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  1. #1
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    Is The GOP Doomed by Demographics

    An interesting article from the National Journal

    National Journal

    Demography And Destiny
    Population trends boosting the Democrats show no sign of slowing.
    Saturday, Jan. 10, 2009
    by Ronald Brownstein


    To grasp how powerfully demographic change is reshaping the political landscape try this thought experiment about the 2008 election.

    Start by considering the electorate's six broadest demographic groups -- white voters with at least a four-year college degree; white voters without a college degree; African-Americans; Hispanics; Asians; and other minorities.

    Now posit that each of those groups voted for Barack Obama or John McCain in exactly the same proportions as it actually did. Then imagine that each group represented the share of the electorate that it did in 1992. If each of these groups voted as it did in 2008 but constituted the same share of the electorate as in 1992, McCain would have won. Comfortably.

    That's because Obama's best groups are much larger today than in 1992. From 1992 to 2008, the share of the vote cast by African-Americans jumped from 8 percent to 13 percent. For Hispanics the share soared from 2 percent to 9 percent; for Asians and other minorities combined, from 2 percent to 5 percent. Meanwhile, the percentage of the vote cast by well-educated whites remained unchanged at 35 percent. The big losers were blue-collar whites -- those without college degrees -- whose share plummeted from 53 percent in 1992 to just 39 percent now.

    That's a threat to the GOP because those culturally conservative, working-class whites are today its most reliable voters. McCain won 58 percent of them, and Obama just 40 percent. Obama, by contrast, won 95 percent of African-Americans, 67 percent of Hispanics, 66 percent of other minorities, 62 percent of Asians, and 47 percent of college-educated whites. Apply those results to the 1992 share of the vote for all six groups, and McCain beats Obama, 50.2 percent to 47.9 percent.

    It's reasonable to assume that whenever Obama ran, he would have boosted black turnout. From 2004 to 2008, the share of the vote cast by African-Americans increased by nearly one-fifth. If you increase the share of the vote cast by blacks in 1992 by that amount -- and offset their gains with equal reductions among college and noncollege whites -- the result tightens, but McCain still edges out Obama, 49.2 percent to 49.1 percent. The distance between these "fantasy baseball" results and Obama's 7-point real-world victory underscores the political impact of demographic change. The problem for Republicans is that the population trends boosting the Democrats show no sign of slowing.

    Today non-Hispanic whites make up two-thirds of the U.S. population. But in 2008 they still cast 74 percent of the ballots in the presidential contest. African-Americans represent about the same share of the vote (13 percent) as they do of the population (12 percent). So do "other" minorities (3 percent and 2 percent).

    Asians, meanwhile, are modestly underrepresented in the electorate (2 percent of voters; 4 percent of population). And Hispanics are severely underrepresented (just 9 percent of voters compared with 15 percent of population).

    The Census Bureau projects that the white share of the overall population will decline to 60 percent by 2020 and 51 percent by 2040. The black population share will remain largely unchanged; Asian and "other minority" shares of the population will grow steadily (to nearly 11 percent combined by 2040); and the Hispanic presence will explode. By 2020, Hispanics are projected to constitute nearly one-fifth of the population; by 2040, more than one-fourth.

    William Frey, a prominent Brookings Institution demographer, says that even as those numbers rise, the gap will steadily narrow between Hispanic representation in the population and in the electorate. "The biggest source of Hispanic population growth is not immigration, but from the children of recent immigrants. And, by definition, they are voting citizens once they turn 18," he says. Whites may still outvote their population numbers, Frey predicts, but as Hispanic participation increases, the white overrepresentation will diminish. That change promises an increasingly nonwhite electorate.

    These trends point toward trouble for the GOP if it cannot attract more minorities, especially Hispanics, and reverse the recent Democratic inroads among well-educated whites.

    The best way to illustrate that prospect is to pitch the thought experiment forward 12 years. Imagine that the major demographic groups voted as they did in 2008, but cast a share of the vote equal to their expected share of the population in 2020. (For argument's sake, let's divide whites among college and noncollege voters in the same proportions as today.) In that scenario, Obama beats McCain by nearly 14 points -- almost twice as much as in 2008. Demography will indeed be destiny if Republicans can't broaden their reach.

    Copyright ©2009 by National Journal Group Inc. The Watergate 600 New Hampshire Ave., NW Washington, DC 20037
    202-739-8400 • fax 202-833-8069 NationalJournal.com is an Atlantic Media publication

  2. #2
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    It's hard to use the 2008 election to forcast future elections. I don't have the actual stat, but few in power parties win an election if the economy is bad. See 1992 for the most recent example.

    I'd say no to the overall question. Hispanic people are stereotypically religious, which is a plus for the right. In addition, Republicans are doing a lot more to promote amnesty to garner the hispanic vote. John McCain did a lot of advertising in spanish to attract these voters.

