Karl Rove, Elections, and White folks

Karl Rove, everyone’s favorite Republican strategist, has a wake up call for some of the party in today’s Wall Street Journal. It boils down to this: more white folks will not win the GOP elections. He goes into the numbers and shows, rather convincingly, why the party needs to court more than just white voters.

Predictably he brings in the attempt at a comprehensive immigration reform package. Should such a package pass the House and become law (yes I know there are more steps but the House is the more hostile piece at the moment) then that Republican victory can be used to attract more Latino voters. And attracting more voters from one of the fastest, if not the fastest, growing population in the US is a good thing if we want to win more elections.

His two examples of Latino growth? None other than Gwinnett and Henry counties.

“For example, the Hispanic population in Georgia’s Gwinnett County increased by 153% from 2000 to 2010 while the GOP’s presidential vote in the county dropped to 54% in 2012 from 63.7% in 2000. In Henry County, south of Atlanta, the Hispanic population increased by 339% over the same decade. The GOP’s presidential vote dropped to 51.2% in 2012 from 66.4% in 2000. Republicans ignore changes like these at their peril.”


Feel free to read the whole article. It’s a good one, especially for a stats junkie like me.


  1. xdog says:

    Rove puts his opponents in a corner, or rather points out the corner they willingly occupy. The total voters turned out by Schlafly, Buchanan, and the CIS isn’t anyone’s idea of a mainstream. I’ve said it before–if the gop is more interested in winning elections than winning policy points, they should pass an immigration bill, declare victory, and move on.

  2. Harry says:

    How can Rove expect GOP voters to change their opinions just to satisfy his clients’ agenda? Yes we may be on the way out of here, so what’s the problem? The future will take care of itself.

  3. Unfortunately for Rove, the state level messaging coming from Republicans hasn’t been too friendly to Hispanics. This is part of the larger problem with national Republican healing methods. They look at the Republican party nationally – incapable of winning the Presidency as of late (losing 5 of 6 popular votes), incapable of winning the Senate (even though they had great chances in 2010/2012), incapable of producing a governing majority in the House (even though they have a majority). They look at all this, and they think the Republican party is plagued by an infection, and we have the prescription that will heal the infection. We need to moderate our position on gay marriage, on women’s issues, on hispanics, on race, on being the party of big business. Pick your poison.

    Now, the real problem is, the infection that plagues the national party is really a virus that has taken over the parts of the country that Republicans don’t have a problem in. Georgia Republicans rode these very issues (conservative on marriage, abortion, hispanics, race, business) into power and fealty to these positions keeps them in power – in the General election (for now) and more importantly in a primary. So they aren’t very eager to take Rove’s medicine. And when you go to other places where Republicans are in power – the South and many parts of the West, they aren’t eager to do it either.

    Now go to a place like New Jersey or New York, Republicans there probably for the most part don’t need to take the antibiotics, they’ve always been pretty moderate and for the most part still are. But there is the problem of the zombie virus that rules the South infecting their party – causing their moderates to lose primaries to crazy conservatives (see Delaware Senate, New York Governor, Virginia LG).

    And as for Rove’s singling out of Gwinnett and Henry, does he mention that Republicans in Georgia have been seeing their vote total slip in those counties at the same time that they’ve seen their vote totals go up in about 140 other counties, and that they went from having no power in the state in 2000 (when they were cleaning up in Gwinnett and Henry) to total domination? And again, that the two things (total state domination and the Republicans doing worse in placed like Gwinnett) are related?

  4. Doug Deal says:

    Amazing how “Hispanics” only care about this one particular immigration bill. How about if we stop treating people descendent from countries where Spanish was the primary language as if they are stupid, uniform and incapable of anything other than being lead by some old white fat balding guy who everyone that is now quoting, hated yesterday.

    The Republicans need to sell their ideas of small government and getting out from under the thumb of some Washington or Atlanta bureaucrat instead of simply saying “look we are not THAT racist, we passed this bill the Democrats and Carl Rove told us to pass.”

    Of course, the GOP relishes its weak leaders in Washington, so immediate surrender on any controversy is usually the best course of action.

  5. rrrrr says:

    Well … Dare I say there’s one who “gets it” thank you Doug.

