Thursday, October 04, 2007

Does Hispanic immigration help Republicans in unexpected ways? Republican "strategists" tell us that immigration from Latino countries is good since these people, under all their liberal voting, are natural conservatives who embrace hard work and family values. People like me who actually consult the data know better, but what about the idea that a greater Hispanic presence drives whites to the right?

California is a great place to test this hypothesis since the Latino population is high but varied. I examined data from the 2000-2001 California Workforce Survey, where white residents were asked their party affiliation as well as the percentage of their community that is Hispanic. The sample size was 211, so I split the group roughly by forming one group of those who said that the Latino presence was somewhere between 1 and 3 out of 10; the other group was 4 to 10 out of 10. In the low-Hispanic group, 21% of whites said they were Republicans; for the high-Hispanic group, the number was 30%. Not a huge difference, but noteworthy.

It is also surprising, given that wealthy people can most easily select themselves out of high-Hispanic (poor) areas, and since wealthy people are more likely to vote Republican, this should decrease the Republican presence in Hispanic communities.

I would not be surprised at all to see whites grow increasingly race conscious and turning to the Republicans to deliver pro-white policies, as the country diversifies. The recent defeat of immigration amnesty is probably a sign of this.

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