Discredited Hispanic Vote Share Myth Goes Marching On At RNC

Only a few days after the national
election, President Bush

his campaign manager, Ken Mehlman, the new
head of the

Republican National Committee

Shortly afterwards, Mr. Mehlman
offered the world his own analysis of the voting
patterns in the 2004 election and what they tell us as
to why his boss won.

As the Washington Post
reported, Mr. Mehlman argued that Mr. Bush won largely
by "broadening his appeal among key swing
constituencies, including

Roman Catholics

and suburban

Predictably, he maintained that "the
single most important number that has come out of the
is the 44 percent Hispanic support the

won this year. [GOP
Governors Celebrate Party Wins
|Tutorial on Bush
Campaign Strategies Shows What Went Right,
By Dan
Balz, November 19, 2004]

"Future Republican majorities
will depend in part on the party`s ability to expand its

support among Hispanic voters
, and 2004 may have
been a significant step in that direction if GOP
candidates can build on it,"
the Post
reported him as telling the national meeting of
Republican governors in New Orleans last month.

What Mr. Mehlman told them has
already hardened in the party`s mental arteries as the
gospel about the election and how to win in the future:
Pander to


other "minorities
" and take the

white mainstream core
of the

Republican Party
base for


And to judge from the

president`s immediate resurrection
of his
congressional amnesty plan for illegal aliens and his

Hispanic cabinet appointments
, that seems to be the
strategy his policies will reflect as well.

It is crucial to the future of the
Republican Party to

flush these misconceptions
about why and how he won
out of the party arteries as soon as possible, because
we now know they are wrong and if they become the basis
for political strategy and even policies, they will lead
Republican ruin.

The 44 percent Hispanic support for
Mr. Bush has been dubious from the first day it was
reported, but we now know it`s not correct. The figure
came originally from

exit polls
reported by the Associated Press and
other news services and was a national average based on
similar exit polls in each state. The state in which Mr.
Bush supposedly won Hispanic support most heavily was
his own, Texas, where the AP reported he won a whopping
and unprecedented 59 percent of Hispanics.

That, if nothing else, is what`s
wrong. The

Associated Press last week
issued a press release
acknowledging it isn`t so. Mr. Bush won only 49 percent
of the Hispanic vote in Texas.

In its Nov. 3 exit polls reports,

AP release states,

Associated Press overstated President Bush`s support
among Texas Hispanics. Under a post-election adjustment
by exit poll providers Edison Media Research and
Mitofsky International, 49 percent of Hispanics in the
state voted for Bush, not a majority. The revised result
does not differ to a statistically significant degree
from Bush`s 43 percent support among Texas Hispanics in
a 2000 exit poll."

The revised poll shows that Texas
Hispanic voters "voted 50 percent for Kerry and 49
percent for Bush, not 41-59 Kerry-Bush."

And if you factor in the new 49
percent Hispanic support in Texas in place of the old 59
percent in Mr. Bush`s national Hispanic exit polls, the
44 percent national figure vanishes. What you get is
closer to 40 percent of the Hispanic vote on a national
level—an improvement over his 35 percent support back in
2000, but hardly the sort of seismic shift the

over at the RNC
have been crowing over.

Moreover, if the Texas exit poll
was wrong, then why should we be inclined to accept
similar polls that show heavily inflated Hispanic
support for Mr. Bush in this election?

In Florida, for example, Mr. Bush
is said to have won 56 percent of the Hispanic vote, a
result almost as incredible as the Texas claim.

Finally, an independent outfit, the
Velasquez Institute, specializes in analyzing Hispanic
voting patterns and concluded on election day that

Mr. Bush won only 34 percent
of the Hispanic bloc
nationally—a result a little smaller than but more
consistent with his 2000 showing. There`s no reason to
think their analysis is flawed.

How many Hispanic votes Mr. Bush
won this year is important, because as Mr. Mehlman
acknowledges, it tells the party at which demographic
groups it should direct its appeals and "outreach,"
and what issues (and policies) the party should support
(or avoid) that are likely to attract (or alienate)
those groups.

With Hispanics, the main issue will
be immigration, and unless the blood of

political reality
can start flowing through the
party`s mental arteries again, the errors now blocking
those arteries will keep Mr. Bush and his party on the
wrong side of the coming immigration battle.



Sam Francis [email
him] is a nationally syndicated columnist. A selection
of his columns,

America Extinguished: Mass Immigration And The
Disintegration Of American Culture
, is now available

Americans For Immigration Control.

Click here
for Sam Francis` website. Click

to order his monograph
Ethnopolitics: Immigration, Race, and the American
Political Future.