Sailer Strategy Wins Another For GOP—But How Much Longer?

"President Bush`s
campaign won re-election through the strategic gamble
that there was more to gain from galvanizing
conservatives and stressing moral issues than from
reaching out to centrist voters… Rove`s decision to
largely ignore independent voters at the close of the
election was a strategic gamble. But by early Wednesday
morning, Rove looked to have hit the jackpot – yet
again." ["
Strategic Gamble Pays Off
By David Paul Kuhn, Chief Political Writer, November 3, 2004]

It took

four years
, but the conventional wisdom has finally
accepted the

“Sailer Strategy”
—my oft-repeated argument
(which got

by Free Republic) that the simplest way for
the GOP to win national elections is not outreach to
minorities, but inreach, to its white base.

doubt my check is in the mail.

ridiculed Karl Rove`s widely celebrated minority
outreach initiatives—such as Bush`s misbegotten promise
in the

2000 campaign

weaken anti-terrorist
efforts in pursuit of the

Muslim vote
(which turned out to only make up 0.3
percent of the electorate anyway).

And we
applauded when, in the crunch before the

2002 midterm election
, Rove abandoned trying to
broaden the tent in favor of

turning out the base
, with excellent results.

got his 2004 re-election campaign off to a potentially
disastrous start by calling for

Open Borders
last January. But Congressional
Republicans quickly hushed it up. Indeed, Bush benefited
from a bit of his patented luck—his proposal to allow
unlimited numbers of the world`s six billion foreigners
to move to America to work at minimum wage jobs was so
insanely beyond comprehension that it simply didn`t
register with the media or the public. John Kerry never

him for it.

almost nobody could grasp that their President wanted to
open the borders to hundreds of millions of aliens
reminded me of that 1996 Simpsons` election


, the green space monster, kidnaps and

Bill Clinton
, but the public can`t bring themselves
to notice the hideous truth about their President:

Kodos [disguised
as Clinton
]: "I am Clin-Ton. As overlord, all will
kneel trembling before me and obey my brutal commands."
[Crosses arms] "End communication." 

Marge Simpson:
"Hmm, that`s Slick Willie for you, always with the
smooth talk."

by the end of the campaign, Bush, who never lacks for
effrontery, was scoring points by denouncing Kerry for
advocating amnesty for illegal aliens!

As the
campaign wore on, the Bush campaign mostly stopped even
bothering to claim that they were broadening the
Republican tent. The battleground states were primarily
around the Great Lakes, where immigrants were few and


alienated beyond wooing
. Bush and Rove concentrated
on mobilizing the base, getting

who don`t typically vote to turn out, and
winning back some

who had

voted for Reagan

victory Bush won was not particularly large—the typical
margin in a Presidential election is nine points, three
times what Bush enjoyed. Bush earned

51.0 percent
, up 3.1 points from 2000`s 47.9
percent. In percentage terms, that`s a 6.5 percent
increase in his share.

bad, but not terribly good either. The essential
shortcoming of the Bush campaign was that while it
appealed to the patriotism and family values of the
working and middle classes, it didn`t offer them bread
and butter benefits—such as relief from illegal

Remarkably, despite all the tumultuous events over the
last four years, few regional or demographic shifts were
visible. All that happened was that Bush slightly
expanded his support almost everywhere. Bush`s share of
the vote grew in 45 states. A map of the counties Bush
won in

is almost identical to the same map in

, suggesting that Rove`s various strategic
initiatives to seduce particular blocs faltered.

Here is

comparing Bush`s share of the vote in 2000 and

by state. It shows his performance growing the
most in three highly disparate states: Hawaii, Rhode
Island, and Alabama. His share shrunk only in Vermont,
South Dakota, and Wyoming.

Eyeballing the whole list, I can`t see any particular
pattern to explain why Bush did better in some states
than others—it simply looks like he did about three
points better overall, with random dispersion around
that number.

more I look at the results, the more I get the sneaking
suspicion that, despite all the sound and fury of the
last couple of years, all that has happened politically
in the U.S. since the 2000 election is that

nudged the country three points to the right.

though, Dick Morris, Clinton`s old campaign consultant,
who became a pundit after a toe-sucking

, has been going around


W. Bush was re-elected on Tuesday because the Hispanic
vote, long a Democratic Party preserve, shifted toward
the president`s side… Since Hispanics accounted for 12
percent of the vote, their 10-point shift meant a net
gain for Bush of 2.4 percent — which is most of the
improvement in his popular-vote share."

Personally, I like ol` Dick, even though no commentator
is more

consistently wrong
. (Just ask

Senator Rick Lazio,
R-NY!) You have to admire how
loyal he is to his old

Vincente Fox, President of Mexico. Dick has
been spouting

for years about the size of the Hispanic vote
to advance the

of the Mexican government.

Back in
July 2002, he

, "In

[blacks & Hispanics] accounted for 24 percent of the
ballots —equally divided between blacks and Hispanics."

In reality, instead of 12 percent, in 2000 Hispanics
made up 5.4 percent in the gold standard Census Bureau
survey and 6.5 percent in the iffier VNS exit poll.

And what`s the deal with Dick`s arithmetic? He
multiplies his supposed Hispanic 12 percent of the vote
times a 10 point gain (sic) in share by Bush among
Hispanics and gets not 1.2 percentage points, but 2.4.

In reality, even this fictitious 1.2-point estimate is
less than half of Bush`s 3.1 percentage point
improvement in the overall electorate since 2000.

