Pethokoukis, Politics and Public Opinion

Please, Marco Rubio isn’t the GOP’s Jack Kevorkian

Image Credit: Gage Skidmore (Flickr) (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Image Credit: Gage Skidmore (Flickr) (CC BY-SA 2.0)

On Fox News, my friend Ann Coulter contributed this sizzling sound bite to the immigration reform debate: “Well, Chuck Schumer is playing Marco Rubio, the Jack Kevorkian of the Republican party.” It was a follow up to a recent column in which she wrote: “Hispanic voters are a small portion of the electorate. They don’t want amnesty, and they’re hopeless Democrats. So Republicans have decided the path to victory is to flood the country with lots more of them!”

Coulter, a bit shorter (and with a bit less hyperbole): Rubio is being suckered into dooming the GOP with permanent minority party status by allowing Democrats to effectively import 11 million new Democratic voters.

That’s a tough charge. Let me respond with three numbers: 775,000, 0, and 45%.

1. The first number refers to the Democratic Hispanic Bonanza Scenario and supposed deluge of 11 million illegal immigrants/undocumented workers. What if all those folks were citizens last November? Well, of that 11 million, only 10 million are adults. And of that 10 million, only 8 million are Latino. And of that 8 million, only 3.5 million would have been voting-age citizens if undocumented Hispanic immigrants became citizens at the rate equal to that of eligible Hispanic immigrants. And of that 3.5 million, only 1.7 million would actually bother to vote. And of that roughly 1.7 million, how many of these new Latino Americans would be net Democratic votes, nationally? Just 775,000 or so, according Harry Enten, polling analyst at The Guardian. So President Obama would have done about a half percentage point better vs. Mitt Romney. Some bonanza.

2. The second number refers to the Electoral College. Wouldn’t those 775,000 net Democratic voters have flipped a few more states Obama’s way? Not one, according to RealClearPolitics polling analyst Sean Trende. Zero. And key swing states would have been only marginally more difficult to win. Obama would have done, for instance, only 0.2 percentage point better in Ohio, New Hampshire, Missouri, and Minnesota.

3. The third number refers to the average share of the popular vote that GOP presidential candidates have garnered over the past six elections, a pathetic 45%. Republicans don’t need someone to help them commit political suicide. They’re managing just fine on their own. And that deterioration might accelerate if Americans think the GOP killed immigration reform mainly because the party feared reform would produce more Democratic voters. And why wouldn’t Americans think that given the comments of some conservative pundits such as Coulter.

America is changing. Last year, deaths exceeded births among non-Hispanic white Americans for the first time in at least a century. Immigration reform would begin to detoxify the Republican brand among Hispanics. (A powerful signaling move for Asians and young people, too). If Republicans could boost their Hispanic vote share by just three percentage points from 2012, Trende notes, “it would completely wipe out the expected vote gain for Democrats among these new voters.”

The combo of immigration reform (broadly construed) and — this is just as key — a market-populist economic agenda that appealed to middle-income Americans might end the long-term GOP death spiral.

32 thoughts on “Please, Marco Rubio isn’t the GOP’s Jack Kevorkian

  1. Can’t you see what this is leading to! We are replacing white Americans with every other nationality. Question must be why are whites having less children? Families can’t support large families when they pay their own way. If you keep this up you are stealing the land again from true Americans.

    • Diane, I wouldn’t go as far as calling only white Americans as ‘true Americans’.

      But it is probably true that the decline of the white American share of the population will mean the permanent death of the GOP. We have already seen this in California. The GOP can’t even block a vote these days, since the dems are in a supermajority. Jerry Brown is an old Clintonian hand, so he keeps his party in check but he is also over 70 years old and came into being politically in another era.

      The ironic thing is… people warned the right and the left of this. Peter Brimelow wrote ‘Alien Nation’ during the early 1990s before he and many others were purged from the pages of the national review for having heretical thoughts(all immigration is good and if you disagree even the slightest you are evil).

      The neoconservative right, like the AEI, insisted that hispanics are ‘true conservatives’. It appears they never were. Reagan had 37% of the hispanic vote before the amnesty and after it it sunk to 30%, it didn’t increase(we’re likely to see a replay of that).

      Yet I say, white Americans are not in danger physically. White Americans have never lived in as prosperous and safe conditions as of now. Crime is down to 1960 and in some cases 1950-era levels.

      College completion among young white Americans has just hit 40%. The biggest threat to white America is not external. It’s internal. It’s apathy. Why have kids? You don’t get affirmative action scholarships. You end up in a lot of debt. And if you do have kids, your kids get to be taught a pretty anti-white version of history where they’re taught white guilt and shame from an early age.

