One reason the White House, the Republican leadership and most neo-conservatives were upset with Trent Lott is that they thought his remarks about 1948 Dixiecrats would jeopardize the party’s alternatives to liberal civil rights policies and President Bush’s efforts to “reach out” to black voters.
The problem is that finding Republican “alternatives” to what liberals want to do on civil rights issues is rather difficult — though by no means as difficult as finding any substantive black support for the GOP.
In the 2000 election, despite almost superhuman efforts to “reach out to blacks,” Mr. Bush won a whopping 9 percent of their vote — the lowest since Barry Goldwater, who had voted against civil rights legislation.
It would make sense for the Democrats, long held hostage to blacks and other minorities to rid themselves of leaders their pet constituencies don’t like. It makes no sense whatsoever for the Republicans to get rid of a leader just because voters who never support them don’t like him. But then that’s why they call it the Stupid Party.
The virtually non-existent black Republicans are even scarcer than Hispanic Republicans, but ever since the November elections, the party’s leadership has managed to convince itself that the reason it did so well was that it’s finally winning the Hispanic vote. In 2000, Mr. Bush did about as well with Hispanics as Republicans ever do, winning a third of their vote, but losing to Al Gore’s huge 67 percent landslide among Hispanics. This November the Republicans barely made gains, if any, among Hispanics, really did even more poorly, despite what its propagandists have been claiming, and a recent vote analysis from United Press International pretty clearly proves it. ["GOP vote orthodoxy shy on facts," by Steve Sailer. See also GOP Wins With Sailer Strategy, a VDARE.COM exclusive.]
Usually, experts can tell how certain demographic groups voted by exit polls conducted by the Voter News Service. But in 2002 the VNS computers broke down on Election Day, so there are no reliable conclusions from their polls. Instead, the UPI report looks at exit polls conducted in various states by local media or polling services.
There were exit polls by Fox News and the Los Angeles Times in 11 states, according to the UPI report:
“In these 11 states, the average white share increased by 2 points over the 2000 Voter News Service exit poll findings. Growth was seen in states such as Florida (+9 points), Colorado (+5), Missouri (+4), and California (+3). The most important white decline was in Texas and that was just 2 points.”
Republicans may actually have won a bit more of the white vote this year than they did in 2000. The Gallup poll before the election predicted they’d win 58 percent of the white vote; the Greenberg poll afterwards reported the GOP had won 55 percent.
The increase in the white share of the GOP vote thus contradicts what the party’s pollsters claimed in 2000, that the party just couldn’t gain any more white support than the 54 percent Mr. Bush received then.
There was a time, of course, when Republican presidents could win 59 percent or more of the white vote. That was back when the party leadership didn’t denounce the white South and jabber about amnesty for illegal aliens.
As for the Hispanic vote, the UPI reports,
“Compared to 2000 when George W. Bush won about 35 percent of the Hispanic vote nationally, Republican candidates appeared to be down somewhat in Texas and New Jersey, roughly unchanged in California and Colorado, up somewhat in Florida, and up a lot in New York.”
Republicans might well have gained a few Hispanic votes since their total popular vote share was larger than two years ago, but “whatever the trend was, though, it does not appear to have been all that significant.”
In New York, it’s alleged that Republican Gov. George Pataki won with more than 50 percent of the state’s Hispanics. Neo-conservative Tamar Jacoby, writing in the Weekly Standard, hooted and hollered over this victory. But the UPI report also points out that Jacoby neglected to mention that “Pataki had moved so far to the left that he had earned the endorsement of the liberal New York Times.”
If the Republicans want Hispanic votes, that’s how they can get them: By out-lefting the Democrats.
The UPI report doesn’t look at (or for) the GOP black vote. Most experts agree that one of the main reasons for the Democrats’ loss this year was that blacks didn’t turn out for them.
But that doesn’t mean blacks voted Republican either. What it means is that, when the Republicans can turn out their white voting base, as Mr. Bush was able to do this year, they win. Their response: Dumping Mr. Lott and further pandering to anti-Republican and left-wing minority blocs.
The Republicans still need to learn the 2002 election’s lesson.