David Kirkpatrick

September 5, 2010

The GOP’s demographic problem

Filed under: et.al., Politics — Tags: , , , , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 7:25 pm

The Republican Party can legitimately lick its chops getting ready for the upcoming midterms. It would take more than an epic collapse of public opinion to keep November from being an absolute bloodbath for Democrats. Looking down the road, however, things are little more bleak, and the darkest spot is the demographic reality of the United States electorate in the coming decades.

After serious outreach during the first Bush 43 term (largely orchestrated by Karl Rove), the GOP has done nothing to court the Latino vote and a whole lot to alienate Hispanics of all ages. It’s no stretch to say the Republican Party has absolutely destroyed at least three generations of a bloc that otherwise would be fairly sympathetic to a socially conservative pro-business message.

Take a moment to think about all the ways the GOP has turned on Latinos — starting with the extreme immigration stances around the nation — and then ponder these numbers:

  • 62% of Hispanics are under the age of 34.
  • 33% of Hispanics will be under the age of 18.
  • In Texas, California, New Mexico, Hawaii and the District of Columbia, the white portion of the population is already a minority (representing less than 50%).
  • At the DMA, level there will be 19 markets where the minority is the majority. In 15 of them, the dominant minority is Hispanic; in two markets the dominant minority is Black, and in Hawaii, of course, it’s the Asian/Pacific Islander.
  • By 2020, minorities are expected to account for 40% of the country.

See a little problem there? Now the figures above came from an Ad Age blog post and not a political consultant, but that should be cause for even more concern because marketers are not going to fudge demographic numbers since doing so would only serve to reduce the effectiveness of marketing efforts. Political numbers on the other hand are about as reliable as a weather forecast. Pretty much any demographic numbers coming from a political source have been massaged to placate someone. Maybe not massaged a whole lot, but you can bet the numbers have been skewed one way or another.

Going back to the Ad Age piece, Isaac Mizrahi, co-author on a paper covering  how the 2010 census is going to affect marketing, was quoted thusly, ” … in today’s economy, marketing to ethnic minorities may possibly be the competitive advantage they need.” I think we all know the answer to the question of how the GOP has been marketing to minorities, particularly Hispanics. Couple the last six years or so of Republican rhetoric excoriating Latinos with the latest iteration of hard nativism sweeping the party and the long-term prospects of the GOP don’t look so good. Will the 2010 election cycle be the last hurrah for the current GOP? Demographic numbers say yes.

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May 1, 2010

About that Arizona “green card” law

Filed under: Politics — Tags: , , , , , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 7:48 pm

Here’s the first two bits from today’s Mike Allen Playbook:

The Arizona Republic, the state’s largest newspaper, will publish a full-page, front-page editorial on Sunday calling on state leaders to put politics aside and work toward meaningful immigration reform. The newspaper, a partner in the POLITICO Network, will condemn the lack of leadership it says has been demonstrated by a host of elected officials, including senators John McCain and Jon Kyl, former governor and now Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, as well as other local, state and national officials.

And:

Secretary of State Clinton, the first guest on the new HD ‘Meet the Press’ set, to NBC’s David Gregory (taped yesterday for air tomorrow): ‘This law … is written so broadly that if you were visiting in Arizona and you had an accent — and you were a citizen from, you know, my state of New York — you could be subjected to the kind of inquiry … that this law permits.’

GREGORY: ‘You think it invites profiling? Racial profiling?’

SECRETARY CLINTON: ‘I don’t think there’s any doubt about that. … I think … a state doesn’t have the authority to … try to impose their own immigration law — that is really the province of the federal government. … I don’t want to offer a legal opinion. … I’ll leave that to the Justice Department. But I know the attorney general of Arizona has raised questions about the legality.’

There’s been a lot of discussion about the Constitutionality of the law, the undue and unfair burden it will place on law enforcement officials in the state, and obviously its impact on illegal immigration in Arizona.

Another meme that’s going around and getting traction on both sides of the aisle is it could end up being something of a death blow the GOP nationwide. Maybe even as soon as this electoral cycle, taking some steam out of a likely very favorable Republican November.

I think the GOP lost the Latin vote with wild-eyed nativism during the Bush 43 years, particularly the second term, but any Latinos who had any inkling to vote Republican have most likely banished the thought. This attitude will last at least a generation, or maybe longer, right at a time when the Latino population (legal and voting) is growing around the country.

