Karl Rove: More White Votes Alone Won’t Save the GOP

Karl Rove, Wall Street Journal, June 26, 2013

As immigration reform grinds its way through the U.S. Senate, the main focus has rightly been on the legislation’s policy consequences. But there are important political implications, especially for the GOP, that are worth examining.

Some observers, including Phyllis Schlafly, Pat Buchanan and the Center for Immigration Studies, argue that if Republicans want to win back the White House, they should focus on white voters (who comprised 72% of the electorate in 2012) rather than worrying about Latinos. After all, new Census Bureau estimates are that 100,042,000 whites voted in 2008 but only 98,041,000 did in 2012. Wouldn’t it be better to get those two million whites back into the polling booth?

This argument is incomplete. If as many white voters turned out in 2012 as in 2008—and if Mitt Romney received the 59% of them that he got last fall—then his vote total would have increased by 1,180,590. But President Obama’s vote total would have increased by 780,390, and Mr. Romney still would have lost the election by 4.6 million votes.

To have prevailed over Mr. Obama in the electoral count, Mr. Romney would have had to carry 62.54% of white voters. That’s a tall order, given that Ronald Reagan received 63% of the white vote in his 1984 victory, according to the Congressional Quarterly’s analysis of major exit polls. It’s unreasonable to expect Republicans to routinely pull numbers that last occurred in a 49-state sweep.

Moreover, a Reagan-like percentage of white voters would yield a much narrower win today. That’s because the nonwhite share of the vote had doubled to 28% in 2012 from 13% in 1984, according to national exit polls.


It is true that Mr. Romney would not have been elected if he only increased his percentage of Hispanic voters. Had he received 35% of the Latino vote instead of the 27% he did, Mr. Obama would still have won by roughly 4,083,340 votes. The upshot is that if Republicans hope to win the presidency in 2016, they need to do better with both white and Hispanic voters.

How much better? A higher turnout among whites (to 2008 levels) and a small increase in the GOP share of the white vote (say raising it 1% to 60%), along with a somewhat better performance among Latinos (say 35%), and Mr. Romney would have landed in the White House.

The reality is that the nonwhite share of the vote will keep growing. {snip}

If the GOP leaves nonwhite voters to the Democrats, then its margins in safe congressional districts and red states will dwindle—not overnight, but over years and decades.


Immigration reform is a top issue for Latinos as it is being debated in Washington, according to a March Latino Decisions poll. But their other major concerns—the economy and jobs, and education reform—are the same as the rest of America.

Nor will support for immigration reform solve all of the GOP’s challenges in appealing to Hispanic voters. Republicans also need compelling messages on jobs, economic growth, social mobility and education. They also must show up. GOP pollster Jan van Lohuizen’s focus groups found a major Latino complaint is that they never see Republicans in their communities to make the GOP’s case.

Rarely does a political party overcome its challenges by improving just one thing. Republicans must now do two things: turn out more white voters and improve their performance among Hispanics, African-Americans and Asian-Americans. {snip}

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  • This argument is incomplete. If as many white voters turned out in 2012 as in 2008—and if Mitt Romney received the 59% of them that he got last fall—then his vote total would have increased by 1,180,590. But President Obama’s vote total would have increased by 780,390, and Mr. Romney still would have lost the election by 4.6 million votes.To have prevailed over Mr. Obama in the electoral count, Mr. Romney would have had to carry 62.54% of white voters.

    Karl Roverrated: Another moron who missed Civics 101 and doesn’t realize we elect Presidents by electoral college and not national popular vote. Assuming he’s right and that the missing whites 2012 under 2008 would have voted the same way whites who did vote in 2012 voted, (an assumption I don’t believe), Romney would have netted an extra 400k votes. Now, all he would have needed is 700k more votes in 4 states to win the EC, and I bet most of that 400k margin of the missing whites were in those four states. And this bit that Romney would have needed 62.54% of the white vote to win is based on the national popular vote, again, irrelevant.

