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?