As I pointed out right after the 2012 election, Romney-Ryan did very poorly with blue-collar whites in the numerous states around the Great Lakes that the GOP lost fairly narrowly in the Electoral College. I pointed out on November 12, 2012:
The other six states in this region, however, all slipped through [Romney's] fingers: Iowa, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio, and Pennsylvania.In each of these Slippery Six states, Romney won at least 45 percent of the vote. But he still wound up a cumulative 0 for 80 in Electoral Votes. If Romney, rather than Obama, had won all six, he’d be President.The Media and the GOP Establishment famously took the opposite lesson: that the winning strategy in 2016 would be for the GOP to jettison the interests of working class whites by promoting more Mexican immigration.
The Slippery Six are states with old-fashioned white and black voting demographics, still with a smattering of old time unionized factory workers. Hispanics, much less Asians, are, for the moment, still a minor matter politically.
According to Reuters, Romney lost the Slippery Six states because (exactly as VDARE.com warned repeatedly while digging white share data out of reluctant tracking polls, see here and here and here), he did badly there among white voters—winning only 52 percent, six points worse than nationally.
Most notably, Romney did terribly among the white working class in these six states. Thus he did only two points worse among whites with college degrees in the Slippery Six than he did nationally. But among the white “some college” component, he came in six points worse than nationally. And among the white “no college” voters, he performed 11 points worse than across the country—finishing tied with Obama.
In fact (although sample sizes are getting small), Romney even appears to have suffered the ignominy of a reverse gender gap among no-college whites in the Slippery Six—winning 51.4 percent of the women, but only 48 percent of the white working class men.
After all, in the swing state of Florida there is nothing that Cuban and Puerto Rican voters care more about than the travails of their Mexican hermanos. And picking up a few more Mexican votes in California and in Texas would, while doing nothing in the Electoral College, make the popular vote margin look better in 2016.
Now, what Peter Brimelow has long called the “Sailer Strategy” seems to be ascendant, since the collective wisdom of the Republican Establishment, embodied in Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio, has proved so unexciting to Republican voters in polls. From the Washington Post:
Republican hopefuls agree: The key to the White House is working-class whitesObviously, advocating more restrictionist immigration and trade policies aren’t policy, they’re just nativism.
By Philip Rucker and Robert Costa January 13 at 6:00 AM
MANCHESTER, N.H. — … Their encounter illustrated the urgent imperative of Republicans — historically the party of business, money and power — to broaden their coalition with many more white working-class voters. As the nation diversifies and the GOP struggles to adapt, the presidential hopefuls see this demographic bloc as the key to taking back the White House.
“Some of them have never voted,” Cruz campaign manager Jeff Roe said. “It’s staggering. If they can be convinced to come out and vote, we win.”
There has been a debate within the party — and the political class — about whether Republicans need to diversify to win or whether it just needs to attract more of its core constituencies. So far in 2016, led by Cruz and Donald Trump, the election has moved decisively toward the latter. The exceptions, such as Jeb Bush and Lindsey O. Graham, are either out of the race or on the edges of it.
Trump is making the most visceral, raw appeal to people who feel left out of the economic recovery and ignored by the political establishment. He espouses hard-line views on immigration that border on nativism, protectionist trade policies and a tough approach with countries like China, Japan and Mexico that he portrays as thieves of U.S. manufacturing jobs.
Cruz, a Texas senator, is taking a similar tack, especially on immigration, airing a provocative television ad last week that depicts illegal immigrants racing across the U.S. border in suits and high heels to steal jobs from Americans.
By contrast, Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida is trying to connect with working-class voters through policy ideas.
He advocates expanding vocational education and sings the virtues of manual labor. Bush’s aspirational economic message echoes Rubio’s.Aspirational hoo-ha about American exceptionalism is policy. Concrete proposals about immigration and trade are hate.