      We simply have to prepare for our time as a minority culture, and that means our own organizations, student unions, schools and so on. We’ll be fine, but only if we start getting off our butts and start to realize that we have a unique culture worth preserving, a culture that has created the modern world in many ways and continue to guide it. Others can join in, but there’s a unique European/American subsebt of this culture that’s true to our people, and our people alone. And we must cherish this.

      • Clara, I’m glad you wouldn’t go as far as Diane, but I wouldn’t go as far as you! Granted, I’m not white, and I can’t even honestly claim that “some of my best friends are white”, but my observation is that white Americans don’t have a strong racial identity. They see themselves as Americans rather than whites. I favor reduced immigration levels, I hope the Supreme Court rules in favor of Ms. Fisher, I despise “diversity” seminars and other forms of collective punishment and anti-white propaganda, and I want the GOP to win more white votes. However, appealing to a mythical exclusionary white racial identity, regardless of how I would feel about it personally (I would be opposed), is just not going to work.

      • It’s obvious you’re clueless to the essence of conservatism. Based on your balkanization blather, you’re obviously a corporatist, big government guy, who is part of the cabal that has brought us to where we are today. Perhaps, you’d be more comfortable commenting on Michael Gerson’s column. The constitution is color blind. Self- appointed mastermind, temporary politicians and their followers are the crux to all of America’s problems.

    • Thank God for Mormons, evangelicals & Irish Catholics, the only segments of the conservative base who seem to be reporducing @ a rate fast enough to keep pace w/ the base of the Democratic Party.

  2. I will not vote for any politicians who vote for this amnesty bill or any similar bill. I would prefer to vote for someone I dislike and disagree with. I am tired of Rinos seeking my vote while pretending to be conservatives and then voting as liberals. I would prefer to be stabbed in the back by Democrats/liberals.

  3. Figures another not-American rolling out the welcome mat to the rest of the world’s not-Americans.

    Listen up, Huddled Masses: my people allowed you safe harbor in our land. Now you return the favor by genociding us in our own home.

    It will not be pretty for you once we’re gone. Darwin will not be mocked. You are this close to recreating The Land of the Pilgrims Pride into a third world hellhole in which the likes of you squishy ones will be the first to go.

  4. “Let me respond with three numbers: 775,000, 0, and 45%.”

    Let me respond with these numbers: $6.3 trillion , 57% , 45% , and one in three.

    Yeah, with those stats I’m sure the Latinos will start voting GOP just as soon as we pass amnesty. It worked so well for Bush Sr. in ’88. There’s the real number for you, Mr Pethokoukis: 30%.

    |“And that deterioration might accelerate if Americans think the GOP killed immigration reform mainly because the party feared reform would produce more Democratic voters.”

    Why is amnesty the only way to enact immigration reform? Why can’t we say the Democrats killed it by insisting on amnesty before border security?

    Why do you think the public cares more about amnesty than Obama’s destruction of our health care?

  5. This is an interesting analysis, very similar to the Rector-Richwine paper at Heritage in its assumption that the behavior of unauthorized Hispanic immigrants will resemble to behavior of authorized Hispanic immigrants. However, the analysis is flawed. The Gang of Eight bill lacks effective enforcement; for this reason, and for other more deliberate reasons, it will increase the number of immigrants legally resident in the U.S. by considerably more than 11 million, thus causing considerably more damage to Republican prospects than claimed above.

  6. Mr. Pethokoukis cites Sean Trende’s point that a 3 percent increase in support for the GOP among Hispanic voters would have wiped out the theoretical losses from an imagined amnesty. A 4 percent increase in support for the GOP among Hispanic voters would more than make up for the GOP losses from amnesty! Not quite half a percentage point, but still, slightly better than nothing!
    Meanwhile, as Byron York pointed out, a 4 percent increase in support for the GOP among non-Hispanic white voters would have tipped the entire 2012 presidential election.

  7. By the way:

    Minorities now make up over half of all kids under the age of 5.


    And remember the “non-Hispanic white” category includes people like Arabs, Central Asians, Turks and so on. Far from all of these people self-identify with the white category. So the actual share may indeed be that people of European background (with a Christian cultural background) are perhaps even a minority under the age of 18.

    We’ll see what happens with affirmative action this summer but even if the supreme court strikes it down, we’ve seen from past efforts(like in Texas) that legislators try to circumvent it in various ways.

    As I wrote previously, if the KKK or whatever their successor is called are the only organizations representing white people well then of course nobody’s going to join, including me, my family and my entire circle or friends. Why would we? Yet if you go on campus today you have the Asian-American student associations, Arab-American, Jewish-American, black, hispanic and many other organizations. It’s time for our own. Not just on campus but across daily life.