    Personally, I think the missing whites would have been an 80-90% Republican constituency given the right kind of Republican, a populist immigration patriot.

  • The__Bobster

    Porky is a moron who collected a fortune in the last election for giving Romney bad advice.


    This is a very valuable piece because as a long-time Inside the Beltway creature Blackwell has credibility. So his statement

    Most consultants take a 15% commission (over and above client-paid production costs and his retainer) from media vendors for all placements.

    may be taken as confirmation of Steve Sailer’s suggestion in Heckuva job, Rove-ie!–Karl’s $300 Million Fiasco

    • Porky rides herd on behalf of the EL CHEAPO labor lobby to ensure that immigration patriotism doesn’t rear its “ugly” head and actually give us voters a choice.

    • Xerxes22

      Anyone who needs to hire a consultant to tell him how to win votes should not be running for public office. Mitt Romney fits in that catagory. The man was clueless on how to win an election.

  • David Ashton

    But more white voters might save the Republic.

  • BonusGift

    Ah the definition of insanity. What they leave out is: (1) the fact that ‘hispanics’ vote overwhelmingly for gibsmedat/socialism (about 2/3rds to 3/4ths do consistently), as do Asians (about 3/4ths as well), and blacks are a virtual block (about 95%+); and (2) the demographic trend could be halted or reversed by merely stopping the illegal (and legal) invasion. Therefore, the only way the Republicans win is by doing the opposite of what the likes of the idiot Rove suggest.

  • I wouldn’t believe Rove if he told me my mother loves me. Next case?

  • Jefferson

    Karl Rove sucks at making political predictions, just like Dick Morris. Yet the GOP keeps paying these buffoons millions of dollars for their so-called “wisdom”.

    • Everyone makes bad predictions in that business. I’ve made a lot of them.

      Where Roverrated fall down go boom is his incorrect at best treacherous at worst analyses and strategy.

      • Erasmus

        And rational people, once they see they’ve consistently gotten bad advice from a hired professional, take their business elsewhere.

        Rove must have pictures of the GOP poo-bahs in strapless gowns. I can’t imagine any other good reason why they’d consistently take his advice.

        • RisingReich

          There are many that believe that the GOP is chuck full of rapists, sodomites, and various other kinds of deviants, and the democrats lord it over them.

          Not out of the realm of possibility considering the obvious flamer Graham.

    • Funruffian

      I agree. I used to listen and watch “feet-sucking’ Morris, because he had this pithy candor that came off as refreshing. But he really is just a fraud who makes lousy predictions. After the last election, he completely lost credibility to me.

  • I could’ve sworn I suggested last November that the GOP needs to fire Karl Rove.
    His Karl Rove Amnesty Plan (K.R.A.P) was an utter failure.

  • sbuffalonative

    Just what is Mr. Rove’s priority, preserving the GOP or the United States?

  • Hal K

    The problem with this sort of analysis is that it allows itself to be constrained by current cultural norms that view white solidarity as immoral. The real way out of this for the GOP is not to keep kowtowing to these constraints but instead to work on changing them. The way to do this is by engaging in explicit white identity politics, which has been missing from the political mainstream going back to the 60s at least.

  • NorthernWind

    Karl Rove is a disaster. His track record is HORRIBLE. Why would anyone listen to him?

    • Because he’s making a living off the fact that Bush 43 won twice, so everyone just assumes that Roverrated should get all the credit. Personally, I think Bush won twice in spite of Roverrated and his stupid advice. But who on Fox Noise Channel wants to listen to me?

      • Funruffian

        Why do they refer to him as the ‘architect’?

        • Because political consultants and strategists get the credit if their guy or gal won the election, just by virtue of being one of their consultants.

  • Presidents do not control spending; the House of Representatives does that.

    Just what grade did you receive in middle-school civics?

