Immigration’s Impact on Republican Political Prospects, 1980 to 2012

James G. Gimpel, Center for Immigration Studies, April 16, 2014


This Backgrounder examines the partisan political implications of large-scale immigration. A comparison of voting patterns in presidential elections across counties over the last three decades shows that mass immigration has caused a steady drop in presidential Republican vote shares, particularly in the nation’s largest counties. Each one percentage-point increase in the immigrant share of a large county’s population reduces the Republican share of the two-party vote by nearly 0.6 percentage points on average.

Three key conclusions emerge from this analysis:

  • First, the enormous flow of legal immigrants in to the country–29.5 million 1980 to 2012–has remade and continues to remake the nation’s electorate in favor of the Democratic Party.
  • Second, the partisan impact of immigration is relatively uniform throughout the country–from California to Texas to Florida–even though local Republican parties have taken different positions on illegal immigration. The decline does not seem to vary with the local Republican Party’s position on illegal immigration.
  • Third, if legal immigration levels remain at the current levels of over one million a year, it will likely continue to undermine Republicans’ political prospects moving forward. Further, if the substantial increases in legal immigration in Senate’s Gang of Eight bill (S.744) were to become law it would accelerate this process. Conversely, lowering the level of legal immigration in the future would help stem the decline in the Republican vote.

Three related findings help explain why immigration reduces the Republican vote:

  • Immigrants, particularly Hispanics and Asians, have policy preferences when it comes to the size and scope of government that are more closely aligned with progressives than with conservatives. As a result, survey data show a two-to-one party identification with Democrats over Republicans.
  • By increasing income inequality and adding to the low-income population (e.g. immigrants and their minor children account for one-fourth of those in poverty and one-third of the uninsured) immigration likely makes all voters more supportive of redistributive policies championed by Democrats to support disadvantaged populations.
  • There is evidence that immigration may cause more Republican-oriented voters to move away from areas of high immigrant settlement leaving behind a more lopsided Democrat majority.

[Editor’s Note: The full report is available here.]

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  • I’m more interested in what non-white immigration does to white people. I don’t much care how it affects a given political party or a given ideology.

    I will say that reports like this one, and a very similar one from Phyllis Schlafly a few months ago, are useful in that they’re trying to tell the people on the red team that busting the borders wide open will hurt the red team. Because absolutely nobody on the blue team thinks that open borders will hurt the blue team. If we’re going to dodge the bullet this time, it will come at the hands of people on the red team worried about the ability of the red team to win games. It won’t come at the hands of white people worried about white people, unfortunately.

  • Biff_Maliboo

    Natural conservatives, one and all.

    They just need a pat on the head and a pocket Constitution from your local Tea Party leader.

    • Dave4088

      Not only that, but if we sequester the illegal brownies for one week and force them to listen to Rush Limbaugh 24/7 they will emerge as dittoheads and conservative Republicans.

      • bilderbuster

        I believe you because Juan Hannity told me so!

  • D.B. Cooper

    IF you live in Ohio, the first step in fixing this problem is removing him from office, even if it means allowing a democrat to win. Eventually, the GOP will realize it will have to aggressively go after the anti-immigration vote.
    Whining, sniveling, white liberals say my strategy won’t work, but how about trying it first, then we’ll see.

    • Did you see his challenger’s neat (other than the interracial couples) YouTube ad?

      J.D. Winteregg, you can look it up.

    • Anon

      No they won’t….and this guy isn’t going anywhere. And it doesn’t matter anyway. He has even less of a say on what goes on than we do. We may be slaves. But this guy is a whipped dog kept on a tight leash.

      • IstvanIN

        Is that why he always looks on the verge of tears? I find his countenance very creepy.

  • Republikans are self-deluded, or more likely, just the second head on a two-headed monster, playing the role of controlled opposition. A real opposition party would be united against immigration. Yet the Repugs talk about how the immigrants will ally with them.

    Note how the leading Repugs groveled at the feet of billionaire Sheldon Adelson recently. He gets to pick their candidate because he has a billion votes–all dollars.

    • Anon

      An interesting question we might have to ask ourselves soon is what will we do when the “Sheldon Adelsons” decide to simply cash out and abandon Detroit America because dealing with the problems they created just isn’t any fun for them anymore.

      • They won’t do it until the last bit of wealth has been extracted. And it won’t be soon, and besides they really love the ride down. Because not only do they have the fun of extracting the wealth, they also enjoy seeing the masses suffer and go at one another’s throats.

        • bilderbuster

          So true!
          That’s the best part for them.
          Historically that’s always been when they’re at the height of their debauchery like the bloodbaths in Russia and the sickness in Berlin during Weimar Germany.

      • kikz2

        demand they take AIPAC and every last dual in the gov. and the country w/them.

        • No, arrest AIPAC and all the other traitors, strip them of their assets, and send them to work camps in the heart of darkest Africa. Diversity is our strength, after all! It can be theirs too, forever.

          • kikz2

            much better idea…….if history is truly cyclic… i just hope i’m alive to see their eventual albeit inevitable departure when those harmed by them finally come to their senses.

    • bilderbuster

      Sheldon “Shekels” Adelson just wants to buy a Republican who will nuke Iran for him.
      Otherwise he has the same anti White agenda domestically as the rest of the tribals.

      • While Shekels likes the idea of nuking Iran quite enough, I don’t think that’s why he’s really pushing his (massive) weight around in Republican Presidential politics.

        He’s doing it to make sure an immigration patriot does not win the nomination.

        Nobody has to do anything for whoever wins the Democrat nomination to be open borders. It’s in the Republican Party where someone who actually cares about the immigration question could win.

