Election 2010 And The Unmentionable Sailer Strategy: White Vote Still Key

The 2010 mid-term elections were a dramatic reversal from the 2008 Presidential election year. But current commentary is losing sight of that—because it had looked like the election could have been even bigger, particularly for patriotic immigration reformers. Richard Hoste, among the most brilliant of younger commentators, has even suggested sadly that Sharron Angle`s loss to Senator Harry Reid in Nevada calls into question what VDARE.COM has called the “Sailer Strategy”—the idea that inreach to its white base, not outreach to minorities, is the key to future GOP success. I disagree.

Let`s recap what happened,

Governors: As of my writing this, some 36 hours after all the polls had closed, Republicans had won 23 gubernatorial races, Democrats nine, independents one, and four were still up in the air.

State legislatures: Numbers are hazy at present, but Republicans supposedly took 500 legislative seats from Democrats. That will be important in the upcoming redistricting based on 2010 Census numbers, and in furnishing bench strength for future races.

Senators: Republicans won 23, Democrats 12, with Alaska still not called.

House: Republicans have won 239 races, Democrats 186, with ten yet to be decided.

“House Democrats lost more than half of the land mass they once held.” [A Humbling Loss for Obama: How it Happened, by Katy Couric, CBSnews.com, November 3, 2010] The bright red Congressional districts on this map represent Democratic losses in 2010.

 The bright red Congressional districts on this map represent Democratic losses in 2010.

(In other words, the historic Republican House advances of 2010 occurred largely in the less densely populated parts of the country. This was as predicted by my theory of Affordable Family Formation. Back in the 1750s, Benjamin Franklin pointed out that the less crowded the country, the lower the land prices and the higher the wages. That means that more people can afford, and at younger ages, to get married and have children. The 21st Century partisan corollary to Franklin`s insight: “The party of family values” thrives most where and when family formation is most affordable. The political implication: urbanizing more and more of the country through mass immigration is bad for Republicans. But Republican politicians have been remarkably slow to grasp that concept.)

It`s important to remember: this strong Republican performance in the 2010 mid-term elections wasn`t supposed to be demographically possible anymore. After 2008, the whole country was supposed to have become like California—where, indeed, Republicans were mostly thrashed on Tuesday. (One commenter has suggested Republicans could now label Democrats “the Party of California.”)

The question was repeatedly asked after 2008: How could the GOP ever win again when the population becomes less white each year? (See CIS.org: Can Conservatism Survive Immigration? and VDARE.com: “Can Conservatism Survive… Ramesh Ponnuru And David Frum?”)

Well, the answer is obvious, but only semi-mentionable in polite society: the GOP needs to do two things—get white people to turn out; and get them to vote Republican. This is the “Sailer Strategy”.

That`s how Republicans have long won in the South, where the white share of the population is already lower than California. (Outside of Florida, GOP candidates won all but a handful of Southern Congressional districts that weren`t specifically gerrymandered to be majority minority.)

You`d prefer not to live in a country where whites vote like a minority bloc? Me too! But maybe we should have thought about that before putting whites on the long path to minority status through mass immigration.

In the GOP`s 2002 and 2004 victories, whites turned out in large numbers and voted Republican by sizable margins—basically as a patriotic response to 9/11 and the subsequent Bush wars.

With the war going sour in 2006, however, the Republicans failed to hold their share of whites: Republican House candidates only won the white vote 51-47 and thus lost the House.


2008, McCain beat Obama by a mediocre 55-43 among whites.
That`s not awful, but McCain also didn`t inspire whites to
turn out to vote in large numbers, while Obama

excited minorities
and the
(In 2008, 11 percent of voters said it was their first time
ever in a polling booth, compared to only three percent in


David Paul Kuhn,
author of The Neglected Voter: White Men and the Democratic Party,

pointed out
in RealClearPolitics, the
MainStream Media rewrote the history of 2008 in line with

worship of Obama
. The forgotten truth: after
Saran Palin
as his veep, McCain led Obama in the Gallup
Poll for the nine days preceding the epochal

bankruptcy of Lehman
Bros. on

September 15, 2008
, after which Obama regained the lead.
But the

Crash of 2008
didn`t so much convert whites into Obama
voters as depress them.

2010, in contrast, GOP House candidates crushed Democratic
House candidates 60-37 among white voters. And minorities
had a

hard time getting interested
in a non-Presidential
contest lacking in personalities and


The GOP picked up 91 percent of its votes among whites—in
contrast to the Democrats` 65 percent.

In other words, nation-wide the Sailer Strategy is
triumphing. I argued that the most practical path to victory
for the GOP was
to get
more white votes
. And that`s exactly what it did. Obama,
not least with his

extraordinary attack
on Arizona`s

universally popular SB 1070, helped

What about specific states?

two biggest governor`s races—California

—also illustrate the Sailer Strategy in action. In
California, Hispanics and blacks together accounted for just
31 percent of the voters—compared to 30 percent in Texas. In
California, Democrat Jerry Brown won Latinos 64-30. Democrat
Bill White carried them 61-38 in Texas.

