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Numbers That Should Cause Republicans To Lose Sleep At Night

Charlie Cook takes note of the GOP’s scary math:

The white share of the vote in presidential elections has dropped 15 points over the past six elections, from 87 percent in 1992 to 72 percent in 2012. This trend has little to do with Barack Obama, the nation’s first African-American president. The declines from one presidential election to the next have been consistent: a 4-point drop from 1992 to 1996, 2 more points in 2000, 4 additional points in 2004, 3 points in 2008, and 2 points last year.

At the same time, the Republican share of the minority vote is getting grisly. Among the 13 percent of voters who are black, Obama won by 87 percentage points, 93 percent to 6 percent, while congressional Democrats won by 83 points, 91 percent to 8 percent. Latinos made up 10 percent of last year’s electorate and gave the president a 44-point edge, 71 percent to 27 percent, while congressional Democrats had a 38-point advantage, 68 percent to 30 percent. The Asian-American vote—3 percent of the electorate and now the fastest-growing ethnic group—sided with Obama by 47 points, 73 percent to 26 percent; congressional Democrats won by a 1-point-wider margin, 73 percent to 25 percent.

According to a Nov. 14 report by the Pew Research Hispanic Center, 40 percent of the population growth of citizens of voting age between now and 2030 will be Hispanic, 21 percent will be black, and 15 percent will be Asian-American. Only 23 percent of that growth will be white. Indeed 50,000 Latinos will turn 18 years of age each month for the next 20 years. The Census Bureau reported last year that 50.4 percent of all births in the U.S. in the 12 months ending July 1, 2011, were among minorities; 49.5 percent were among non-Hispanic whites.

This is simply math. As long as Republicans drive minority voters away, they will not be a nationally competitive party.

But it’s not just race and ethnicity that are a problem for the GOP:

While Republicans still do better than Democrats among voters 40 and older, particularly those over 65, they are losing to Democrats among voters in their 30s—and losing badly among those under 30. As someone who just turned 59, I can make this next provocative statement: Democrats are doing better among voters who can be considered the future. Republicans are doing well among those who could be described as the pre-dead.

As those voters whose political identities were strongly influenced by the success of Ronald Reagan’s presidency and the less-than-successful tenure of Jimmy Carter begin to lose their share of the electorate, and those whose political identities were formed during less auspicious times for the GOP increase their share, the future looks troubling for the Republican Party.

Next, look at gender politics. You could once suggest a half-empty, half-full assessment of the political gender gap. Yes, Republicans have a problem with female voters, but Democrats also have a problem with male voters. Keep in mind, though, that female voters outnumber males and that women live longer. In the past two presidential elections, 53 percent of the electorate was female. But worse for Republicans, the vote wasn’t symmetrical. Romney and congressional Republicans won the male vote by 7 and 8 percentage points, respectively; Obama and Democrats won the larger women’s vote by 11 points. That’s a losing equation for the GOP.

These aren’t new numbers, of course, but they point out a serious problem that the GOP faces in the coming years. In many ways, they’ll be able to avoid reality if they wish in coming years because 2010 redistricting likely ensures that they’ll hold on to the House of Representatives for the time being. However, what these numbers suggest is that, without significant change on their part, Republicans will continue to come up short when it comes to Senate elections in purple states and Presidential elections. The question is whether they’ll be smart enough to change before it’s too late.

 

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About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May, 2010 and also writes at Below The Beltway. Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. Gold Star for Robot Boy says:

    The question is whether they’ll be smart enough to change before it’s too late.

    No, the GOP is not smart enough to change its attitude toward minorities.

    However, the GOP is smart enough to change the rules on how electoral college votes are tallied, so whether they come up short in presidential elections remains to be seen. It’s a BS solution to the party’s troubles, but you can’t say the party isn’t aware there’s a problem.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 38 Thumb down 0

  2. Mr. Prosser says:

    Messing with redistricting and trying to change the electoral vote distribution are the obvious ways the party will use to survive in the short run. But, ten years is a long time and I would very much like to see any demographic projections of which populations may be moving into staunch republican suburban districts as economic times get better between now and 2020. Gerrymandering just may blow up in the party strategists’ faces and make electoral vote distributions null. By the way I like the term pre-dead, that’s me, I guess, although when I die I’ll know I’ll be doing my part to help the Left.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 0

  3. Franklin says:

    Messing with redistricting and trying to change the electoral vote distribution are the obvious ways the party will use to survive in the short run.

