Why 2012 Is Not the GOP’s “Last Chance”

Sean Trende, Real Clear Politics, March 6, 2012

Jon Chait recently penned a column titled “2012 or Never.” The subtitle, “Why 2012 Is the Republicans’ Last Chance,” pretty well sums up the theme of the piece: If Republicans don’t win this year, they’re doomed. {snip}

Having just authored a book on this subject, I thought it was worth weighing in too. The main problem with Chait’s piece is that it’s not entirely clear what 2012 is the Republicans’ last chance for. The most obvious assumption is that it’s their last chance to win presidential/congressional elections. But Chait dismisses this possibility, noting correctly that the party will adapt, and that external shocks and random events will enable the GOP to win elections in the future.

{snip}

When Chait does seem to argue for an electoral realignment—again, the piece hedges back-and-forth—he does so by relying on the types of projections of Democratic dominance that have become de rigueur among demographers. As Chait puts it. “[t]he modern GOP—the party of Nixon, Reagan, and both Bushes—is staring down its own demographic extinction.”

These demographic projections are overstated. The problems with this type of analysis are many; I spend about 100 pages in my book on them. For our purposes, let’s focus on two problems.

First, straight-line projections are untrustworthy once you get past a certain horizon (arbitrarily, let’s call it 10 years out). As I like to tell people, if I were writing this article in 1924, I would tell you that you could take three things to the bank. First, African-Americans will vote Republican. Second, the South will vote Democratic. Third, the growing northern white ethnic population, which shifted toward parity with Republicans in 1896 and became overwhelmingly Republican in 1920, would soon eradicate northern Democrats. All of these trends would begin to weaken in a decade, would be highly questionable in 30 years, and would look like utter nonsense within 50.

Already, the current narrative regarding Latinos is looking a bit shaky. While the Latino population skyrocketed in the past decade, the Latino share of the electorate has actually been flat. The decrease in the white share of the electorate from 2004 to 2008 was almost entirely attributable to the surge in African-American voters in 2008 from 11 percent of the electorate to 13 percent, something that will likely be difficult for a non-Obama presidential candidate to replicate.

Absent the (largely) Obama-induced surge among African-Americans, whites would have made up 76 percent of the electorate, only one point less than in 2004. At that rate, it will take a very long time for the electorate to become majority non-white.

There are other problems. Latino immigration largely dried up in the late ‘00s, much as European immigration dried up in the ‘30s. Whether it will restart remains to be seen. Latino voters actually tend to vote more heavily Republican as they make more money, suggesting that as this population is increasingly comprised of second- and third-generation Latinos, they will vote more Republican. Indeed, in 2008 Barack Obama won by a similar nationwide margin to Bill Clinton in 1996, but actually ran about 10 points worse among Hispanic voters.

Second, Chait assumes that a Democratic coalition made up of liberal whites, moderate suburbanites, populist white working-class voters, and various minority groups will be a stable one. This seems unlikely. Again, pages of a book could be written about this, but let’s take a simple example.

In Arizona, Jan Brewer seemingly did everything possible to alienate that state’s growing Latino population. And indeed, while John McCain won 41 percent of that population in his home state in 2008, Brewer managed to win only 28 percent in 2010. But her stance on immigration was more popular among whites than McCain’s, and she improved over McCain’ showing with that group by two points. The net result is that even if Latino turnout in 2010 had been as high as it was in 2008, Brewer would have only run a half-point behind McCain.

In short, I’m not really at all certain why Chait believes that as the country becomes more racially diverse and the Democratic Party increasingly becomes a minority-dominated party, that our politics will become less racialized. Instead, if the Democratic Party becomes dominated by Latinos and African-Americans, there’s a good chance that whites will continue to migrate toward the Republican Party. If the GOP continues to win 62 percent of the white vote for Congress, as it did in 2010 for probably the first time since 1928, then it will be a long time before it finds itself unable to win elections.

{snip}

So while there are plenty of reasons to believe that Chait’s projections might be entirely incorrect, it’s also important to understand what the worst-case scenario for Republicans really is. It’s a future where they will continue to win elections, where Democrats concede many of the policy stances of the Nixon/Reagan years, advance their own agenda pretty gradually, and suffer major setbacks when they are too aggressive. Which, when you come down to it, isn’t a particularly grim future for Republicans at all.