(Interesting side note: as Hispanics become more dominant in
California`s Democratic Party, blacks have been trending

more Republican. Among blacks, Meg Whitman lost
only 77-21, while Rick Perry lost 88-11. As I`ve

, immigration will cause problems for the
Democrats too)

blacks and Hispanics together, Rick Perry did slightly
with the

Non-Asian Minority
vote in Texas, losing it 73-26, than
in Meg Whitman did in California, where she lost 68-27.

Why, then, did Perry cruise to a 55-42 victory in Texas,
while Whitman failed 41-54 in California?

Answer: because Perry won the Texas white vote 69-28.
In contrast, Whitman only edged out Brown 50-46 among
California whites.

If a Republican candidate can`t win a majority of whites,
he or she can`t win the election.

(The most politically relevant basic difference between
California and Texas: the price of land. Texas has cheap
housing relative to its income, but California is expensive.
That has profound effects on the political cultures of the
two states that we are only beginning to understand. For
tends to attract young white families
while California

sheds them.

(Nevada falls in between California and Texas. Although it
looks empty, much of the land is locked up from development
by lack of
, federal ownership,

Indian reservations,
nuclear bomb testing,

nuclear waste storage

UFO storage
, and so forth. Land prices surged in Nevada
during the Housing Bubble, and then collapsed with the worst
default rates in the country.)

So what about Nevada?

Contrary to predictions after her nomination, Tea Partier
Sharron Angle made a real race of it against Senate Majority
Leader Harry Reid. Polls showed her ahead right to the end.
But then—in a development that

requires explanation
—Reid triumphed 50-45.

Instantly, the conventional wisdom congealed like this (from
Politico, November 3, 2010)

Hispanics saved the Dems

Gutierrez is pushing
Harry Reid today to return to
immigration legislation, on the grounds that Hispanic voters
saved his hide. 

“Reid got an amazing 90% of the state`s 12% Hispanic voters,
according to exit polls; Sharron Angle got just 8%.” 

Needless to say, Democrats (and the MSM) will read into
Nevada the confirmation they desire: their long-running
strategy of racializing the immigration debate—is the right
one. Republican immigration enthusiasts and Hispanic
consultants will urge their party not to respond.

But that 90-8 split among Nevada Hispanics turned out to
be…a typo.

As of
early Thursday morning, CNN`s website

the breakdown was actually a more ho-hum 68-30.
That`s roughly the same as the Whitman and Fiorina races in
California, although both ran away from the immigration

course, this will make no difference to the CW—just as

irrefutable proof
that Bush did not win 44% of the
Hispanic vote in 2004 hasn`t stopped

Karl Rove
(and the MSM) from

repeating that myth either.

result out of Nevada that really interests me:

going 79-19 for Reid, in contrast to a more
typical 59-34 margin for Democrat Barbara Boxer in
neighboring California. I don`t know what the story is
behind that.)

Angle`s real problem: she won whites 53-41, but (maybe for
reasons to do with her own personality) that wasn`t a
Texas-sized enough margin.

So what drove the result in Nevada? Why did Nevadans return
their state`s longtime Provider of Pork to the center of
power in Washington instead of anointing an outsider who has
a philosophical aversion to Bringing Home the Bacon?

it be possible that
residents of Las Vegas
are less motivated by principle
than by money? I know it sounds crazy. But I think we have
consider that disillusioning possibility about Vegasites.

 It`s significant
that, in contrast to Nevada, the statewide politician most
closely associated with this year`s immigration controversy
over SB1070,


Jan Brewer
, ran for election as governor on her own for
the first time. She lost among Latinos 71-28. But she
carried whites 60-36. And she won the state 55-42.

Similarly, the sponsor of
Russell Pearce,
was re-elected to the Arizona state
senate on Tuesday, as the Republican majority in that body
grew from 18 to 21 out of 30. He was elected president of
the state senate on


More Thoughts:

  • The
    relative unimportance of the celebrated gender gap

Remember the gender gap? On Tuesday, white men voted
Republican 63-35—and white women voter Republican too,

more important recently than the gender gap has been the
marriage gap. In

, McCain won 50 percent of the votes of married
women, but only 29 percent of unmarried women.

Yet this year`s exit poll didn`t bother to ask voters if
they were married!

  • Catholics surged from only 42 percent Republican in 2008

    54 percent
    in 2010

That`s partly due to the reduced Hispanics turnout. But
among non-Hispanic whites, Catholic voters voted Republican

is a significant change from the

midterms, when Republicans kept the House despite
getting only 50 percent of the white Catholic vote.

imbroglios of 2009 obviously didn`t help Obama
with northern white Catholics.