    • JohnEngelman

      The President submits a budget to Congress. Congress adds and subtracts from the budget, and returns it to the President who can sign or veto it.

      Economic growth from 1921 to 2000, and job creation from Harry Truman to George W. Bush has too much of a consistent pattern to be attributed to coincidence or accident.

      • These budgets are “suggestions”, and carry little weight. A great example was Reagan’s request that USS Oriskany be reactivated. The rust-bucket would have needed $350 million to get it moving and $550 million more for a new flight deck, after which it would be unable to operate even the “lightweight” F/A-18. The F-8 Crusader had been retired in the mid-1970s. He also wanted the cruisers Albany and Chicago reactivated, though their Talos missile systems had been removed in 1980 or so. They’d have been limited to Terrier/SM-1.

        Even the navy didn’t want these, and the House of Reps just said “no”.

        In the mid-1960s when the Albany, Chicago and their sister Culumbus were recent conversions, the navy considered thoroughly modernizing them, as each watch station eliminated would have saved $25,000 a year in 1964 dollars, but the degree of modification would have required 100% replacement of the propulsion plant, and this was not economical.

        Oriskany ended up being scuttled off Florida as an artificial reef, while Albany and Chicago were broken up for scrap.

        • JohnEngelman

          If what you say is true the President of the United States is economically irrelevant. That is not what either party claims during presidential campaigns. It is not what the voters believe. The electorate considers the President to be more responsible for the economy than the Congress.

          • Packaging. The voters are also blithering idiots. Look what happened in 1988; we had a “choice” of Bush or Dukakis, and while everyone one each side was cheering their idiot, I was disgusted that these were the “best” candidates the nation could produce.

  • Erasmus

    If the GOP must become democrat-lite, which appears to be the trajectory upon which mainstream republicans including McCain, Graham, Rubio and the Bushes have set it, then there’s no reason for it to even continue to exist…except, of course, to be Karl Rove’s milk cow.

  • Luca

    Your one-dimensional arguments and statistics are boring and reek of liberal indoctrination. FDR certainly did create lots of jobs … by putting people in military uniforms to fight a world war and then hired a massive civilian workforce to keep the military supply train running. Besides, when unemployment is at 20% there’s lots of room to create job growth. Likewise for LBJ who started a phony war that drained the economy from 1965 until 1973 (after he quit in disgrace) but created lots of wartime jobs. His social programs created lots of jobs too over at the welfare and immigration offices

    Were you an adult during the Carter years? He did such a wonderful job with the economy that he couldn’t even win a second term, that’s how much the American people appreciated his performance. Reagan had 90% of the electoral vote and beat Carter by about 10% on the popular vote. Whatever jobs Carter created were probably worth less than minimum wage when one factors in the inflation during his tenure, and did you forget about the 18% interest rates?

    Take the blinders off.

  • If their mouth is moving, they are lying. If it’s not moving, they’re thinking about their next lie.

  • Anon

    I’m going to humor Rove and assume he’s not just putting on a show while laughing his ass off behind our backs knowing full well our elections aren’t just rigged, they are a complete fabrication.

    Assuming he argues in good faith, the minimal implication behind what he is saying is that the US system by which we elect representation has been contaminated and taken over by a hostile foreign government (mexico), which will now use that control to loot our government and prevent it from doing anything even remotely within the best interests of those who legitimately live here.

    His response to that is laughable and crosses the line into treason. He advises collaboration with the enemy. A far more reasonable response would be to round up every single immigrant who came to this country during the last several decades, strip them of citizenship and dump them in the middle of the texas badlands with thousands of snipers deployed at their back. And if mexico has the stones for an OPEN war with us (instead of the war by stealth they’ve waged for so long), then lets get it over with.

