The Incredible Latino Supervote, The Invisible White Majority: Tales From Election `06.


One of the recurring rituals of public life is the

Mainstream Media`s attribution to Latino voters
of
magical powers far beyond what

simple arithmetic
suggests they are

capable of accomplishing
.

Thus, as I

predicted
a couple of weeks ago, much of the MSM—with
the Wall Street Journal editorial page

in the lead
, of course—is blaming the GOP`s losses
on the mighty Hispanic vote being provoked into wreaking
righteous revenge on those

nativist
House Republicans.

Surely, these journalists reason, all those hundreds
of thousands of

marchers
for illegal alien amnesty that we saw on
television last spring must have marched on to the

voting booth
, right?

Wrong. In the

real world
, illegal aliens

aren`t supposed to vote.

Furthermore, as countless polls have shown, American
citizens of Hispanic descent who can vote aren`t
at all as favorable towards illegal immigration as their
self-proclaimed ethnic leaders claim.

Case in point: four immigration restrictionist ballot
measures in Arizona each passed with about 70 percent of
the overall vote—and

close to half
of the Hispanic vote. For example,
Proposition 103, making English the state`s official
language, earned the support of 48 percent of Arizona
Latinos.

(Similarly, Arizona`s anti-illegal immigration

Proposition 200
enjoyed 47% approval among
Hispanics in 2004.)

My conclusion: A close inspection of the data shows
that there was no Latino tidal wave at the polls last
week, and only a quite minor decline in Hispanic support
for the GOP due to the House`s immigration restriction
votes. The overall impact of Latinos on the election
results was minimal.

This is what actually happened:

According to a nifty graphic display on the

New York Times
website, there are 56
House districts that are more than 30 percent Hispanic
by population (not voters). Their average House election
margin grew 7 percent more Democratic from 2004 to 2006.
Among those heavily Hispanic districts, 41 became more
Democratic versus only 15 that became more Republican.

But is that proof positive of the election-winning
powers of the Latino Supervote?

No—because heavily Hispanic districts actually had
barely any impact on the balance in the House
.

The Democrats

won 40 of those 56 seats
in 2004. So far in 2006,
they have still won only 40, with two undecided. (In
Albuquerque, Republican incumbent Heather Wilson has a


1,481 vote margin
over Patricia Madrid at last
word. And in San Antonio,

Republican incumbent Henry Bonilla
is headed to a
runoff with Ciro Rodriguez.)

In contrast, the same handy

NYT Web featurette
shows that there are
68 districts that are over 90 percent non-Hispanic
white. And these highly white districts became 13
percent
more Democratic.

Over the last two years, 60 became more Democratic
and only 8 became more Republican. They shifted from a
51-17 advantage in seats for the GOP in 2004 to only a
37-30 advantage (with one still undecided).

So these 68 overwhelmingly white districts by
themselves were almost enough to account for the 15
seats the Democrats needed to win the House.

Furthermore, evidence that angry Latinos turned out
in vast numbers is strikingly lacking on the ground in
California and Texas.

A November 10th Los Angeles Times article by
Teresa Watanabe and Nicole Gaouette was entitled

Latinos throw more support to Democrats: Analysts say
GOP candidates` stance against immigration helped defeat
them.

Yet, if you read to the latter half of the story, you
find:

"It was not clear,
however, that immigration was the top priority for
Latino voters. Several polls showed that education and
the economy were more important. In California, a Times
exit poll did not find any significant surge of Latino
voters. They made up about 12% of the electorate—about
the same proportion since 1998.

"Antonio Gonzalez,
president of

Southwest Voter Registration Education Project,
said
1.2 million California Latinos voted this week, an
increase of 100,000 over the 2002 election. However, he
said that fell short of the 1.5 million voters that his
group had hoped for."

Case in point: California`s Congressional District 47
in heavily Hispanic northern Orange County.

