I've been brooding about Michael Barone's weird April 4 Washington Examiner column GOP shouldn't panic if whites become a minority. We refuted his complacency here and his ridiculous claim that a century ago "Southern and Eastern European immigrants were not regarded as white" etc. here. (And Paul Nachman has a good discussion of Barone's peculiar tendancy to see facts but not draw conclusions about America's immigration disaster here).
I know Barone personally and have been trying to get him to comment on the impact of immigration on U.S. politics, in his capacity as much-touted number guru and co-inventor of The Almanac of American Politics,, at least since Ed Rubenstein and I laid out the basic dynamic in our 1997 National Review cover story Electing a New People.
This Barone column is the first time, as far as I know, that he has ever recognized that, because ethnic voting patterns are so stable, current immigration policy is a mortal threat to the GOP (or to any GAP—"Generic American Party"—as I prefer to think of it.
But he does it in a remarkably weaselish way. I would like to think that his trivial and hypothetical qualifications to the basic disastrous trend won't deceive anyone, but I know from bitter experience that many readers (especially GOP campaign consultants) won't get beyond the headline.
One blunder is particularly telling. Barone writes:
As RealClearPolitics senior political analyst Sean Trende has written, Hispanics tend to vote 10 to 15 percent less Republican than whites of similar income and education levels. An increasingly Hispanic electorate puts Republicans at a disadvantage, but not an overwhelming one.
Only 10%-15%? I knew this was wrong and asked Steve Sailer, who replied:
2010 GOP got 60% of white vote, 38% of Hispanic vote: 22 points
2008: 55 and 31: 24 points
2006: 51 and 30: 21 points
2004: 58 and 40: 18 points
2002: 59 and 38: 21
2000: 54 and 35: 19
Looking at exit polls back several decades, the minimum gap has been 18 points and the maximum 28.
(Steve points to his 2003 UPI story here).
So Barone is underestimating the white-Hispanic vote gap by a factor of up to 100%.
My question: How could Much-Touted Number Guru Barone make such an elementary blunder—on a point that is central to his argument?
Are Barone's columns written by ignorant assistants (more common with MSM Bigfeet than you might think)? Does he just not know the facts? Does he have an emotional block about facing them?
Ask Michael Barone.