    Of course, Rove makes up ridiculous BS like this because, in fact, there are no elections and those claiming a permanent lock by democrats in office are simply wrong. The republicans have already been selected to win the next few elections and arguments like Rove is making here are designed to explain away how it could happen when clearly, via sheer demographics it cannot happen. In other words, the GOP will mysteriously win the latino vote and the media will go to great lengths to make that lie seem to be reality.

    And the exact same people who make all the decisions currently under the dems will make them under the GOP…..same way as they did under Bush. Carter…Reagan…Bush…Clinton…Bush…Obama…..these are only faces with a few ideologies they give little more than lip service to and a few “scandals” they are involved with to cause calculated outrage. Literally…Obama is no different than Reagan. Or has no one noticed we are currently embroiled in the amnesty issue again….just like under Reagan. How stupid are people not to notice that nothing changes…AT ALL.

  • WR_the_realist

    The truth is, Turd Blossom*, nothing now will save the Republican Party. They’re dead if the House follows the Senate on this immigration bill, and will deserve it.

    * George W. Bush’s affectionate (and highly apt) nickname for Karl Rove.

  • Cville

    You do realize that GDP includes government spending? And government jobs count same as real jobs. FDR and LBJ was all government. Soviet Union had great GDP and jobs numbers too – 0 unemployment rate. No serious analysis could equate the Carter and Reagan economies. Coolidge had probably the best private sector economy of the century while reducing government by half. I know you’re trying to seem smart but problem is you’re wrong about what you think you know.

    • JohnEngelman

      I listed a number of tangible areas in which the Carter economy was superior to the Reagan economy. The only area where Reagan’s economy was superior to Carter’s was inflation. I explained that in ways that give Reagan no credit.

      Moreover, I documented my assertions. Where is your documentation?

      • Cville

        I gave it, a central plank in Reagan’s policy was to bring inflation down. That guy with funny name who escapesme put a plan in place to change carter policy that had caused it. The guy’s been trying to help Barry but he’s too dense I think. Anyway they attacked the phony policies that caused runawayinflation and let Carter’s junk wash out and we got a good 25 year run. There’s plenty of books on this it isn’t new info unless you’re a kid maybe.

        • Cville

          To demonstrate the central nature of inflation here’s an article from 1981. Carter loose monetary policy caused it. Blocker was guy I couldn’tthink of. Also discusses Reagan plan to bring down and all naysayers who were obviously wrong. Incidentally, Barry is following Carter’s policy now of loose monetary policy.

      • One of the economic boom eras you mentioned with a democrat in the White House was the Clinton presidency, in which the GOP controlled both the House and Senate for the last six years and balanced the federal budget, an austerity move described by Clinton and other liberal notables such as the late and unlamented Ted Kennedy as “mean-spirited”.

        • JohnEngelman

          The budget was balanced because Clinton had earlier raised the top tax rate, and because he cut military spending.

          Republicans have a difficult time understanding this, but military spending costs real money. Republicans think that because they hate taxes and love to spend money on the Pentagon that raising defense spending while cutting taxes is not fiscally irresponsible, but it is.

          Cutting taxes while raising military spending is the reason the national debt has become such a problem.

          • Clinton did not raise the top tax rate. Congress did.


          • JohnEngelman

            They both did. It benefited the country.

  • Cville

    Why was unemployment so high when Reagan took over? Progressives ran things for prior 16 years.

    Carter lost 44 states for a reason. Unemployment was bad and inflation was horrible as was regulation. Reagan’s medicine was to put economy to sleep to bring inflation down and deregulated which temporarily increased unemployment.inflation came way down as did unemployment and economy hummed and he won 49 states.

  • Cville

    Also it’s helpful to compare California to Texas if you want to compare the benefits of economic policies. Same time period, same global conditions yet Texas is thriving and ca is dying.

    • You mean Houston and Dallas according to liberal sources on food insecurity that do worst than San Diego or Orange County. Houston and Dallas not only have a lot of Mexicans but a lot of Blacks. That’s why Minnesota or Virginia have lower unemployment than Texas and have more people finished high school. Texas is about as bad as California when it comes to Mexicans and also has more blacks.

