After the giant illegal alien marches in the spring of 2006, the mainstream media confidently predicted that Hispanics would turn out in vast numbers at the polls last November. Well, the Census Bureau's gold-standard estimate of the Hispanic share of the vote in the last election (based on its survey of 153,000 respondents) is now out, and the Latino fraction fell from 6.0% in 2004 to 5.8% in 2006.
As Peter Brimelow has been pointing out since 1997, simple arithmetic shows that the growth in Latino voters is bad for the GOP. (David Frum echoed Brimelow's point recently, and was called a Ku Klux Klanner for his troubles.)
As I've been pointing out since 2001, however, the widespread belief among Establishment Republicans like Karl Rove that the growth in the Latino vote is so rapid that they already constitute a decisive bloc whose views on illegal immigration can't be disobeyed is innumerate. There's still time when it remains politically feasible to do something about immigration.
For example, GOP pundit Michael Barone wrote that the Hispanic vote would reach 8 or 9 percent in the 2004 election. I publicly offered to bet him $1,000 that the Census survey of 50,000 households right after the voting would find a figure closer to 6.1%. The actual result was 6.0%, but Barone didn't take me up on my offer (which is too bad because I could use the money.)
The Hispanic share typically falls slightly from the more exciting Presidential election to the more ho-hum mid-term elections, because Hispanics aren't as dutiful voters. For instance, it dropped from 5.4% in 2000 to 5.3% in 2002. So, versus the last midterm election, the Hispanic share was up half a percentage point from 2002 to 2006. This continues the long-term trend of the Hispanic share growing 0.012 to 0.016 percentage points per year.
The Pew Hispanic Center points out that the Latino Demographic Tsunami isn't generating a similar Electoral Tsunami, as the graph shows. The Pew folks, who crunched the numbers off a Census Bureau data file, report:
" ... the growth of the Latino vote continued to lag well behind the growth of the Latino population. This widening gap is driven by two key demographic trends: a high percentage of the new Hispanics in the population are either too young to vote or ineligible because they are not citizens.
As a result, while Latinos represented nearly half the total population growth in the
About 5.6 million Hispanics voted in the 2006 mid-term election, which historically draws far fewer voters than the quadrennial race for president. Latinos accounted for 5.8% of all votes cast, up from 5.3% in 2002. That increase was largely a function of demographic growth.
Latinos historically lag behind whites and blacks in registration (percent among all eligible voters) and voting (percent of registered voters who actually cast ballots). In 2006, the pro-immigration rallies held in many cities raised expectations that political participation among Latinos would also increase.
Census data shows a marginal increase in registration and participation rates among Latinos between 2002 and 2006. Whites, however, also experienced a slight gain, so Latinos did not close the considerable gap. About 54% of Latino eligible voters registered in 2006, up from 53% in 2002. About 60% of these registered voters said they actually voted in 2006, up from 58% in 2002.
By contrast, 71% of white eligible voters registered in 2006, two percentage points higher than in 2002. About 72% of these registered voters said they voted in last year's mid-term elections, one percentage point higher than in 2002. ...
Hispanics accounted for 5.8% of the votes cast in 2006, up from 5.3% vote in 2002. In absolute numbers, an additional 800,000 Hispanics cast ballots in the 2006 election compared with the 2002 election.
Whites accounted for 81% of the votes in 2006, unchanged from 2002. In absolute numbers, an additional 5.6 million whites cast ballots in the 2006 election compared with the 2002 election. Blacks accounted for 10% of the votes in 2006, down from about 11% in 2002. The black vote increased by 400,000 in 2006.
The 5.6 million votes cast by Hispanics in 2006 represented 13% of the total Hispanic population. The 9.9 million votes cast by black represented 27% of the black population and the 78 million votes cast by whites represented 39% of the white population. [More]
So, non-Hispanic white residents of
Overall, whites cast almost 12 ballots for every ballot cast by a Hispanic.
Via Audacious Epigone.