Michael Barone, Call Your Office! Hispanic Vote Gets…Smaller?

In June of 2003, the much-quoted neoconservative pundit
Michael Barone


Hispanic immigrants are the fastest-growing and
politically most fluid segment of the electorate. They
were 7 percent of voters in 2000 and could be 9 percent
in 2004, most of them in big states."

Oh yeah?

Before I reveal what the new federal data suggests about
Barone`s assertion, let`s review a little history.

The Bush campaign brain trust—Karl

Matthew Dowd
, and assorted journalistic
water-carriers of whom

is probably the most important—has long
argued that, because our current mass immigration policy
creates new citizens who vote by landslide margins
against Republicans, the only solution is … even more

The logic behind this hair-of-the-dog-that-bit-you
strategy, meekly accepted by most of the press:

Hispanic voting clout
is already overwhelming. The
only possible response is to pander to them and import
more of their co-ethnics—in the hope of losing slightly
less badly among them…in the short run.

Nonsense, of course. In the first place, most Hispanics

sensibly ambivalent
feelings about immigration,
especially illegal immigration. In a Pew Foundation

of Latino registered voters, only 7% said there
were "too few" immigrants in the U.S.

Among Hispanics, it`s generally only the professional
ethnics—the politicians, identity politics activists,
campaign consultants,

Spanish-language broadcasters
, marketers, etc.—who
want lots more immigration in order to further feather
their own nests.

In the second place, to plagiarize the late historian

Daniel Boorstin`s
saying about promoters, the Latino
electoral tsunami that we

hear so much about
hasn`t quite gone through the
formality of taking place

Current immigration policy certainly poses a vast

long-run danger
to the GOP. But there`s still time
to do something about it.

The single best measure of the size of ethnic electoral
blocs is the
Current Population Survey
of the voting and
registration behavior of about 50,000 households. This
is conducted by the Census Bureau immediately following
each national election.

In July 2001, I broke the

that this not-yet-published federal data
showed that the

Hispanic vote
in 2000 had only reached 5.4 percent,
well below the seven percent figure

widely cited in the press.
(It had come from
rounding up the 6.5 percent figure from the smaller VNS
exit poll.)

This time around, the Census Bureau didn`t allow
outsiders to prowl around in their unreleased data. But
the official 2002 numbers are finally out.

So how much did the

Latino electorate

Answer: it didn`t.  The Hispanic vote shrank,
from 5.4 percent in 2000 down to 5.3 percent in 2002.

I don`t believe this fact has been published anywhere
else yet. If you want to check it yourself, here`s the
Census Bureau`s

Acrobat PDF file
—you have to crunch the numbers in
Table B.

It`s not all that surprising. Many Hispanics are

not citizens
. And those that are don`t necessarily

turn out
to vote.

Whereas, in contrast, white Americans

did turn out
in 2002—apparently a patriotic response
to 9/11 and the looming Iraq Attaq. The non-Hispanic
white share of the vote was 81.3 percent, up from 80.7
percent in 2000.

Note: that made the white vote more than 15 times
than the much-ballyhooed Hispanic fraction.

Thus, if Bush`s

on immigration

costs the GOP
one percentage point

among whites
, he will have to boost the Republican
share of the

Hispanic vote
by an impossible fifteen percentage
points just to break even.

Of course, the Latino share is

likely to grow
from 2002 to 2004. But my
longstanding forecast of about 6.1 percent for Hispanics
this year seems likely to turn out well.

Back in May, I challenged Barone, who is supposed to
know about this stuff as author of

The Almanac of American Politics
to a bet:

"I hereby declare
that, in the tradition of the

famous bet

Julian Simon and Paul Ehrlich
, I will wager $1,000
that the Hispanic share of the 2004 Presidential
vote—according to the November 2004 Census Bureau
survey—will be closer to my prediction of 6.1 percent
than to Barone`s prediction of 8.5%. Mr. Barone can
reach me


Bet For Barone,
May 30, 2004]

For some reason, I haven`t heard back from him.

I could use the money, so you might want to

email him
and ask him if he`ll put up or shut up.

[Steve Sailer [email
him] is founder of the Human Biodiversity Institute and

movie critic

The American Conservative
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