  • Transpower

    Rove and the Bush family are, in essence, RINO’s. They opposed Ronald Reagan and Barry Goldwater. What the Republicans need is another Barry Goldwater!

    • Steven Bannister

      Yes, Barry Goldwater was a REAL conservative, but if he didn’t win in 1964, then he certainly wouldn’t win in 2016.

      The country is DIFFERENT now. People WANT welfare, people WANT big government. When they ran the numbers of the 2012 election, the GOP realized that even Ronald Reagan would not have won that last election.

      Our media was taken over 50+ years ago and the current crop of Jon Stewart worshipers just see “limited government” as “selfish government.” They literally believe that it’s EVIL to suggest that people take care of themselves.

      The solution is no longer political, we need to engage the culture

  • Dave4088

    Republican sellouts like Karl Rove will learn that Latinos demand free stuff, representatives that cater to their racial interests and who look like them. He’ll be waiting for a very long time to see an appreciable number of Latinos at CPAC or lining up to take classes at the Ludwig Von Mises Institute in the case of Rand and Ron Paul.

  • Steven Bannister

    Actually, Karl Rove IS correct – to win the next presidential election, the GOP would have to turn out more white votes AND increase it’s share of minority voters. Problem is, that’s almost impossible to do.

    Now, the Republican Party COULD bring in more white voters if they suddenly made an explicit appeal to white voters, immigration patriots, etc. But then they would LOSE the minorities and moderate whites who already believe the GOP is racist and evil. So, the GOP will NOT do that.

    The more likely approach is that the GOP will become the “Me Too Party” and promise even MORE goodies, MORE diversity than the Democratic Party! The problem here is, you just can’t out-Democrat the Democrats. They will ALWAYS be better at offering free stuff and the liberal media will be quick to point out the disingenuousness of the GOP’s death bed conversion.

    In other words- the GOP will NOT win the next election or ANY election in the foreseeable future. By the time you add up the gays, the women, the racial minorities and the liberal whites, the “Coalition of Minorities” simply have more numbers. Yes, the GOP COULD have won in 2012 if Romney had gone hard and rallied the base. But they played it soft and lost and they will never get that chance again.

    I’m afraid that any political solution is over for a long, long time. At this point there are only two things we can do- 1) Build stronger networks, communities and organizations and 2) build a Pro-White Party (American Freedom Party or something similar) that WILL lose but might have a chance at cutting 20% off the Republican vote.

    F*ck it, at least we can get some revenge.

  • Texan1st

    What Rove fails to acknowledge is that it was the blind eye he and the Republican establishment turned towards non-white immigration over the past 3 decades that got us to this point to begin with. THEY are the ones that legislated their party, and us, into this demographic tailspin. I don’t blame Democrats. They never disguised their contempt for common, everyday white people. So go ahead, Karl. Better get more than 50% of the non-white vote though. You’re going to need it to offset all the lost paleoconservative white voters.

    • Before the Johnson administration’s “Great Society”, the democrats were the champions of working-class whites. Their abandonment of their core voter base in favor of dysfunctional nonwhites who will always need big government because they are simply incapable of taking care of themselves was cynical in the extreme.

      This is unfortunate for them as a political party because together with their advocacy of flooding the United States with ever-increasing numbers of additional dysfunctional nonwhites, it means the democrats have effectively locked themselves into the role of Santa Claus – buying votes with tax-funded programs – and will never be able to exercise any fiscal restraint until the whole system eventually collapses, just as we are currently seeing in the state of California today.

  • AllSeeingEyeSpy

    if more white votes wont save the GOP then nothing will.

  • Luca

    I can produce twice as many statistics as you can and where would it get us? Use your common sense. I thought this was a website for realism and common sense, your posts only convince me that you spend your time cherry picking one-sided statistics that prop up your side of the argument. You don’t fool me at all.

