GOP’s 2014 White Share: Only Fair So Far
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If you look at the Drudge Report, you’ll be treated to a series of headlines underscoring what seems to be an imminent Democratic collapse in the elections next week. However, the elections are far closer than was expected a few months ago—so close that the Main Stream Media is tentatively discussing the possibility that the Democratic Party may actually hold on to the Senate. [A.B. Stoddard: What If Dems win? by A.B. Stoddard, The Hill, October 23, 2014]


While that’s unlikely, the fact that it’s even a possibility at this point testifies to the continuing inability of the Beltway Right to capitalize on Barack Obama’s unpopularity and its refusal to do what Ann Coulter suggested—make the election a referendum on the President’s efforts to boost illegal immigration.


The biggest danger sign for Republicans: their mediocre share of the white vote in many elections. While the MSM hyperventilates about the Hispanic vote and Beltway Right consultants fantasize about breaking away a chunk of the black vote, the plain fact fact is that the GOP is almost entirely dependent on the white (formerly, i.e. before 1965, known as American) vote. Which is extraordinary, considering the almost open contempt with which the Republican Party treats its base. ‘s rule of thumb: the GOP has to get the 60% of the white vote that it got in the 2010 TeaParty midterms. (Less easy to gauge, it also has to get a reasonable white turn-out, which Romney failed to do in 2012). But note that, while a 60% GOP white share is OK nationally, it’s not good enough in the South, where the GOP starts at a disadvantage because of the large black populations and must compensate among whites (which it generally does—88% of Mississippi’s whites voted for Republican Mitt Romney in 2012).


This year, in the generic Congressional ballot, Republicans only have a two-point lead over the Democrats, 43% to 41%. Incredibly, the GOP has even failed to win a decisive majority of the white vote, only posting a 49% to 35% lead with 16% undecided. [Generic Congressional Ballot: Republicans 43%, Democrats 41% — Full Demographic Detail, Rasmussen, October 20-26, 2014]


Nevertheless, nobody except seems very interested in the white vote. So here’s a breakdown of the white vote in every significant Senate race that will be decided next Tuesday.


Methodological points: The demographic details from Rasmussen polls are behind a paywall that can only be accessed after purchasing a Platinum Service subscription. You can buy such a subscription here.


Obviously, not all of these numbers add up to 100%. Though these polls include “leaners,” the figures used for comparison don’t always include undecided voters or those voting for third parties. In some cases, as in North Carolina, Libertarians are taking more votes away from the Republican and may act as spoilers. However, in most cases, third party support is negligible.


While undecided voters are critical, many of them may decide not to vote. However, if the GOP can’t poll over fifty percent of the white vote this late in the election season, it bodes ill for their chances for victory.




According to ABC, there are five races that are still a tossup with one week to go [Where Things Stand With the Senate: ABC News Election 2014 Race Ratings, by Rick Klein and Noah Weiland, ABCNews, October 27, 2014]. They include Colorado, Georgia, Iowa, Kansas, and Louisiana.


Already, just the fact that states like Georgia and Kansas are up for grabs is a pretty good indicator the Republican Party is not doing as well as it should.

