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Bush's Hispanic Support Headed Downwards

Or, more accurately, closer to where it was to begin with. I argued the other day that it was quite unlikely that Bush actually got 44 percent of the Hispanic vote, as the national exit poll claimed, and that the 59 percent share given him by the Texas state exit poll was particularly fanciful.

Now we have this AP item, showing a drastic downward revision in the Texas figure for Bush's Hispanic support:

In the Nov. 3 BC-ELN--Texas Glance and BC-TX Exit-Poll Excerpts, The Associated Press overstated President Bush (news - web sites)'s support among Texas Hispanics. Under a post-election adjustment by exit poll providers Edison Media Research and Mitofsky International, 49 percent of Hispanics in the state voted for Bush, not a majority. The revised result does not differ to a statistically significant degree from Bush's 43 percent support among Texas Hispanics in a 2000 exit poll.

The revised BC-TX-Exit-Poll Excerpts showed that 20 percent, not 23 percent, of all Texas voters were Hispanic. They voted 50 percent for Kerry and 49 percent for Bush, not 41-59 Kerry-Bush.

Quite a change and it affects not just the Texas Hispanic estimate, but the national one as well. As Steve Sailer correctly points out:

That reduction of 10 points in Texas would appear to knock almost 2 points off Bush's national Hispanic share by itself (since the exit poll claimed that Texas accounted for 18% of America's Hispanic voters), and the reduction in the Hispanic share of the Texas vote from 23% to 20% would reduce Bush's national Hispanic share as well (because he still had more Hispanic support in Texas than nationally).

We shall see what further exit poll revisions do to the estimates of Bush's Hispanic support. But my--and Sailer's--estimate that Bush received around 39 percent, not 44 percent, of the Hispanic vote is looking better and better.


I've been saying this, the future of the Democratic land base lies in the Southwest, not the Southeast. New Mexico, Nevada, Colorado, and eventually even Arizona will come our way. Many years from now, even Texas may become a swing state.

Ruy: Can you please explain how,

if the Hispanic vote wasn't as high for Bush as previously thought,

if the African American vote still went Democratic,

if the Catholic vote for Kerry wasn't as low as it was thought to be and

that the Evangelical vote for Bush wasn't measureably higher than 2000,

how, in 2004, did Bush win and Kerry lose?

Maybe those nomination announcements were made a bit prematurely... A.G. Gonzales and Commerce Secretary Gutierrez's days may already be numbered.

Any thoughts on this analysis?

Dr Stephen F. Freeman from the University of Pennsylvania calculated that the odds of just three of the major swing states, Florida, Ohio and Pennsylvania all swinging as far as they did against their respective exit polls were 250 milllion to 1. (See…"The Unexplained Exit Poll Discrepancy" – Dr Stephen F. Freeman - .pdf format)

1. Re Ruy and Steve -- as I understand it, the state exit polls and the NEP are separate and autonomous; as such... while one can be used to call into question the other, I don't understand why changes in one mean that the other number, reliable or not, is to be altered commensurately.

2. Joe -- because white married Protestants without college degrees are both numerous and shifted really strongly against the Dems.

And because we ought to remember that going from +0.5 to -2.8 - the Dems didn't do THAT much worse.

Does this mean that Bush catered to the wrong folks with his Commerce and AG pick??

I've always suspected that the hispanic vote was less Republican than those early polls showed. And looking at the county results, they aren't significantly different than the 2000 results; in Texas, Kerry gained about 1 percent from Gore's Texas numbers, and Bush improved by about 1.5 percent. Only a handful of counties changed sides, mostly a few western counties switching to Bush, while Austin's Travis County switched Democrat.

And to answer the question above, the black vote is only about 19 percent of the national vote, at most, and the hispanic vote, while about the same, is not as monolithically Democrat as the black vote. Hispanics in 2000 favored Gore, true, but 1 in 3 voted Bush, while less than 1 in 10 blacks voted Bush in 2000.

The evangelical percentage for Bush was the same, but the actual number of evangelicals voting was slightly higher. Statistics can be so slippery!

And the Catholic vote was still 50/50. Frankly, I've always thought that it was odd to still treat as broad a religion as Roman Catholic as if it were a monolithic group. To use an anecdotal example, one of my friends is a white pro-choice Catholic Democrat, and another is an asian pro-life Catholic Democrat. One is from VA and one os from OH. All they have in common is that they got baptised the same way. I think it's time we stopped calling "Catholic" a group the same way we call races groups.

You know, Ruy did explain that one (look for his immediate post-election posts): we got absolutely hosed among non-college whites (evangelical and otherwise), who broke Republican more than they have before, and we didn't improve our national performance among Latinos (although we did improve in NDN-targeted swing states like CO and FL). We need to become competitive again among non-college whites outside the Northeast, so that the "southwestern strategy" doesn't become our only possible path to 270 next time out. And we need to improve our Latino performance, rather than patting ourselves on the back because we're not slipping all that much. Ruy and almost everyone else here know all these things already. (Simon Rosenberg knows them backwards and forwards, which is why he's my pick, right now, for DNC chair.)

Joe: That's easy. For one thing, the Hispanic vote wasn't as large as billed but it was still a gain for Bush -- same with Catholics.

More importantly, Republican and conservative turnout was way up, women voted much more Republican, and upper income people both increased their turnout and voted more Republican.

There you go, Joe. The mystery of Bush's 3 point margin all cleared up!

So when will the exit polls finally say that Bush lost?????

(and what Joe said above)