Unfortunately, we`ll be arguing over the Hispanic vote
in 2004 for some time because the main exit poll was
badly botched. After the

of the old

Voter News Service
exit poll consortium following
the debacle in 2002, the big news outlets organized a
National Election Pool. Unfortunately, it proved as
incompetent as most monopolies, notoriously predicting a
sweeping three point victory for Kerry. In contrast, the
much-derided pre-election telephone polls had, on
average, ended up predicting a Bush victory of about two

stayed up all election night, around dawn I noticed that

exit poll data
had been quietly rejiggered to show
Bush winning narrowly. By Wednesday evening, it had been
fiddled with again to give Bush a bigger margin.

doesn`t leave me with a lot of

faith in the exit poll

The big
difficulty with an exit poll is coming up with a
representative sample of polling places. Apparently, the
NEP failed to do this.

Most of
the exit poll

, as it currently stands, seems not too
implausible. It shows Bush`s share of the

crucial white vote
growing from 54 percent to 58
percent, which almost accounts for Bush`s three point
overall rise by itself. Among blacks, Bush`s share grew
from 9 to 11 percent, among Asians from 41 to 44
percent, and among American Indians and others from 40
to 41 percent—i.e. it`s trivial.

stands out glaringly, though, is the exit poll`s claim
that Bush`s share of the Hispanic vote rose from 35
percent all the way to 44 percent.

course, that`s still a decisive defeat for Bush—56
percent of Hispanics voted against him. But in fact this
alleged Hispanic share seems dubiously large on several

  • First, Rove and his

    Matthew Dowd
    didn`t talk much about any expected
    successes among Hispanics during the last few months
    of the campaign. Their focus was on white

    and the like. The key to the
    Electoral College was the Great Lakes states, where
    there are few Hispanics.

  • Second, the two
    non-partisan polls of Hispanics just before the
    election predicted almost 2-1 Kerry victories. The
    Washington Post
    poll found Kerry up

    , and the Miami Herald poll found
    Kerry up

    . As we saw in the overall prediction of who
    would win, telephone polls this year tended to be more
    accurate than the exit poll.

  • Third, an
    independent exit poll of Hispanics conducted by the

    Velasquez Institute
    found Bush with only 31
    percent of the Hispanic vote. I can`t attest pro or
    con to the accuracy of this exit poll, but then the
    media consortiums` exit polls` aren`t much to brag

  • Fourth, there`s
    little real world evidence in vote totals of a big
    Hispanic surge for Bush. Bush`s performance was not
    noticeably better than average in heavily Hispanic
    states. For example, in New Mexico, California, Texas,
    Nevada, Colorado, and Illinois, all states with
    significant Hispanic populations, Bush`s

    growth in share
    was less than his national norm of
    3.1 percentage points.

  • Fifth, if you drill
    down into the state data, while most of the Hispanic
    numbers pass the smell test (for instance, in the
    predominant Hispanic state,

    , Bush`s share is said to grow from 29
    percent to 32 percent), one big state does not: Texas,
    which has the second-largest Hispanic population.

exit poll claims Bush`s share of Texas Hispanics leapt
from 43 percent to a staggering 59 percent. (My
recollection is that this Texas figure was originally
something like 52 percent, but in the rejiggering, it
was inflated to an unlikely 59 percent in the final
numbers.) Texas is what`s driving this 44 percent
national figure.

This is
particularly odd because you would think such a shocking
improvement with an important bloc in Texas would lead
to a much better overall performance by Bush in his home
state. Yet, Bush`s growth in his share of the total vote
in Texas was only 1.9 percentage points, below his
national average of 3.1. The exit poll tries to explain
this by claiming that—while Bush`s share of the white
vote grew by four points nationally—in Texas it shrank
by 1 point, which seems odd, to say the least.

If 59%

Texas Hispanics
supported Bush, then Bush should
have carried just about every county in the state. But
most of the heavily Hispanic

Rio Grande Valley
remained firmly in Kerry`s grasp.
Of the 15 Texas counties lost by Bush, 13 had Hispanic
populations of 75.0% to 94.3%. The other two were Travis
County (Austin), a college and government town, and
Jefferson County in the East, which is 32% black.

El Paso
went for Kerry this year, and he won the

parts of

, where Hispanics voted 2 to 1 against Bush.

conclusion: I can`t find much evidence in the actual
vote totals to support the idea that Bush won even a
majority of

Hispanics in Texas
, much less 59 percent.

If the
Texas number is much too high, this suggests his
national share of Hispanics was something more like 38
to 41 percent. And that would be in line with the
historic pattern—the Hispanic vote tends to rise and
fall in the same cycles as the white vote, just much
more heavily skewed toward the Democrats.

more point: Election 2004 showed that immigration
liberalization is simply not a winning issue.

  • First, Bush ended
    up going around lying about how Kerry`s immigration
    plan was amnesty and his was not, which shows that
    even he knew immigration liberalization was a loser.

  • Second, the one big
    battleground state with lots of Hispanics was

    , but the

    and Puerto Ricans in that state don`t care
    much about immigration. All Cuban nationals who set
    foot on dry land in America are legally refugees, not
    immigrants, and all

    Puerto Ricans
    are born citizens.

  • Third,

    Proposition 200
    in Arizona, which cracks down
    on illegal immigration, apparently got

    of the Hispanic vote, showing once again that
    Hispanic voters have distinctly mixed feelings about
    illegal immigration.

  • Fourth, Hispanic
    voters who moved to Bush appear to have been more
    motivated by his opposition to

    gay marriage

course, this won`t stop Bush

his suicidal amnesty and expanded
immigration programs.

in turns means that his Republican majority, essentially
the result of the minority-dominated Democratic Party
like a housing project and being abandoned
by whites, will itself be overwhelmed by
immigrant-descended voters in the

fairly predictable
near future.

[Steve Sailer [email
him] is founder of the Human Biodiversity Institute and

movie critic

The American Conservative
His website
features his daily