Too close to call, phooey! At 6 a.m. November 8, the 2000 Election's message was loud and clear: George W. Bush, despite pitiful pandering, has been spectacularly defeated among Hispanics. Which means that, given the immigration policy he paradoxically favors, another nail has been driven into the Republican Party's coffin.
* Nationally, CNN is reporting that Hispanics broke 35%-62% for Gore—a landslide of LBJ proportions.
* In California, Bush did even worse among Hispanics, losing 27%-67%.
* In New York, Bush was annihilated among Hispanics, 18%-80%.
* In Florida, the much-touted Cuban vote does not seem to have resulted in anything better than a draw.
* Even in his home state of Texas, Bush lost handily among Hispanics, 42%-54%.
The central conclusion of Ed Rubenstein and my 1997 cover story in a Republican hack-sheet whose name I forget remains intact: the trend is not the GOP's friend. In the shockingly short run, only immigration reform can save it. We will update this analysis when final numbers are available. [See Swept Away, October 20, 2001] But it's worth noting that the Asian vote, which we then allocated equally between parties, seems now to be emerging as Democratic, 55%-41%.
The Republicans simply seem unable to dominate their key demographic—whites—in the way that the Democrats own theirs. The Nader phenomenon is entirely white. It would be worth investigating further, if any Nader voters escape being hunted down and lynched by enraged Democrats.
The 2000 Presidential election punished courage as well as cowardice. Pat Buchanan seems to have been fatally irradiated by the controversy over his frank questioning of World War II's inevitability in A Republic, Not an Empire. His poll numbers collapsed and never recovered. GOP strategists are unlikely to be impressed by the observation of Shakespeare's Julius Caesar:
Cowards die many times before their death;
The valiant never taste of death but once.
Nevertheless, their ultimate fate is likely to be the same.
November 8, 2000