    Don’t forget voter suppression tactics.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 17 Thumb down 0

  4. Tsar Nicholas says:

    The other way to look at all that, however, is to say:

    “Here are the numbers that should cause all Americans who actually care about America to lose sleep at night and to be mortified, ashamed and disgusted:”

    14.0% = unemployment rate for blacks (93-6, Obama)
    9.6% = unemployment rate for Hispanics (71-28, Obama)
    6.9% = unemployment rate for whites (59-39, Romney)

    Poorly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 33

  5. Gustopher says:

    @Tsar Nicholas: I, for one, am disgusted the unemployment rate for minorities is so much higher — we live in a racist country. And, according to your numbers, Republicans seem to benefit from it.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 24 Thumb down 2

  6. James in LA says:

    @Tsar: So what? Keep in mind, “so what” pretty much sums up the appropriate response to all your deliberately “hilarious” assertions, past and future.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 0

  7. Markey says:

    But the GOP can get more fresh meat by going “ballistic” against Obama´s gun grab crusade!

    Something like that, while fleecing Republican rubes for ca$h..

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 0

  8. Mikey says:

    Democrats are doing better among voters who can be considered the future. Republicans are doing well among those who could be described as the pre-dead.

    As I’ve said elsewhere…if the GOP can’t find a way to pull in younger voters, it will quite literally die itself into irrelevance.

    Perhaps the GOP will learn that religiously-motivated opposition to gay rights, abortion, and science won’t attract an increasingly non-religious, pro-choice, pro-gay-marriage, scientifically literate young electorate. I don’t hold out much hope for it, though.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 1

  9. C. Clavin says:

    “…The question is whether they’ll be smart enough to change before it’s too late…”

    By all indications…no.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 0

  10. superdestroyer says:

    @Gold Star for Robot Boy:

    Anyone who was not politically correct and able to count could see that the Republicans (or any conservative party) was not going to survive in the U.S.

    Does anyone really think that there is any rule change that will effect the elections in the long run? When more than 50% of the children in public school being non-white, it should be obvious that there is no future in the U.S. for a conservative party or any conservative policies or issues.

    The better question what happens in politics when there no more need for a conservative party. What effect does it have for the Democrats to have $ 5 trillion plus of government fund to pass around to its core groups. Will anyone currently in the Democratic Party be willing to walk away from all of that money?

    Anyone outside of the Democratic Party will been seen as prey by the Democrats. It is an easy prediction that anyone interested in politics will soon be a Democratic because that will be the only way to have a career in politics. Why else do does anyone think that people like David Frum, Colin Powell, and Bruce Bartlett have become Democrats? There is no future in conservative politics.

    The real question to ask all of the non-whites and 20 something that support the Democratic Party is how high of income taxes are they willing to pay and what percentage of GDP should the goverment consume? The real question to ask all of the wonks and pundits is why did you notice this trend years ago?

    Poorly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 16

  11. superdestroyer says:

    @Gustopher:

    What is it that when whites are unemployed, they are losers who were not smart enough to get into Ivy League schools and deserve what has happened but that if a black or Hispanic is unemployed, then it must be the white man’s fault? Who are whites responsible for 70% of blacks being born to single mothers? How are whites responsible for the crime rate in black neighborhoods? Who are whites responsible for blacks failing out of the public schools in Baltimore or DC when blacks run the schools and control the local government?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 14

  12. al-Ameda says:

    @Tsar Nicholas:

    14.0% = unemployment rate for blacks (93-6, Obama)
    9.6% = unemployment rate for Hispanics (71-28, Obama)
    6.9% = unemployment rate for whites (59-39, Romney)

    Well, another more relevant and accurate way way to look at those numbers is a Republican president, George W. Bush, bequeathed to his successor, Barack Obama an economy reeling from the worst financial and housing collapse in 80 years. one from which we are still struggling to recover from.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 1

  13. Trialdog says:

    This isn’t scary for republicans, it is scary for the country. The more divided the country becomes, the worse off we are. If the electorate will only vote for candidates based on race or sex rather then policies in the best interests of the country, those policies best for the country will never be raised. As the economy deteriorates further and opportunity diminishes we can only hope the electorate can shake off politics of division and fear that is the core campaign strategy of the democratic party. If they cannot, the republicans will disappear and the democratic party will simply begin to feed on itself as competing democratic party members attack each other as racist, hateful, rich, evil, God fearing, gun owning, Nazis in order to secure votes from increasingly stupid voters.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 12

  14. Rob in CT says:

    @Trialdog:

    If one of the two major parties produces policies that are only beneficial for a minority of the population, and actively scorns the rest, it is scary for the country. And that’s what’s happening. Various groups of American voters recognize the GOP for what it is, and vote accordingly.

