establishment that in it's heart of hearts want to be Democrat-lite and be well accepted on the DC cocktail circuit and the Sunday shows needs to point fingers.

But the numbers tell us a very different story.


UPDATE:Byron York appears to be belatedly catching on to this as well.

As he points out, Mitt Romney would have had to win a huge majority of the Hispanic vote to win in 2012...but a relatively small increase of 4 per cent of the white vote would have given him the win. There were 5 million white voters who stayed home because Romney didn't resonate with them or their concerns.

And 3 million of them,or 60% were registered Republicans.

Want to bet a lot of them would turn out for an articulate conservative spokes person?


nazar said...

I think you're way off here FF. The momentum is with the democrats because it's pretty obvious that blacks and hispanics will never vote for smaller government in any meaningful numbers, and they're increasing as a share of the population.

Democrats are the ethnocentric party, and Asians are ethnocentric just like every minority in the US, so that's why they skew democrat so much, regardless of their personal habits or income. This goes for East Asians too, especially as they tend to be less socially conservative.

See, every minority group has a "race" consciousness to varying degrees, I would say blacks have the most race consciousness. That's why even upper middle class blacks voted for obama, even though he would tax them more heavily. I predict that as whites start becoming a minority and as we are increasingly marginalized in affirmative action practices and taxation, whites will start to get a race consciousness too. Eventually, within maybe 30-40 years every group will have its own perceived interests at heart, and america will be balkanized beyond recognition.

Perfect example: Catalonia just voted to secceede from Spain because it's a productive region that is being heavily taxed by the central government in a terrible economy. How much abuse do you think majority white states like Iowa and independent minded states like Texas will take until they secceede also?

As Mark Steyn says, demography is destiny. America only works as a country when it's 90% white, and 10% black/latino/asian for some variety. Then, you can have ideological diversity with some common shared values. What happens when you get ideological diversity with no shared values, and with racial groups who demand special treatment and government largessse?

Rob said...

Hi Nazar,
Nice to have you drop by.

Catalonia is a poor example IMO because like the Basques, the Catalans have always been a separate group in Spain and there has always been a certain amount of separatist ethos. Barcelona has always held itself to be more cosmopolitan and cultured than Madrid, Toledo, or the Extramadura.

Also, we'll see whether Spain goes along with it.

As to your comments on race, again, the entire point of this piece was to show you (a) w3hat a small percentage of the groups in question actually voted for Obama as opposed to their percentage of the electorate.and (b)what a small percentage of the electorate we're actually talking making sweeping predictions based on such small numbers is quite a stretch.

Even I was surprised once I crunched the numbers.

You're right, some of these people won't change no matter what. Obama still got 68% of the Jewish vgote, a fairly good drop of 10% but still a majority.A lot of blacks voted for Obama out of what you call race consciousness and what I call racism and a lot of them will remain Democrat voters for various reasons.There is, after all,an unlimited market for free stuff.

But if you look at the actual percentage of available Asian voters and Hispanic voters who pulled the lever for Obama as opposed to those who stayed home, it wasn't because of 'race consciousness' or hatred of 'conservatism'. Same with the 3 million Republicans that stayed home. They didn't feel they had a reason to turn out.

The other point is that people change as their lives change. No matter what lefty claptrap they might believe, a lot of them learn different in the real world and evolve.Click through to the link on how to approach these people.

The best way tis through appeals to economic populism, common sense, individual freedom and self interest, provided you have an articulate spokesperson to do so.

Romney wasn't, and he made a huge error in not attacking Obama's weaknesses effectively and allowing himself to be defined early by negative ads and a compliant media.

That's how I see it.

Take care, OK?

just a number cruncher said...

If I understand your intent correctly, your math is way way way way off.

According to the 2010 Census:

Out of the total U.S. population, 14.7 million people, or 4.8 percent, were Asian alone. In addition, 2.6 million people, or another 0.9 percent, reported Asian in combination with one or more other races. Together, these two groups totaled 17.3 million people. Thus, 5.6 percent of all people in the United States identified as Asian, either alone or in combination with one or more other races.

The hispanic population is roughly 16.7% of the population.

Voter turnout in 2012 was 57.5 of all eligible voters.

Hispanic turnout in 2008 was 49.9% and growing. Asian turnout in 2008 was 47% and growing.

The population of the United States was counted in 2010 as 308,745,538.

73% of asians voted Obama. 71% of hispanics voted Obama.

127,295,326 people voted in this last election. That is 41.23% of the country's population.