  • Colorado: Democratic Incumbent Senator Mark Udall versus Republican Cory Gardner. has covered the Hispandering of Cory Gardner only a few days ago. Still, a new poll from Rasmussen shows that Gardner is winning 51% to 45% overall and is winning the white vote by 53% to 44% (with “leaners” included in the poll). [Crosstabs: Election 2014 – Colorado Senate – October 21-23, 2014, Rasmussen] (Interestingly, this poll also shows Gardner with a slight edge in the Hispanic vote, though whether that is simply a function of Rasmussen taking a non-representative sample remains to be seen). rating: Unimpressive.
  • Georgia (Open Seat): Republican David Perdue vs. Democrat Michelle Nunn. The RealClearPolitics Average encompassing several polls shows this race as a tie as of October 27, 2014. A New York Times/CBS News/YouGov poll conducted from October 16-23 shows Perdue with a 47% to 44% lead (if leaners are included in the poll.) Perdue is winning the white vote by 65% to 24%; as expected, Democrat Nunn is winning the black vote 86% to 7% —no doubt helped by the Democrats’ cynical use of the shooting death of “Gentle Giant” Michael Brown in Ferguson. If the Republicans can’t win an open seat in the South because of an inability to bring home the white vote in the numbers they need, they are in serious trouble. Not good enough.
  • Iowa (Open Seat): Republican Joni Ernst vs. Democrat Bruce Braley. The RealClearPolitics average has Ernst with a slight 1.7% lead as of October 28, 2014. A NewYorkTimes/CBS News/YouGov poll conducted from October 16-23 has the race tied at 44%, with the white vote almost tied as well, tilting towards Republican Joni Ernst by only 45% to 43%. A more recent poll from Loras College has a 1% lead for Braley—it doesn’t break down voters by race, but given the overwhelmingly white electorate in the state, we can assume that as with other polls, the white vote is almost tied. Very bad.
  • Kansas: Republican Incumbent Senator Pat Roberts vs “Independent” Greg Orman. Losing this race would be catastrophic for the Republican Party, but Roberts can thank immigration liberals Sam Brownback and Beltway Right activists like Grover Norquist for making that likely. The RealClearPolitics aggregatehas Orman with a slight lead, and most other polls concur. A Marist poll released October 26 that shows Orman with a one point lead has the white vote tied at 45% each. A NewYorkTimes/CBSNews/YouGov poll conducted from October 16-23 that gives Roberts an overall four point lead has him with an unimpressive lead in the white vote, 44% to 39% with a four point lead overall. Appalling.
  • Louisiana: Democratic Incumbent Senator Mary Landrieu versus Republicans Bill Cassidy and Rob Maness. The Republican vote is split here between Bill Cassidy, who has the backing of most Establishment Republicans and is the main challenger, and Rob Maness, who has the backing of more conservative activists and Tea Party organizations. However, this state also has a runoff vote if no candidate reaches 50%. Therefore, even though Landrieu is leading in most polls, this may not mean very much if she doesn’t reach 50% next week, which seems unlikely. A Rasmussen poll conducted from October 22-23 has Landrieu with a 43% to 36% lead over Bill Cassidy, with Rob Maness bringing up the rear with 13%. Cassidy has a 20 point lead in the white vote, 48% to 28%, with Maness adding an additional 17%. The real question here is if Maness’s voters will all add their votes to Cassidy in the likely runoff. Not clear.

Lean Democratic


ABC News has two states that it classifies as “Lean Democratic,” including New Hampshire and North Carolina.

  • New Hampshire: Democratic Incumbent Senator Jeanne Shaheen versus Republican Scott Brown. This race is actually a “toss-up” now, as a recent poll has former Senator Scott Brown inching ahead by just over a point. [Registered Likely NH Voters, New England College Polling Center, October 24, 2014] The poll does not have a racial breakdown, but the overwhelmingly white electorate in New Hampshire suggests that Brown does not have a commanding lead in the white vote. The RealClearPolitics aggregate still has Shaheen ahead by more than two points as of October 28, 2014. A NewYorkTimes/CBSNews/YouGov poll taken from October 16-23 has Shaheen ahead by five points, with Shaheen actually winning the white vote by six points, 46% to 40%. Other races have such a small sample size in the poll no racial breakdown is provided for them. Dubious.
  • North Carolina: Democratic Incumbent Senator Kay Hagan versus Republican Thom Tillis. Tillis is competing with Ed Gillespie for the Worst GOP Senate Candidate this election cycle as he barely is winning the white vote in this Southern state and continues to lose the election. Tills is only winning 53% of the white vote, compared to Hagan’s 36%. Appalling.

Lean Republican

  • Alaska: Democratic Incumbent Senator Mark Begich versus Republican Dan Sullivan.Republican Dan Sullivan is a classic member of the AdelZuck faction of the GOP, which bought his nomination by overwhelming the other side with money. Not surprisingly, he’s not doing too well—though the RealClearPolitics aggregate has him with a small lead as of October 28, 2014, recent polls show he is losing ground or possibly even losing the election. [New Alaska polls scramble Senate calculus, by Luke Brinker, Salon, October 28, 2014] A poll from Hellenthal & Associates has Senator Begich up by about ten points, though FiveThirtyEight urges caution. [Why the Senate Polling in Alaska is Making Us Sweat, by Harry Enten and Nate Silver, FiveThirtyEight, October 28, 2014] The NewYorkTimes/CBSNews/YouGov poll taken from October 16-23 has the Republican Sullivan with an overall 48% to 44% lead, and Sullivan winning the white vote by 53% to 37%. Though Hispanics and blacks are not broken out of the data, Democrat Begich is winning “other” (meaning American Indians or Alaskan “natives”) by 63% to 36%. Poor.
  • Arkansas: Democratic Incumbent Senator Mark Pryor versus Republican Tom Cotton. Tom Cotton of Arkansas is one of the most important rising stars of the immigration patriot movement and is campaigning heavily on the immigration issue. It seems to be paying off, as all the polls sampled by RealClearPolitics show Cotton with a small but steady lead over the incumbent as of October 28, 2014. The NewYorkTimes/CBSNewsYouGov poll taken from October 16-23 shows Cotton with a five point lead over Senator Pryor and Cotton winning the white vote by 53% to 35%. A sizable eleven percent of the white vote is still undecided, meaning that Cotton could end up with a dominating share of the white vote in the end, or actually see his majority decline. Ok at best.
  • Kentucky: Republican Incumbent Senator Mitch McConnell versus Democrat Alison Grimes. The Senate Minority Leader definitely had a scare put into him by Alison Grimes but McConnell is hanging on to a small lead in every recent poll taken in the state. RCP has him up by 4.4 points in its aggregate as of October 28, 2014. The NYT/CBS/YouGov poll taken from October 16-23 shows McConnell with a six point overall lead, 45% to 39%. However, McConnell does not even have over fifty percent of the white vote yet in the polls, holding on to a subpar 49% to 36% lead. A sizable 14% of white voters are still undecided. Open Borders libertarian David Patterson is also in the race, which may cost McConnell a point or two. Poor.
  • South Dakota (Open Seat): Republican Mike Rounds versus Democrat Rick Weiland versus Independent Larry Pressler versus Independent Gordon Howie. This race features former Senator Larry Pressler, a former Republican who endorsed Barack Obama for President. Gordon Howie is another Republican politician who is trying to run on Mike Rounds’s right, though he isn’t gaining much traction. Though Democrats had hopes of an upset here, Rounds seems to be cruising to victory and confident Republicans are taking money out of this race to spend on places they need it more. [GOP pulling cash from South Dakota Senate race, by Manu Raju, Politico, October 28, 2014] The RCP aggregate shows Rounds settling into a comfortable double digit lead as of October 28, 2014. The NYT/CBS/YouGov poll taken from October 16-23 shows Rounds with an overall 13 point lead over Weiland 38% to 25%, with Pressler trailing behind at 21%. Rounds is also winning 38% of the white vote compared to Weiland’s 27% and Pressler’s 19%. Mixed.

