The Lincoln Plawg - the blog with footnotes

Politics and law from a British perspective (hence Politics LAW BloG): ''People who like this sort of thing...'' as the Great Man said

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Friday, July 15, 2005

The maths of the Hispanic vote

It occurs to my thoroughly lay mind: if one looks at the 2004 exit poll, Bush's support by race was 58%, 44% and 11% of whites, Hispanics and blacks respectively.

One could figure the Hispanic vote as a blend of white and black votes: resort to a little simple algebra (all I can manage!) discovers that the 'blend' is around 70% white and 30% black.

Not a lot one can read into such a crude exercise, obviously. But it's clear that black voters have always been distinct in their behaviour from those of other ethnicities - Irish, Poles, Italians, say. (In supporting in massive majority the Republican Party before 1932, and the Democrats afterwards, with a dead cat bounce for the GOP under Eisenhower.)

And the voting behaviour of Hispanics, taken as a whole, fits into neither mould.

No doubt, the question has been researched, but I can't recall having seen anything. One to ponder further, I think.


The Pew survey of Hispanic voters in 2004 suggests caution: Hispanics supplied 50% of population growth in the four years 2000-04 but only 25% of the growth in the voting-eligible population (for non-Hispanic whites, the numbers were 29% and 46% respectively).

Only 39% of Hispanics, against 76% of NHWs, were voting-eligible, and they accounted for only 6% of ballots cast (against 5.5% in 2000).

One gaping hole in the analysis here, as well as in the Democracy Corps survey I mentioned on July 11: there is no breakdown of Hispanics by race.

My guess is that Hispanic support for the GOP is disproportionately concentrated amongst white Hispanics - and not just the Cuban exiles in Florida. But, without the analysis, it's impossible to say.

I assume that the absence of analysis by race is deeply deliberate.

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