The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler


Posted on | March 17, 2011 | 7 Comments

Matthew Yglesias tries to get his mind around a phenomenon I first analyzed on the basis of 2000 exit-poll data: The greater the non-white population, the greater the tendency of whites to vote Republican.

Much as I’d love to reproduce that analysis here, it was done on an old computer that long ago went kaput. But to summarize briefly: On average, the higher the percentage of a state’s population that is black, the more likely whites were to prefer Bush over Gore.

The correlation wasn’t exact, of course. For example, whites in many western states (Idaho, North Dakota, Wyoming, etc.) also showed a strong Bush preference, although those states have very small non-white populations. But the states with the strongest Bush preferences among white voters were Mississippi and South Carolina (both more than 30 percent black), whereas Gore easily won the white vote in pure-vanilla places like Vermont.

Based on the astonishing strength of GOP identification among white voters in Mississippi — where white Democrats are an endangered species — I dubbed this phenomenon “Mississippification.”

The Left will explain this by a single word with five A’s, of course. But the demographic trends simply are what they are and, interestingly enough, blacks were also more likely to vote Republican in Southern states.

Based on his own analysis of the 2000 vote, Steve Sailer notoriously declared that the key to future GOP success was to increase its share of the white vote. I say “notorious,” because certain neo-cons had a conniption over that article.

As a statistical proposition, however, you could compare exit-poll data from 2004 — the peak year of Bushism — with the GOP wipeouts of 2006 and 2008 and see it was the shift of white voters toward Democrats that made the big difference. And white voters shifted sharply back toward Republicans in 2010, the best GOP mid-term performance since 1949, leading Sailer to declare this a vindication of the “Unmentionable Sailer Strategy.”


Comments are closed.