    It’s time to prepare for a future where we’re all minorities, this is already true for most of our kids under the age of 18 and in the most populous states like Texas or California where whites are either 30 to 37% of the population.
    And we’re not doing that job, at all. Total passivity.

    • It might be also important to add that if it were not for European immigration, the white population of America would have begun to fall already. Because of (slight) European immigration, it will not do so until about 5-7 years.

      The Census also underestimated this, they thought it would take longer so I wouldn’t take their 2043 year date as solid. I’d wager on 2030 instead.

    • Although less than 50% of babies born in the U.S. are non-Hispanic whites, 65% of birthing mothers in the U.S. are non-Hispanic whites. So part of the reason that whites will soon be a minority in the U.S. is that our definition of the word “white” is too narrow.

  8. I disagree with James Pethokoukis, Rubio is less honorable than Kervorkian as Rubio lies in the face of his supporters. Rubio will be cast out of office for this Amnesty fraud!

  9. I have not heard anyone comment on an issue that seems huge to me. I wonder who pays the salaries of these legislators? I thought it was the American taxpayer but I guess I was incorrect. I was also given to believe that these people took an oath to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States; I guess I was wrong about that, too. These people are busy advancing the rights of citizens of other nations while ignoring the wishes of we the people. How can this be? I think I call that behavior treason.

  10. This article is quite terrible for several reasons.

    1. The article starts off by focusing only on those who are currently here illegally that will be granted amnesty and thus, eventually eligible for citizenship. It completely ignores many other types of people would will be affected by this bill who may become voters.
    A. Citizen children of illegal immigrants-If an illegal immigrant mother with a US citizen child is deported (i.e. we actually enforced our immigration laws) she may take her child with her out of the US whereas under this policy the mother and child would both stay in the US and potentially vote. Thus the policy will not result in 1 new net voter in this scenario but potentially 2 (it is also possible the citizen child stays in the US). The 1 additional voter is not counted in the calculation.
    B. Illegal immigrants who have already been deported and are eligible to come back into the US- Although this group will presumably be much smaller than the estimated 11 million illegal immigrant population, there could still be tens or hundreds of thousands who qualify for amnesty (in the truest sense) and thus could be potential voters. These individuals are not counted in the calculation (the 11 million number includes those already present illegally in the US).
    C. Legal immigrants who will now come here due to expanded visa categories-In addition to granting amnesty to 11 million illegal immigrants, the bill would nearly double the number of legal immigrants admitted into the US on various visas. While the race/ethnicity of these immigrants may not be the same as the illegal immigrant population (i.e. less Hispanic), the majority of these individuals will most likely vote against the GOP. These individuals are never mentioned in the analysis.

    Thus, the number of potential voters used for the calculation is grossly underestimated.

    2. Related to #1 above, the 11 million estimate of the # of illegal immigrants currently in the US may be inaccurate. It could be 15 million, maybe even 20 million. Thus, using this number for the calculations is (again) inaccurate.

    3. The article cites Harry Enten (without providing a link). Harry Enten is not reliable and routinely misleading in his posts at the Guardian. He previously did a post on immigration reform (in April) where he cited a CBS poll that showed 73% of respondents supporting CIR to show that a large majority of Americans support CIR. The poll was done at the start of February (over 2 months prior to the article) AND had Obama’s job approval rating at 52-38. In other words, the poll sample was either clearly biased and/or the numbers have shifted greatly since then. Doesn’t matter, Harry still cites it as reliable.

    4. The article looks solely at the 2012 election to conclude there will be no large bonanza of Dem votes. Again, this is horribly misleading for several reasons.
    a. First, the 11+ million illegal immigrants will not be eligible for citizenship (i.e. voting) for at least 13 years (assuming Dems don’t water down the requirements in the future, which they most certainly will try to do). So looking at the 2012 results are irrelevant since the electorate will be completely different 13 years down the road. This is what Ann Coulter is referencing. The large effect will be seen 13-30 years down the road, not in the immediate future. Again, this goes back to #1. If there are an illegal immigrant Hispanic single man & Hispanic single woman who are both allowed to stay (independently), maybe they create a family and have 3 children. The 3 children are US citizens but they are only in the US (and will only be US voters) because of this amnesty bill. So the votes of these children (again, presumably Democrat) are not counted in the analysis but are a direct result of this bill passing.
    b. Related to a) above, in 20 years or 30 years, the number of citizens as a direct result of this immigration bill (both illegal & legal) will not be 11 million but maybe 20 million, 30 million or even higher. These are the numbers that need to be used in the calculation for future years to determine the potential bonanza of votes for Democrats.
    c. Just because there were no states affected THIS YEAR by looking at electoral college results, doesn’t mean that there won’t be states in the future that would be affected.
    5. “Immigration reform would begin to detoxify the Republican brand among Hispanics.” There’s no evidence of this in any poll, anywhere. Immigration usually isn’t among the top 4 issues in any poll conducted of Hispanics, especially those here legally. Also, why did the GOP see its share of the Hispanic vote decrease after the 1986 amnesty bill was passed?

