Wednesday, January 27, 2016

How immigrants have voted since 1972

Continuing on the theme of how the foreign-born vote, I used the General Social Survey (GSS) to go back as far as we can on presidential elections. Here are estimates of what percent of them voted for the Republican presidential candidate. I divided it by sex since the GSS over-samples women:

Percent voting for candidate--Men

2012 Romney 26.7
2008 McCain  31.2
2004 Bush  38.3
2000 Bush  41.2
1996 Dole  26.2
1992 Bush  37.4
1988 Bush  70.6
1984 Reagan  56.6
1980 Reagan  43.2
1976 Ford  35.8
1972 Nixon  60.0

Percent Voting for Candidate--Women

2012 Romney  28.9
2008 McCain  23.1
2004 Bush  50.4
2000 Bush  43.6
1996 Dole  19.2
1992 Bush  35.8
1988 Bush  71.1
1984 Reagan  60.6
1980 Reagan  43.2
1976 Ford  42.7
1972 Nixon  57.5

The numbers for the last two cycles are pathetic. You might argue that Republicans did well in the past with immigrants, at least during certain elections, but you'll notice that even though it's a roller coaster, there is an overall tendency towards smaller numbers over the past 40 years. Based on previous analysis, I'll wager that the decline, at least some of it, is due to the browning of immigrant voters. Third Worlders and their descendants love Big Government. The vast majority of immigrants eligible to vote in the 70s and 80s were white, I bet, but much less so now. I'll look at that in the next post.

If you claim that immigrants would vote for Republicans if the candidates were pro-immigrant, then the only bad year should arguably be 2012 with Romney saying illegal immigrants should self-deport. Yet no matter what Republicans do, the immigrant vote has generally stayed well under 50% for more than two decades.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Another factor may be that the Dems started really making direct, explicit appeals to immigrants in the 90s. Into the 80s, organized labor, unions, and the white working class in general were still significant constituencies of the Dems. With the decline of the unions, domestic manufacturing employment, the rise in off-shoring, etc., the Dems basically moved on to a new constituency of recent immigrants.