You probably read about it during the contrived
controversy over the "emigrado"
letter. In a district where Democratic Rep. Loretta
Sanchez has a

documented history
of support from noncitizens
voting illegally, Republican challenger Tan Nguyen

sent a letter in Spanish
asking citizens to vote and
warning noncitizens not to vote. Fueled by
out-of-context quotes that

distorted the plain meaning of the letter
to make it
appear that it was telling

naturalized citizens
not to vote, this caused a vast
furor,

The day after the election, the LA Times ran
an article entitled "Nguyen`s
letter draws voters to poll
s
[By Jennifer Delson, Mai Tran and Ashley
Powers, November 8, 2006]. It said:

"And if the letter was
intended to chill the vote among immigrants, it appeared
to have the opposite effect in the ethnically diverse
district."

Oh yeah? As usual, the LA Times, the

fastest-shrinking
major newspaper in America,
missed the real story of what was going on in its own
backyard.

Rep. Sanchez won re-election with only 31,656 votes
(to 19,525 for Nguyen), down from her 41,282 in the last
midterm in 2002. The other districts in California with
Hispanic incumbents show the same lack of a tidal wave
trend—some are up in total votes, some are down. Nothing
much is going on.

No, the real story is that Rep. Sanchez won with the
lowest total on any winning candidate in America.

A total of only 51,181 votes were cast for all
parties in Sanchez`s CD47—versus 148,459 in nearby CD
46, where Republican

Rep. Dana Rohrabacher
was easily re-elected. This
means that each vote in Rohrabacher`s district was
weighted only 35% as heavily as each vote in Sanchez`s
district.

The reality ignored by the LA Times: the 47th
district, because of its enormous concentration of

illegal
and

non-citizen legal immigrants
, is just about the
rottenest "rotten
borough
"
in America.

If districts were drawn not on total residents but
based on the number of citizens living within
their boundaries, as the

7th Circuit Court of Appeals
ruled they should
be in a 1998 case, Sanchez probably wouldn`t even have a
district and she`d be out of a job.

In California`s gubernatorial race, Republican Arnold
Schwarzenegger roared to re-election by winning 63% of
the white vote. In California`s

last 15 statewide elections
going back through
1992, Republican candidates have won the three times
they carried a majority of the white vote. They have
lost all twelve times they didn`t.

As I wrote

earlier this year
:

"After getting off to a
strong start, including


repealing illegals` licenses
as promised,
Schwarzenegger stumbled badly in 2005 by not realizing
that his slate of initiatives to undermine the power of
the public employees unions were perceived by his
natural base, the


white lower-middle class
, as an assault on their
survival in California`s outlandishly expensive


housing market
. Firemen, cops,

nurses
, and

teachers
… rallied support from their neighbors,
who saw their union perks not as sinecures but as


life preservers
." [New
Republican Majority?
The American
Conservative,
May 8, 2006].

Schwarzenegger, who is nothing if not a quick
learner, promptly switched in 2006 from traditional
small government conservatism to something resembling
the tax-and-spend semi-conservatism that the Daley
dynasty has honed in winning eleven out of twelve
elections in Chicago.  

In the Windy City, an economically inegalitarian city
with both wealthy corporations and

vast numbers of poor people
, the

white lower middle class
has survived in large part
by getting government jobs providing services to the
poor.

Barry Goldwater
wouldn`t have approved. But the
Daley strategy has kept Chicago a far more livable city
than, say, Detroit.

And something like that is probably the best
California can hope for at this point.

How about Texas?—the state with the

second largest Latino population?

In the Houston Chronicle, R.G. Ratcliffe
reported (Dems
Hoping Gains Weren`t a Fluke
, November 12
2006):

"But there is scant
evidence that Latino voters in Harris and Dallas
counties played much of a role in the Democratic surge
last week. The three most heavily Hispanic state House
districts in Houston had voter turnouts ranging from 17
percent to 21 percent of registered voters. Only about
half of the Spanish-surname adults in those districts
are registered to vote, and a quarter of the residents
are not U.S. citizens. Statistics from Dallas show the
Hispanic population also was not a major factor in that
county, either. In the most Hispanic state House
district in Dallas, just 10 percent of the voting-age
adults cast a ballot in this election."

