Posted by AzBlueMeanie:
Last week I posed the question, Is the GOP becoming the White Man's Party?, based upon a provocative series of articles by Sean Trende at Real Clear Politics arguing that the GOP does not need to improve its appeal to Latino voters as much as it needs to improve its appeal to the "missing white voters" of its base.
Today we know the answer to the question: the GOP has dramatically shifted to the position that the House does not need to take up comprehensive immigration reform any time soon, and the GOP should focus on appealing to the "missing white voters" of its base.
The "Pinky and The Brain" of movement conservatism intellectual thought, Weekly Standard editor William Kristol and National Review editor Rich Lowry — two of the most influential conservative voices in media — co-signed an editorial today in The Weekly Standard urging House Republicans to "kill the bill."
Governor Bobby Jindal, the self-styled "Brain of Baton Rouge," who famously advised the GOP that it has to "stop being the stupid party" earlier this year, penned a column today for the National Review on immigration reform entitled “Botching immigration again,” in which he also comes to the conclusion to "kill the bill" (without saying so directly).
The TanMan, Weeper of the House John Boehner, is now a captive to the Tea Party radicals in the GOP House caucus who will accept no pathway to citizenship in any immigration bill, ever. Brian Beutler at Talking Points Memo explains, Boehner And The Right Team Up To Quash Immigration Reform:
The already narrow path to enacting comprehensive immigration reform pretty much disappeared in the past 24 hours.
At the Capitol, House Speaker John Boehner stated a specific policy
preference Tuesday that will alienate the entire Democratic Party if he
adheres to it, and thus doom the reform effort. And elsewhere in the
Beltway, influential conservatives have grown more confident and
explicit about abandoning the immigration issue, for at least a couple
Taken together, it means that enacting new immigration legislation
will either require Democrats to cave on a key demand, or require
Boehner to abandon his preference and break his word to his conference
that he won’t move ahead without a majority of his members in support.
“It’s clear from everything that I’ve seen and read over the last
couple of weeks that the American people expect that we’ll have strong
border security in place before we begin the process of legalizing and
fixing our legal immigration system,” Boehner said outside the Capitol
His spokesman Michael Steel explains that the statement is consistent
with Boehner’s “long-standing emphasis on border security.”
But it amounts to a de facto endorsement of the conservative view
that any steps to legalize existing immigrants should be contingent upon
implementation of draconian border policies. As is Boehner’s custom, it
also eschews the word “citizenship,” suggesting that even if Democrats
agree to a trigger, he won’t guarantee that it would be aimed at a full
amnesty program, and, thus, eventual voting rights for immigrants
already in the U.S.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has called this policy formulation a “poison pill.”
The GOP is relying on a flawed premise that it can win simply by appealing to "missing white voters" of its base. Ruy Teixeira, a number cruncher second only to Nate Silver, takes a look at the work of Sean Trende and exposes its flawed analysis today at Think Progress. No, Republicans, ‘Missing’ White Voters Won’t Save You:
[L]ots of Republicans dissent from [the "GOP Autopsy"], preferring to put their
faith in a group they’re much more comfortable with: white voters. The
most influential empirical analysis supporting this view was recently
published by Sean Trende in a four part series on RealClearPolitics. Trende’s analysis is built around the idea of “missing white voters.”
What he means by this is that, given the estimated number of white
voters in 2008 (derived from exit polls) and the natural increase in
white eligible voters between 2008 and 2012 there should have been far
more white voters than there actually were (again, estimated from the
exit polls). He labels the difference between his projected and actual
numbers of white voters as “missing” white voters. He goes on to say
that “[i]f these white voters had decided to vote, the racial breakdown
of the electorate would have been 73.6 percent white, 12.5 percent
black, 9.5 percent Hispanic and 2.4 percent Asian — almost identical to
the 2008 numbers.” Get it? The only real demographic change of
importance between 2008 and 2012 was all those white voters who didn’t
What’s wrong with this analysis? Plenty. Start with Trende’s
projected natural increase in white voters—around 1.5 million voters,
based on an assumed 55 percent turnout rate of additional white eligible
voters. This implies that Trende was using an estimate of around 2.7
million additional eligible whites between 2008 and 2012. That’s wrong:
show an increase of only 1.5 million white eligibles. At Trende’s
assumed 55 percent turnout rate, that translates into only 825,000
additional white voters from “natural increase.”
That’s one problem. But the most serious problem comes from how he
handles his “missing” white voters relative to minority “missing”
voters. That’s because, by the very same logic he uses to designate
large numbers of white voters as missing, there are also large numbers
of minority voters who are missing. This is both because minority voters
experienced natural increase (much more so than whites actually) and
because turnout was low in 2012 compared to 2008. This trend affected
all voters, minorities as well as whites.
In 2012, turnout declined by 3.4 percentage points according to Michael McDonald’s US Elections Project.
Plugging in his figures on votes cast and using Census data on
eligible voters plus exit poll data on shares of votes by race, we
calculate that turnout went down by about equal amounts among white and
minority voters (3.4 and 3.2 percentage points, respectively).
Not surprisingly then, Trende’s own data show a substantial number of
missing minority voters — 2.3 million compared to 6.1 million whites.
There are more missing white voters despite the roughly equal declines
in turnout simply because they are a larger group and more voters are
knocked out of the voting pool for any given decline in turnout.
So what starts out looking like a mysterious epidemic of “missing”
white voters becomes mostly a reflection of the simple fact that 2012
was a low turnout election. This unremarkable outcome is then hyped by
Trende as the big demographic development of 2012 by doing something
that is really quite misleading. He adds back in all the missing white voters to the 2012 electorate while leaving out all the missing minority voters.
That is where he gets his claim that “[i]f these white voters had
decided to vote, the racial breakdown of the electorate would have been
73.6 percent white, 12.5 percent black, 9.5 percent Hispanic and 2.4
percent Asian — almost identical to the 2008 numbers.”
This really can’t be done. If you’re going to add one type of
missing voter back in you should add them all back in; you can’t—or
shouldn’t—assume a higher turnout election that would somehow only
affect whites. And what happens if you play with the net up and add all
the “missing” voters back in? You get 72.4 percent white, 12.8 percent
black, 9.6 percent Hispanic, 2.4 percent Asian and 2.8 percent other
race—in other words, 72 percent white and 28 percent minority, identical
to the actual 2012 exit poll results.
So: GOP phone home! Your missing white voters have been found, and it
turns out they weren’t really missing. They were simply sitting out a
relatively low turnout election along with a large number of their
minority counterparts. They may be back next time if it’s a higher
turnout election — but then again so will a lot of minority voters.
Bottom line: your demographic dilemma remains the same. The mix of
voters is changing fast to your disadvantage and there is no cavalry of
white voters waiting in the wings to rescue you.
So it looks as if the White Man's Party, which is committed to white grievance and white privilege, is ready to "kill the bill" for comprehensive immigration reform based upon the flawed analysis of a conservative "thinker," because it reinforces what they already believed. "Don't bother me with the facts, I know what I believe!"
The GOP may have success in the short-term. But this is political suicide in the long-term. Demographics is destiny.