Election 2012: Trende Notes Key Fact: White Turnout Was Low

Trende Notes Key Fact: White Turnout Was Low

By Patrick Cleburne, VDare, November 8, 2012

As Peter Brimelow has said, we at VDARE.com greatly value the work of election analyst Sean Trende – not least of course because his thinking moves in patterns very similar to our own.

Amidst the mounting blizzard of Minority triumphalism and Hispandering demands following the election, Trende’s The Case of the Missing White Voters Real Clear Politics November 8th, 2012 stands out as a beacon of rationality and deserves wide reading.

He makes two crucial points

…the 2012 elections actually weren’t about a demographic explosion with non-white voters. Instead, they were about a large group of white voters not showing up.

…almost 7 million fewer whites voted in 2012 than in 2008. This isn’t readily explainable by demographic shifts either; although whites are declining as a share of the voting-age population, their raw numbers are not.

…, the reason this electorate looked so different from the 2008 electorate is almost entirely attributable to white voters staying home.

Put another way: The increased share of the minority vote as a percent of the total vote is not the result of a large increase in minorities in the numerator, it is a function of many fewer whites in the denominator.

In other words, Romney repeated McCain, only worse.

Contemplating the map of his home state of Ohio, Trende suggests the absentees were from unprosperous Blue Collar areas – no surprise to VDARE.com readers.

The second piece of Trende wisdom is likely to be even less repeated in the MSM: he thinks increased GOP Hispandering futile:

…there are real questions about the degree to which immigration policies — rather than deeper issues such as income and ideology — drive the rift between the GOP and Latinos. Remember, passage of Simpson-Mazzoli in 1986 was actually followed two years later by one of the worst GOP showings among Latinos in recent history.

Moreover, the simple fact is that the Democrats aren’t going to readily let Republicans get to their left on the issue in an attempt to poach an increasing portion of the Democratic base. If the GOP embraces things such as the DREAM Act, the Democrats can always up the ante.

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3 thoughts on “Election 2012: Trende Notes Key Fact: White Turnout Was Low

  1. Kirt Higdon

    This interesting statistic belies the theory that a whiter electorate automatically equals a more Republican electorate. So 7 million white voters didn’t show up and Obama, who won in 2008 by about ten million votes, won in 2012 by about three million? Coincidence? I don’t think so. Obviously these stay at home white voters (actually some of them may have voted but just not on the presidential line) were a good chunk of the Obama white voters of 2008. Clearly this year, they didn’t like either candidate, but if forced to choose at gunpoint a lot of them, maybe a majority would have gone with Obama a second time.

  2. Sean Scallon

    “…the substantial drop-off in the white vote is a significant data point. …the bigger puzzle for figuring out the path of American politics is who these non-voters are, why they stayed home, and whether they might be reactivated in 2016.”

    Or they could have DIED too between 2008 and 2012. Anyone ever think of that?

    You can’t tell me that an election which every Republican and conservative voter was so hot to get rid of Obama and whipped into a frenzy to do so by every talk show host, every blog, website, Fox News, Rush Limbaugh, their own churches, that somehow, some way three million said voters just got up on Election Day and said to themselves “Nah. Forget about it. I won’t vote.” You’ve got to be kidding me!

    More excuse making by people who simply do not want deal with reality. GOP – Party of old people. And what do old people do? They die. Between 2008 and 2012 I almost guarantee a lot of anti-Obama voters went to their graves.

  3. Kirt Higdon

    Sean, the problem with your explanation is that white voters have not decreased in absolute numbers – just as a percentage of the total electorate. But if die off is the explanation, far more Obama white voters died off than Republican white voters. All the Republicans have to do is wait another election cycle or two for the remainder of the Demo voting whites to die off.

    I’m more inclined to think that Bush’s regime will be remembered by the electorate more or less as Hoover’s was. It may be several more cycles before the Repubs can get another president elected. Or the party itself may fall apart. Dare we hope?

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