 

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  • Hirschibold

    ” Latino voters actually tend to vote more heavily Republican as they make
    more money, suggesting that as this population is increasingly
    comprised of second- and third-generation Latinos, they will vote more
    Republican”

    Not if the democrats manage to wean them off of working with bribery. The reader should remember that between slavery and the Great Society, there was a genuine working/lower-middle class of black Americans who were stevedores, porters, mechanics, plumbers, etc. It took about ten years for the Democrats to permanently hobble them. Why wouldn’t the democrats at least make the effort to buy themselves another base, who is wholly dependent upon them?

    • “Not if the democrats manage to wean them off of working with bribery. The reader should remember that between slavery and the Great Society, there was a genuine working/lower-middle class of black Americans who were stevedores, porters, mechanics, plumbers, etc. It took about ten years for the Democrats to permanently hobble them. Why wouldn’t the democrats at least make the effort to buy themselves another base, who is wholly dependent upon them?”

      This was well worth repeating.  It sure would be tremendously important to document this in supportable detail in an academic paper/book, unless it already has. 

  • JohnEngelman

    In one important respect whites have benefited from the Republican ascendancy which may be said to have begun with the election of Richard Nixon in 1968, but which certainly was established by the election of Ronald Reagan in 1980. Since 1980 the prison population has tripled. The crime rate has declined by one third.                              
                               
    http://www.jacksonprogressive.com/issues/lawenforcement/punishment.pdfhttp://www.jacksonprogressive.com/issues/lawenforcement/punishment.pdf      http://www.disastercenter.com/crime/uscrime.htm 
     
    Unfortunately, most whites have not benefited economically. Since 1980 real after tax income for eighty percent of the country has declined.     
             
    http://investorvillage.com/smbd.asp?mb=971&mn=389436&pt=msg&mid=10153698       

  • Other reasons why the Hispanic electorate is something of a paper tiger is because it’s younger and more apathetic, and even less likely than blacks to take to serious sustained political activism.

    Remember, nationally speaking, if you lose 9 Hispanic votes, all you need to do is gain one white vote break even.  That number is less in states that are more heavily Hispanic, but on the flip side, in Hispanic heavy states, it would be easier to get white votes on your side if you use the right issues.

    This part is money:

    Instead, if the Democratic Party becomes dominated by Latinos and
    African-Americans, there’s a good chance that whites will continue to
    migrate toward the Republican Party.

    In other words, national politics will become Mississippiized, i.e. turn into racial headcounts for all intents and purposes.

  • StivD

    “Straight-line projections are untrustworthy once you get past a certain horizon”

    I think that’s true. The author only uses a ten year span as a projected time frame, but there are people who are still looking 40-50 years down the road, two, or slightly more, generations in the future.  

    Besides that, the Repubs. don’t matter anymore just the same as any existing mainstream political party, or ‘accepted’ widespread ideology, doesn’t matter anymore. I think they’re all exhausted and becoming archaic.  When the center falls all sorts of new ideologies can rush in to fill the void. White people can grab their own piece of that if they have the will.

    • Exactly. Anyway- why just these two parties ?

      • StivD

        I don’t know why the U.S. never developed a multi-party system. I think it’s constitutionally allowed?

        • MikeofAges

           Allowed but not really possible. We have what might be termed an institutional two-party system. Typical of formerly anarchic emergent republics ruled by an internal oligarchy bifurcated by region and attitude toward innovation. 

  • dkmeller

    Now the problem is for the GOP to effectively articulate White racial, national, and economic interests on the local, State, and Federal level. I don’t see any of the major figures of the stupid party doing this, certainly not to the degree that the Dems work to represent nonwhite (and feminist) interests. Ron Paul may be an exception, but his main contribution seems to be (so far) a commitment to limit runaway government power in their war against Whites (and Whitemen in particular) until a power-nexus defending White families and their future can be assured. But even with the Feds out of the way, it will take time and energy!
     
    There is a new political party being organized, called the American Third Postition (A3P) Party, which is very interested in  precisely these issues. Further interest is warranted.
     
    KNOWLEDGE IS POWER!!
     

    • Anonymous

      Don’t hold your breath on the GOP being a white party and being an openly exclusive one at that.  They are too busy pandering to blacks and illegals and cowering everytime a feminst or nonwhite group speaks out against them. 

  • JohnEngelman

    If the Republicans win the White House, and both houses of Congress next November, what difference will it make? What difference did it make when that happened in 2000?
     
    Republican politicians talk the talk about restricting immigration. Nevertheless, the business interests who control the GOP want and get cheap labor. 
     
    Does anyone think a Republican sweep in November will mean a better job market and reductions in the national debt? If so why? 

