From the Washington Post:
Republicans’ increasing reliance on white voters may not spell electoral doom just yet“The party’s strategist class” — has anybody ever seen quantitative studies sponsored by the GOP’s Strategist Class? Do they do any research beyond listening to what Barack Obama, Chuck Schumer, and Carlos Slim tell them is in their best electoral interests?
By Chris Cillizza August 3 at 1:23 PM
It’s a widely accepted idea that Republicans are sitting on a demographic time bomb: The GOP is getting whiter and whiter in terms of the voters it attracts even as the country is growing increasingly diverse.
Marisa Abrajano, an associate professor of political science at the University of California at San Diego, doesn’t dispute that basic notion in a new study of the electorate. But she does suggest that the time bomb may well have a very long fuse — and that in the time before it explodes, Republicans could actually benefit electorally from a consolidation of the white vote.
“Given that whites still make up about three-quarters of the voters in the nation and will likely be the clear majority for decades to come, there is every reason to believe that whites will have a real say in who governs,” writes Abrajano in “Will Immigration Spark a White Backlash in America?” “Indeed the white population’s growing allegiance to the Republican Party points to a very different short term future — one that might more likely be highlighted by Republican victory than by Democratic dominance.”
As the title of Abrajano’s study suggests, she ties these demographic shifts closely to the ongoing debate over immigration — and, specifically, what to do about undocumented immigrants — and the effects on our politics.
That’s a particularly relevant conversation at the moment, given the crisis of undocumented children flooding the country’s southern border and the recently concluded debate over how much federal money to devote to solving that problem. …
That resistance — which conservatives in the House insist is based on a desire to see the border secured before the topic of what to do with the 11 million people here illegally can be debated — has led to significant handwringing among the party’s strategist class
, which worries that the Republicans’ policies make them look unwelcoming to Hispanics.Another aspect to consider is the inherent fractiousness of the Democrats’ Coalition of the Fringes: the lesbian-feminists are mad at the suddenly all-important she-males, the Muslims are mad at the Jews over the Middle East, the Asians are mad at the Hispanics over U. of California quotas, the NAMs are mad at the SWPLs for gentrifying them out to the sticks, Hollywood is worried that soon they’ll have to release statistics about their lack of diversity just like Silicon Valley has had too, and so forth and so on.
Abrajano suggests that a much more overlooked number from the 2012 election might be more telling in terms of how immigration — and the policies the two parties propose to address it — will affect elections in the near term. That number is 20 — the percentage-point margin by which Romney beat Obama among white voters.
That was the second-largest margin among white voters for a Republican presidential nominee in three decades. …
In essence, she argues, the prominence of immigrants and immigration issues as well as the two parties’ varying responses to those issues have made it increasingly likely that the white vote will continue to consolidate behind Republican candidates in the near to mid-term.
The past two elections suggest that Abrajano may be on to something. Not only did Romney hit a near-historic high in the white vote in 2012, but Republicans won the white vote in the 2010 midterms by 23 points — a massive margin considering that whites comprised 77 percent of the overall electorate.
The coming 2014 midterms will put Abrajano’s theory to the test again.
How can this coalition be kept together? Simple. By getting all the Fringes to unite in hating straight cis-gendered Christian old white uncool men (add as many qualifying adjectives as needed).
The question then becomes: does this media storm further batter down and depress Core Americans, or do they start to grow a backbone and object to the hatred directed toward them?
It could go either way.