Blinded by the White

Republican Party

Everybody is saying that the immigration bill passed with such fanfare by the Senate will die a long, slow death in the House. This is not a surprise, in spite of the fact that many pundits said Republicans needed to get behind immigration reform to patch up relationships with Latino voters.

But, apparently, Republicans have decided they don’t need Latino voters, because they believe there is a great untapped reservoir of white people who didn’t vote in the last election. Some guy named Sean Trende published an analysis that seems to show there should have been more white people voting in 2012, meaning there were missing white voters. Ruy Teixeira explains,

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 show up.

The two basic flaws in this analysis, Teixeira says, is (1) his “natural increase” of white voters between 2008 and 2012 assumes 1.2 million more white voters than census data say actually exist, and (2) the same logic he uses to find missing white voters reveals a lot of missing nonwhite voters also, which Trende just plain ignores. This strikes me as similar to the wishful thinking that persuaded so many of them Romney was winning the general election, even though polls said otherwise.

Paul Krugman calls this analysis “A Whiter Shade of Fail.”

Kevin Drum adds,

All the signs of doom are here. Boehner is falling deeper into the tea party rabbit hole every day; the establishment has decided to cut its losses; the intellectual superstructure of opposition is gaining ground; and the hot-air crowd is finding ever more deranged conspiracy theories to rally the troops.

So they’re going to remain the White Men’s Southern/Midwestern Christian Anti-Labor Party. See also Jonathan Chait, “Conservatives Hate All Legislation Now,” and the NY Times, “The Decline of North Carolina.”

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  1. justme277  •  Jul 11, 2013 @2:02 am

    Good news for the left, bad news for America.. The right became known as the “Party of NO” I hope the voters will present them with the same message in the next election… a big fat NO

  2. JR  •  Jul 11, 2013 @2:10 am

    Well, the right is actively looking for those missing white voters to get them to the polls. Whose looking for the non-white voters? Or do we just wait for the right’s push for Whitie to do it for us?

  3. c u n d gulag  •  Jul 11, 2013 @6:03 am

    A yes, the mythical “untapped” white voters!
    Now the Conservative echo-chamber believes in a new fairy tale:
    ‘The Emperor’s New White Voters.’
    “Oh, if only we could get EVERY white voter to the polls!”

    The righties are assuming that every white voter who stayed out the last few elections will be roused into action by the Republican platform (such that it is), because the Republicans assume that these missing voters are just like their “base” – that they’re racist, misogynistic, xenophobic, and homophobic, and hyper-Christian.

    And they’re also assuming that none of those “untapped” white voters may to tap back into the Democratic Party – especially if a white male in the candidate. Or, for that matter, a white female, like Hillary Clinton.

    And they’re willing to continue their much vaunted “outreach” programs to women, minorities, and young people, by bitch-slapping them all of time.
    Nothing says “outreach” and inclusion, like more anti-choice bills, defunding women’s health programs, and suppressing the votes of minorities and young people.

    All I can say if this is what they think will win them the Presidency in 2016, is, “Please proceed, GOP. Please proceed…”

  4. c u n d gulag  •  Jul 11, 2013 @6:28 am

    Oh, and here’s a handy chart of the % of white Democratic voters, going back to 1972:

  5. biggerbox  •  Jul 11, 2013 @10:11 am

    Any minute now the failure to reach these voters will be used as a sign of how oppressed white males are, and the failure of RINOs to represent what these voters want, despite the fact that they don’t exist and therefore don’t actually want anything and aren’t capable of being oppressed.

    The idea that there are thousands of like-minded voters out there is just too attractive to not become “truth” for them.

  6. Stephen Stralka  •  Jul 11, 2013 @12:41 pm

    Any minute now the failure to reach these voters will be used as a sign of how oppressed white males are…

    Yep. And then some genius will realize that all those white people started disappearing at the exact same time when Obama was setting up his death panels. God help us.

  7. Swami  •  Jul 11, 2013 @2:01 pm

    Any minute now the failure to reach these voters will be used as a sign of how oppressed white males are…

    They’ve already initiated the preliminary phase of their campaign with their wailing about the assault on religious liberty. Although that might not seem related to white male or even voting…The oppression factor ties them all neatly together.

  8. Tom_B  •  Jul 11, 2013 @4:28 pm

    I’d rather the bill died. It helps republicans more than democrats, potentially, by giving them a marginally better shot at suckering Latino voters into their camp. I believe Mexican immigrants SHOULD have a path to citizenship, but the bill also loosens up the limits on H1B visas, and H1B’s are used by sleazier companies, like Microsoft, to import Indian software engineers and undercut the salaries more qualified American engineers can expect.

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