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2012 Election

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Here’s my presentation at the early 2013 symposium, transcribed and then translated from spoken Sailerese into actual written English.

Hi, I’m Steve Sailer, and it’s a real pleasure to address our symposium. I’m going to talk about some overlooked aspects of the 2012 election.

As we get to the data, we’re going to focus on voting by state because that is, more or less, how Electoral Votes are counted. For Republicans to ever take back the White House, they will have to figure out more states they can win.

In the interest of simplicity, all the percentages are going to be for Romney’s share of the two-party vote. I’m leaving out Libertarian voters, write-ins, and so forth. I apologize for ignoring non-two party voters (I saw recently that Tom Wolfe wrote in Ron Paul’s name in 2012), but this expedient will allow us to think about just one number at a time: Romney’s share. Thus, if you want to know what Obama got, just subtract Romney’s percentage from 100.

I’m working with a huge poll that almost nobody’s talked about. It was conducted online by Reuters-Ipsos throughout the election year. This particular edition features a sample size of 40,000 two-party voters who responded immediately after voting.

Now, the Reuters-Ipsos panel has advantages and disadvantages versus the better-known Edison exit poll, which had a sample size of only about 25,000. I haven’t noticed any systematic differences in results reported by the two polls, but Reuters-Ipsos has a number of strengths for the serious analyst.

For example, the more celebrated exit poll wasn’t even conducted in 20 states, including Texas. If you want to know something about the future of American politics, you better know something about Texas. The Reuters-Ipsos poll had a sample size of 2,403 respondents in Texas. In summary, we’ve got a decent sample size on almost every state, not just 30 favored states.

Most importantly, Reuters lets anybody make any crosstabs they want of their results, while the Edison exit poll only lets subscribers who pay tens of thousands of dollars get their hands dirty with the data. So, the quality of discussion of the exit poll numbers has been constrained.

Below is something nobody has seen before, a table of Romney’s share of the vote by race in each of the 50 states.

The first column of percentages is Romney’s final share of the actual two-party vote. Nationally, Romney only got 48.0 percent to Obama’s 52.0 percent. (After all the votes were counted, Obama’s victory margin turned out wider than almost all polls had predicted. The Reuters’ poll has Romney at 48.5 percent, so it was a half-point too high.)

National, Romney won 58.1 percent of the white vote which, unsurprisingly, was not enough. He lost 97-3 among blacks and 72-28 among Hispanics.

Actual Reuters Whites Blacks Hispanics Other
National 48.0 48.5 58.1 3.0 28.3 39.0 17.7
Alabama 61 61 82 7 na 38 10
Alaska 57 60 72 na na na na
Arizona 55 56 66 na 26 31 26
Arkansas 62 62 69 6 na na 22
California 38 39 49 5 25 38 25
Colorado 47 48 52 na 27 26 22
Connecticut 41 42 45 6 na na 20
Delaware 41 41 52 na na na 8
D.C. 7 0 8 0 na na 0
Florida 50 50 61 4 35 38 22
Georgia 54 54 79 3 25 43 7
Hawaii 28 20 56 na na 0 15
Idaho 66 67 67 na na na na
Illinois 41 42 51 1 30 34 12
Indiana 55 55 60 2 na 38 13
Iowa 47 47 48 na na 31 21
Kansas 61 61 64 na na na 31
Kentucky 62 62 66 3 na na 17
Louisiana 59 60 84 0 na na 0
Maine 42 42 42 na na na na
Maryland 37 38 56 1 na 32 4
Massachusetts 38 37 40 4 27 23 19
Michigan 45 46 53 2 32 35 13
Minnesota 46 46 47 na na 18 25
Mississippi 56 56 88 0 na na 0
Missouri 55 55 62 8 na 34 17
Montana 57 56 55 na na na na
Nebraska 61 62 65 na na na na
Nevada 47 47 57 1 na 46 17
New Hampshire 47 48 48 na na na na
New Jersey 41 41 52 0 24 36 15
New Mexico 45 45 52 na 27 na 41
New York 36 36 46 2 18 24 10
North Carolina 51 51 67 2 22 38 9
North Dakota 60 55 57 na na na na
Ohio 48 49 54 13 25 33 18
Oklahoma 67 67 74 na na 71 41
Oregon 44 46 48 na 22 33 23
Pennsylvania 47 47 54 0 13 31 5
Rhode Island 36 36 39 na na na na
South Carolina 55 56 78 0 na na 0
South Dakota 59 59 58 na na na na
Tennessee 60 60 71 1 na 33 10
Texas 58 58 76 2 37 41 25
Utah 75 75 75 na 31 33 30
Vermont 32 32 34 na na na na
Virginia 48 48 60 3 26 38 13
Washington 42 44 46 3 29 30 29
West Virginia 64 64 66 na na na na
Wisconsin 47 47 49 7 na 31 21
Wyoming 71 67 74 na na na na

Unfortunately, Reuters just lumps together American Indians with Asians and whoever else feels like calling themselves “Other.” Romney garnered only 39 percent of the Other, although that’s better than what the exit poll reported for Romney among Asians (26 percent, down a purported 9 points from 2008), and 38 percent among “Other” mostly American Indians (up 7 points from 2008). There was a fair amount of theorizing based upon the exit poll about why Romney did so much worse than McCain among Asians (although none about why he did so much better among American Indians).

The Reuters poll, however, suggests these sharp swings didn’t actually happen.

Which poll is right about the Other? Beats me. Mostly, the exit poll and Reuters are pretty similar, so when they disagree, I’d just recommend taking the average of the two surveys.

The Reuters-Ipsos Polling Explorer interface won’t display any breakdowns where the sample size is less than 100. But I managed to get around that cautious limitation by lumping together in huge California with each small state’s sample, then doing the math. That worked out fairly well. Rather than a minimum sample size of 100, I chose an aggressive minimum of merely 15. That’s quite small, so don’t trust each number above too much. Since it’s so hard to get these numbers, I felt it better to err on the side of giving my readers more rather than less information.

We’ll start our analysis with minority electorates, then give the white vote the careful inspection it requires. Yes, I know that white voters are out fashion, but they are still numerous and much more of a swing vote from state to state than are the trendier minorities.

The black share of the vote is routine almost all the way through. Traditionally, California blacks vote a little more Republican than the national blacks, and, sure enough, Romney hauled in a full 5 percent of California blacks versus 3 percent nationwide.

The one black figure that’s unexpected is Ohio, where Reuters reports that Romney get 13 percent of the black vote. That’s from a moderate sample size of 92 black panelists. A vast amount of money was spent on advertising in the battleground state of Ohio, so maybe Romney’s strategists can pat themselves on the back for buying a few extra black votes. Or maybe this 13 percent figure is just a fluke due to limited sample size.

A few anomalies like this are actually reassuring about the authenticity of the Reuters poll. The results fit my model of how the world works, of how various factors interact so well that occasionally I break into a cold sweat over the thought that maybe Reuters just made up the results! I mean, if you hired me to create a model of how demographic and regional factors work together, it would spit out numbers very much like these. But, the occasional unpredictable result, like Romney supposedly getting 13 percent of the black vote in crucial Ohio, is, in a way, confidence-inducing.

With Hispanics, you can see that Puerto Rican Hispanic states like New York (Romney got 18 percent of New York’s Hispanic vote) and Pennsylvania (13 percent) are a little bit further to the left than Mexican Hispanic states such as California (25 percent). But, most of the Hispanic vote falls within a relatively narrow band. Rather than swing voters, these look like solid Democrats who drift a little right if their white neighbors are conservative..

Ever since the election, we’ve been told constantly that the main thing Hispanic voters care about is amnesty for illegal aliens, and the only way for Republicans to ever win the White House again is to grant amnesty (and, while you’re at it, throw in “a path to citizenship”). If you doubt this is the right course for the GOP, just ask any Democrat and they’ll tell you.

If there is any state where this logic shouldn’t apply, it ought to be Florida, which Obama won by a hair. The two main groups of Hispanic voters in Florida are Cubans and Puerto Ricans, neither of whom care about “immigration reform.” The Puerto Ricans are born citizens, and yet they still vote overwhelmingly Democratic. You might almost think Democrats are pulling Republicans’ legs over amnesty …

The Cubans, as described in Tom Wolfe’s Back to Blood, have their own special immigration law that applies to any Cuban who can set foot on American soil. The Cubans used to vote heavily Republican, but Florida Hispanics now went overall 65-35 for Obama, suggesting younger Cubans are trending Democratic. In Wolfe’s novel, even the conservative cops among the Miami Cubans resent the Anglos as competitors who get on their nerves by thinking of Florida as part of America. And the Democrats are the natural home for the resentful.

There is a small difference between the Mexican American voters in California (25 percent for Romney) and Texas Hispanics (37 percent). That 37 percent sounds pretty good – it must be the pro-amnesty role models of the Bush family, while, as we all know, California Latinos were alienated by Proposition 187 — until you notice that Romney got an astonishing 76 percent of the white vote in Texas versus only 49 percent in California. So, relative to whites, Romney may have performed better with Hispanics in California where there is only a 24-point gap, not the 39-point gap in Texas. Or if you look at it proportionally, California’s 25/49 is almost identical to Texas’s 37/76. So maybe the Bushes and Prop. 187 don’t really matter, and what really matters is that Mexican Americans mostly vote Democratic because they find it to be in their self-interest for old-fashioned tax-and-spend reasons?

What about the white vote?

This graph below shows Romney’s share of both the total vote (in dark) and white vote (in red). The states are sorted in order of how well Romney did overall, with Utah at the top and Hawaii at the bottom.

It started out as a bar graph, but I had 100 bars (50 states times two), which seemed excessive, so I made the bars invisible and just left the values of the bars. If you look at Utah, you can see that Romney got 75 percent of the total vote and 75 percent of the white vote in the state. In Wyoming, 71 percent of the total vote and 74 percent of the white vote.


So, for Romney to do really well, he needed two things: states that are almost all white and whites that are almost all Republican.

Now, as you get further down, you see outliers where the GOP’s share of the white vote is far higher than the GOP’s overall performance, such as Alabama, Louisiana, and Mississippi. These are states typically in the deep south with large black populations where there’s a strong degree of white solidarity to keep blacks from taking over the state. For example, the state of Mississippi went for Romney 56-44, and the way he won was by getting 88 percent of the white vote. Why did he get 88 percent of the white vote? Well, Mississippi has the largest black population of any state and according to this Reuters-Ipsos poll, blacks in Mississippi voted 100 percent for Obama (sample size = 38)

So that’s kind of what diversity gets you in the long run. As Lee Kwan Yew of Singapore says, in a multicultural democracy, everybody ends up voting on race.

Probably the two most interesting states that Romney won are not in the deep south: Texas (76 percent of white vote) and Arizona (66 percent).

Texas is not really an old deep south state by any means. It has had a huge influx of Americans since oil was first discovered in 1901, and it has its own culture. It shows the possibilities of what a state could do in terms of going heavily toward Republicans as a bloc vote: 76 percent is a pretty amazing number, but that’s what it took to keep rapidly-Hispanicizing Texas handily Republican. If whites in Texas don’t vote consistently Republican, then the state, with its 38 Electoral Votes, will go Democratic in some future presidential election. And that would end the chances of the Republican Party as we know it ever regaining the White House. So, GOP, you better hurry up and put all those illegal aliens in Texas on the path to citizenship!

