Wednesday, November 07, 2012

3 Fox News Stats That Doom the Republican Party (as we know it)

In the wake of Barack Obama's victory in the presidential election, as well as the Republican Party's weak showing in the Senate races (largely due to self-inflicted candidates), it would serve the party's leaders well to consider a number of statistics which I got from Fox News, of all places:

Regardless of how one feels about Fox News' "fair and balanced" approach to news, I think it's safe to say that it is one outlet that is unlikely to present poll results that are biased against the Republican Party.

The statistics that caught my eye centered on demograhics:

Non-whites made up 28 percent of the electorate, up a bit from 27 percent in 2008.  This group largely backed Obama:  71 percent of Hispanics (it was 67 percent last time), and 93 percent of blacks (down a touch from 95 percent).

Republican challenger Mitt Romney won among white voters by 20 percentage points.  That’s up from John McCain’s edge of +12 points in 2008.  In addition, the share of votes cast by whites was lower (72 percent) than it has been going back to at least 1992. 
The Republican Party is winning by a landslide among white voters...and it's not enough.  White voters set an all time low in the percentage of voters, and given demographics, that number is only going to keep heading down.

Meanwhile, despite a generally better election performance by Romney than McCain, Romney somehow managed to do even worse among Hispanics.  Guess which population group is the fastest growing?

Meanwhile, age also played a major role:
Young voters were important to giving Obama his first term.  Voters under age 30 showed up again this time:  They represented 19 percent of all voters, one point higher than the 18 percent in 2008.  Even so, they didn’t back him as strongly this time: 60 percent -- down six points.
Seniors backed Romney by 56-44 percent, mostly unchanged from 2008.
As one article I read noted, every four years, a new cohort of young voters replaces the older voters who died during the intervening years.  It's impressive that Mitt maintained his party's strength among seniors, but the passage of years is likely to reduce that group's relative conservatism.

And then there's gender:
Women, a traditional Democratic voting group, backed Obama by 11 points -- about the same as by 13 points in 2008. Even so, married women backed Romney by 7 points (an improvement from McCain’s +3 showing).
Men backed Romney (52-45 percent), and married men backed him by an even wider margin (60-38 percent).
The good news for the Republicans is that they have the support of married men and women.  The bad news?  Guess what, yet another group whose numbers are in decline.

So to sum up: The Republican Party is strong among groups that are on the decline or dying.  In four years, the country will be browner, seniors will be more liberal, and there will probably be even fewer married couples.

If an entrepreneur or CEO came to me and said, "My marketing is going to appeal to shrinking demographic groups, while alienating growing ones," I'd fire them immediately.  What does that tell you about the leadership of the Republican Party?

5 comments:

ranndino said...

Well said. The biggest problem the Republicans have is that they'll have trouble winning with or without the religious fundamentalists. On one hand they scare off reasonable people. On the other, they make up a large percentage of their base.

Foobarista said...

aThis is interesting, but one point to remember is that Obama got 10M fewer votes in 12 than in 08. Romney got 2.9M fewer votes than McCain, and if he'd matched McCain's votes, he would be President.

This is hardly a realignment election, although it did work out for O (unfortunately from my perspective).

Among other things, this election is probably the last one we'll see for awhile in which a person with a public track record as anything but a career in government will dare to run for President.

You actually made money in the Evil Private Sector? Die, vile plutocrat! So much for your Presidential aspirations, Mr. Yeh.

Foobarista said...

Here's an interesting article on this topic (and one that isn't enormously partisan for either side; Megan McArdle is "basically libertarian"):

http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2012/11/07/is-demography-destiny.html

Steven Moody said...

Given only 100M voted, there seems to be room here for the Republican party to rally. Romney had relatively light competition, and 2016 should see stronger candidates on the Right

Chris said...

I have a lot of respect for McArdle, but I find her arguments unconvincing:

1. That majority sure isn't emerging very fast.

The speed doesn't matter; besides, aren't losses in 2008 and 2012 enough of a warning sign for the GOP?

2. Ethnic coalitions are inherently unstable.

Yes, but minorities of any color aren't going to vote for a party that is actively hostile to them.

3. We are heading for a showdown between public sector unions and taxpayers.

Totally agree with this one. But where are the unions going to go? The GOP hates them. (Note: I hate them too)

4. We're heading for a showdown between the recipients of old-age benefits, and recipients of all the other kinds of benefits.

Also true, but this applies to both parties. More so for Republicans, given their strength with senior voters.

5. On social issues, Democrats are badly positioned for the future.

This is McArdle's worst argument; her essential argument is that the country is trending pro-life. I'm skeptical, but might believe it if she showed me stats that bore this out. As far as I can tell, this isn't true.

6. Mitt Romney was a uniquely bad candidate for 2012.

Mitt was a bad candidate relative to Obama, but how many great candidates have their been? I wish people wouldn't blame Mitt for the loss.

7. GOP tax cuts have enabled Democratic spending promises.

I'm not sure how this point works. If her point is that our Federal budget is deep in the red, and that Democrats won't be able to spend, spend, spend, I think she's correct. But I'm not sure how that helps the GOP.

The GOP hardliners spend too much time saying things that make them feel good, but alienate other groups. The GOP ought to be the party of small government, lower taxes, and hawkish foreign policy. Instead, it's become the party of Minutemen and legitimate rape. That's the problem.