2002 elections might seem like a long time ago. But
in vital ways they still provide the best guide to the
rapidly approaching 2004 elections.
Unfortunately, no national
demographic results were available in 2002, because the
Voter News Service exit poll`s computer systems crashed
on Election Day. But pollsters eventually mailed in
17,872 completed interviews. The
Roper Center for Public Opinion Research inspected
them, pronounced the data as reliable as ever, and
recently put the raw results on sale. I bought them and
laboriously crunched through it for a
multi-part series for United Press International.
This is a debate of profound significance for the future
of the Republican Party—and of the Republic itself.
opening round came in 1997, when Peter Brimelow and
Edwin S. Rubenstein published a
National Review cover story entitled "Electing
a New People." Brimelow and Rubenstein
demonstrated statistically that the long-term impact on
Republican candidates of continuing to import millions
of low-skilled people would be dire. (Click
here for their 2000 update.)
Needless to say, there was little overt response. Barone
simply ignored the argument in succeeding editions of
his allegedly definitive
Almanac of American Politics.
But, by early in this decade, the new mainstream of
Republican consultants and publicists aligned with
George W. Bush had accepted a caricature of the Brimelow-Rubenstein
thesis: that immigration has already
changed the electorate so radically that it would be
political suicide to try to limit it. Instead, like
a man with a hangover having more of "the hair of the
dog that bit him," they argued that the GOP`s only
hope was to
speed up the transformation of the electorate by
passing an amnesty for illegal aliens in the hope that
this would curry favor.
late November of 2000, while the
Bush vs. Gore recount in Florida was still going on,
I wrote an
article for VDARE.com—"GOP Future Depends on
Winning Larger Share of the White Vote"—that added a
new level of refinement to the demographic discussion by
distinguishing between the short and long terms. I said:
"Here at VDARE.COM, we`ve discussed
repeatedly how dire will be the long-term impact of
immigration on the Republican Party. It`s crucial to
understand, however, that the long-term has not quite
arrived. The GOP is not yet held hostage. It still has a
window of opportunity—definitely stretching through the
next recession but maybe not to the recession after
that—to save itself by changing the immigration laws.
This can be seen by examining the 2000 election results
closely. The reason George W. Bush struggled so much to
eke out a 271-267 win in the Electoral College (assuming
that he can hold on to it) is not that he got
crushed in the minority vote 77% to 21%. No, it`s
that he commanded only a measly 54% of the white vote…
basic logic of my position—increasing your party`s share
of the majority brings in more votes than increasing
your share of the minority—is so obvious that I couldn`t
believe that Rove actually believed his spin to the
ex-English majors and other
innumerates who constitute the vast majority of
As I pointed
last year, when the crunch time arrived in the next
election, Rove dumped minority outreach and went
"hunting where the ducks are." He launched a
massive get-out-the-vote drive among the Republican
base. (VDARE.COM house style, to which I must modestly
bow, is to call this appeal to the white majority
liberals noticed Rove`s ploy. Democratic pollster
Ruy Teixeira came to the same
told me, "The demographic theme of the 2002
election for the Republicans was `Round up the usual
suspects,` and they did a good job at it." The
results for the Republicans were excellent.
But the lack
of national exit poll data has allowed many
commentators to go on making up fairy tales about
the GOP winning by broadening its tent.
the Roper data, I`ll concentrate on the races in 2002
for the House of Representatives, since those are more
comparable from year to year than the Senate or Governor
wrote for UPI, the actual Rove strategy (as opposed
to the one that he talked about so much) brought these
"[The GOP`s] share of the non-white vote
dropped from 25 percent in 2000 to 23 percent. That
mattered little, however, because its share of the
white-vote segment grew from 55 percent to 59 percent.
Further benefiting the Republicans, the white portion of
the electorate increased from 81 percent to 82 percent
[because of improved turnout], even though the
total population is becoming less white each year. The
result was that the GOP became more dependent upon white
voters, with whites casting 92 percent of all votes for
Republicans, up from 90 percent in 2000."
some further useful details from this trove of Election
fraction of the black vote declined, from eleven to
Asians continued to move to the
left, with the Republican share falling from 40 percent
to 34 percent.
Republican commentators like
Barone assumed that Asians, being prosperous and
law-abiding—the "new Jews," as he thinks of
them—would automatically assimilate into the GOP.
Unfortunately for Republicans, they are now
voting like the "old
Hispanics voted 38 percent Republican, up from 35
percent in 2000.
Hispanic vote always fluctuates in parallel with the
white vote, just many points further to the left. The
white-Hispanic spread was 20 points in 2000 (55 v. 35)
and actually rose to 21 points (59 v. 38) in 2002. In
dozen House races going back through 1980, this
white-Latino "ethnic gap" has held relatively steady at
19 to 28 points.
the GOP`s share of Hispanic ballots in 2002`s Senate and
gubernatorial races was significantly worse than in the
House: only 33 percent in each.
GOP performed impressively among white women.
white women gave only 50 percent of their votes to the
Republican House candidates, but in 2002 that figure
reached 57 percent. Still, only eight percent of black
women voted Republican (a typical result) and 37 percent
of Hispanic women (there`s never been much of a gender
gap among Hispanics). Result: overall, the gender gap
narrowed—the GOP won 50 percent of the total female vote
for the House for the first time in decades.
here for all the details on voting by sex—and, more
importantly, marital status. Married women vote
significantly more Republican. In 2002, 56 percent of
married women voted for the GOP (similar to their
husbands` 58 percent) compared to 39 percent of
unmarried women (and 44 percent of unmarried men).
There`s an especially large partisan difference between
married women with children (58 percent Republican) and
unmarried women with children (32 percent).
Democrats did best among young voters—but this
is in part due to the higher percentage of
minorities in the 18-29 cohort, due to differential
birthrates and immigration. (Here are the
denominational equivalent of the famous gender gap
(the "church chasm”?) widened substantially.
Among white Protestants, the Republican share rose
from 63 to 69 percent. But the Republican share fell
among white Catholics, from 52 to 50 percent. The GOP
fraction of the Jewish vote grew very slightly, from
22 percent to 29 percent— but this vote is small, at
3.3 percent of the electorate. (Details
much-touted Muslim vote? The best evidence against
my assumption that Rove is a sharp cookie is the
ludicrous and possibly catastrophic
effort he cooked up with immigration-booster
Grover Norquist to win the supposedly crucial Muslim
masses in the 2000 Presidential election. Incredibly, as
part of Rove`s outreach, President Bush was supposed to
meet with Muslim and Arab spokesmen to announce progress
airport security profiling of Muslim and Arab
passengers on…the afternoon of
Sept. 11, 2001. Something or other
would think that if Rove were going to expose Americans
to a greater risk of terrorism, he`d at least sell out
to a sizable voting bloc.
it turns out that the fraction of voters who declared
themselves to be Muslims in 2002 was miniscule: no more
than 0.3 percent. The sample size was much too small to
be reliable—but, for whatever it`s worth, the
interviewees voted 90 percent Democratic.
Hmmm. Maybe Karl`s not such a "Boy
Genius" after all.
fact, not for the first time, the whole
Stupid Party Establishment look, well, stupid.
[Steve Sailer [email
him] is founder of the Human Biodiversity Institute and