        Therefore, all Shekels has to do is to make sure the Republican nominee isn’t someone on our side, and he’s won, no matter whether the Democrat or the Republican wins.

        • bilderbuster

          He’s the insurance policy for the Republican wing of the tribe’s dog and pony showbiz elections.
          No upstarts need apply.

  • Romulus

    Gee, this is news??? It takes an center for immigration studies to figure this out????
    We could have told the repugnant party that for free!! This is proof positive, the goal of the left of creating a near permanent non white democratic voting bloc.

    Now combine this story with immigrant activist groups push to get BHO to ram amnesty down our throats in the thread a little further down in todays amren news!

    • Anon

      Why would you need a permanent voting bloc? If the left was actually what they appeared to be then their current stranglehold on American politics would have been used to dismantle our democracy and create their grand communist fascist dictatorship they’ve said they wanted for the last two generations. You don’t need voters after people vote you into power and then you take over.
      No actual voting, past, present and future, has been going on. The same exact people have been in control of every facet of American life since at least Jimmy Carter. Nothing of any importance has changed in policy.
      That isn’t even clearly a bad thing. Those who underwrote Obama were once outed by an FBI infiltrator as planning to kill at least half of all white people as a way to permanently alter the political ideology of this country, should they ever get into power. Well, about a decade ago, THEY GOT INTO POWER! No, not really, Obama is little more than a trained monkey on a leash. If he wasn’t, we’d have far more serious and direct problems than we have now.

      • Romulus

        The DC documents are pretty much the last thing standing in their way. Technically, your right, we’re only voting for two cabals who’s only difference is where the money comes from and where it goes to. Census’ give us a rough tally of the country’s makeup , so going by the reported numbers and the quasi resistance from the establishment right to resist the amnesty gives the public the viewing template of what’s transpiring nationwide. The leftist coalition might already have the numerical majority in actual terms. The media coverage it has been getting from the internet (esp. Wn sites) and broadcast gives the nation something tangible to grasp as to the titanic problems we face.
        Even if your right, trying for an American renaissance is better than rolling over dead, yes?

        Suggested reading: Former justice Stevens book: Six amendments, why the constitution needs to be changed
        Mark Levine’s book about his proposal for an article v con con.

        Clearly, there is some resistance to the direction where heading; let’s see how much there will be as more and more start paying attention.

  • Dave4088

    Then we have the likes of Rand Paul and other Republican idiots who believes that a little pandering and patronizing of brown skinned illegals (and “legals”) will turn them into conservative Republicans and flag waving patriots.

    • MBlanc46

      I’m skeptical that they really believe that. But Paul and his ilk have to support mass immigration because it’s what the people who have the resources to finance presidential campaigns want.

      • You raise a good point, but the number of candidates who’ve ever turned on their financiers after taking office can be counted on one hand.

        • MBlanc46

          I didn’t mean to suggest that he would. He knows what he has to do if he wants to be a presidential candidate and I’m sure he’ll try to do it if he can.

    • bilderbuster

      They don’t believe that nonsense for a second.
      But even if it were true, what sane White person wants to live in a nation run by Little Brown RINO’s?

  • SirMe

    That’s incredible data, and the republicans want more immigration, just staggering…

  • Anon

    That argument might actually sway people trying to get elected, in a country with legitimate elections. In our country, however, where there hasn’t been a real election in living memory and all people in politics are just putting on a show while they all work for the same totalitarian masters who wish the anonymity that such pretend elections allow, such facts as this are not of any relevance whatsoever. All the elections for probably the next 20 years have already been decided. Future “Obamas” are being groomed as we speak with full knowledge that they are planned to put on their costumes and pretend to be elected officials at specific times and dates in the future…just like Obama was told (I doubt he was recruited so much as not given any choice whatsoever). None of these people are even in charge of anything. They are told what to do, what to say, probably as part of a de facto world government that doesn’t so much as allow anyone to know who they are, let alone argue with them about a single thing.
    It is a hundred years past the time anyone had a legitimate say in anything. We are all, literally Winston Smith and we live in the world of 1984.

  • Adolf Verloc

    One wonders what immigrant voting patterns would be like if we gave strong preference to places like Ukraine and Russia. Granted, these countries export a lot of criminals and sleazeballs. They also have some highly educated, intelligent people who might pull up the average of our society.

    • TXCriollo

      Eastern euros are conservative but they dont vote, ive been to chicago lots of poles and other groups. They see the american political system as a joke

    • IstvanIN

      I am against European immigration to the US. They need to stay and fight for their own lands. Europe, the US and the Commonwealth realms should be taking in Whites who are trapped as minorities in Africa and Latin America.

  • These illegal aliens already vote, receive tax refunds (even though they don’t pay taxes), receive food stamps, medical care, and so many other freebies.

  • Ringo Lennon

    I hate the crowdedness these people bring. Schools, hospitals, traffic, declining open spaces, loss of wildlife habitat. Everywhere you look there’s a subdivision blighting the landscape. These people are not welcome to me. I think I’ve said my piece for awhile. Over and out.

  • I’m not a fan of either of the main political parties in this country but it’s still worth noting that without the flood of immigrants, the Dems wouldn’t hold a single nationwide office, and not too many statewide either.

  • Bill

    Impact? Three words: the death of. adding my words- good riddance. We need a truly conservative WHITE political party. No need to make it overtly discriminatory with a “no multi-cults or non-whites need apply”. Just have a strict, no-bargaining, no-pandering, truly conservative platform that benefits Whites and tax payers and nobody ELSE.