Population of Asians voting for Obama: 17,300,000 * .47 * .73 = 5,935,630.
Population of Hispanics voting for Obama: 51,560,504 * .499 * .71 = 18,267,370

Therefore, the number of Asian plus Hispanic votes for Obama in this last election was 24,203,000. That is 19.0132% of the electorate. 24 million votes is a hell of a lot of votes (Obama won the popular vote by 4.2 million).

I think you need to recheck your math here. Please don't delete this post just because you're incorrect. It took time to do this research.

nazar said...

Sorry, but I still don't think the republicans (as they are now have a chance. romney got 59%
of the white vote, if this was 1980 he would've won more handily than reagan did.

I think Catalonia is a great example. Think of states like Texas, which are very independent minded and have their own strong sub-culture: They're only in it for their own economic self-benefit, but when the economy tanks, as it will under the crushing debt and collectivist policies, I doubt Texas will stay in the union, and other states will follow.

Here's the deal: romney WAS the new reagan. He had a long history of accomplishment, a down to earth style and even bipartisanship record. The fact is, america rejected romney, just as i suspect reagan would be rejected today if he somehow came back from the dead.

As you accurately pointed out in the link, the liberals control the education and the media. Liberals can get away with saying the most outrageous things, but any republican who says something dumb (and there's no way it won't happen-you will always have a few idiots) is smeared and pointed out as an example of what the right is. The fact that they control education means a whole generation or two has been indoctrinated, and honestly, waiting around for "real life" to set these people straight is a pipe dream. Most people don't question the worldview they've been brought up with because it's just too painful.

I wish I could be optimistic, but based on trends I have been observing it's obvious the momentum is on the side of the liberals. The only way that would change is if america had some kind of radical shift in perception (highly unlikely) or an economic catastrophe. I guess we'll just have to wait and see.

Rob said...

I have a lot of respect for Mitt Romney's accomplishments, but he was no Reagan as far as being a candidate.

President Reagan had a unique gift of explaining why conservatism works in terms ordinary people could relate to, he was not at all shy about attacking a dysfunctional incumbent forcefully and he had much more media savvy than Governor Romney.

And he promised a change in the status quo in DC, not just more efficient management of the same old same old.

I would also disagree that people don't change their worldview once real life hits them in this face. Some don't, but the majority do. It's just a function of getting older, smarter and more experienced, especially as they work, pay bills and taxes, or try to start a business.

ObamaCare is another thing that's going to educate people in a hurry as they have to wait months to see a doctor and rationing sets in.

And if I'm correct in what I see coming, the economic bad news is going to be a major wake up call too.

We'll see.


Rob said...

If you think of yourself as a 'numbers cruncher', my advice is don't give up your day job.In fact, if you have one, I hope it doesn't involve more than rudimentary figuring.

1) Remember, we're talking people eligible to vote, not total population. That number, now, today ( not as of 2010) is 215M.

2)Unlike you, I'm using Hispanic turnout figures from 2012, not 2008.

3) There are 23.7M Hispanics (a very flexible number given the vagueness of the term 'Hispanic') who are eligible to vote in America today. According to Pew, 10% of the electorate were classified as Latino.

4)According to AP, the total ballots cast were 121,366,971. If ten percent of those voters were Hispanics(again, very much open to question given the flexible definition of Hispanic), and 67.5% of those voters pulled the lever for Obama, you're still only talking 8,192270 votes. Essentially, that means about only one third of the Latino vote went Democrat, at least in my universe and two thirds is either Republican or up for grabs.

And it means that we're still talking about less than 3.5% of the total available electorate, and that impact is extremely diminished by the fact that the majority of those Latino Democrat voters live in blue states like California, New York and New Jersey.And remember, those numbers don't account for voter fraud, something particularly endemic in states with no voter ID laws like California.

I'll give you a slight plus for pointing out that a higher percentage of Hispanics apparently voted than I originally stated, and I've corrected my figures and the article to reflect that. I mistook a number on the Pew chart as a percentage rather than a number in millions.

But the total effect is negligible in real terms, especially when you see that 7 million eligible white voters stayed home, (I dislike parsing these things in racial terms, but Democrats don't understand any other language) as well as 3 million self identified Republicans..

5)Again according to Pew, 9% of all eligible voters are identified as Asian, a ridiculous subgrouping of some very different people, especially when you consider Obama's sweep of the Muslim vote, a demographic where his numbers approached that of Blacks. But let's go with that.

The figures you give from Pew on Asian turnout are for 2008, not 2012 and we both know 2008 was a record turnout and turnout in 2012 was historically low. I assumed a 25% turnout rate, and I think that's probably fairly close.