    Politics of division and fear? Heh. That’s been the Republican strategy for some time now, and it worked quite well… for a while. (47%! Welfare Queens! etc, etc).

    If the GOP actually goes the way of the Dodo, the Dems may well crack up. Or you could get a replay of the Whigs -> Republicans changeover. Either works for me. GOP delenda est.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

  15. grumpy realist says:

    Considering that the bulk of the Republican Party holds to a platform where a zygote is considered to have more rights than me, a fully functioning (and tax-paying) human being……

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  16. superdestroyer says:

    @Rob in CT:

    Why would any group inside the Democratic Party want to walk away from $5 trillion plus in fugure spending. Do you really think there is an issue big enough to break up the Democratic Party or does it make more sense that most Republican voters just move over to the Democratic Party to try to restrain the call for taxing and spending?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 3

  17. Rob in CT says:

    Do you really think there is an issue big enough to break up the Democratic Party?

    Yes, I think so. Or rather I think it’s plausible that the Dems could overreach on multiple issues and cause defections from their ranks. I’m not sure a single issue would do it… depends on the issue.

    Or hell, maybe the Dems will get us into a real nasty war that strains our resources even more and that wrecks their credibility on foreign policy. Basically what Bush the Younger did for the GOP. If the Dems F up that badly, of course they could crack up (or at least see enough defections to get their butts kicked by the GOP).

    most Republican voters just move over to the Democratic Party to try to restrain the call for taxing and spending?

    If that happened (or rather, if it continues to happen), there’s your Democratic crackup right there. The influx of ex-Republicans would swell the ranks of the centrist Dems. You’d get an even more vicious fight between the progressive wing and the centrist wing. If the GOP was really dead, the two would break apart, because as is often the case teh strongest thing holding them together is fear/loathing of The Enemy. Remove the enemy, and it’ll fall apart.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  18. superdestroyer says:

    @Rob in CT:

    I think diversity and a desire for more entitlements will keep the Democrats out of any foreign adventures. The need to pay for more entitlements will cause the Democrats to eventual cut spending on everything else. When the Republicans move over and start voting in the Democratic primary, you may get a situation like Maryland or Mass that does not really moderate the Democrats. I suspect that the voters and politicians who are currently in the Republican party will eventually figure out that cheating on their taxes and hiding income will be an easier why to restrain government spending rather than pointlessly trying to change things at the ballot box.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 4

  19. Rob in CT says:

    I think diversity and a desire for more entitlements will keep the Democrats out of any foreign adventures

    Good, if true.

    I suspect that the voters and politicians who are currently in the Republican party will eventually figure out that cheating on their taxes and hiding income will be an easier why to restrain government spending rather than pointlessly trying to change things at the ballot box

    Ah, the old “take my ball and run away” approach. That’ll work.

    We’ve seen this before: “If I don’t get to win, I’ll burn it down!” And to think that Conservatives had the unmitigated gall to accuse the opponents of the Excellent Iraqi Adventure unpatriotic.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  20. aFloridian says:

    I think some of my fellow Republicans make the mistake of assuming that losing the minority vote is a foregone conclusion because of ideology. This ignores the fact that on many issues there are potentially large blocs of blacks and Hispanics who would be potential allies to various conservative causes.

    The two major issues preventing this? One, the Republican Party has moved continually to the right as a result of its being hijacked by the increasing minority of radical fundamentalist Christians and Tea Party racism / jingoism while the country as a whole has stayed Center-Right or even moved a little towards the left (this is definitely the case on some of the major social issues).

    The second issue is, of course, that the Republican Party, in courting those aforementioned segments of the right have done their damnedest to alienate minorities and young people. A perfect example is Romney’s infamous 47% comment. When you characterize half the electorate (and implicit in this comment was that Romney was principally talking about minorities) as a group of wastrels always looking for a handout from the hardworking white man (see “you didn’t build that” backlash) how do you possibly expect to court their votes?

    Personally, I think both parties have shown a marked condescension toward minority voters in recent years, but the Democratic Party has not gone out of its way to insult minorities in a tone bordering on white supremacy.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  21. Stan says:

    @Tsar Nicholas: You forgot to mention Jews and Asians.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0