Now the idea that Bush 43 had some unusual mojo with the Latin vote is way overstated. It was a Karl Rove talking point and point of emphasis because he saw the demographic future and knew it was key for Republicans to court the Latin vote. Cue the crazed and rabid GOPers in Congress who went into an anti-immigration frenzy overriding any efforts by the White House to own the issue.

At the time of Bush’s two elections, the Bush 43 administration publicly touted how he grabbed a historic level of Latino GOP support. That was a lie. I have it on very good authority (a deep insider in the White House at the time) that by the actual numbers Bush 41 claimed a higher portion of the Latin vote than the son, so don’t think the GOP began wasting a golden opportunity in the mid- to late-2000s with that bloc. The real issue is Karl Rove was right. The party desperately needed to begin gaining Latino support to remain a force nationwide in the coming decades.

The anti-immigration zealots in Congress began nailing that coffin shut with abandon, and this legislative move by Arizona just might have hammered the final nail home.

August 6, 2009

Sotomayor seated

Filed under: Politics — Tags: , , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 2:28 pm

No surprise there. The Senate vote ended up 68-31.

Congrats to the first Puerto Rican, and Hispanic, on the Supreme Court.

May 1, 2009

Ed Crane on the GOP

Filed under: Politics — Tags: , , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 2:01 pm

This is about as good an explanation on what happened to the GOP over the last ten years or so as you’ll find anywhere — Edward H. Crane, president of the Cato Institute, on Obama as a statist and where the Republican Party has gone wrong.

The only major factor he left out is Karl Rove’s horrible, and failed, plan for a “permanent GOP majority” (and what a joke that phrase sounds like only a few years later) that entailed pissing off 49.9% of the population and winning every race by the thinnest of margins.

It could be argued Rove’s plan unraveled when he lost control of the immigration debate and rogue party members ruined his Latino plan. It can also be argued (with better internals) that the GOP never had the Latino vote in a bloc as large as was advertised. As it turns out Bush 41 did better among the Hispanic vote than Bush 43, a rarely explored or aired fact.

Here’s Crane’s excellent analysis from the link:

Time for those conservatives serious about limited government to re-read Goldwater’s Conscience of a Conservative. Strategically, conservatives have made three major mistakes. The first was to follow the advice of supply-side guru (and big-government Democrat) Jude Wanniski and not talk about spending cuts, much less the proper role of government. Economic growth replaced individual liberty as the rallying cry of far too many GOPers. Second, the neocons — mostly statists themselves — should never have been accepted into the fold. All they give us is a war against a country that never attacked us and schemes for “national greatness” like going to Mars. Enough. Finally, conservatives should jettison the social agenda of gay marriage, flag burning, and school prayer, and focus instead on federalism. Politics is about man’s relationship to the state. That relationship, to be healthy, should be minimal

January 31, 2008

More Clinton misinformation

Filed under: Politics — Tags: , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 12:05 am

You know that meme going around? The conventional wisdom being repeated all across every type of media that Latinos won’t support black candidates? Hold your horses — it might not be correct. In fact it may merely be an ongoing spin fabricated in the bowels of the Clinton campaign.

The above link goes to a Gregory Rodriguez Los Angeles Times column. Rodriguez cites hard numbers showing Latino voters having no qualms supporting black politicians. He goes on to break down how Clinton’s campaign could even inject the idea into the media.

From the column:

So, given all this evidence, why did this notion get repeated so nonchalantly? For one, despite the focus on demographic changes in America, journalists’ ignorance of the aspirations of Latino America is pretty remarkable. They just don’t know much about the biggest minority in the nation. And two, no Latino organizations function in the way that, say, the Anti-Defamation League does for Jewish Americans. In other words, you can pretty much say whatever you want about Latinos without suffering any political repercussions.

This political strategy of the Clinton camp might have longer legs than just this campaign if Rodriguez is correct.

He writes:

But the social costs of the Clintons’ strategy might end up being higher than the country is willing to pay. According to Stanford Law professor Richard Thompson Ford, who just published “The Race Card: How Bluffing About Bias Makes Race Relations Worse,” such political stunts can be “self-fulfilling prophecies.”

“It could make black voters more hostile to Latinos,” he said. “And Latinos who hear it might think that they somehow ought to be at odds with blacks. These kinds of statements generate interracial tensions.”

(Hat tip: Daily Kos)