Sunday, October 10, 2010

Is the growing Hispanic population driving whites to the right?

I'm interested in the question of whether whites have shifted at all toward the Republicans in regions of the country that have seen a sizeable proportion of the population become Hispanic over the past four decades. 

The table shows the percent of whites who voted for the Republican candidate for President for: 1) voters in West South Central region of the country, which is dominated in terms of population by Texas, combined with the Pacific region which is dominated by California; and 2) the rest of the whites voters throughout the country.

The column farthest to the right shows the difference between the two groups for each election. Using whites from the rest of the country as a comparison, whites in Texas and California do not appear to be moving right.  I see little evidence here that a growing Hispanic population turns more and more whites into Republicans.


  1. I think the Tea Party substantives a Yes answer to the title question.

  2. Anonymous5:53 AM

    Maybe the whites who are driven to the right are the ones who leave these states; and they might show-up in the states into which whites have been migrating over recent decades?

  3. Ron, I'm not so sure.

    There are a few special factors affecting the potential trend line:

    1) The California heritage of President Reagan increasing his popularity in the West;

    2) The strong third-party candidacy of Texan Ross Perot; and

    3) President George W. Bush was unusually pro-immigration for a Republican.

    Taking out the Reagan years and the Perot years, I see roughly a two percent shift over 1972-2004. The past six years, though, have seen heightened awareness of the immigration issue, and GWB's popularity may not have reflected the full magnitude of the pro-Republican shift by 2004.

  4. Anonymous4:56 AM

    I think the Tea Party substantives a Yes answer to the title question.

    If the unemployment rate dropped to 6% the Tea Party would cease to exist. Hispanic immigration is largely irrelevant.



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