One thing to keep in mind about Texas is that its formidable degree of white solidarity is the result of generations of white Texans indoctrinating each other in the superiority of Texas over the rest of the country (as I noticed while a student at Rice U. in Houston). This solidarity has some real payoffs. For example, back in the 1980s Texas had a hugely successful anti-littering campaign featuring the slogan “Don’t Mess with Texas.” Politically, it turns out that Texas pride among whites keeps Mexicans discouraged. (Mexicans are not terribly hard to discourage.) On the other hand, the braggadocio of Texans has not necessarily endeared themselves to the rest of the country.

As you may have observed, the demonization of Arizona in the national press over the last few years has been virulent. The front page of the New York Times routinely featured articles about horribleness of white people in Arizona and how something needs to be done about them.

That’s because by the standards of Western states without many blacks, there was strong solidarity among Arizona whites, with 66 percent voting Republican. That frustrated Democratic efforts to register and turnout as many Mexican Americans as possible.

The most interesting states on the graph are the ones where Romney came close to 50 percent. These are the states future Republican candidates must improve in to have a shot at the White House.

The message you’ve heard ever since the election is that the Republicans lost because of the amnesty issue and therefore they must agree to amnesty and a path to citizenship. You know, the New York Times and the POTUS have all been explaining to the Republican Party how they need to pass amnesty right now for their own good. And if Republicans can’t trust the leadership of the Democratic Party to look out for their partisan interests, who can they trust?

Yet, the states in which Romney came close to winning are typically ones where he just did not get enough of the white vote. Consider Ohio, where Romney lost 52-48 overall by only getting a grand total of 54 percent of the white vote. Almost anywhere in modern American, Republicans have to win more than 54 percent of whites to win.

Here are some other north central states where Romney came fairly close:

Pennsylvania: 54 percent of the white vote

Iowa: 48 percent

WI 49 percent

Minnesota 47 percent

Michigan 53 percent

Romney couldn’t get the job done in these northern states not because of the tidal wave of Hispanics, but because he just didn’t get enough whites to show up and vote for him.

Let’s see where we could make the amnesty argument. Florida was close. And, as we know ever since the infamous 2000 election, Florida has been ripe for people with an ax to grind to claim that their particular panacea would have determined who won the Presidency. For example, I got a press release during the 2000 vote counting in Florida from a Sikh lobby. The Sikhs hate laws requiring motorcyclists to wear helmets because they muss up their turbans. Traditionally, helmet laws are the Sikhs’ hot-button issue. The press release announced that if Al Gore had come out against helmet laws, the Sikhs of Florida would have made him President. I checked their math, and, yeah, they had a point.

But the larger point is that this logic is mostly nuts.

But the Republicans don’t get it. At the moment, they think that all they have to do to get back to the White House is turn the party over completely to Marco Rubio. Let him negotiate amnesty with the Democrats. (What could possibly go wrong?) Mexicans must love the guy, right? After all, both his name ends in vowels.

Yet, do Mexican Americans even like Cubans, such as Sen. Rubio? (One of the hidden messages of Back to Blood is that Cubans don’t care at all about Mexicans.) Nobody seems to have checked.

Virginia is another interesting state. It’s an example of how the Republicans are beginning to shoot themselves in the foot with legal immigration. The Washington DC suburbs are home a large number of well-educated legal immigrants, and, it turns out, they like to vote Democratic. Even if they’re making a lot of money and it’s going to cost them in taxes, these legal immigrants just find the Democrats more to their taste.

Then there are what I call the Clean Green states such as Colorado (where Romney won 52 percent of whites), New Hampshire (48 percent), Oregon (48 percent), and Washington (46 percent). Amnesty isn’t going to win them those states.

There’s New Mexico, with its large Hispanic population, but once again the GOP lost there because they only won 52 percent of the white vote. New Mexico is interesting as a view into the future of Hispanicized America. Hispanics have been in the Upper Rio Grande Valley for 400 years, yet the state that does not attract many illegal immigrants. How come? Because there aren’t many jobs in New Mexico. Why not? Because it has been filled up with Hispanics for its entire history, and they don’t create a lot of jobs.

What about California? Surely, that’s a state where whites have been crushed under the rising tide of Hispanics? Actually, Romney only won 49 percent of the white vote there. Kind of hard for a Republican to win that way.

As we all know from having heard it over and over that Republicans were doing fine in California until they shot themselves in the foot with Proposition 187 in 1994. What they don’t tell you is that George H.W. Bush won less than 33 percent of the total vote in California in 1992, two years before Proposition 187. But who has time to fact-check The Narrative?

Nevada might be the closest thing to an example supporting the amnesty-uber-alles narrative. Romney won a mediocre but not terrible 57 percent of white votes there, but lost due to Hispanics (and Filipinos) voting heavily Democratic. Unfortunately, the Reuters-Ipsos poll only has a Nevada sample of 14 Hispanics, so we’re flying kind of blind here.

My impression of Nevada Hispanic voters is that the big issue for them is not amnesty, it’s that they were just hammered by the mortgage meltdown of 2007-2008. Nevada long led the country in foreclosures. Nevada Latinos were flying high during the Bush Bubble, but haven’t forgiven Republicans since for their defaulting. How amnesty will cure that for Republicans is a mystery.

Let’s briefly look at the national level. A one-word characterization of Mitt Romney’s campaign would be bloodless. He stressed serious, respectable issues involving entitlements and taxes. He avoided any mention of anything ungentlemanly. Unfortunately for Romney, he’s living in a time that our leading man of letters calls the age of Back to Blood.

In contrast, coming out of the 2010-midterm elections, Obama saw he had a real problem. The Obamamania of 2008 had carried him to a large victory over a wounded and already flawed Republican candidate. But how was he going to re-mobilize his base, which largely consists of the margins of American society, without the Hope and Change piffle of 2008?

The Obama base is, to be blunt, the fringes. The epitome of Romney’s base is the married white father, while the essence of Obama’s base is the single black mother. Obama’s base hadn’t bothered to show up to vote in 2010, so how was he going to motivate them in 2012? The former are a lot more likely to vote out of a sense of civic duty, while the latter need some emotional motivation.

Here’s a table of data I published on just after the election that clearly shows the Core v. Fringe distinction:

Reuters-Ipsos Exit Poll Romney’s Share Sample Size
Mormons 86 percent 766
Married white Prot. 74 percent 11,761
White Protestants 70 percent 15,732
Married white men 65 percent 7,001
Married whites 63 percent 24,176
Married white women 62 percent 17,175
White Catholics 57 percent 8,173
Whites 58 percent 34,446
Married men 58 percent 7,910
Marrieds 57 percent 27,106
Homeowners 55 percent 31,163
Married women 55 percent 19,196
Single white men 51 percent 3,383
Married other races 48 percent 958
Men 51 percent 12,002
All Voters (2 candidate) 48 percent 40,000
Single whites 48 percent 10,270
Women 47 percent 27,997
Single white women 44 percent 6,886
Other races 39 percent 1,642
Married Hispanics 35 percent 928
Single men 39 percent 4,092
Married Jewish men 40 percent 419
Hispanics 28 percent 1,584
Singles 35 percent 12,894
Renters 33 percent 8,835
Single Jewish men 30 percent 163
Married Jewish women 34 percent 652
Bisexuals 25 percent 616
“Other orientations” 31 percent 229
Single other races 28 percent 684
Single women 31 percent 8,801
Single Hispanics 21 percent 656
Hindus 23 percent 101
Single Jewish women 23 percent 328
Gays/lesbians 16 percent 976
Blacks 3 percent 2,087
Black single women 2 percent 925

At the top are Mormons at 86 percent for Romney. Now, obviously, Mormons are a minority, but they’re increasingly the only minority group in modern American that still tries to act like they’re part of the core.

Then come married white Protestants (74 percent), then white Protestants, married white men, married whites, married white women, white Catholics, whites, married men, marrieds of both sexes, homeowners, married women, single white men, married other races and men in general.

At the bottom are black single women at 2 percent for Romney. Then blacks, gays and lesbians, single Jewish women, Hindus, single Hispanics, single women, single other races, other orientations. I’m going to stop there. “Other orientations” comes from the sexual orientation question. They gave you four choices: heterosexual, homosexual, bisexual; and for those who didn’t find those adequate, “other” was a choice. The Other Orientation folks went strongly for Obama.

Obviously, this turned into an election based on identity, on whether people felt themselves in the core of America or in the fringe of America. The core versus fringe can be defined in a couple of ways. For example, over multi-generational periods, do you come from people who settled this country a long time ago, or are you, say, an immigrant from Somalia who is now going to gift us with all the lessons that Somalis have developed over the eons on how to run a successful country?

Or, on a personal level, are you somebody who is married, has stayed married, has children, owns a home, and is employed? Or are you somebody who’s single, renting, who basically doesn’t find your life satisfactory and is looking for somebody to blame?

The way the Obama campaign turned out their base was to whip up feelings of resentment toward core Americans, toward those people whose ancestors had built the country, who largely keep it running today and who in their personal lives have done a pretty good job of keeping their act together.

Obama did a spectacular job of taking those two kinds of people from the fringe, and telling them that they should resent the white married people of America, the ones who own their homes, the ones whose grandparents helped make this country, and that there’s something shameful, unfair, or at least uncool, about coming from the core of America.

It was a brilliant strategy. Obama ran a really ugly, nasty campaign full of subliminal hatred. The Obama campaign did a good job keeping the stew of ill will they were brewing somewhat under wraps until after the votes were counted. But in the days following the election, out came pouring the chest-beating Suck-It-White-Boy exultation, the mindless fury at the losing white male bogeyman for being old and white, but, mostly, for losing.

The Republican Brain Trust now assumes that the way to solve this problem is via amnesty, just like their good friends the Democrats keep telling them. Amnesty, however, will be seen as white America’s surrender declaration, as an official invitation to kick the former top dogs while they’re down. And who can be expected to resist that?

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Ever since last November’s election, we’ve been hearing that Hispanics comprised a record 10 percent of the vote—which therefore obliges Republican Congressmen to pass “comprehensive immigration reform” a.k.a the Schumer-Rubio Amnesty/ Immigration Surge bill RIGHT NOW.

For example:

National exit polls showed that 10 percent of the electorate was Hispanic, compared with 9 percent in 2008 and 8 percent in 2004. … A growing perception of hostility toward illegal immigrants by Republican candidates is driving many Latinos to the polls.

[Growing share of Hispanic voters helped push Obama to victory, By Donna St. George and Brady Dennis, Washington Post, November 7, 2012]

But what if these nice, round turnout numbers provided by the Edison exit poll company weren’t true? What if the “Comprehensive Immigration Reform” clamor is based on exit poll error?

What if in 2012 the Sleeping Giant of the Latino Vote didn’t actually awake—but instead rolled over and started a new siesta?

In short, what if the Main Stream Media exaggerated the Hispanic share of the 2012 vote by a factor of almost 20 percent?

