October 28, 2003


Racial dynamics of recall (Steve Sailer, 10/08/03, UPI)

Due to higher rates of citizenship, adulthood and turnout, whites are much more heavily represented among voters in immigrant-rich California than among residents. Non-Hispanic whites cast 69 percent of the votes Tuesday.

That's about average for the last three California elections, in which the white proportion ranged from 64 percent in 1998 (prompting numerous premature pronouncements about the end of white domination of the state's electorate) to 76 percent in last year's long and dull race between Davis and political novice Bill Simon, which resulted in a record-low turnout, especially among minorities.

In each of these elections, according to exit polls, the GOP candidate failed to win a majority of the white vote. On Tuesday, however, the two main Republican candidates combined to win a crushing 65 percent of the non-Hispanic white vote. That's the kind of enthusiasm for Republicans normally seen among whites in the South, not in California. [...]

The GOP total in this election clearly benefited from having two attractive candidates with views spanning much of the center and right of the ideological spectrum. The moderate Schwarzenegger is one of the world's most famous men, and the conservative McClintock emerged from the election with the highest favorability rating of the top three candidates (54 percent favorable, compared to 51 percent for Schwarzenegger and 37 percent for Bustamante).

One key event during the election was Davis' signing of a bill to give driver's licenses to illegal immigrants in early September. He had previously vetoed the bill because it did not included security checks he had said were necessary in the post-9/11 environment, but this time he signed it without the safeguards he had earlier demanded. Bustamante strongly supported the bill.

This backfired on the Democrats, proving unpopular with Californians. In the exit poll, voters opposed driver's licenses for illegal aliens 70 percent to 24 percent.

When you pick a wedge issue, it's generally helpful to be on the side that has overwhelming support. Unfortunately for them, Democrats are on the 25% on all the social issues nowadays. Gay marriage could be especially harmful for them in 2004.

Posted by Orrin Judd at October 28, 2003 8:53 PM
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