Asians are still only 6% of the electorate (not the population,genius, but the electorate)

And as such, I think my figures for Asian voters are pretty much on. Factor for the Muslim Asian vote (probably at least 20% of that 6%)and that makes me even more correct.

You? Umm...not so much.But I appreciate the correction on the percentage of Hispanics that voted, even if it doesn't change my basic premise in the least.

You did get that one thing right, so you get this week's Blind Pig award.

So y'see, it wasn't all wasted time, now was it?

Anonymous said...

Wait wait wait.
The WHOLE POINT of your article was that the size of the hispanic electorate was a MYTH (it's right there in the headline).
Now that you're revised your math from a miniscule percent to a sizeable percent, how does your original thesis stand?
Maybe it would be a better idea for us to start courting hispanics rather than massaging thenumbers until we feel better? It reminds me of Megyn Kelley's line about 'republican math that just makes us feel better.' Just a thought.

Rob said... The point of this article was that the idea of a permanent Hispanic tidal wave of Democrat votes is a myth.

9% of the electorate is not negligible. 3% ( a difference of about 2% from my original number) is, especially when it's concentrated largely in solid blue states, and states where there's no voter ID requirement at that.

As for how it would be 'a better idea for us to start courting hispanics'...(sic)

First, where do you get that 'us' kimosabe?

Your premise is frankly racist in that it adopts the Democrat tactic of telling people what they want to hear and pandering to balkanization and divisiveness based on race rather than people's true self interest. I can't imagine anything more offensive if I were Latino.

Nor would it work. In fact, it would be a sure way to kiss goodbye the two-thirds of the Hispanic demographic that's either Republican or up for grabs.And remember, as people experience more of life, their opinions tend to change towards a more conservative direction, simply because conservatism works and leftist redistribution never does.

People whom incline towards the Left's statist tax, spend and over regulate philosophy will always vote Democrat instead of Democrat-lite.In a race to the bottom, Republicans will never outbid the left, and even if they did, what's the point?

Those whom don't won't even bother turning out if they're not given a real choice of conservative ideas presented articulately in language they can relate to.

Which of course is actually the main point of this article. People weren't, so they didn't.

All the punditry, pandering and finger pointing can't mask that basic fact.

population growth said...

Your premise is frankly racist in that it adopts the Democrat tactic of telling people what they want to hear and pandering to balkanization and divisiveness based on race rather than people's true self interest. I can't imagine anything more offensive if I were Latino.

1. The tactic of telling people what they want to hear is universal in politics. Fox based an entire channel on the premise.

2. If courting hispanics is racist, then you must have a beef with every republican politician and pundit out there. They're falling over themselves on tv and in opinion articles desperately trying to figure out how to court the hispanic vote. Witness the sudden about-face that republicans are doing on immigration. Reagan was for amnesty, republicans went crazy for a while, and now we've come full circle.

3. Courting hispanics doesn't necessarily mean offering them 'gifts', as Romney so memorably put it. Sometimes it just means not treating them like second-class citizens - passing laws asking them for papers, enacting voter ID laws specifically targeted to make sure they can't vote, asking for self-deportation, etc. This is akin to the republican plan to win back women - maybe not making sexist comments about rape will improve republicans' chances.

4. Trickle-down economics doesn't work. Never has, historically or mathematically. Enough republicans understand this to send this scheme to the ash-heap of history, and the remaining republicans who don't are going to have a hard time explaining to a hispanic janitor why cutting taxes to the rich (yet again) will improve their situation. But go ahead and try it again. You will not get a different result.

Or write off the hispanics. That's a strategy, too. Their population went from 35.3 million in 2000 to 50.5 million in 2010. That's a 43% surge. You left that out of your analysis, I see. Go ahead and write off the hispanics. Good luck with that.

Rob said...

I can't imagine why I even waste time replying to this kind of comment, let alone publishing it..but one last time.

1. FOX leads in the cable ratings consistently because they present a broad base of opinion. That's why you have Chris Wallace, Greta Van Susteren, Geraldo, Susan Estrich, Bob Beckel, Juan Williams and a host of other registered Democrats and admitted lefties on the air.The y seem rightwing to you because they actually do allow a few conservative commentators on the air, and because you're so used to turning on outlets like MSNBC, PBS and the rest of the alphabet networks that skew so far left and really do tell their audiences exactly what they want to hear.