Well, we now have the numbers. We now know that the suppositions behind these awkward questions are true.

After every national election, the Census Bureau conducts a massive survey of voter turnout. Then it bureaucratically mulls over the results for months—while the conventional wisdom congeals around whatever slapdash numbers the exit poll firm emitted in the early going.

In contrast to the Census Bureau survey, though, exit polls aren’t designed to measure turnout. Heck, exit polls aren’t even very good at figuring out who won the election—just ask President John F. Kerry.

Exit polls can’t be based on the random samples that would be needed to measure turnout accurately, because the exit poll company has to bake a forecast of the electorate’s demographics into its plan of which precincts to send workers to cover. Not surprisingly, it tends to get back the results it anticipated.

Moreover, Hispanics are both of interest to sponsors and difficult to survey (they can need Spanish-speaking pollsters). So their needs are typically given more weight in planning the exit poll. The result: national exit polls have overstated the Hispanic share of the vote at least since 2000.

Now, finally, on May 9, the Current Population Survey division of the Census Bureau has issued its turnout report, scintillatingly titled The Diversifying Electorate—Voting Rates by Race and Hispanic Origin in 2012 (and Other Recent Elections)[PDF]

Despite the title, it makes compelling reading.

It turns out that the official best estimate of the Latino share of 2012 voters isn’t 10 percent—but merely 8.4 percent:

It turns out that the official best estimate of the Latino share of 2012 voters isn’t 10 percent—but merely 8.4 percent

So the standard story you’ve been hearing in the MSM for almost seven months is indeed inflated by 19 percent.

But what can you expect … because the conventional wisdom as embodied in that Washington Post story has been exaggerated for, roughly, ever.

Hispanics didn’t account for 9 percent of the 2008 electorate, but 7.4 percent. And in 2004, they weren’t 8 percent, but 6.0 percent. Way back in 2000, the exit poll claimed that Hispanics made up 7 percent, but the real number turned out to be 5.4 percent, as I reported for UPI on July 24, 2001. [Mexican-American Vote Smaller than Many Think]

But who did turn out in 2012 to drive Obama to victory? Who was the fresh new face of the American electorate in 2012?

Old black ladies.

According to the Census survey, fans of Tyler Perry movies voted in remarkable numbers in 2012—even more than in Obama’s first victory in 2008.

Unsurprisingly, given Obama’s candidacy, from 2004 to 2008 the number of black voters had grown 15 percent.

Unexpectedly, however, blacks added another 10 percent to their vote total from 2008 to 2012. Nationally, 66.2 percent of eligible blacks voted compared to 64.1 percent of whites, 48.0 percent of Hispanics, and 47.3 percent of Asians.

Nationally, 66.2 percent of eligible blacks voted compared to 64.1 percent of whites, 48.0 percent of Hispanics, and 47.3 percen

Thus in the crucial battleground state of Ohio, blacks achieved a voting rate of 71.7 percent compared to 61.9 percent for whites.

Overall, the raw black vote total grew more than even the Hispanic vote from 2008 to 2012: an incremental 1.68 million for blacks versus 1.44 million for Hispanics, and a decline of 2.00 million for whites.

Among blacks, older women were the most diligent at increasing their turnout in 2012.

The Census Bureau explains:

In 2012, overall turnout rates decreased in comparison with both 2004 and 2008, a drop in voting characterized by large decreases in youth voting rates for all race groups and Hispanics. The only subgroups showing voting rate increases in 2012 were blacks between the ages of 45 to 64 and 65 years of age and over.

This growth in black turnout was particularly concentrated among those over age 65. Also, black women traditionally vote at significantly higher rates than black men, and the black gender gap in turnout hit a new record in 2012.[For First Time on Record, Black Voting Rate Outpaced Rate for Whites in 2012,By Sarah Wheaton, Ne w York Times, May 8, 2013]

So why did so many old black ladies bother to vote in 2012?

To express racial solidarity. To win. To ensure the White House stays black.

Old black ladies are American citizens. They are more than entitled to show up at the polls and vote for a credit to their race like Barack Obama.

But they are not exactly The Wave of the Future. The vast enthusiasm that Obama excited among aged African-Americans is not a logical reason to put Hispanic illegal aliens on the voting rolls.

But that is in fact the standard logic.

It’s worth noting that the Democrats are perfecting racial dog whistling with their constant claims that Republicans are trying to strip the vote from minorities, assertions that seemingly resounded with elderly blacks.

Black news site The Root reported:

The NAACP also credited its leadership in the pitched battle against Republican-led state voting restrictions such as photo-identification laws. Numerous civil rights groups and the Obama team fomented a backlash among black voters with a “Don’t let them take away your vote!” message.

[Black Voter Turnout Is Up. Will That Persist?, By Corey Dale, May 12, 2013]

This crowing by the NAACP, normally a dusty yesterday’s-news organization, is not unreasonable: The Census Bureau study suggests the NAACP really did help generate a backlash among elderly blacks.

From a game theory standpoint, the Democrats would want to cheat at least enough to cause Republicans to react to their cheating by proposing legislation to protect the validity of the vote. The Democrats can then rile up blacks with the message that Republicans are trying to take their votes away.

It seems to have worked.

In contrast to the fervent black effort to re-elect Obama, whites were strikingly unmotivated by Romney. The total white vote dropped from 100 million in 2008 to 98 million in 2012 (down two percent). Only 64.1 percent of eligible whites voted in 2012, down from 66.1 percent in 2008 and 67.2 percent in the recent high-water mark year of 2004. This was the first time in the history of the Census survey that whites were not the highest-ranking group in terms of their rate of voting.

Among Hispanics eligible to vote, gross numbers continued to rise—but the rate of those taking the trouble to vote dropped from 49.9 to 48.0 percent. The number of Hispanics who claimed to be eligible but didn’t bother to get to the polls soared from 9.8 million to 12.1 million.

In a strikingly independent-minded column in the Washington Post, of all outlets, Esther J. Cepeda noted the slack Hispanic turnout in 2012:

After nearly a year of breathless reports about how Latinos were going to trip over themselves to get to the polls and vote against Mitt Romney’s hardline immigration stance — remember Time magazine’s Spanish-language cover “Yo Decido”? — the reality is less dramatic.

[The GOP’s Hispanic problem, May 15, 2013]

Cepeda noted, for perhaps the first time in the history of the Washington Post, the self-interest behind the spin:

The reason you don’t hear much about these sobering numbers from the Hispanic advocacy organizations—as opposed to how they react with any statistic even remotely suggesting an impending Latino supremacy—is obvious. After all, immigration reform is only in play because Republicans are scared witless that unfavorable Latino voting power will sink their party in upcoming elections.

But how true can this be when fewer Latino voters bothered to vote in a contest featuring an incumbent Democrat and a Hispanically tone-deaf Republican candidate who could never quite get past “self-deportation” than in 2008, when Barack Obama and John McCain—a longtime supporter of immigration reform—were running?

Some other points from the Census survey: Naturalized immigrants made up only 7.0 percent of the 2012 electorate. Conversely, native sons and daughters comprised 93.0 percent of the vote.

Even among Hispanics, immigrants accounted for only 27.3 percent of their voters (in other words, 72.7 percent of the Hispanics who voted in 2012 were born in this country).

Needless to say, this ought to raise the interesting question: just how much do actual Hispanic voters care about immigration?

After all, Hispanics who vote tend not to be terribly young, so they are generally removed from their ancestors’ immigration by quite a few decades.

The GOP has dug itself quite a hole by its complacency about immigration.

But the conventional wisdom that it must immediately consent to “a path to citizenship” for illegal aliens—let alone, for reasons that are never explained, simultaneously increasing legal immigration from its already record level—is a transparent Democratic Electing-A-New-People ploy that persuades only the innumerate (or corrupt) among the Republican Brain Trust.

Steve Sailer (email him) is movie critic for The American Conservative and writes regularly for Takimag. His features his daily blog. His book, AMERICA’S HALF-BLOOD PRINCE: BARACK OBAMA’S “STORY OF RACE AND INHERITANCE”, is available here and here (Kindle)

(Republished from by permission of author or representative)
• Category: Ideology • Tags: 2012 Election, VDare Archives 
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Below is the single most extraordinary chart explaining the results of the recent Presidential election:

Below is the single most extraordinary chart explaining the results of the recent Presidential election

It’s widely assumed in the press that victory in the Electoral College is determined by the Gender Gap or by the Rising Tide of Hispanic Voters or whatever. But in fact the relationship between these demographic factors and whether a state votes Republican or Democratic in the four Presidential elections of this century has been relatively weak.

Despite the increasing importance of nonwhite voters, what still determines Presidential elections is a fundamental divide among whites over the very basics of life. Thus, an extremely obscure statistic measuring marriage among younger white women that I debuted here on in December 2004 correlates sensationally with Electoral Votes.

This metric: average years married among white women ages 18 to 44 on the 2000 Census (what I’ll call “Years Married” for short).

“Years Married” had its best won-loss record yet in 2012. Mitt Romney carried 23 of the 24 highest-ranked states. Barack Obama won 25 of the 26 lowest-ranked states.

In my chart above, the length of each state’s bar indicates the average number of years that a white woman 18-44 can expect to be married. Romney’s states are colored in the now traditional Republican red and Obama’s in Democratic blue, with Romney’s share of the two-party vote next to the name of the state.

At the top of the chart is Utah, where white women average 17.0 Years Married and Romney won 75 percent. At the bottom are Massachusetts and California.

In Massachusetts, white women average only 12.2 Years Married and Romney was beaten roughly 5 to 3.

(I left off the District of Columbia, a nonstate that gets three Electoral Votes. White women only average 7.4 Years Married there, and Romney won merely 7 percent in the capital.)

The sole anomalies were Obama capturing Iowa (which is 21st in Years Married) and Romney taking Arizona (41st).

Republicans need to ask themselves seriously why they didn’t win Iowa. Don’t ask: “What’s the Matter with Iowa?” Instead, ask: “What’s the matter with the GOP that they can’t win a respectable state like Iowa?

As for Arizona, I suspect that it’s culturally an exurb of Hollywood, but politically it’s an exurb of Orange County. This may help explain the virulence of the New York Times’ long-running war on Arizona: the Grand Canyon state is supposed to turn into California Jr., not into something new.

More on this Years Married statistic: please note that it is not a measurement of white people getting married in that state. Otherwise,Nevada, with its 24-hour wedding chapels, would be near the top of the list.

Years Married is a measurement of white people being married. Thus, states with high rates of both marriage and divorce, such as Oklahoma(unofficial state song: George Strait’s “All My Exes Live in Texas”), don’t perform quite as well as stable Utah.

The best predictor of Republican performance isn’t the rate of gettingmarried—because if you have a state where a lot of people get married and then they turn around and get divorced, that doesn’t do the Republicans as much good. Divorced white people vote Republican less than 45 percent of the time, while over 63 percent of married white people go GOP. In short, Republicans do well among people who get married and stay married.

To demonstrate how stunningly sorted into red and blue this Years Married graph is, let’s compare it to a more celebrated demographic statistic: Percent Nonwhite.