There are four races that ABC News considers “Likely Democratic.” These are some missed chances for the GOP in Michigan, Minnesota, Oregon, and Virginia.

Finally, among other competitive races, there’s one “likely Republican” race – West Virginia.

  • West Virginia (Open Seat): Republican Shelley Moore Capito versus Democrat Natalie Tennant. This open seat is a likely flip for the GOP, as incumbent Democratic Senator Jay Rockefeller is retiring. The Republican Capito has a 57% to 34% lead in the white vote and a 56% to 34% lead overall in the NYT/CBS/YouGov poll taken October 16-23. According to NumbersUSA, Capito has a lifetime rating of B+, with her biggest weaknesses an indifference towards challenging the status quo and being open to bringing in more foreign workers. OK

This list does not include “safe seats” where there is no chance of an upset. These include Republican strongholds like Alabama (where the heroic Jeff Sessions is running unopposed in the general election and was unopposed in the primary) [Jeff Sessions makes history by being unopposed for U.S. Senate, and re-election campaign is in no hurry, by Jim Stinson,, July 25, 2014]. Other states include Montana, where the GOP caught a lucky break when the main Democratic candidate had to withdraw. [Democrats face a steep climb in Montana Senate race, by Harry Enten, FiveThirtyEight, August 7, 2014]


However, it also doesn’t include like New Jersey and Illinois where the GOP almost seemed to surrender before the campaign even began by sticking to a conventional (and unpopular) Beltway Right platform.


To use these two racially diverse states as representative:

  • New Jersey: Democratic Incumbent Senator Cory Booker versus Republican Jeff Bell. Cory Booker is cruising to re-election here, as the NYT/CBS/YouGov poll from October 16-23 shows him with a 51-39 lead. Bell is holding a 47-43 advantage among whites with 9% undecided and another 1% going to another candidate. Even including undecided, Bell can’t hope to win New Jersey unless he has a white majority (over 50% support) from white voters at this point in the election.
  • Illinois: Democratic Incumbent Senator Dick Durbin versus Republican Jim Oberweis Dick Durbin has already secured a majority in the latest NYT/CBS/YouGov poll from October 16-23, winning the election 52-39. Republican Jim Oberweis only has a one point lead in the white vote, 46% to 45%. 9% are undecided and 1% are voting for a third party.

These startlingly similar case studies show that in states where the GOP isn’t even competitive, it comes from their inability to secure the white vote. Even though many of the undecided voters may not vote, Republicans need to be polling above 50% in the share of the white vote by late October if they want any hope not just of winning the election, but of keeping it close.


Bottom line:  has shown on that even if America’s immigration disaster continues, the GOP (in its role of GAP—“Generic American Party”) can continue to win national elections through 2050 by increasing its share of the white vote—which refers to as “The Sailer Strategy.”


In the 2010 Tea Party midterms, it appeared that this process had begun. But Conservatism Inc. threw away the fruits of the Tea Party victory. As of late October 2014, the ground lost has not been regained.


James Kirkpatrick [Email him] is a Beltway veteran and a refugee from Conservatism Inc.

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