Demographics Is NOT Destiny
On September 10, 2019, a special election will be held in North Carolina’s 3rd Congressional District to elect someone to replace former incumbent Rep. Walter Jones, who died earlier this year. North Carolina is a solidly Republican district, with long-time Congressman Jones earning twice as many votes as his Democratic challenger in nearly every election since he first took office in 1995.
But North Carolina’s District 3 is interesting for another reason, one that every Republican strategist in America should study. It is one of 47 congressional districts in the United States where, for the 2018 midterm elections, a majority of nonwhite voters were projected to vote Republican.
The following map, prepared by elections analyst Geoffrey Skelly at the research firm FiveThirtyEight, shows the congressional districts (red) where, if only nonwhite people voted, Republican candidates would still be likely to win.
It’s hard to overstate the significance of these 47 congressional districts. Because they belie the smug certainty on the part of Democratic politicians and strategists across the U.S. who equate demographic transformation of America with an inevitable and unbreakable Democratic majority. Take mass nonwhite immigration, higher birthrates for nonwhites, mix in identity politics and Leftist, race-centric indoctrination against “white privilege,” and voila, America becomes a one-party state. Or does it?
What distinguishes these 47 congressional districts? All but ten of them are in right-to-work states. The ones that are not are in CA 8, MO 3, 4, 7, and 8, IL 15, OH 6 and 8, and PA 12 and 15. This might mean that the 37 congressional districts that are in right-to-work states lack a large union funded political operation, which almost always support Democrats.
What about the overall partisan control of the states where these 47 congressional districts are located? Here again there is a strong correlation: All but two, CA 8 and IL 15, are in states where Republicans control the state legislature. All but seven, CA 8, LA 4 and 6, IL 15, PA 12 and 15, and NC 3, are in states where Republicans control the state legislature and the executive branch. Again, this suggests solid access to resources to run up the vote, to the point of convincing a majority of nonwhite voters to support a Republican.
There’s a lot to chew on here, but unless demographics is indeed destiny, whatever is happening in these 47 congressional districts needs to be digested. The average margin of victory by the Republican candidate in the 2018 election was 21 percentage points. Did Democratic nonwhite voters decide to stay home, due to the fact that these 47 congressional districts were all ultra safe Republican, with only those nonwhites who happened to be Republican showing up to vote? Only one district had a victory margin less than ten points, CA 8, where the Republican prevailed 54-46. Only four districts, TX 14 and 27, NC 3, and LA 4, had Republican victory margins under 15 points.
Other quantitative factors don’t seem to indicate very much. The overall proportion of white voters in these 47 districts is 77 percent compared to 72 percent overall. There is tremendous variation in ethnic composition among the 47 districts, however, with TX 27 (Corpus Christi) delivering a 13 point margin of victory to the Republican in the last election, despite only being 40 percent white (51 percent Hispanic). Moreover, districts with barely a white majority delivered huge margins in some cases; TX 11 (Midland) delivered a 32 percent margin of victory to the Republican, despite only being 51 percent white (38 percent Hispanic).
There are also cases where districts with a high proportion of black voters nonetheless delivered a big margin of victory to the Republican. In LA 4, where blacks constituted 35 percent of the voters, and whites only 60 percent, the Republican candidate won by a margin of 13 percent. But in all of these 47 cases, the majority of the nonwhite voters selected the Republican candidate.
What qualitative factors might induce nonwhite voters to support a Republican? What message convinced a majority of Hispanics in various Texas districts, or a majority of blacks in various districts in Louisiana, to vote for a Republican?
To answer this requires more research, but it’s difficult to imagine what could be more important to any political consultant tasked with wiping that smug smile off the faces of every quasi-racist “demographics is destiny” spewing Democrat in America. Google searches, predictably, offer nothing but leftist propaganda. For example, if you enter into Google “what induced minorities to vote Republican,” you get:
Why people vote against their economic interests – The politics of distrust, Economist, 2018
Why Republican Immigrant Bashing May Not Push Many Latinos to Vote for Democrats, Scholars.org, 2019
A threat to democracy: Republicans’ war on minority voters, The Guardian, 2018
Will minority and female turnout surges seal Democratic midterm victories?, Brookings, 2018
The Republican Party versus democracy, Vox.com, 2018
Google is still a valuable tool. It offers an accurate reflection of the conventional wisdom of the American Left. Republicans are “immigrant bashers,” they are “at war” with minority voters, they are “against democracy,” and if women and minorities show up at the polls then Republicans lose elections. And, naturally, if and when minorities do support Republicans, they are voting “against their economic interests.”
Except they’re not. The politics of the Left in America are demonstrably hostile to the economic interests of minorities. Schools ran by Democrat dominated unions have robbed minority students of a quality education. Affirmative action (or whatever they call it these days to get around anti-discrimination laws) have pushed less qualified minorities into elite colleges where they struggle to succeed. Welfare has destroyed the nuclear family, especially in minority communities, when there is no greater predictor of success in life than being raised in a family that stays intact. And ridiculously extreme environmentalist laws and regulations have pushed the cost of housing, water, electricity, gasoline, food, and every form of regressive tax into the stratosphere in every Blue State, disproportionately harming members of minority communities.
It would more than interesting to see what messages the Republicans are using to attract a majority of votes from minority populations in 47 congressional districts. It would be vital information. What’s working with them in these 47 congressional districts might work elsewhere. But it would also be interesting to ask why this fact – Democrat policies have devastated minority communities – is not being loudly and unequivocally proclaimed by every Republican candidate who ever ran or ever will run, in the other 388 congressional districts across this land.
This article originally appeared on the website American Greatness.
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Edward Ring is a contributing editor and senior fellow with the California Policy Center, which he co-founded in 2013 and served as its first president. He is also a senior fellow with the Center for American Greatness, and a regular contributor to the California Globe. His work has appeared in the Los Angeles Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Economist, Forbes, and other media outlets.
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