Lately, everybody has been talking about how the growing nonwhite share of the population hurts the GOP (Peter Brimelow has been talking about this for 16 years).

And, that’s true. It does.

Yet, when you graph it out state by state, the red-blue divide isn’t as clear. At the top of the chart are the whitest states, Maine and Vermont, which Romney lost in landslides. Then West Virginia, New Hampshire, North Dakota, and Iowa. Not much of a pattern.

Percent Nonwhite By State 2012 Election

If you look at this chart very carefully, you can see a little more Republican red toward the top and a little more Democratic blue at the bottom…but nothing like the Years Married graph.

This is not at all to say that Percent Nonwhite is unimportant to election results—just that the real world is complicated. Percent Nonwhite correlates with Romney’s share of the vote in the fifty states at -0.32: a low to moderate negative correlation. (It’s stronger if Washington D.C. is included.) This is the kind of hodge-podge you normally see when you graph a single factor that impacts voting.

As I pointed out back in 2000, having a lot of blacks in a state tends to drive whites to the Republicans, while having a lot of Asians seems to make whites more liberal, with Hispanics in-between.

You might think, reasonably enough, that this 2012 Years Married result must be a one-time fluke. Maybe it was the result of the personal characteristics of Mitt Romney, a philoprogenitive Mormon who had 43 years married and 23 descendants?

But in 2008, John McCain carried 19 of the top 20 states on this same metric, while Obama captured the 25 of the bottom 26.

Here’s the 2008 chart:

 2008 chart

As I said, I discovered Years Married right after the 2004 election. Unsurprisingly, it worked really well then, too, with George W. Bush winning the top 25 states and John F. Kerry 15 of the bottom 18:

I discovered Years Married right after the 2004 election. Unsurprisingly, it worked really well then, too.

And, finally, there’s 2000, when Bush took the top 25 states and Gore 14 of the bottom 17.

2000, when Bush took the top 25 states and Gore 14 of the bottom 17.

You may be wondering: Why white people? Why not measure Years Married for everybody? The short answer is: that’s what works best.

There is a higher correlation with the Republican candidates’ performance and Years Married among whites than with Years Married among the entire population. Conversely, Years Married among whites correlates better with the GOP’s share of the overall vote than with its share of the white vote.

You could accuse me of “data dredging”—trawling through many possible correlations looking for whatever turns out highest by random luck. But when I dreamed up my Years Married statistic in late 2004, it worked amazing well for two elections. It didn’t project all that well farther back into the past due to Ross Perot’s third party runs in 1992 and 1996. But it has since worked well for two subsequent elections. What more can we ask of a statistic?

It took me a long time to find the single measurement that best correlated with voting by state. Way back in July 2000, I noted here at that the most liberal state, Vermont, had the lowest total fertility while the most conservative state, Utah, had the highest. After the 2000 election, I explained for UPI that Bush had carried the 19 states with the highest white birthrates.

Immediately following the 2004 election, I pointed out in my Baby Gap article The American Conservative that the “total fertility rate” among whites was an uncanny predictor of overall voting by state.

Over the next couple of weeks in late 2004, I worked out how to create an age-adjusted measurement of being married. I reported in in “The Marriage Gap” on December 12, 2004 that the rate of being married among white women 18-44 in the 2000 Census had the highest single correlation with voting GOP.

I then fortified my theory by including the impact of geography on home prices—“The Dirt Gap”—which, in turn, determines the “Mortgage Gap.” In places where family formation is more affordable, the “family values” party does better.

Recently, political scientist George Hawley of the University of Houston has confirmed my state-based theory at the county level in a study published in the academic journal Party Politics: Home affordability, female marriage rates and vote choice in the 2000 US presidential election: Evidence from US counties. [February 24, 2011]

After a lengthy review of academic articles on voting, Hawley writes:

The possible relationship between home affordability and aggregate voting trends has largely been ignored up until now by the political science literature, though the topic has been considered by the political journalist Steven Sailer (2008). Sailer hypothesized that “affordable family formation”—which he argued was closely related to housing costs – was a key difference between majority-Republican states and majority-Democrat states. Sailer went on to conclude that the relative affordability of housing accounted for the differing typical political behavior within various large cities. Sailer suggested that the relative costliness of owning a home in America’s large coastal cities, such as Los Angeles, led to later family formation, which partially explained the greater support for Democratic politicians in those cities and regions. In contrast, inland American cities like Dallas are able to expand outward all-but indefinitely, which keeps housing costs low and subsequently [makes] such cities more attractive to young families.

Hawley went on to find a statistically significant effect at the county level in the 2000 election. In all likelihood, other scholars could find similar county results in the three subsequent elections. (In other words, if you are an academic social scientist searching for an important result to publish, check out 2004, 2008, and 2012.)

It’s worth looking at my scatter plots of the correlations. First, here’s Romney’s share of the two-party vote on the vertical axis vs. the 2002 total fertility rate for white women on the horizontal axis. The isolate in the lower left corner is Washington D.C., while Utah is in the upper right corner.

The isolate in the lower left corner is Washington D.C., while Utah is in the upper right corner.

The federal government doesn’t go around calculating for every state, total fertility for white women very often, so I’m using 2002 numbers. They’re ten years out of date, but this is still a pretty good correlation: including D.C., the correlation coefficient is 0.83.

Psychometrician Linda Gottfredson likes to say that in the social sciences, a correlation of 0.2 can be thought of as “low,” 0.4 as “moderate,” and 0.6 as “high.” So, anything above 0.8 must be very high.

The scatter plot for Years Married is even tighter.

The scatter plot for Years Married is even tighter.

The correlation is 0.88.

If we exclude Washington D.C. as an outlier, the correlation is still 0.84.

The correlations between the 2000 Years Married and the GOP’s share of the vote has been very high since 2000. Including Washington D.C. pumps up the correlations to stupendous levels, but they’re still jaw dropping without D.C.:

The correlations between the 2000 Years Married and the GOP's share of the vote has been very high since 2000.

Let’s explore the interplay of marriage and fertility for each state, calculating a ratio versus the national average of 100. It’s not easy to put each state on a graph, so I’ve come up with a Bar Chart Without the Bars that just displays the numbers in the appropriate locations.

Yes, that sounds odd, but check it out and I think you’ll see that it’s usable. The states are sorted in descending order of Romney’s share. Romney’s best state was Utah, where the white Years Married rate (dark type) is 121 percent of the national mean and the white Total Fertility Rate (red type) is 134 percent.

he states are sorted in descending order of Romney’s share.

It’s easy to spot that the only states with exceptionally high white fertility are Mormon Utah and empty Alaska. Strong Republican states tend to have higher white marriage rates than fertility rates. This is especially apparent in deep southern states such as Alabama. Strong Democratic states tend to have low white fertility.

California, the leading prize in the Electoral College, is down toward the bottom at 89% of the national white average for marriage and 90% for fertility. It is therefore not that surprising that what used to be the keystone to Republican success in the Electoral College, voting Republican 9 out of 10 times between 1952 and 1988, has now gone solidly liberal, with Obama winning the white vote in California in 2012. )In the Narrative, California is always about Proposition 187, but it had already switched to Democrat in the 1992 Democratic election, two years before).

And Republicans can’t exactly expect to carry any state where they lose the white vote.

California used to be the paradise for the common man. Housing was no more expensive than in the rest of the country and the public schools were good. Inevitably, there was a huge influx from the other states, driving up real estate prices. But, quite evitably, there was gigantic illegal immigration into California, which devastated the public schools.

That all makes people wonder, well, if I can’t afford a house should we really bother to get married, and even if we can afford a house can we afford one in a good school district like Los Virgenes? Or are our kids going to be stuck in classrooms overwhelmed by the children of illegal immigrants?

And if we can’t really afford private school, or a house in an expensive school district, then what’s the point of having kids?

And if we’re not going to have kids, what’s the point of getting married at all?

And if we’re not married, then don’t those Republican politicians get on your nerves with all their family values talk?

In summary, what all this suggests is, that rather than try to manipulate voting the way Bush and Rove did through boosting subprime loans to Hispanics, what Republicans need to study is: what makes white people get married—stay married—and want to have children.

I suspect that what the government can influence comes down to affordability: the cost of real estate; and satisfactoriness of public schools.

What the Years Married measure implies is that the people who vote Republican tend to be happy white people.

Therefore, it’s in the self-interest of Republican politicians to try to make white people happy.

Hint: Mass, non-traditional, immigration is not the answer.

Steve Sailer (email him) is movie critic for The American Conservative and writes regularly for Takimag. His features his daily blog. His book,AMERICA’S HALF-BLOOD PRINCE: BARACK OBAMA’S “STORY OF RACE AND INHERITANCE”, is available here and here (Kindle)

(Republished from by permission of author or representative)
• Category: Ideology • Tags: 2012 Election, VDare Archives 
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What can we learn from the 2012 Presidential election?

How about this? In politics (as we might have occasionally mentioned over the dozen years of’s existence) demography is destiny.

Mainstream Republicans appear to be waking up to a reality that they’ve gone out of their way to not think about in the 15 years since Peter Brimelow and Ed Rubenstein pointed out that immigration-driven demographic change was bad for the GOP.

But, not having exercised their intellects about demographics over the intervening years, the first reaction of the Republican brain trust has been to grab the helpful advice of their Democratic colleagues:capitulate on Amnesty!!!

Nothing generates respect more than weakness and surrender, right?

The Democrats, these GOP strategists apparently reckon, have outsmarted us on demographics. So, being smart, they must know what is good for us, right?

After all, the only alternative would be to think for ourselves. And thinking makes our heads overheat.

However, for those of us who do think about demographics, here are two fairly good sources of data. One has gotten close to zero attention.

Here’s a chart you won’t see elsewhere:

Chart By Steve Sailer; Exit Polling By Reuters-Ipsos, Sample Size 40,000.

Chart By Steve Sailer; Exit Polling By Reuters-Ipsos, Sample Size 40,000.

Before the election, I presented demographic data on 7,500 likely voters collected in October by Reuters in conjunction with the French polling firm Ipsos. What I now present above are some of their new November election numbers, using their huge sample of 41,227 actual voters. My bar chart is arranged in rank order of each group’s share of the vote going to Romney—from black single women at 2.4 percent to Mormons at 85.9 percent.

As you can see, although Obama claimed to be a uniter in 2008, in fact his 2012 campaign was scientifically divisive. The Obama coalition of fringe elements in American society is united by one main driving force: resentment of the core groups in American society—such as married white people. Hence the vitriol from the victors since Tuesday, with much chest pounding about the long-hoped for death of white America.

My bar chart was created with the help of Reuters’ superb website at American Mosaic Polling Explorer, which lets let you crosstab their data any way you like. The existence of this resource appears to be the best kept secret in the Main Stream Media. Nobody except Reuters is talking about it.

Instead, the MSM is going with the Edison exit poll, which has a sample size of 26,565. This is understandable, because the MSM paid for Edison. But it means we’re getting the same old prefab crosstabs that don’t answer the truly interesting questions.

The Edison sample size used to be enormous (almost 88,000 in 2004). Recently, however, it’s been scaled back to save money. For example, Edison didn’t release any exit polls on the voting in Texas, the country’s second biggest state, without whose 34 Electoral Votes no Republican seems likely to ever be elected President again, because its sampling was so sparse in that Republican state.