2.Reagan was not 'for amnesty'. He agreed to it with Teddy Kennedy on condition that (a)it was a one time deal and that we he would get Democrat support for tougher enforcement and (b) he would get support for fiscal measures like cutting spending and reducing the size of government. Teddy shook hands with him, agreed, and then reneged on both promises.Like the deal on raising taxes in exchange for spending cuts, Reagan, a man of honor and principle didn't realize whom or what he was dealing with. Read his diaries.

3. Addressing concerns of a particular community is one thing. Addressing them entirely on the basis of race and deliberately stoking class warfare and division is not only racist, but morally disgusting.

Every state in the union has laws requiring citizens to show ID when a policemen requests it. Federal laws mandate this for all immigrants, legal or illegal. why should Hispanics be any different? Ditto with voter ID laws. They're enforced equally, and none of the 'arguments' I've heard about how they restrict anyone's right to vote stand up.What they do restrict is voter fraud. Which is why Democrats are fighting so hard to stop them. They really could give a crap about everyone voting as witnessed by the Obama Administration's active campaign to suppress the military vote.

3A: Republicans were the party that passed women's suffrage, and no GOP president has ever been a serial abuser of women like Clinton or Teddy Kennedy. Ah, but the difference is that when one or two GOP candidates say something stupid, it becomes Five alarm firestorm headlines. When a democrat says, or more commonly does something racist, stupid or crooked, it almost always gets buried quickly.The examples are too numerous to mention, but do the names Maxine Waters, Charlie Rangel. Nancy Pelosi or Al Sharpton ring a bell? Not to mention Barack Obama. And you call FOX biased???

4) I doubt you can even define 'trickle down economics' except as a talking point you once heard somewhere. But lowering taxes to promote economic growth and activity ( which can also in turn be taxed) definitely works.

OTOH, You and the other drones who voted for Obama are going to find out that 'rich' is a very elastic label, and that label is going to be stretched to be a lot more inclusive. The barely affluent middle class is in for the screwing of a lifetime. Just watch.

The top 30% already pay over 70% of all taxes. How much more do you think you're going to be able to soak them? 80%? 90%? Stalin tried it in Russia with 100% 'taxation', AKA confiscation. Worked well, didn't it?

Of course, Russia didn't have the debt problem Obama has run up. Watching whom you run to blame when that spirals out of hand is also going to be entertaining, albeit in an ironic way.Because BO isn't going to have anyone else left to blame.

You won a very narrow victory, and one third of the Hispanic vote was a factor. Savor it while it lasts.

KurtNC said...

Essentially, that means about only one third of the Latino vote went Democrat, at least in my universe and two thirds is either Republican or up for grabs.

It doesn't mean that at all. Just because millions of Hispanics didn't show up doesn't mean they are Republican or up for grabs. It simply means they didn't show up. If they had, the probably would have voted the same way as those that did show up.

Rob said...

Numbers don't lie, KurtNC. One third is one third.You have no proof that they 'probably would have voted the same way as those that did show up.'

2 million registered Republicans didn't show up either. Most of them didn't because they felt they had no one to vote for.

I credit Latinos with not being as monolithic as a lot of pundits see them, and as being capable of the same kind of sentiments. A lot of the ones that didn't turn out to vote in spite of a very well organized effort to target them by the Obama campaign obviously felt that way...that they had no one to vote for.

Rob said...

Sorry, that should have been '3 million registered Republicans'.

Dave Schuler said...

In one of my old long form essay-style posts I analyzed how the politics of various waves of immigrants have influenced American politics on a persistent, long-term basis. The bottom line is that one of the things that immigrants bring with them when they arrive here is their political views. They don't leave them behind.

If you want to gauge what Mexican-Americans, recent immigrants, believe, one good place to start would be Mexican politics. I think they're more likely to push the Democratic Party farther left than they are to ally with the Republican Party.

Anonymous said...

Blacks and jews ally with victim mentality, and want govt protections. Hispanics, not so much. They have greater family values and work ethics, and a sense of patrone vs peasant mentality...a willingness NOT to offend, but to get along...not including anger problems and drinking and drugs...but the conservative Hispanics are not particularly inclined to vote, until later in country generations are Anglicized...mostly, their youth are angry over jobs and wages...not victimization, but lack of opportunity. The present black generation of youthful voters are just ignorant and have no work ethic..or any ethic at all. The conservative blacks have no voice of influence over their own race. Obama has parlayed their ignorance and lack of interest in anything other than free stuff into vote controls...but NOT into loyalty for ideology....the Dems are suseptible to being unable to keep handing out gravytrain stuff to "keep them in line"...the Teaparty has none of the illusions of the GOP, and mostly are abandoning the GOP partyline as full of bull.