Don`t Worry, Democrats! This Hispanic Hype Is Hogwash
Newsweek`s macho subhead: “A
new mayor in L.A. A decisive showing in `04. Latinos are
making their mark on politics as never before. Get used
But last Thursday the Census Bureau
released its massive survey of who actually voted in the
November, 2004 General Election. It painted a very
different picture than Newsweek`s cliché-ridden
celebration of the cresting tsunami of Hispanic
The Newsweek cover features
the triumphant face of Villaraigosa, an unrepentant
former chairman of the UCLA chapter of the
separatist MEChA organization and a past
ACLU apparatchik. But the story on the inside, "A
Latin Power Surge," (By Arian Campo-Flores and
Howard Fineman ) is all about how the rise of Latino
Power has been good for…the Republicans!
"`If the GOP maintains its
current share of the Latino vote, says Simon Rosenberg
of the New Democrat Network, `then the Democrats will
never be the majority party again in our lifetimes.` How
did things become so dire for the Democrats?"
The subhead on the cover story (“A
decisive showing in 2004") even implies that Latinos
won the election for George W. Bush.
Does Latino Power benefit
Republicans or Democrats? Whom should you believe:
Newsweek`s words or its cover picture of
Los Angeles, a city that as
recently as 1993 and 1997 elected a
Republican mayor (albeit a liberal one), has just
given a landslide to Villaraigosa in a
Tweedledee vs. Tweedledum struggle with another
liberal Democrat, incumbent James Hahn.
So how can things be "so dire
for the Democrats?"
My theory: Newsweek had its
"Latino Power" articles prepackaged and has been
waiting around for some Latino candidate to win
something big enough to (almost) justify it.
And what about the disagreement
between Newsweek`s words and its own numbers
about what happened last November.
"President George W. Bush captured roughly 40 percent
(the exact figure remains in dispute) of the Hispanic
It`s good to see that VDARE.com`s
investigative reporting on the
errors in the
original exit poll claim that Bush had won 44
percent of the Hispanic vote has made Newsweek
wary of using that now
discredited figure—even though their case would
sound more plausible if they had used 44 percent.
(Probably the essay was written on
the assumption the old 44 percent figure was true, and
fact-checker made them lower it.)
But how does winning 3-2 among a
group celebrated for its growth keep the Democrats from
ever being "the majority party again in our
And, even better for the Democrats,
Latino political talent is even more skewed toward the
left than are Latino voters. In California seven-eighths
Latino legislators are Democrats. Villaraigosa, who
is a genuinely skilled political operator, has made his
career tacking back and forth between the hard and soft
Villaraigosa won easily over the
incumbent in large measure because
Hahn was seen as a dull cipher, the second coming of
recalled former Governor
Gray Davis. Californians seem to believe these days
that they are
decadent and distracted and need energetic
personalities like Villaraigosa and
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger just to keep their
attention engaged on public affairs.
In 1997, Peter Brimelow and Edwin
S. Rubenstein`s article
"Electing a New People" first laid out the math
of how importing Democratic-leaning immigrants works
against the Republican Party in the long term. The
inexorable conclusion: it is in the GOP`s self-interest
to cut immigration.
enthusiasts on the right, however, inverted this
logic to argue that Hispanics were already such an
irresistible force that the only salvation for the
Republicans was more of the hair of the dog that bit
them. The GOP must win over the Latino vote by opening
up the borders even farther.
This quickly became conventional
wisdom in the news media.
My contribution from 2000 onward
has been to make two criticisms of this conventional
- First, I noted that opening
the borders wider was
not the royal road to the hearts of Hispanic
voters. Because Latino voters bear so much of the
brunt of the immigration wave in
lower wages and
overwhelmed schools, they are far more
ambivalent about immigration than their
self-appointed ethnic "leaders" claim. The
Latino leadership wants more warm bodies from south
of the border to make themselves look more
important. But Hispanic voters want better lives for
themselves and their children. This was validated
last November when the successful anti-illegal
immigration initiative Prop. 200 won
47% of the Latino vote in Arizona.
- Second, I pointed out that,
even if Hispanic citizens were indeed desperate for
more immigration, the much-heralded future of Latino
political dominance hasn`t quite gone through the
formality of taking place. Hispanic voting clout
is more limited and
growing more slowly than the media assumes.
There is still time to limit immigration.
For example, in 2001 I was the
first to show that while the press universally claimed
that Hispanics comprised 7 percent of the electorate in
2000, the Census Bureau`s 50,000 household telephone
survey of voters, which is the gold standard for
understanding who votes, reported they made up only
Not that facts matter much these
Two years later, 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
cheerleading for immigration is unworthy of him.