Which ought to raise a red flag about the headline news from Edison: Hispanics cast ten percent of the national vote in 2012. But how can you be so sure about the Latino vote if you barely sampled in Texas?

Overall, exit polls are not well suited for measuring turnout. The pollsters have to decide ahead of time which precincts to hire workers to cover, so they need a model of whom they expect will vote in what numbers. Not surprisingly, they tend to get back roughly the results they anticipated.

Another dirty secret: exit poll data of whatever origin typically gets massaged by the firm immediately after the election to make it match up better with actual vote totals. I can recall, for instance, Edison’s demographics shifting dramatically on my screen in the wee hours of Election Night 2004, as all evidence of their initial report of the triumph of President-Elect Kerry had to be crammed down the memory hole.

It took a couple of months of Michelle Malkin, myself and others pointing out that Edison’s celebrated report of Bush taking 44 percent of the Hispanic vote didn’t jibe with the actual votes before Edison finally retracted that guesstimate in early 2005. By then, it had become an apparently unkillable myth.

Indeed, Edison’s exit polling has had a track record of overestimating the size of the Hispanic vote. It usually reports a dramatic number deceptively higher than the big, carefully controlled Census Bureau survey reports that appear several months after the election—when nobody in the MSM pays attention. Edison’s attitude seems to be: If we’re off by four or eight or twelve years, it’s no biggie.

I’m not going to make a big deal about this either. I don’t have any more idea than Edison does what percentage of the vote was Hispanic. But I do know it ought to go through the formality of becoming true.

The Edison poll is a mixture of in-person interviews at voting locations and phone calls, whereas the Reuters poll is mostly an online panel. Cyberspace makes it cheap to sample all over. Thus in Texas, Reuters is able to report that Romney won only 37 percent of the growing Hispanic vote. That’s quite a bit better than Romney did nationally. But of course it is still ominous for the long-term future of the Republican Party. If Texas follows California from red to blue, it’s Game Over in the Electoral College.

Nevertheless, unless the Republican Big Boys cave in to putting illegal aliens on the “path to citizenship,” it’s not a near-term threat—because Romney won a stunning 76 percent of the white vote in Texas, to canter to an easy victory.

White solidarity in Texas is likely to keep the Republicans viable in the White House hunt for a few more elections.

Of course, the Republicans can’t win more than 100 percent of the white vote in Texas. The distant future does look dire for them…unless they DO something about immigration.

Note that, in 2008, the GOP nominated John McCai n, sponsor of the 2006 amnesty bill with Ted Kennedy. According to the conventional wisdom that Hispanic voters only care about immigration, McCain should have been a great choice. Instead, he only earned 31 percent of the Latino vote—not significantly better than Romney’s 28.3%, according to Reuters.

Note also, for the record, that Reuters/ Ipsos shows Romney’s overall white share as just 58.1% vs. Edison’s 59%. This makes it clearer that Romney’s white share remained stuck at the high end of the mediocre post-Reagan range. (More comparisons here).

Having a second opinion from Reuters is particularly helpful for small sample size groups. For example, both Edison and Reuters report that Jewish support for Romney rose from the Obamamania depths of 2008. Edison has Romney’s 2012 Jewish vote at 30 percent and Reuters at 34 percent. If you assume Jewish opinion tends to be out in front of the rest of the public, that bodes a modest amount of ill for Obama’s second term.

And what about the Asian vote, which Edison reported as an unprecedentedly low 26 percent for the Republican candidate? Is that a trend? Or a small sample size fluke? (In contrast, Edison says the enigmatic “Other” racial category gave 38 percent to Romney.)

Unfortunately, Reuters just lumps Asians in with all “Other Minorities.” Of that group, 38 percent voted for Romney.

So I would say the jury remains out on the interesting question: Is legal immigration from Asia disastrous for the GOP—or just bad?

Thanks again, Wall Street Journal Edit Page!

Finally, there’s another finding from the Reuters data that’s not widely comprehended yet.

Romney could have won the Electoral College in what can be called the Big Ten states (after the college football conference of the Great Lakes and Upper Midwest: remember, Illinois and Michigan each have two teams in the Big Ten). He did win Indiana, and he lost Obama’s home state of Illinois badly. The other six states in this region, however, all slipped through his fingers: Iowa, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio, and Pennsylvania.

In each of these Slippery Six states, Romney won at least 45 percent of the vote. But he still wound up a cumulative 0 for 80 in Electoral Votes. If Romney, rather than Obama, had won all six, he’d be President.

The Slippery Six are states with old-fashioned white and black voting demographics, still with a smattering of old time unionized factory workers. Hispanics, much less Asians, are, for the moment, still a minor matter politically.

According to Reuters, Romney lost the Slippery Six states because (exactly as warned repeatedly while digging white share data out of reluctant tracking polls, see here and here and here), he did badly there among white voters—winning only 52 percent, six points worse than nationally.

Most notably, Romney did terribly among the white working class in these six states. Thus he did only two points worse among whites with college degrees in the Slippery Six than he did nationally. But among the white “some college” component, he came in six points worse than nationally. And among the white “no college” voters, he performed 11 points worse than across the country—finishing tied with Obama.

In fact (although sample sizes are getting small), Romney even appears to have suffered the ignominy of a reverse gender gap among no-college whites in the Slippery Six—winning 51.4 percent of the women, but only 48 percent of the white working class men.

So the hidden story of the 2012 election just might come down to Romney not appealing to blue collar white guys in this swing region. Or you could attribute it to the immensely rich Obama campaign’s relentless negative advertising all summer depicting Romney as an outsourcing zillionaire.

But, how much did Romney offer working class whites in this swing region? Did they have much cause for hope that he’d take a strong stand against legal and illegal immigration? Affirmative Action? How about some public sympathy about their difficulties with influxes of Section 8 renters, whom rich liberals have been evicting from Chicago lakefront housing projects? Is that fair?

No—but mentioning it is divisive!

It’s much less controversial for Republicans just to stick to “economism”…and lose.

Steve Sailer (email him) is movie critic for The American Conservative and writes regularly for Takimag. His features his daily blog. His book,AMERICA’S HALF-BLOOD PRINCE: BARACK OBAMA’S “STORY OF RACE AND INHERITANCE”, is available here and here (Kindle)

(Republished from by permission of author or representative)
• Category: Ideology • Tags: 2012 Election, VDare Archives 
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The calcifying influence of Democratic talking points on Main Stream Media [MSM] minds can be measured using Google News. Just type in

“War on Women” Romney

and you will find about 11,400 recent articles. In turn,

“Gender Gap” Romney

brings up 17,900 current news stories about this massive problem for Republicans.

On the other hand, enter into Google News

“Marriage Gap” Obama

and you’ll get a half dozen hits.

Yet the Marriage Gap in the 2012 election will be much larger than the Gender Gap—just as it has been in numerous previous elections, such as 2008 and 2004. In the 2008 exit poll, the Gender Gap was five points while the Marriage Gap was 19. Few commentators noticed, however, in part because the Gender Gap was the first result cited by CNN’s exit poll website, while the Marriage Gap was the 37th.

Barack Obama will win in a landslide among singles (i.e., never married,cohabitating, divorced, or separated). In contrast, Mitt Romney will cruise to victory among the married / widowed. (The widowed tend Republican, although not as much as the married do. I’m grouping the widowed in with the married in this analysis because widowhood is a natural outcome of marriage.)

There are several reasons why the Marriage Gap is so little discussed—some technical, some profound.

  • Technical

In the past, it’s been hard to check under the hood of polling data. The right to crosstab data the way you want to see it has typically been restricted to paying customers. Campaign professionals, such as Clinton pollster Stanley Greenberg, have long been dissecting the data to advise their clients on the centrality of the Marriage Gap. But that’s too much work for the MSM.

Fortunately, Reuters now offers a free site that allows crosstabbing. In conjunction with Ipsos, Reuters has been running an Obama v. Romney poll all year, with a healthy sample size of 11,000 respondents per month.

To convert the Reuters graphs into useful answers to important questions requires a fair amount of number-crunching, so I’ve built a spreadsheet to do this. The two charts in this article come from my analysis of Reuters-Ipsos online polling for the first three and a half weeks of October.

For what it’s worth, Reuters-Ipsos showed Obama enjoying a thin lead during the first three weeks of October, Romney then eked out a microscopic 50.2 to 49.8 lead in the current, incomplete fourth week. Overall in October, Obama led Romney 51-49 among likely voters.

(By the way, Obama is preferred 69-31 among the sizable number of people who told Reuters that they are unlikely to actually vote, presumably because they are felons, foreigners, or just not into that whole civic responsibility scene. The Gender Gap is particularly large among nonvoters. But…nonvoters don’t vote.)

My analysis won’t tell you who will win the election. Yet it will tell you with a fair degree of accuracy, well before the exit polls are in, who is going to vote for whom.

To present the demographic splits as simply as possible, I will leave out all respondents who told Reuters they were undecided, unlikely to vote, or will vote for a third party. That leaves a sample size of exactly 7,500 likely voters who have chosen between Obama and Romney.

The expedient of leaving out all the miscellaneous responses declutters the data. It means that the two candidates’ percentages must add up to 100 percent. The fellow with over 50% is, by definition, the favorite of that demographic niche. My graphs, therefore, just tell you Romney’s share of each demographic group and ignore Obama’s. If you want to know what Obama’s percentage is, just subtract Romney’s from 100.

Thus, the Gender Gap is, as I calculate it, six percentage points: Among likely voters, 52 percent of men and 46 percent of women favored Romney.

That’s the simplest way to present the magnitude of that gap. But many journalists like to double the size of the Gender Gap by double-counting: Obama leads among women 54-46, so that’s eight points, and Romney leads among men 52-48 so that’s four points; add eight and four together and you get a Gender Gap of 12 points! That sounds a lot more important than 52 minus 46 equals six. But it’s actually the same thing, just presented more confusingly.

That Gender Gap of six points must be put in perspective, though. Note that Romney was favored by slightly over 57 percent of the married likely voters, versus less than 37 percent of the unmarried.

That’s a Marriage Gap (expressed my way) of 20 points. In other words, the gap in favoring Romney between the married and unmarried is well over three times larger than the much-touted Gender Gap.

Yellow Bars Indicate Size of Gap

Yellow Bars Indicate Size of Gap

In the graph above, the yellow portions of the bars represent the Gender and Marriage Gaps. Note that the Marriage Gap is immense among women, approaching 24 percentage points. Married women are 7 5 percent more likely than single women to vote for Romney.

Among men, the Marriage Gap is 17 points: 59% of married men favor Romney versus only 42% of single.

  • Profound (or at any rate Deep Structural/ Cultural)

In small part, the Marriage Gap is an artifact of other well-known electoral gaps. For instance, singles are disproportionately black. Blacks don’t marry much, with 72 percent of their babies born out of wedlock, and blacks, single or married, overwhelmingly support Obama.

Still, the Marriage Gap is almost as large just among whites as among the general electorate, with 65 percent of married whites favoring Romney versus only 47 percent of single whites.