    So it depends on how that works out I guess. There's 15 things that'll hurt the GOP in 2012... the color of skin is maybe number 13
    "Compromise, hell! That's what has happened to us all down the line -- and that's the very cause of our woes. If freedom is right and tyranny is wrong, why should those who believe in freedom treat it as if it were a roll of bologna to be bartered a slice at a time?"

    RIP Jesse Helms

  3. #3
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    It is not a prediction as much as an observation. If the standard of religious was used as a basis for voting, Hispanic people would have been voting GOP all along. I deal a lot in demographics, my expertise is not race or religion, it is age. I was just bringing this up, because we deal with projections based on demographics. Demographics are not determinative, but they are indicative.

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    If I understand the article correctly. It basically just projects the possible population change in demographic and asks "if the voting percentages stay the same...what will happen?" but that's a dumb question.

    As the population levels change, so do the demographics. New demographics arise. New events happen. The voting percentages will not stay the same.

    Like that article mentioned. A lot of the population growth of hispanics, is the children of immigrants. By the time you get to the 3rd or 4th generation, it's an entirely different group of people.

    I think any article that tries to project to 2020, or 2040 is wasting it's time. The only thing you can do is wait and see.

    The GOP is doomed if the mood of everyone changes from "I want to live in a free country, and I feel personal responsibility and autonomy are important things" to "I think the government should give me more". When the second happens, is when conservatism dies. Until then, it will always be alive somewhere, in some shape or form.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by gcoll View Post
    If I understand the article correctly. It basically just projects the possible population change in demographic and asks "if the voting percentages stay the same...what will happen?" but that's a dumb question.
    As the population levels change, so do the demographics. New demographics arise. New events happen. The voting percentages will not stay the same.

    Like that article mentioned. A lot of the population growth of hispanics, is the children of immigrants. By the time you get to the 3rd or 4th generation, it's an entirely different group of people.

    I think any article that tries to project to 2020, or 2040 is wasting it's time. The only thing you can do is wait and see.

    The GOP is doomed if the mood of everyone changes from "I want to live in a free country, and I feel personal responsibility and autonomy are important things" to "I think the government should give me more". When the second happens, is when conservatism dies. Until then, it will always be alive somewhere, in some shape or form.
    Actually you are right and wrong. You did get the message, but you came to the wrong conclusion vis a vie it is dumb. All planning is subject to change, but planning is necessary. If you don't use present knowledge to plan (with the proviso that plans can and will change) then what are you going to do in its place? Not Plan! In business there is an old saying that says failing to plan is planning to fail. If the GOP takes your idea to heart, it will fail.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by blenderboy5 View Post
    It's hard to use the 2008 election to forcast future elections. I don't have the actual stat, but few in power parties win an election if the economy is bad. See 1992 for the most recent example.

    I'd say no to the overall question. Hispanic people are stereotypically religious, which is a plus for the right. In addition, Republicans are doing a lot more to promote amnesty to garner the hispanic vote. John McCain did a lot of advertising in spanish to attract these voters.

    So it depends on how that works out I guess. There's 15 things that'll hurt the GOP in 2012... the color of skin is maybe number 13
    Add that attitude to your 15 problems the GOP has.

  7. #7
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    Here's an interesting little nugget from FDL Book Review about voting demographics (a bit) laid out in the new book "Red State, Blue State, Rich State, Poor State."

    Kind of plays into the conversation about voting patterns; at least as far as geography and class are concerned.

    FDL Book Salon Welcomes Andrew Gelman:
    Red State, Blue State, Rich State, Poor State

    by Matt Yglesias

    Discussions of American politics in the media are dominated by conventional wisdom and lazy stereotypes rather than serious inquiry into the data. The cure to this disease is Andrew Gelman's Red State, Blue State, Rich State, Poor State an inquiry into "why Americans vote the way they do" that's brief and about as readable as a rigorous, data-driven book can be. Gelman crunches the numbers and uses words and graphs to explode much of what people think they know about American political behavior.

    In fact, for all the talk in recent years about working class conservatives and latte liberals, Gelman shows convincingly that rich people remain loyal Republicans while those further down the economic ladder support the Democrats. What is true is that wealthier states such as Connecticut back the Democrats while poor states such as Mississippi prefer the GOP, with middle income states such as Ohio forming the swing constituency. Still, though Mississippi as a whole is poor and Republican, the base of Republican support in the state is wealthy Mississippians not poor ones. The famous red/blue maps are misleading in this regard, prompting people to use a fallacy of composition and assume that Republican voters have the characteristics (low income) of Republican states.

    Nor, Gelman shows, is it true that downscale voters are ruled by their religious or moral sentiments rather than economic self-interest. On the contrary, religiosity and opinions about hot-bottom cultural issues have little impact on the voting behavior of poor Americans. It's among the wealthy where you see cultural issues making a big difference and religiosity highly correlated with voting behavior.