  • Educated voters aren`t necessarily Democrats

Democrats take vast pride in being more educated than
Republicans. But it`s never terribly evident in the data. In
2010, Democrat voters reported an average of two weeks more
schooling than Republican voters. (The mean Democrat
asserted he had made it through 2.91 years of college versus
2.88 years for the typical Republican—a trivial difference.)

In comparison, when the GOP got drubbed in 2006, Republicans
averaged a week more in the classroom, perhaps because their
dimmer bulbs didn`t remember to turn out that year. When the
Republicans won in 2002, they had better education
statistics than the Democrats.

My views: in general, education levels seem to be a wash.
Parties need to both motivate the less educated to show up
at the polls (because they need votes) and appeal to the
more educated to vote for them (because educated supporters
are better for your prestige). It`s hard to do both
simultaneously, but you have to try.

  • One
    obvious 2010 theme: Buyers` remorse over the 2008
    Presidential election

In the

exit poll
, 37 percent said their House vote expressed
opposition to Obama versus only 24 percent who said it
expressed support.

MainStream Media so flagrantly covered up the real Obama in
2007-2008 that many naïve voters were surprised and
displeased to discover in 2009-2010 that he was a black
liberal from Chicago of underwhelming personality. (They
should have read my
Half Blood Prince: Barack Obama`s “Story Of Race And


got to be President
for the same reason
W. Bush
got to be President: because of
who his
daddy was

as the younger Bush`s career would have stalled out at about
the regional sales manager level if he hadn`t been the son

George H.W. Bush
, if everything else about Obama were
except his father hadn`t been black, where would a
white Obama be today? Teaching poly sci? Getting laid off
from his copyediting job at Harper`s?

The President is a bright man, but not a big man. He lacks
energy, empathy, and an adequate sense of skepticism about
all the praise he`s been showered with over the years.

elite white press went soft in the head over Obama because
of the one thing that you aren`t supposed to
about intelligently: race
. They liked him because
He`s black! (But,
he`s not,

you know,


To the
DC press corps, extravagantly hyping a black candidate
proved you were


than other white people
. More subtly, hyping
Obama, who grew up sequestered

thousands of miles away from any black community
, was
also intended to furnish blacks with a role model of nice
white liberal behavior. Obama was the One the MSM had been
waiting for.

that kind of double bankshot theorizing just seemed silly
after Obama got in office and had to

start dealing with real national problems
. Obama`s skill
set is attuned to impressing white people who have just met
him enough to give him a promotion —hence his Nobel Prize
from the Norwegians, But there aren`t any more sinecures
left for him to fail upward into.

  • But
    Republican politicians have not become terribly popular

voters on Tuesday, only 42 percent expressed a favorable
opinion of the Republican Party, which was actually below
the 43 percent approval rating they gave the Democratic
Party whom they were
(as Obama put it).

Republicans seemed to do better the more they simply
remained the

abstract embodiment of Not Obamaness.

more personally conspicuous Republican candidates made
themselves, such as
Whitman in California
, who spent a fortune in paid
media, or Angle in Nevada and Christine O`Donnell in
Delaware, who were given

abundant free media by a hostile press corps
, the more
they seemed to underperform. (Indeed, women in general did
poorly, with the number of Congresswomen apparently

, which would be the first decline in three

Whitman wound up doing slightly worse in the governor`s race
than her fellow Silicon Valley executive Carly Fiorina did
in the Senate race—even though Fiorina, who has been
battling the after-effects of cancer, maintained a much
lower profile.

  • What
    about 2012?

My prediction: Obama, an adulation addict, will likely be
psychologically down for a few months. But he could come
back strong if the economy turns around. He remains well
situated to win the Electoral College in 2012, with the
almost 200 votes of the Northeast, Illinois, and the West
Coast as his base.

In contrast, the Republicans need to win Ohio in 2012`s
Presidential race, and would very much like to win New

That puts Republican governors John Kasich of Ohio and Chris
Christie of New Jersey into the national ticket discussion.

Granted, none of the above electoral analysis has much of
anything to do with what Republicans actually do after
getting elected.

President Obama told

Spanish-language Univision
that his political philosophy

“We`re going to punish our enemies and we`re gonna reward
our friends…

Personally, I don`t care much about the
“punish our enemies”

But Republicans need to start thinking, finally, about how
they are finally going to
“reward our friends”

suggestions: what about an

immigration moratorium?

birthright citizenship
? Restricting

Affirmative Action to African Americans?

what about opposing the Democrats` incessant efforts to
racialize the immigration issue by appealing to Hispanic
citizens as American citizens on the basis of what`s
best for
—rather than as members of an alien racial

[Steve Sailer (email
him) is

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