    6. “The combo of immigration reform (broadly construed) and — this is just as key — a market-populist economic agenda that appealed to middle-income Americans might end the long-term GOP death spiral.” So I’m curious to hear how CIR and an “economic agenda that appealed to middle-income Americans” go together. You have a CIR bill which will drive down the wages of native born citizens & legal immigrants by greatly increasing the workforce, especially for those with low to medium skills, yet we’re supposed to pass this and then campaign on an economic agenda that appeals to the same exact people who are going to be losing jobs & seeing stagnant/negative wage growth due directly to this bill. Um, yeah.









  12. earlier this week monday night iowa talk show
    host steve deace called marco rubio TOAST
    because of efforts on illegal immigration that the
    illegals once rubio gives them the vote there going to want it all and that means vote democrat

  13. jim more people hear ann coulter at least a
    couple times a week on tv and radio via sean
    hannity than you on cnbc and abc radio with larry

  14. “A market-populist economic agenda.” I majored in econ in college and I have no idea what this means. Hispanics are generally to the Left of the average Republican in their economic views. Does Jim P. think the GOP should move Left to accommodate Hispanics? Great. I’ll have one more reason to vote Libertarian.

  15. It’s shocking that you’re supporting the outrageous Gang of Eight Amnesty Bill. For argument’s sake, let assume the numbers you cherry picked are correct, this bill provides absolutely zero benefit for the American citizen or the nation, which is now teetering on bankruptcy. Never is the history of the world has a nation even contemplated immigration policies, designed to appease foreign nationals, at the expense of its citizenry. We the people are not represented by the Republicans and I believe the facts prove unequivocally that Republican Establishment’s support of this bill represents unbridled idiocy; which will lead to its demise. Furthermore, the scant analysis you base your conclusions on, omit more pertinent information than I have time to get into. Nevertheless, it only takes one example to prove your analysis and conclusions are preposterous: the current Amnesty Bill gives these former Illegal Aliens the unconditional right to bring their parents to the U.S.; who are eligible for citizenship in 5 years. Estimates put this number at a minimum of 15 to 20 Million Parents- ALL OF VOTING AGE! In fact, both NumbersUSA and the Leftist Center for American Progress estimate that more than 30 million illegals will be legalized over the next decade- as a result of this preposterous Amnesty Bill – On top of those who will and would have been granted citizenship through our nation’s traditional legal process.
    Wise up Mr. Pethokoukis, you missed this one by a mile.

  16. Other than Democratic politicians, the chief beneficiaries of amnesty would be employers of cheap labor. Everyone else would bear a burden in the form of unemployment and higher taxes.

    Amnesty advocates have a quaint “people are people” attitude. Alas, Mexican lettuce-pickers people place a much higher demand on social services than Korean software engineers people. Call it an inconvenient truth; ignore it at your peril, amnesty fans.

    Amnesty would give a dependence pathology official blessing and make it permanent. But I guess that doesn’t matter when you have a business lobby. I love democracy.

  17. “”And of that 10 million, only 8 million are Latino””

    What about the other 2m? Who are they? The author simply dismisses those 2m illegals who arent latino. Where do they go? The idea that Obama gets only 775,000 votes from 11m illegals is absurd.

    I do agree that the GOPs problem isnt illegal aliens. It is the 1965 Immigration Law. 80% of legal immigrants vote Dem.

  18. I think you minunderstand. The Republican rank and file is against this bill – for a huge number of reasons. I am an active Republican and I have yet to find a single Republican who supports the bill – in fact it is unformly opposed. And nothing boils the blood of a conservative Republican like amnesty – it is rewarding those who broke our laws because government allowed them to do it.

    The problem isn’t that those who are granted amnesty will vote Democrat. It is that those Republicans like me and my family and my entire Republican Club will stop voting in national elections since if this bill is passed it will be clear to us that the Republican Leadership could care less about Republican voters – who universally oppose amnesty.

    The Leadership is about to get a lesson in the differences between high education Republican voters and low information Democrat voters. If this passes we will not turn out in 2016 – neither me, my family or our Republican Club.

    There was a reason why Bush’s approval went down to 13%, and it had everything to do with his embrace of amnesty. How could the Leadership be so blind as to think anything had changed in the last seven years?

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