Tuesday, July 27, 2004

Is Bush losing minorities? 

In my search for something, anything non-convention-related on the blogs, I finally found this post by Andrew Sullivan, entitled "Bush Loses Minorities." His data comes from this Annenberg study. I don't think Sullivan is deliberately misrepresenting the data, but I disagree with his conclusions. If you look at the numbers he cites, African-Americans are split almost exactly as they were in 2000, while both parties have made gains among Hispanic voters: registered Democrats increased from 39% to 45%, and registered Republicans increased from 21% to 24%. It's true that Democrats increased twice as much as Republicans (6% vs. 3%), but that's really a wash when you consider that there were nearly twice as many registered Democrats as Republicans to begin with!

The changes in minority voter registration do not work to the advantage of either party. But the study goes on to show that since 2000, Republicans have made considerable gains in registration among white evangelicals and born-again Christians, a group larger than blacks and Hispanics combined. Sullivan concludes:

It's important to understand that this was a deliberate choice by Rove: to increase the base before you reach out to others. He has been successful. And Bush may lose because of it.

On the contrary, I'd say it was a pretty good move on Rove's part. He has increased his base considerably without losing any ground among minorities. Bush may lose, but it won't because of this.

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