    Apparently the only realism you possess was beat into you by black thugs. Perhaps we can get an economics professor from the Austrian school to do the same thing for you.

    • Luca

      As for Viet Nam, it was Truman who ignored Ho Chi Minh’s requests for support in lifting the colonial yoke off their backs that France had maintained for decades. He sent Truman numerous requests for assistance with independence which were summarily ignored, even though Ho assisted with driving the Japanese out of Indo-China..

      China and Russia were more than happy to help with Ho’s requests which resulted in a divided country and then two wars.

      Ike sent aide, Kennedy sent advisers and look what the LBJ did.

      So aside from being a liberal statistician I see you are also an American history revisionist.

      • JohnEngelman

        The Democrats are not innocent of the tragic futility of the War in Vietnam. Eisenhower started it by not signing and honoring the Geneva Agreement of 1954. Nixon needlessly prolonged it.

    • JohnEngelman

      Then why don’t you? I post facts that I document. You post insults and misconceptions.

      • Luca

        I don’t because it becomes playground banter.

  • Larry Klein

    He considers it a “tall order” for a Republican to get 63% of the white vote, even though the Democrats were able to get 73% of the Hispanic vote and 98% of the black vote? Maybe the theory is that whites vote less monolithically, but even still 70% should be possible if the Republicans would actually speak to issues that affect working class people, like free trade and mass immigration, instead of dog whistling on abortion or tired talk on taxes and “socialism.” Not to mention, it’s no accident that whites vote less monolithically, afterall, they’ve been bullied by the liberals and politically correct into having no racial identity. A candidate with courage would not be afraid to strike back against the PC forces without being overtly racist.

    • Romney got 59% of the white vote nationally, which means in many states he got 63% or more of the white vote, with the top finishers Mississippi (89%) and Alabama (84%).

  • How the Stupid Party can start winning elections again and start making real permanent inroads:

    The triangle is the most stable shape in geometry. Anything designed around a triangle, from buildings to basketball (Phil Jackson’s triangle offense) to political campaigns (Reagan’s Three Pillars) is going to yield rich results.

    Here’s our triangle offense going forward:

    * Affordable family formation (implicitly for whites)

    * Immigration patriotism

    * Combat the black undertow + Dismantle B.R.A.

    Easy to remember, easy for people to grok.

    We don’t need to make things more complicated than that.

    Now, politicians, I’ve just given you free advice; use it.

  • Rex

    If those stupid White voters who are still in the NOW anti-American Democratic Party and those Whites who are Independent had voted Republican Mitt Romney would have won the election without this pandering to Hispanics. It might have made a huge difference also if Romney had chosen an influential, photogenic, well known Vice-Presidential running mate.
    The way it is it appears that the Republican Party will change into another Democratic Party. This a good reason to prop up the Tea Party into becoming a true representative of our Western Civilization and American values and just leave the Republican Party dissolve itself. Honestly, I don’t think that we can do business with destructive minorities. They don’t lime us and we don’t like them and there id good reason why we don’t like them and it’s nothing to do with race. Be prepared to live in a place dominated by 500 Tribes, one going against the other in permanent conflict and forget about the much celebrated Union formed by Great Patriots of the past.Those days are gone by operation of White Traitors, a good portion of them White women.

  • Paleoconn

    Why does this man still have an audience? Let’s put this douchebag Karl Rove and all others of the same Respectable Right ilk out to pasture.

  • Randall Ward

    I would like to make one thing perfectly clear; Karl Rove is a yankee, not a Texan. George Bush is not a Texan even though he was mostly raised in Texas. He had a yankee mom and dad and it takes more than a generation to develope the independent Texas spirit. Besides that Bush is what I call an empty man; he moves and lives but their is no inside that can only be developed by having your nose knocked about by the real world.
    Pick out the most successful manager of a new car dealership in the USA; make him president. I bet he would be as good as RR.