Nor is the Marriage Gap just a by-product of partisan differences by age. The Marriage Gap among the key 30-something cohort of whites, for example, is about 17 points.

The Marriage Gap shows up among nearly every conceivable subgroup: Catholics, Mormons, Jews etc. For example, Romney has 39 percent of the support of married Jewish men. That’s not good, but it’s not terrible either. He attracts 33 percent of both Jewish women and single Jewish men, but he’s getting blasted among single Jewish women (21.5 percent).

However, in contrast the Marriage Gap doesn’t drive black voting, at least in 2012. Romney is drawing only three percent of married blacks versus five percent of single African-Americans.

My view: Blacks tend to see voting for Obama as a sign of racial self-respect. Hence, Obama appeals to almost all elements of the black community—including, for example, former Secretary of State Colin Powell, who has just endorsed Obama again. Powell’s colleague from the elder Bush’s White House, John Sununu, got himself in the usual trouble for pointing out that Powell’s endorsement was motivated by feelings of racial pride. But in fact these feelings are perfectly understandable.

Among Hispanics, the Marriage Gap is comparable to that among whites. But Latino voters are shifted well to the left overall. Thus 42 percent of married Hispanics favor Romney versus 30 percent of single Hispanics. That ratio (but not the absolute level) is quite similar to the 65 – 47 Marriage Gap seen among whites.

This is another piece of evidence suggesting that Hispanics are not an inherently oppositional group in the celebrated manner of blacks. Despite the diligent efforts of the MSM to radically racialize Hispanics over the immigration issue, they just don’t have a strong collective electoral identity the way African-Americans do. Latino voting patterns tend to follow white patterns, just offset to the left. The black vote, if anything, moves in opposition to the white vote.

Thus the national MSM predicted doom for the GOP in the 2010 House election because Republicans appeared finally to have turned decisively against amnesty for illegal immigrants. Yet GOP candidates drew 38 percent of Hispanic votes—an above average amount. Why? Because whites trended Republican in 2010, and Latinos, especially the sober citizen types who bother to vote in off-year elections, listen to whites more than to blacks.

What does motivate Latino voters are their individual and family characteristics. However—and unfortunately for Republican candidates—those personal factors incline most Hispanics to vote Democratic, for perfectly rational reasons quite independent of immigration policy.

For instance, one reason why Hispanics are so Democratic is that they have lower rates of being married. The illegitimacy rate among Hispanics is over 53 percent. And it’s higher among American-born than foreign-born Latinos. The conventional wisdom that Latinos are sure to convert to Republicanism if only the GOP will invite millions more immigrants more looks pretty dubious.

The American chattering class dreams up fantasies about Hispanic family values. But the depressing reality is that the Latin Americans who sneak into the U.S. typically are from way down the social scale in their own countries—and they and their descendants stay pretty far down in the U.S. As Charles Murray documented in Coming Apart, downscale people tend to be victims to their passions and lack of future orientation, which causes family chaos—especially, for reasons that bear examination, in the late 20th century. Bringing in millions of lower class foreigners just leads to a larger fraction of “random families” in need of social workers and other government-employed minders.

The good news, at least for Republicans (and America): the Marriage Gap is somewhat more amenable than the Gender Gap to government policy.

The ratio of males to females is determined largely by nature (and by the Gender Gap in smoking a few decades ago). But whether Americans get married or not is largely determined by how affordable they find family formation. And, as Benjamin Franklin pointed out in 1751, immigration restriction is one obvious way to make marriage more affordable.

Obama campaigned as a purported uniter in 2008. But he’s running an extremely divisive campaign in 2012—emphasizing strange, symbolic micro issues of interest to only tiny numbers of voters: gays in the military; gay marriage; his mini Administrative Amnesty etc.

And that leads to a broader conclusion: Obama’s support lies in the fringes of American society, while Romney’s is found in the core. (Peter Brimelow has called this polarization Anti-America vs. America.)

Obama’s most fervent slices of the electorate are the marginalia: black single mothers, blacks, Muslims, gays/lesbians, single Jewish women, Hindus, single Hispanics, people who don’t actually expect to be part of the electorate, single women, single other races.

(And a category called “other orientations” for people who apparently consider the sexual orientation choices “straight,” “gay,” or “bisexual” too confining. I don’t even know what “other orientations” means. Please don’t write in to explain it: I don’t want to know.)

The Obama Fringe Vs. The Romney Core

Obama’s is an absurd coalition. It can be motivated only by exacerbating the bitterness of its members toward people fortunate enough to be closer to the heart of America. The correlation between being an Obama supporter and personal unhappiness, alienation, or dysfunction is not coincidental. The iconic Obama supporter is the black single mother.

Or another example: single Jewish women tend to have a lot of issues, such as: Why am I still single? This often leads to resentment of Jewish married men and their non-Jewish wives. But you’re not supposed to write about that. It’s too embarrassing. So much of single Jewish women’s anger gets channeled into more socially acceptable MSM denunciations of Angry White Men and their War on Women that allegedly causes the Gender Gap.

In contrast, Romney’s most supportive group is Mormons. Then come married white Protestants, white Protestants, married white men, married whites, married white women, white Catholics, whites, married men, and so forth: Americans who have a life.

The plan fact is that the core of Romney’s support is the core of the nation: the kind of people who built America into the world’s leading country and who still keep it running.

And that ought to be obvious to everybody.

That it’s not is a largely a testimony to the debate-shaping power of America’s Main Stream Media, heavily dominated by the Fringe—and another example of the intellectual calcification I cited at the beginning of this article.

Steve Sailer (email him) is movie critic for The American Conservativeand writes regularly for Takimag. His websitewww.iSteve.blogspot.comfeatures his daily blog. His book, AMERICA’S HALF-BLOOD PRINCE: BARACK OBAMA’S “STORY OF RACE AND INHERITANCE”, is availablehere and here (Kindle)

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• Category: Ideology • Tags: 2012 Election, VDare Archives 
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From an interview in the Los Angeles Review of Books by Kelly Candaele of John Heilemann, New York magazine’s main political correspondent.

KC: You say that Obama doesn’t like needing people. Other than a normal feeling that many people have of not liking to ask for things, what is that about? 

JH: Obama is an unusual politician. There are very few people in American politics who achieve something — not to mention the Presidency —in which the following two conditions are true: one, they don’t like people. And two, they don’t like politics. 

KC: Obama doesn’t like people? 

JH: I don’t think he doesn’t like people. I know he doesn’t like people. He’s not an extrovert; he’s an introvert. I’ve known the guy since 1988. He’s not someone who has a wide circle of friends. He’s not a backslapper and he’s not an arm-twister. He’s a more or less solitary figure who has extraordinary communicative capacities. He’s incredibly intelligent, but he’s not a guy who’s ever had a Bill Clinton-like network around him. He’s not the guy up late at night working the speed dial calling mayors, calling governors, calling CEOs. People say about Obama that it’s a mistake that he hasn’t reached out more to Republicans on Capitol Hill. I say that may be a mistake, but he also hasn’t reached out to Democrats on Capitol Hill. If you walk around [the convention] and button-hole any Democratic Senator you find on the street and ask them how many times they have received a call [from the President] to talk about politics, to talk about legislative strategy, I guarantee you won’t find a lot of people who have gotten one phone call in the last two and a half years. And many of them have never been called. 

I’m not a psychologist, so I don’t know what the root of that is. People have theories about it. But I know in practice he is a guy who likes to operate with a very tight circle around him, trusts very few people easily or entirely. He ran his campaign that way in 2008, he runs his White House that way, and he’s running his campaign that way in 2012. President Obama just doesn’t talk to too many people.

One totally unshocking revelation in Bob Woodward’s new book is that the June 2011 “golf summit” where Obama and Speaker of the House John Boehner played golf together helped the two men forge a personal bond. That’s … what people always tell you golf is for, isn’t it? The number of rounds of golf the President has played (104 at last count) is hardly excessive — when healthy Eisenhower would come close to that number in one year — but Eisenhower played with big shots to forge personal ties. Obama almost always plays with junior staffers. 
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• Tags: 2012 Election, Obama 
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A commenter points out that the Democratic Convention’s “European and Mediterranean Americans” innovation has yet to percolate to, where we read:

Groups are made up of supporters

Organizing around the issues they care about 

As a member of a group, you’ll be connected with an online and offline community of people passionate about re-electing President Obama. Pick one (or a few) to join today. 


Meanwhile, at, we find the following list of “Communities:”

Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders for Romney
Black Leadership Council
Catholics for Romney
Energy Voters for Romney
Farmers and Ranchers for Romney
Former Obama Supporters for Romney
Jewish Americans for Romney
Juntos con Romney
Lawyers for Romney
Polish Americans for Romney
Public Safety Professionals for Romney
Romney Voters for Free Enterprise
Veterans and Military Families for Romney
Women for Mitt
Young Americans for Romney 

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A commenter points to this Google nGram graph so we can see the history of the phrase used by by the Democratic National Convention for one of their 14 identity politics communities: “European and Mediterranean Americans” (of whom, we are informed by the Democrats: “The culture and history of European and Mediterranean Americans contribute to America’s unique fabric.”)

In other words, from 1800 through 2008 (the latest year Google allows), the phrase “European and Mediterranean Americans” appeared in zero books known to Google.

It appears that the term was chosen by the Democrats to represent what used to be called the “white ethnic” vote, but without using the word “white.”

The phrase “Mediterranean American” was probably chosen to represent Christian Lebanese, who aren’t from Europe in a geographic sense, but are a prosperous group. The leaves up in the air “Armenians,” who used to have a Black Sea coast and have a fairly Mediterranean culture.
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From the official Democratic Convention website, here is the “Communities” page for “European and Mediterranean Americans:”

The culture and history of European and Mediterranean Americans contribute to America’s unique fabric.


European and Mediterranean Americans will share their voices at the 2012 Democratic National Convention to keep the country moving forward.

This would seem curious, until I read another official Democratic Convention page:

2012 Democratic National Convention
Log in
European and Mediterranean Americans Come Together

Posted by Amaia Kirtland on Sep. 3, 2012

European and Mediterranean Americans met in the Ethnic Council meeting at Charlotte Convention Center on Monday, September 3 to discuss the engagement and empowerment of grassroots communities in the political process.

The Ethnic Council is a coalition of leaders representing Democrats who have organized among diverse backgrounds, faiths, ethnicities and demographic or geographic origins. At the convention, they are coming together to support President Barack Obama’s re-nomination and discuss strategies for increasing grassroots participation.

The personal stories of the delegates reflected American diversity and shared heritage. Members offered ideas about connecting with specific communities as they work to keep our country moving in the right direction.

Maryland State Senator Jim Rosapepe, an Italian-American, is excited to re-nominate President Obama. Senator Rosapepe said, “I think he stands for the values we grew up with: family, education, and community. When Italian-Americans came, we had to stand together. Italian-Americans got ahead by the way others got ahead, by standing together.”

Okay, so the point is not for, God forbid, “European and Mediterranean Americans” to “stand together,” but for, say, Italian-Americans to stand together with other Italian-American, for Irish-Americans to stand together with other Irish-American Democrats, all for the greater glory of Barack Obama.

