Sailer 1, Stupid Party Strategists 0

The

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.

So
finally we can test definitively who was right about the
demographics of victory:

establishment Republican
figures such as

Karl Rove
,

Matthew Dowd
, and

Michael Barone
or… me.

This is a debate of profound significance for the future
of the Republican Party—and of the Republic itself.

The
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.

In
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

Indeed, the
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
reporters.

As I pointed
out

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
“The

Sailer Strategy
.”
)

Some sharper
liberals noticed Rove`s ploy. Democratic pollster

Ruy Teixeira
came to the same

conclusion
. He

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.

In analyzing
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
races.

As I

wrote
for UPI, the actual Rove strategy (as opposed
to the one that he talked about so much) brought these
changes:

"[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."

Case closed.

Here are
some further useful details from this trove of Election
2002 numbers:

  • The GOP`s

    fraction
    of the black vote declined, from eleven to
    nine percent.

  • Asians continued to move to the
    left, with the Republican share falling from 40 percent
    to 34 percent.

Conventional
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
Jews
“!


  • Hispanics voted 38 percent Republican, up from 35
    percent in 2000.

But the
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
the last

dozen
House races going back through 1980, this
white-Latino "ethnic gap" has held relatively steady at
19 to 28 points.

Moreover,
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.

  • The
    GOP performed impressively among white women.

In 2000,
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.

Click

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).

  • The
    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

    specifics
    .)

  • 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

    here
    .)

What about
the

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
in eliminating

airport security profiling
of Muslim and Arab
passengers on…the afternoon of

Sept. 11, 2001
.  Something or other

came up.

You
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.

Yet
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.

In
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


movie critic
for


The American Conservative
.
His website


www.iSteve.blogspot.com
features his daily
blog.]