Which is why I`ve
frequently over the years. It`s easy to beat up on
amateurs, but for me to score so many points off the top
pro means I`ve had to be right about the impact of
immigration on voting.
And the only way I`ve been able to
be correct so much more than a master like Barone, who
has fifty times my experience and contacts, is if Barone
is opening the door by kidding himself about what the
So, in May of 2004, I
wrote in VDARE.com:
hereby declare that, in the tradition of the
famous bet between
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%."
Barone didn`t take me up on the
bet, which is too bad because I could definitely use the
Last November should have been a
good election for Hispanic turnout, since the excitement
level was the highest in years. Total turnout was up 16
percent over 2000, which should have particularly
boosted the Hispanic share.
As a contrasting example, note that
during the sleepy midterm election of 2002, Latinos made
5.3 percent of voters, down from their 5.4 percent
in the more stimulating Presidential election year of
On the other hand, what Barone
claimed was a particular strength of Hispanic voters in
the Presidential election—their concentration in large
states—turned out to be a decided weakness in 2004. Two
states that were completely out of play in the Electoral
Texas and California, were home to 47.5 percent of
all Hispanic voters and a large majority of the
Mexican-American voters to whom Bush`s
Open Borders temporary worker plan is supposed to
Florida was definitely in play, but
its sizable Hispanic electorate is led by Cubans and,
increasingly, Puerto Ricans, neither of whom care about
immigration policy. (New arrivals from Cuba are treated
by current law as refugees, not immigrants, and Puerto
Ricans are born U.S. citizens.)
In contrast, in Ohio, the most
contested state in the 2004 election, Hispanics cast
only 1.6 percent of all votes.
So Hispanics were even
less important in the 2004 Presidential election
than their 6.0 percent would suggest. (Of course, due to
borough" syndrome of counting illegal aliens and
other noncitizens in
drawing up legislative districts, Latinos may be
more important in House and state legislature elections
than their numbers of voters would warrant.)
But what about the troubled Edison-Mitofsky
National Exit Poll, which initially claimed Hispanics
9 percent of the vote in 2004, before reducing that
8 percent? Well, that was the weighted
result: they raise or lower the raw participation rates
of different demographic groups based on various
downloaded the raw data from Edison-Mitofsky and
found that the unweighted Hispanic turnout in
their exit poll was only 5.9 percent, almost identical
to the Census Bureau`s telephone poll.
It was only after it was weighted
according to who knows what principles that it inflated
to 7.5 percent, which got rounded up to 8 percent in the
W. Bush was re-elected on Tuesday because the Hispanic
vote, long a Democratic Party preserve, shifted toward
the president`s side."
There`s no question Bush did well
among Hispanics in 2004. He appears to have gone up from
winning 35 percent of Hispanics in 2000 to 40 percent in
But he did better among almost all
regions and demographic groups. For example, the
exit poll showed him increasing his popularity among
non-Hispanic whites from 54 percent to 58 percent.
That means that despite his solid
performance among Hispanics, the margin between Bush`s
share of the white vote and his share of the Hispanic
vote merely narrowed from 19 points in 2000 (54-35=19)
to 18 points in 2004 (58-40=18).
What about turnout? Karl Rove`s
political machine seems to have executed well what
VDARE.COM insists on calling the
Sailer Strategy: getting
whites out to the polls. According to the
Census Bureau`s press release of last Thursday:
2004, turnout rates for citizens were 67 percent for
non-Hispanic whites, 60 percent for blacks, 44 percent
for Asians and 47 percent for Hispanics (of any race).
These rates were higher than the previous presidential
election by 5 percentage points for non-Hispanic whites
and 3 points for blacks. By contrast, the voting rates
for Asian and Hispanic citizens did not change."
Bush pulled 11.6 million more votes
in 2004 than in 2000, the majority of that growth due to
higher overall turnout. By my calculations, over 80
percent of those 11.6 million additional votes, or 9.5
million, came from
Whites provided almost ten times
as many incremental Bush votes as the next most
important ethnic contributor to his growth, Hispanics,
at 0.97 million extra votes.
As I`ve said for
years, there`s a distinct possibility that Karl Rove
knows that his minority outreach talk is mostly a
smokescreen to distract the media from his Strategy
That Dares Not Speak Its Name: majority inreach.
I`m sure he`s right that his
disingenuousness with the media is
But that doesn`t mean Republicans
need to believe it too.
Or, least of all, the supposedly
objective Mainstream Media. (email Newsweek).
[Steve Sailer [email
him] is founder of the Human Biodiversity Institute and