Tuesday, January 29, 2008

High-income immigrants with no religion vote overwhelmingly for Democrats: I wrote in an earlier post that Christian immigrants are more likely to move right and vote Republican as they assimilate, compared to non-Christians. Let's see if data (from the General Social Survey) support me. The survey asked 118 immigrants how they voted in 2000 (that is a small sample size, so fair warning). Here are the results:

Percent who voted for Bush in 2000

Christian 50.0
Non-Christian 38.9

Christian 70.6
Non-Christian 31.6

Christian immigrants start out split and move right as their incomes increase. Non-Christians, by contrast, start out liberal and move left as they move up.

But maybe it's simply religion, and not specifically Christianity:

Percent who voted for Bush in 2000

Has a religion 50.0
No religion 35.7

Has a religion 64.0
No religion 18.2

So, it appears that people who are affiliated with any religion--not just Christians--move right as they assimilate--while immigrants with no religion move left. (This helps explain why Chinese and Japanese immigrants aren't conservative: 44% and 40%, respectively, belong to no church.)

Tying this in with earlier points, as the number of immigrants who are non-white or non-religious grows, Republicans lose support. Improving incomes does not fix the problem; it only gets worse. Upward mobility only moves immigrants to the right if they are white or belong to a church. Other immigrants may become wealthier, but they become even more turned off to Republicans. The idea that people vote with their wallets, and so immigration of the upwardly mobile is a long-term winner for conservatives, is simply false.

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