I had never, ever heard the term “European and Mediterranean Americans” before. A look at Google suggests that it’s a novel coinage of Obama Campaign, perhaps in the last few days, perhaps much earlier. The earliest usage I can find is from an Obama 2012 page dated November 28, 2008 (that date strikes me as implausible, but possible — they were setting up Obama 2012 webpages months in 2008?):

European and Mediterranean Americans (sometimes known as Ethnic Americans) for Obama are Americans of varied backgrounds – from the newly naturalized citizen building a family and laying down roots to the fourth-generation family in the US with ties and heritage connected to the land of our ancestors. New Polish-American citizens in Toledo, Irish-Americans in Scranton, Italian-Americans in greater Detroit – these are just some of the stories of American families, stories of resounding hope and affirmation in the American dream – and it is Barack Obama’s story as well.

When viewed properly, all stories are Barack Obama’s story.

And here are all 14 official Democratic Convention “Communities:” (Interestingly, the descriptions for 11 of the groups emphasize how their respective caucuses listed will meet during the Convention. The only three groups without their own caucuses are “Americans with Disabilities,” “Labor,” and “European and Mediterranean Americans.”)


The Democratic National Convention provides a platform for representation by people of many different origins, orientations and backgrounds. To get involved with a group, find the community that best fits you and see how you can connect with others.

Select your community below:

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• Tags: 2012 Election 
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During election years, everybody is supposed to genuflect to Hispanic Numbers, although the usual acts of obeisance are often inept. For example, the Obama Administration engineered that the Democratic nomination for the U.S. Senate in Arizona go to Richard Carmona, a guy with a remarkable track record: high school dropout; Vietnam vet; sheriff; nurse; doctor; surgeon; was shot by a lunatic but the wounded Carmona pulled his gun and killed the shooter; Surgeon General under Bush; the GOP wanted him to run for Congress in 2006; but he then changed from Republican to Independent in protest over various Bush policies. 

The only problem is: Carmona’s not Mexican. He’s a Puerto Rican from New York City. This is a general problem: 35 million Mexicans in the U.S. and not a lot of amazing individuals. Thus, the recent silliness of everybody pretending the ceremonial mayor of San Antonio is really a powerhouse executive.

All immigrant groups are not created equal. Polish Catholics, for instance, appear roughly equal in number to Jews in the U.S., but have negligible clout in U.S. culture outside of maybe outfielders. Consider the Borat episode in 2006, in which Polish-American complaints about being assaulted with a giant old-fashioned Polish Joke of the kind that Yiddish-speakers brought to the U.S., and having Borat wildly celebrated by Jewish critics went virtually unheard.

Likewise, I’ve often argued that in the long run, the most important element of the current immigration mix in terms of setting the tone of politics in the future are not Mexicans, but South Asians. They are articulate in English, and are one of the few groups who seem to like to argue in public. Indians, though, seem to lack the edge, that motor of internal hostility and aggression that makes male Jews the reigning World’s Heavyweight Champs at both getting the last word and at being funny.  For example, on the Atlantic Magazine’s 2009 list of the most important pundits in America, Jewish men were over-represented by a factor of about 50.

But it’s easy to imagine a future in which Asian Indians rank second among ethnic groups in opinion-molding in America.

So, it’s important to study the voting and ideology of South Asians. They are a high income group from a socially conservative part of the world, so they are natural Republicans, right.?From the Guardian:

An impressive 84% of the 2.85 million-strong Indian-American community voted for Mr Obama in 2008, second perhaps only to African-Americans as a minority group. 

Has he still got their love? It appears so. 

According to a Pew Research Center survey released in June, 65% of Indian-Americans approve of the way Mr Obama is handling the presidency. 

Of all the Asian American groups surveyed, Indian-Americans were the most Democratic-leaning, again at 65%. Only 18% favoured Republicans.

Well, good luck Republicans with the rest of the 21st Century. You will need it.

The most obvious step is to take away South Asians’ valuable status as minorities eligible for various minority-only benefits to business. Go back to pre-1982 when they were just Caucasians not entitled to racial spoils. Right now, South Asians have a financial incentive to identify as victimized minorities — indeed, the applications Indian entrepreneurs have to fill out for government benefits in terms of procurement and loans often demand that they concoct narratives about how discriminated against they are by whites. Remove this destructive incentive and the traditional South Asian aspiration to whiteness will re-emerge.

(Republished from iSteve by permission of author or representative)
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From the Washington Post:

The elephant in the room 

By Kathleen Parker, Published: August 31 


Gazing out on the pale continent of the Republican National Convention … Where are the blacks? 

Notwithstanding the dazzling performance of Condoleezza Rice and the GOP’s raucous affection for her, African Americans are scarce in the party of Abraham Lincoln. Republicans can honestly boast of having once been the party of firsts. The first Hispanic, African American, Asian American and Native American in the Senate were all Republicans. But that was before the GOP went south, banished its centrists and embraced social conservatives in a no-exit marriage. 

The impression that Republicans don’t welcome blacks and other minorities is, however, demonstrably false. Note the number of minority Republican governors recently elected: Bobby Jindal of Louisiana, Nikki Haley of South Carolina, Brian Sandoval of Nevada and Susana Martinez of New Mexico. Even so, the party is undeniably and overwhelmingly white, and minorities (and increasingly women) don’t feel at home there. …

African Americans are not a monolithic group, obviously, and many likely would find comfort in the promises of smaller government, lower taxes, balanced budgets, school choice and so on that Mitt Romney put on the table Thursday night. But this isn’t likely to happen. A recent NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll found 0?percent support for Romney among African Americans. (Zero doesn’t necessarily mean none but is a statistical null.) Obama also leads Latinos younger than 35 and women. Romney, alas, leads whites. 

Right, because what candidate in his right mind would want a majority of the majority? Doesn’t Romney know that the majority has cooties, that white people are icky, and that it’s only because of some outmoded tradition that an individual white person’s vote still counts just as much as the vote of a cooler individual? When is somebody going to do something about that anyway? And when are white people going to stop being so racist and be more like blacks and favor Obama 100-0?

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From Slate:

Sixty percent of Milwaukee’s black voters have disappeared. … 

New data from Milwaukee give an indication of how dire the Democrats’ disappearing-voter problem already is. This spring, the League of Young Voters, which was created to mobilize young minority communities, collaborated with the liberal Wisconsin Voices coalition to dispatch teams of young canvassers. Starting in April, they spent eight weeks knocking on 120,882 doors across 208 of Milwaukee’s 317 wards to raise awareness of the gubernatorial recall election scheduled for June.  The doors had one thing in common: the voter file said they were all home to a registered voter whom a commercial data vendor had flagged as likely to be African-American. 

But the voter file represented a fiction, or at least a reality that had rapidly become out of date.  During those eight weeks, canvassers were able to successfully find and interact with only 31 percent of their targets. Twice that number were confirmed to no longer live at the address on file  — either because a structure was abandoned or condemned, or if a current resident reported that the targeted voter no longer lived there. 

Based on those results, the New Organizing Institute, a Washington-based best-practices lab for lefty field operations, extrapolated that nearly 160,000 African-American voters in Milwaukee were no longer reachable at their last documented address — representing 41 percent of the city’s 2008 electorate. 

The problem with this article is that there is no control group of other voters to see what percentage of them have disappeared.

In general, however, the Democrats would win a lot more elections if they could just find their voters to remind them that today’s Election Day and to not screw up their ballots. More people who went to the polls in Florida in 2000 wanted to vote for Al Gore than for George W. Bush, but a higher percentage of Gore voters failed to mark their ballots properly, thus giving America a second President Bush.

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I actually like Mitt Romney, but I have no idea if he’ll make a good President. 

One concern I’ve heard is the notion that he’s a prime product of the general healthiness of Mormon culture. Mormons try to set up their lives to have a lot of good influences from other Mormons around them. But it gets pretty lonely in the White House, and it’s a new set of challenges. (Also, despite his looks, he’s not young anymore.)

By way of analogy, think of the late Neil Armstrong. He was a prime product of the general healthiness of mid-20th Century American culture (which Mormons continue continue to espouse, which is why they are considered so weird and creepy today). American culture had systems in place that produced a lot of competent, brave, altruistic, and modest people, few more so than Armstrong. And part of that modesty was that he didn’t much mind being viewed less as a unique superman and more as proof that the systems worked. He didn’t run for President.

Today, we have a sense that our society’s general systems don’t work that well, so we are more invested in longshot hopes placed upon space oddities like Obama.

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From the Washington Post:

Julian Castro, Latino mayor of San Antonio, to keynote DNC convention

By Nia-Malika Henderson, Tuesday, July 31, 6:01 PM 

Eight summers ago, a fresh faced politician took to the podium for a keynote address at the Democratic convention that launched him onto the national stage and a path to the White House. 

Among the viewers of then Sen. Barack Obama’s national debut was Julian Castro, now mayor of San Antonio, who will follow in Obama’s footsteps as keynote speaker at the Democratic convention this year in Charlotte. 

In picking Castro, Democrats are acknowledging the power of the Latino vote in the 2012 race for the White House and the changing demographics across the country. In attempting to fill Obama’s shoes, Castro, 37, is set to raise his national profile and lay the foundation for possible statewide or national ambitions. 

“He could be the first Latino President or Vice President and it would be reasonable to suggest that Julian would be well positioned to be the Democratic nominee for Texas Governor, ” said Walter Clark Wilson a professor at the University of Texas at San Antonio. 

Back in May 2010, I wrote a article about Castro as the next Obama-like Blank Screen to be touted for President, and pointing out what a joke this all was:

Despite all the national hype about Mayor Castro, he holds a largely meaningless job with few duties. “The daily business of San Antonio is conducted by a professional city manager,” Chafets notes. Indeed, San Antonio’s city manager is paid $275,000 annually, while the mayor earns about $3,000. Not surprisingly, only 9.83 percent of San Antonio’s registered voters bothered to vote in the Mayoral contest last year.

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• Tags: 2012 Election, Politicians 
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Here’s the most prominently featured article on today, one that exemplifies a number of my old themes:

Presidential campaigns missing the mark in advertising to Latinos 

President Obama and Mitt Romney have yet to adopt a nuanced approach to targeting the country’s 21.3 million Latino voters, Spanish-language media experts say. 

We all ought to know by now that a huge amount of journalism consists of reporters synthesizing materials provided by paid PR flacks. Obviously, reporters appreciate this. They don’t mention it because they don’t want to offend the folks who do much of the work for them by pointing out that the “experts” who return their messages so promptly with cut and paste talking points have glaring financial conflicts of interest. So, readers must keep this in mind.

But, how obvious is all this to readers? How obvious is it to reporters, even? I’ve read thousands of articles over the years that quote these Latino political consultants as objective experts, and maybe a half dozen articles pointing out their financial interestedness. There is very little evidence whatsoever that mainstream media understands what it doesn’t mention. Here’s a rule of the long-term effect of self-censorship in public discourse: What goes unsaid eventually goes unthought.

Both political parties agree that the country’s 21.3 million registered Latino voters could make a crucial difference in this year’s presidential election. 