    • Anonymous

      I hear ya.  Lots of people say “Anybody but Obama!”  True, but what does the GOP plan?  Please don’t tell us that they want more wars, that they won’t stop illegal immigration and they are going to play the ‘we aren’t racist like those evil liberals are’ game either.  That didn’t work the last time, it made the GOP lose the election in 2008 and it is annoying more of their white voting base.  We’re tired of hearing the GOP pander to anyone but us.

  • JohnEngelman

    Rasmussen Reports 
    March 07, 2012
     
    In a hypothetical 2012 matchup, President Obama now leads Romney 49% to 42%. IfSantorum is the Republican nominee, the president leads 49% to 40%. Matchup results are updated daily at 9:30 a.m. Eastern (sign up for free daily e-mail update). See tracking history for Obama vs. all four Republican candidates.The economy remains the top issue, and the Rasmussen Employment Index shows worker confidence in the labor market has risen to its highest level since September 2008.http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/obama_administration/daily_presidential_tracking_poll   
    The Wall Street Journal   March 7, 2012, 8:31 p.m. ET BY NEIL SHAHU.S. businesses added more workers in February than January, the latest sign that improvements in the economy are making it a bit easier for Americans to find jobs.Private-sector employers hired 216,000 workers last month, an increase from an upwardly revised 173,000 in January, according to payroll processor Automatic Data Processing Inc. and Macroeconomic Advisers LLC, a consulting firm. The upbeat report comes ahead of Friday’s jobs snapshot from the government, which will include public and private employers.The ADP update isn’t as comprehensive as the government’s monthly snapshot of the jobs market. But Wednesday’s reading likely will fuel optimism http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970204781804577267112035788848.html

  • JohnEngelman

    Most whites have other concerns, and do not believe that that the white race is going to be replaced. There is very little support for repealing the civil rights legislation passed during the 1960s. 
                                                                                                                                        
    Public opinion about immigration is mixed. On December 9, 2011 a FOX Poll was released that asked: “Do you favor or oppose increasing the number of legal immigrants allowed to come to the United States   as long as they agree to work, pay taxes, and obey the law?”                                                 
                                                                                  
    63 percent favored.                         
                                                            
    The following question was also asked: “Do you favor or oppose allowing local boards to determine whether legal immigrants  can stay in the United States based on factors such as how long the
    immigrants have lived here, and if they have a family, a job and are paying taxes, and have other ties to the community?”
                                                                           
    51 percent favored.                                  
                  
    http://www.foxnews.com/interactive/us/2011/12/09/fox-news-poll-immigration/       
     
                                                                                                                                      

    • Anonymous

      That’s because most whites who are PC haven’t lived in diverse areas and seen the effects of it.  Plus most whites have been conditioned (brainwashed) to be self hating, to worship MLK and to not question any civil rights agenda.  Whites have also been programmed to get defensive when called racists and to lose their temper and all civility when a white person talks about race.  They’ll say, “I can’t believe people still think this way…” or “God, how ignorant…”

  • Anonymous

    But these nonwhites will impose their will on the whites who just want to be left alone.   When will whites wake up and not put up with this anymore?  We’ve put up with the most vile comments from liberals and nonwhites.  We’ve been quiet as illegals are sucking us dry and not speaking English and threatening to take us over.  We’ve been quiet and coddled the same blacks who are stealing from us, raping our women and killing us while the ‘professional blacks’ sue us and extort money from white businesses.  When will this stop?  I fear it won’t be pretty when white men wake up as a whole and take action.  It’s like the Ruyard Kipling poem, “The Wrath of the Awakened Saxon.”

  • Anonymous

    The old Democrats I’ve met (like over 70) were more civil and were actually working for a living and just wanted to be rewarded fairly for working hard and being good citizens.  Nothing wrong with that.  However, as you said, the Democratic Party today is a collection of marxists, nonwwhite pressure groups, gay agenda groups, transgender agenda groups and they engage in characer assassiantions and say they want conservatives to die.  I’ve never heard any old Democract speak that way.  They got hijacked by the cultural marxists.  Show me a happy marxist and I’ll show you a fat marathon runner.

  • Anonymous

    Most whites are still too worried over whether or not they are ‘less racist’ than other whites while the nonwhites are organizing and looking out for their own.  Unless whites get a racial backbone and stand up, it’s not going to look very good for us.  Centuries white men were tough and defended their nations, but now we’ve become whimps and cowards who won’t stand up for our people, our women, our children or our countries.  what is wrong with white people?