    In particular, in rich states voting patterns show little correlation with income. The poor of Connecticut, in other words, vote pretty similarly to the rich of Connecticut. This isn't the case in poor states, where poor people are dramatically more likely than rich people to vote Democratic. The difference is that the rich people in the rich states are much more culturally liberal than the rich people in the poor states. The result is the famous "culture war" waged not between yuppies and the working class, but between the wealthy residents of wealthy states and the wealthy residents of poor states.

    Much media confusion about American politics then stems from what's essentially a coincidence—political journalists are heavily concentrated in places like Connecticut, New Jersey, New York, Maryland, and California that exhibit the voting behaviors of rich states. It is true in those places that voting behavior features little income polarization and that wealthy people are generally well-disposed toward the Democrats. Political commentary from David Brooks on the right to Tom Frank on the left is often dominated by the assumption that you can extrapolate from political patterns in places like Maryland out to the country as a whole.

    It's an understandable mistake, but also a serious one. And everyone interested in political activism owes it to themselves to understand the truth and everyone interested in the media owes it to the world to correct the record. Reading Red State, Blue State, Rich State, Poor State is a great first step down that path. I read the book before the election and loved it, and so I'm excited to both introduce it to some new people and also hear with Professor Gelman has to say about the election we had a couple of months ago.
    FDL-BR
    Когда́ де́ньги говоря́т, тогда́ пра́вда молчи́т

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    Quote Originally Posted by cabernetluver View Post
    Actually you are right and wrong. You did get the message, but you came to the wrong conclusion vis a vie it is dumb. All planning is subject to change, but planning is necessary. If you don't use present knowledge to plan (with the proviso that plans can and will change) then what are you going to do in its place? Not Plan! In business there is an old saying that says failing to plan is planning to fail. If the GOP takes your idea to heart, it will fail.
    I came to the right conclusion. My point had nothing to do with what the GOP should do.

    Add that attitude to your 15 problems the GOP has.
    That hispanic people tend to be religious? They do.

    I base that on a small sample size. But I've lived in Arizona a majority of my life. And I've had plenty of Mexican friends. Usually when I go over to their house...there's a portrait, or a statue of the virgin mary somewhere.
    Last edited by gcoll; 01-11-2009 at 03:03 AM.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by QuietWyatt View Post
    Add that attitude to your 15 problems the GOP has.
    If you're gonna ***** about something I say, can you elaborate?

    Is your issue that I say Hispanic people are religious? Because they are often very strong Catholics.

    Or are you trying to imply that everyone makes unfair stereotypes against Latinons?
    "Compromise, hell! That's what has happened to us all down the line -- and that's the very cause of our woes. If freedom is right and tyranny is wrong, why should those who believe in freedom treat it as if it were a roll of bologna to be bartered a slice at a time?"

    RIP Jesse Helms

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    Completely disregarding the changing demographics of the nation is a recipe for disaster.

    That's the real argument here. forget about the projections and focus on the policy. If Republicans want to win, they have to shape their policies towards the demands of the people. Simply winning 60% of the White vote isn't enough any more.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ari1013 View Post
    Completely disregarding the changing demographics of the nation is a recipe for disaster.

    That's the real argument here. forget about the projections and focus on the policy. If Republicans want to win, they have to shape their policies towards the demands of the people. Simply winning 60% of the White vote isn't enough any more.
    Bingo. Demographics change organically and the party that best reads and adjusts to that change wins.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ari1013 View Post
    Completely disregarding the changing demographics of the nation is a recipe for disaster.

    That's the real argument here. forget about the projections and focus on the policy. If Republicans want to win, they have to shape their policies towards the demands of the people. Simply winning 60% of the White vote isn't enough any more.
    Agree. This is why I shake my head when the republican have a knee jerk moment. Going after the auto-maker's union members (chance to kill the union) or the Obama the magic negro cd (they don't vote for us anyway so don't worry).

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    Nothing wrong with going after the union members. The leaders of the Big 3 made ****** decisions, but they were also ****ed by people not buying cars, the price of gas (and don't give me this "they should have been making more fuel efficient cars years ago" ****, because the American people wouldn't buy those cars when gas was cheap, and yes, the fact that their employyes are often ridiculously paid and overcompensated.
    "Compromise, hell! That's what has happened to us all down the line -- and that's the very cause of our woes. If freedom is right and tyranny is wrong, why should those who believe in freedom treat it as if it were a roll of bologna to be bartered a slice at a time?"

    RIP Jesse Helms

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    Quote Originally Posted by blenderboy5 View Post
    Nothing wrong with going after the union members. The leaders of the Big 3 made ****** decisions, but they were also ****ed by people not buying cars, the price of gas (and don't give me this "they should have been making more fuel efficient cars years ago" ****, because the American people wouldn't buy those cars when gas was cheap, and yes, the fact that their employyes are often ridiculously paid and overcompensated.
    The first thing that comes to my mind is the Pontiac Aztek.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ari1013 View Post
    The first thing that comes to my mind is the Pontiac Aztek.
    Those darn union members were obviously to blame for the Pontiac Aztek

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