You might think the Latino Landslide would have some
effect on Congress. But an article in the Washington
Post
(Hill
Demographic Goes Slightly More Female—No Racial Shift,
But Minorities` Influence May Rise
) by Lois
Romano, November 9, 2006) noted:

"The number of Hispanic
legislators remains unchanged, with 23 in the House… `Of
course, we`re disappointed,” said Arturo Vargas,
executive director of the National Association of Latino
Elected and Appointed Officials.

So how big was the Latin Supervote?

My guess: around six percent of all voters—up from

5.3 percent
in the last midterm in 2002.

Sure, the national exit poll claimed eight percent,
but the exit poll turnout figure has long been
exaggerated compared to the

gold standard
, the Census Bureau`s Current
Population Survey phone survey of 50,000 households
immediately after each election. An exit poll is not a
reliable way to measure subtle differences in the size
of an ethnic voting bloc because the pollster must
decide ahead of time how many Hispanic neighborhoods
will be surveyed based on how an a priori
assumption about how big the group is. A phone survey
like the Census Bureau`s avoids this problem.

The national exit poll suggests that GOP House
candidates won

30 percent
of the Hispanic vote in 2006, down
from 38 percent in

2002
and about 40 percent in 2004.

(I won`t bore you by rehashing why

all careful observers now agree with me
that the
Republicans didn`t win 44 percent in 2004, as initially
but incorrectly reported in the exit poll. Let me just
say that if anybody tells you the Republicans received
44 percent in 2004, they`ve shown they are amateurs.)

I haven`t checked the 2006 figure carefully, but 30
percent sounds plausible.

Now, a drop of 8 to 10 percentage points among
Latinos seems pretty bad at first glance. But much worse
for the GOP was only carrying

51 percent
of the white vote versus

58 percent
in 2002 and

57 percent
in 2004. Whites account for about
four out of every five votes. That`s what killed the
Republicans.

Historically, the Hispanic vote moves up and down
along with the white vote, just skewed about 20 points
or so towards the Democrats. Latinos are not the
"swing voters" of media legend. They are more
accurately "flow" voters who go with the general
flow.

So, relative to the bellwether white vote, the GOP
did merely one percentage point worse among Hispanics
versus the last midterm and four percentage points worse
than in the last Presidential election.

Let`s assume (generously) that four percentage points
represents the drop in the GOP`s Latino vote caused by
House Republicans taking a (fairly) tough line on
illegal immigration. What was the total cost to the GOP?

Well, a four percent decline times six percent of the
electorate is 0.24 percent, or, say, a quarter of a
percentage point.

If the GOP lost roughly five percentage points from
2002 and 2004 to 2006, then the Latino decline accounted
for roughly one-twentieth of it.

If the GOP picked up merely one percentage point

among whites
due to immigration, that would have
three times the size of this loss among Hispanics.

And here`s the kicker: Americans who want patriotic
immigration reform aren`t convinced the GOP would
deliver it.

The exit poll shows clearly that while
five-eighths of voters consider "illegal immigration"
to be

very to extremely important,
the GOP did an
absolutely terrible job of converting those views into
votes:

IMPORTANCE OF ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION

 

Democrat

Republican

Extremely Important
(30%)

46%

52%

Very Important (32%)

49%

50%

Somewhat Important (29%)

61%

37%

Not At All Important
(8%)

66%

31%

This is disgraceful—but hardly surprising,
considering the chief booster of opening the borders
furthers has been the Republican President,

George W. Bush
.

And the Republican frontrunner in 2008,

John McCain
, put his name on an amnesty bill in
tandem with Ted Kennedy.

The GOP`s problem is, not that it talked too much
about immigration, but that it did not talk about
immigration enough.

Patriotic immigration reform remains a cause without
a party.

[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.]