Washington Post finally caught up with what we`ve
been talking about here at VDARE.COM since the election:
the National Election Pool`s
exit poll claim that 44% of Hispanics voted for
George W. Bush is implausible. It is now being viewed
skeptically by professional pollsters. [Pollsters
Debate Hispanics` Presidential Voting, by Darryl
Fears, November 26, 2004]
Now I can
explain why the exit poll results were internally
course, this won`t make any difference to the Bushies.
They will believe what they
want to believe.
problem with the exit polls: Bush`s reported shares of
the national and regional Hispanic vote were inflated
compared to the sum of the state-by-state numbers.
regional figure for Bush`s Hispanic share in the South
was an extraordinary 64 percent. But the weighted
average of the "broken-out states" (the ones
with enough Hispanics to report their partisan
breakdown) in the region (Florida, Texas, Georgia, and
Oklahoma) was only 58 percent. It`s utterly unlikely
that the unlisted states in the South could have made
up the difference. Florida is home to the most
rock-ribbed Republican Hispanics, the
anti-Communist Cubans. Texas is
Bush`s home state. Yet he didn`t get 60 percent in
either state. He would have had to win more than
100 percent of the votes in the states that
weren`t broken out to reach 64 percent for the South
as a region.
Bush`s regional share in the West was reported as 39
percent. But the broken-out states (which account for
97 percent of the West`s Hispanics) summed up to only
- In the
Midwest, the regional share was 32 percent—again
higher than the broken-out states` 29 percent.
- Only in the
East did the regional share and the broken out states
equate, at 28 percent.
of this internal discrepancy is that the national and
regional numbers are based on
- A much
smaller sample size than the state numbers
- A much
the 50 states plus Washington D.C., a total of 76,298
voters filled in exit poll questionnaires. Of these,
62,638 respondents (82 percent) answered the short form
questionnaire, which contained only about two dozen
questions. These 62,638 responses were used in
calculating the state results—but not the
regional and national results.
regional and national results came from just the 13,660
respondents who filled in the long form (about 60
this methodology is just asking for trouble.
obvious source of error: there might not have been a
large enough sample size of Hispanics among people who
filled in the long form and thus got included in the
national/regional results. The sample size of
"national" Hispanics would have been around
1,100—bad, but not as good as the 3,700 Hispanics in the
who conducted the NEP exit poll have a Frequently Asked
Question list that includes this
"The margin of error for a 95%
confidence interval is about +/- 3% for a typical
characteristic from the national exit poll and +/-4% for
a typical state exit poll. Characteristics that are more
concentrated in a few polling places, such as race, have
larger sampling errors."
telephone pollsters generally use random dialing to get
a representative sample, exit pollsters have to guess
ahead of time on the sample of voting stations they`ll
send their pollsters to.
Race/ethnicity poses a particular technical problem for
exit pollsters—as opposed to, say, gender. Minorities
are distributed in a
lumpy fashion across the landscape. This increases
the chances of coming up with an unrepresentative sample
of that minority. For instance, if they send a worker
out to measure voting at a
military base, they are likely to come up with a lot
of minorities, but also more
conservative minorities than in the
Edison-Mitofsky FAQ offers an additional warning: "Other
nonsampling factors may increase the total error."
example, the difference between the lengths of the
questionnaires could have caused the skewing of the
that Hispanics who are well-educated and work in white-collar jobs tend to vote Republican more than
Hispanic manual laborers. Perhaps GOP-voting
Hispanic office workers breezed through the long form
while Democratic-voting laborers found it more
intimidating, and thus were less likely to turn it
pure speculation on my part. But it could explain why
Bush was more popular among the "national"
Hispanics who filled in the long form than among the
"state" Hispanics who only finished the short form.
Skepticism about Bush`s share of the Hispanic vote is
spreading. Pollster John Zogby, for example, told the
Washington Post`s Darryl Fears in the
article I mentioned above that he believes Bush`s
true share of the Hispanic vote was only 33 to 38
percent. As Fears reported, that`s also in line with
Bush`s share of 34 percent in the
Velasquez Institute exit poll. (For comparison, the
2000 VNS poll showed Bush with a 35 percent share of
estimate sounds a little low to me. I suspect Bush
gained among Latinos in 2004—but only by about what he
picked up among everybody else, i.e. about three or four
example, Robert David Sullivan of Massachusetts`s
Commonwealth magazine put together
an interesting map of the U.S. divided into ten
regions based on county-level voting patterns.
"El Norte" region consists of most of the heavily
Hispanic counties in the U.S. In this sprawling region
along the Mexican border, where one-third of the
population is Hispanic, Bush won 44.10%, up 3.33 points
versus 2000. In the whole country, he won 51.03%, up
3.15 points (all results as of a few days after the
ran 0.18 points better in El Norte than in the nation as
a whole—i.e., virtually the same, suggesting there was
no Hispanic surge toward Bush.
possibly, a hypothetical boost among Hispanics might
have been balanced by a drop among non-Hispanics.)
"… if 44 percent is the wrong
level for Bush`s support among Hispanics, what is the
right level? Of course, we`ll never really know for
sure, but I am persuaded, by playing with the numbers
and making some reasonable assumptions to correct the
anomalies in the NEP that it is somewhere around 39
would be up four points over 2000`s 35 percent, the same
growth as in the non-Hispanic white vote (from 54
percent to 58 percent). It would confirm the general
pattern that the Hispanic vote for Republicans rises and
falls in the same cycles as the white vote—just
consistently much more Democratic.
course, as the Hispanic vote is
swelled by immigration, narrowing the relative gap
could still leave the GOP deeper in the hole in absolute
numbers of votes.
VDARE.com, we don`t.
[Steve Sailer [email
him] is founder of the Human Biodiversity Institute and