Yet in a race defined by massive spending on television ads, fast-response Internet videos and sophisticated social media efforts, both President Obama and challenger Mitt Romney have fallen short thus far when it comes to targeting Latino voters electronically, according to some Spanish-language media experts. 

Republican candidate Romney trails Obama badly among Latinos, according to polls released last week, and isn’t counting on them to propel him to victory. Even so, his Spanish-language advertising has been minimal and clumsy, the experts said. 

Some of his ads are simply translated versions of his English-language commercials — a particular no-no when trying to reach Latino consumers. 

Are there many people voting who don’t speak English? If so, why?

Furthermore, from an honest government perspective, why is it a good thing for a candidate to say one thing in one language and something else in another language? If Romney is going to advertise in languages other than English, I am least reassured to learn that he’s trying to say the same thing in all languages.

Obama has spent more heavily, and created more effective ads than his rival, but some experts said that so far he has failed to craft a campaign that keeps pace with the rapidly increasing size and sophistication of the Latino population, which climbed to 50.5 million in the 2010 census, from 35.3 million a decade earlier.

Those experts would say that, wouldn’t they?

Neither campaign has adopted the approach honed over the years by businesses targeting Spanish speakers — one that not only depicts Latinos in positive settings, but also reflects attention to cultural nuance. A truck ad in the Midwest, for example, will show American flags and beer-drinking men, while an ad for the same truck in Arizona will depict Latino men hauling construction equipment and managing their farms.

“In the TV world, there’s incredible sensitivity to trying to get Latinos excited; there’s tons of money spent on ‘how do we get this demographic to like our product?’” said Matt Barreto, a prominent Latino pollster at the University of Washington. “The political world has been very slow to change.” 

A more subtle point is the merger over time of the sympathies of journalists and marketers. In Ben Hecht’s day, reporters tended to be cynical wiseacres, but today they tend to view marketing campaigns the way movie fanboys view marketing campaigns for summer blockbusters: as enthusiasts, as admirers of the arts of trailer trickery, whose only objection is that they think they, personally, could do an even more awesome job.

Some marketing experts say Romney’s Spanish-language efforts suggest he’s abandoned hope altogether of reaching the Latino community. Polls indicate the same — an NBC/Wall Street Journal/Telemundo poll showed Obama led Romney 66% to 26% among Latino voters. 

Romney’s campaign has released two Spanish-language video ads so far — “Día Uno” and “Van Bien?” — but both are directly translated from identical ads in English, a blunder in Spanish-language marketing, said Glenn Llopis, founder of the Center for Hispanic Leadership. 

“You can’t just translate these things,” Llopis said. “That’s where a lot of these marketing things go wrong. They need to be customized, form-fitted. If the Hispanic community thinks you’re just translating and not creating a campaign that speaks to them, they’ll just shut off.”

Glenn Llopis could no doubt provide the Romney campaign with a list of friends and relatives of his they could hire.

The ads also don’t talk about issues such as healthcare and education that are important to Latino voters, many of whom are uninsured and benefit from policies such as Obama’s healthcare law.

Obviously, Romney should hire a whole bunch of Hispanic marketing experts who, at vast expense, would come up with a brilliant marketing plan of some sort to delude Hispanics into voting against their rational self-interests.

Seriously, having looked at countless polls of Latino voters over the years, they strike me as far more sensibly straight-forward voters than white people. The majority of Hispanics vote for the tax and spend / affirmative action party because they net benefit from the Democrats’ tax and spend and affirmative action policies. Further, Hispanic voters seem relatively immune to the complex semi-self-deluded meta-reasons that white voters are prone to, which makes whites such fascinating prey for political marketers.

What’s more, some of the phrases in those ads are awkwardly translated, said Melisa Diaz, a Latino media consultant based inWashington, D.C., who has worked for the Democratic National Committee. 

“Doing Fine?” would be more accurately translated as “Las cosas están bien?” Diaz said, while the proper phrase to convey “the right direction” would be “la dirección correcta,” not “la buena dirección,” as used in the ads. And the English idiom “Day One” would be better if phrased “El Primer Día,” not “Día Uno,” Diaz said. 

“These kind of mistakes would not happen in an English-language ad,” she said. “You can tell that the ads were not proofed by a native speaker.”

Like, say, Melisa Diaz.

“In every way, he’s not really courting the Latino vote,” Barreto said. “He’s doing as little as possible.” 

That includes spending — Romney spent just $33,000 on Spanish-language ads between mid-April and mid-June in the battleground states of North Carolina and Ohio, while Obama spent $1.7 million over the same period, according to SMG-Delta. 

Maybe, I’m out of date on business arrangements, but the traditional way it worked was that political consultants also own agencies that bought advertising spa
ce in the media. Indeed, a main source of compensation was for them to pocket 15% of the ad budget in return for placing the ad buys. Not surprisingly, that gives these “experts” an incentive to advocate spending more on ads.

Here’s a more interesting part of the article:

Perhaps the Romney campaign is paying close attention to studies that show advertising in Spanish can turn off white and black voters. When white and black audiences saw ads with a Latino endorsement or in Spanish, their support for a candidate dropped, said Ricardo Ramirez, a professor of political science at Notre Dame. 

“We know that appearing more inclusive by outreaching toward Latinos seems to work well for immigrants, but it seems to have a negative impact on blacks and whites,” he said.

Who make up close to 7/8ths of the voters.

(Republished from iSteve by permission of author or representative)
• Tags: 2012 Election 
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From the L.A. Times:

Analysis: Romney-Obama race dividing U.S. along fault lines 

By Paul West 

Increasingly, the 2012 presidential election appears to be dividing along a pair of fault-lines. 

The first is demographic: old versus new America. 

President Obama’s reelection depends increasingly on a coalition of minorities and younger voters, the same groups that helped put him in office. Their overall numbers are increasing, but the president’s ability to turn them out this year at anywhere close to 2008 levels remains in doubt (at least among Latinos and younger whites; the black vote is virtually certain to be there again for Obama). Their potential explains why Democrats have sought to portray the election as the future against the past. 

Mitt Romney, meanwhile, is likely to become president only if he can improve on John McCain’s performance among whites, who represent a declining share of the U.S. population. The GOP candidate’s  recent campaign swings have been through areas where whites make up a disproportionate share of the population — including portions of the old Midwest Rust belt and southwest Virginia. A potential key to mobilizing conservative whites: voter drives by Christian organizations to sign up millions of unregistered evangelicals; one of Romney’s biggest advantages over Obama, according to the Gallup Poll, comes from religious whites, who favor the Republican by better than 2-to-1.

The huge advantage that Obama possesses is that in The Narrative, his pandering (e.g., declaring he won’t enforce immigration laws to get more Hispanic votes) is admirable because he’s on the side of the right kind of people (e.g., gays, Latinos, single moms, etc.). In contrast, what Romney has to do is shameful because they are the wrong kind of people. 

On the other hand, twine and duct tape coalitions like Obama’s are inherently unstable. But doing anything to exploit that would be “divisive,” and we can’t have that.

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Thomas Edsall in the New York Times has a post, White Working Chaos, on the various disputes among social scientists such as Andrew Gelman, William Frey, and Larry Bartels on the voting patterns of the white working class. 

Allow me to offer a theory that I haven’t tested directly, but doesn’t even come up: a main cause of confusion is overlooking the voting impact of the decline of being married among the white working class.

As I pointed out after the 2004 election:

Bush carried merely 44% of the single white females but 61% of the married white women—a 17 point difference. 

Among white men, Bush won 53% of the singles and 66% of the married—a 13 point difference.

Now, that’s for all classes, but as Charles Murray’s Coming Apart finally got the chattering class to notice, the upper classes of white people continue to be married at a fairly high rate, but not so for the white working class and lumprenproles.

Logically, this would suggest that the GOP would favor policies that would encourage white people to marry — e.g., the Ben Franklin idea of high wages and low land prices — but that’s simply off the mental radar.

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From the WSJ:

Mitt Romney promised Latino leaders a long-term fix for immigration policy and short-term relief for immigrants in a speech Thursday that was notably softer in tone than when he was battling to win the Republican presidential nomination. 

In a calibrated attempt to attract Latino voters without alienating some in his own party, Mr. Romney spoke of bipartisan solutions he would pursue as president. He pledged … to let those with advanced degrees remain in the U.S. …

Now, that’s some brilliant politicking, Mitt: With your speech to Latino leaders today, you’ve definitely picked up some of that crucial voting bloc of Hispanic American citizens who are closely related to illegal immigrants with advanced degrees. You just keep listening to what the WSJ and NYT tell you and you can’t go wrong.

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Wisconsin has long been an interesting state, fairly rural but with a high-proportion of well-run family farms. It’s usually been an example of D.P. Moynihan’s Close to the Canadian Border effect (except for its blacks, who appear to have been largely recruited from the South by the generous European-style social benefits offered post WWII). 

A reader tries to make sense of recent voting changes on a county by county level, using the evenly split 2004 Presidential election as a baseline:

[1] that among conservative Catholics there has been a distinct upswing in favor of the Republicans and[2] that among lax Catholics there has been an equally distinct, albeit not so pronounced upward swing. Specifically, in the 2010 governorship race, conservative ‘over-voted’ their 2004 baseline numbers by an average of 3.5%. In the 2012 recall election, they ‘over-voted’ the 2004 baseline by almost 14%. Among lax Catholics the 2010 ‘over-vote’ was about 3%, whereas in the 2012 recall it was almost 8%. 

I suspect that the 2010 shift in favor of the Republican side was, to at least some extent, a referendum on the Obama Administration’s economic performance. I further suspect that–again, to at least some extent–that the significant upward swing in 2012 reflects anger with the ham-handed behavior of the Administration in regard to the medical insurance mandate relating to abortifacients. If my data reflect reality and if my interpretation of these data is anywhere near accurate, I believe that Mitt Romney has an reasonable chance to carry Wisconsin in November.

Managing a Coalition of the Diverse is always going to be a challenge, especially if the opposition tries Divide and Conquer techniques on them.

(Republished from iSteve by permission of author or representative)
• Tags: 2012 Election 
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The New York Times notices something I’ve been mentioning for about a dozen years:

Latino Growth Not Fully Felt at Voting Booth

DENVER — The nation’s rapidly growing Latino population is one of the most powerful forces working in President Obama’s favor in many of the states that will determine his contest with Mitt Romney. But Latinos are not registering or voting in numbers that fully reflect their potential strength, leaving Hispanic leaders frustrated and Democrats worried as they increase efforts to rally Latino support. 

Interviews with Latino voters across the country suggested a range of reasons for what has become, over a decade, an entrenched pattern of nonparticipation, ranging from a distrust of government to a fear of what many see as an intimidating effort by law enforcement and political leaders to crack down on immigrants, legal or not.

Not to mention the distractingly frequent showings of The Fast and Furious movies on cable TV. 

(Republished from iSteve by permission of author or representative)
• Tags: 2012 Election 
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Steve Sailer
About Steve Sailer

Steve Sailer is a journalist, movie critic for Taki's Magazine, columnist, and founder of the Human Biodiversity discussion group for top scientists and public intellectuals.

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