    Now those pointing out how the country should take Karl “The Architect’s” pharmacy prescription straight away, they must have missed the meltdown on election night but I didn’t.
    Seems his way was tried and contributed to the weakness over the past few years referred to above…

    As to bringing the party together ol Karl has promised to raise millions to defeat fringe candidates, all the while preaching Unity!

    Just a thought , wouldn’t a million dollars spent on developing primary winners make more fiscal sense than spending MILLIONS to defeat them? I guess it all hinges on how you define unity. I mean the 2012 National GOP Convention rule change pushed in by the RNC concerning delegates was just an example an attempt at “unity”.

    As to defining Amnesty – the link below takes a crack at that


    The Corker-Hoeven visa overstay loophole
    BY CONN CARROLL | JUNE 24, 2013 AT 4:05 PM
    Molly Riley/AP Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn.

    You can build the largest fence in the world, and man it with a million border patrol agents, but if you invite hundreds of thousands of immigrants to enter the country legally every year on a “temporary” basis, and then fail to track whether or not they leave, you’ll still get a large illegal immigrant population. And that is exactly the problem with the Corker-Hoeven immigration amendment.
    According to the Pew Hispanic Center, about 45 percent of the current illegal immigrant population first came to the United States on a legal visa, and only became part of the unauthorized population when they remained in the country after their visa expired.
    And according to the Congressional Budget Office, not only will the Schumer-Rubio immigration bill leave 3.5 million immigrants in the country without legal status, but it will also add about 4.8 million people to the illegal immigrant population by 2023, thanks to the bill’s “temporary” guest worker program.

    In other words, even after spending $46 billion on border security over the next ten years, the Schumer-Rubio immigration does nothing to solve the illegal immigration problem. We will still have an 8.3 million person illegal immigrant population and Democrats will be pushing for yet another amnesty.

  6. George Chidi says:

    Republicans are going to get no credit for the immigration bill if it passes. Republicans shouldn’t be talking about making gains with immigrants with this. They’re going to stem losses, at best. Maybe. Assuming they survive primary challenges, which appears increasingly unlikely.

    I’m looking at this as a second-generation child of an immigrant. It’s hard not to notice the raw animus underneath some of the proposals, and how little it actually helps people who are here legally obtain permanent residency and citizenship in a non-crazy way. Legal immigration to the United States is often a 14-year misadventure in bureaucracy, and it doesn’t matter much if your a truck driver from south of Juarez or Elon Musk. This bill makes that worse, and all of the voters like me that the GOP are worried about — naturalized citizens and the citizen-children of immigrants — can see it clearly.

    Does this bill do anything to manage the existing legal immigration backlog? There are four million people in line right now. Currently, the U.S. allows about 226,000 immigrants in every year as relatives of citizens or permanent residents. That’s a 20 year wait. We’re talking a Soviet Union-level bureaucratic nightmare for immigrant families right now … and it’s ON PURPOSE. It’s utterly intentional. It’s a policy decision designed to limit legal immigration. Does this bill quintuple the number of people who will be given green cards every year, legally, to clear the backlog? That’s what it would take to get us to parity by 2019.

    The entire state department budget is about $50 billion a year. We’re about to spend $40 billion or so on a fence, never mind all the people waiting patiently, legally in line right now who will remain screwed. And, certainly, never mind their families … many of whom are registered voters.

    The bill increases the H1b quota, and allows their spouses to work, which is nice. But it also appears to require something akin to a Davis-Bacon-plus rule: a high-skill immigrant has to be offered a wage higher than the prevailing wage in the industry as a means to keep immigrants from competing with native-born labor.

    I actually like this rule. I’ve seen employers treat techie immigrants like slave labor because they hold their immigration status in the balance, and the skills-shortage noise is questionable. But there are more than a few highly-skilled immigrants who are going to be out of work if that passes, and they’re heading back from whence they came. I hope their children learned the native language first. Other employers are simply going to lie, as they always have done, about the talent shortage and what the prevailing wage actually is.

    Are you all expecting a standing ovation for “coming so far” to meet the needs of immigrant families? Are we supposed to applaud because Republicans have decided, cynically, that they only have to crap on people a little less to win votes?

    We’re going to see all the things this bill doesn’t do — it doesn’t meaningfully help us attract high-value talent, it doesn’t really defend native workers from wage competition, and if it will make it less insane for the spouses and children of citizens to get a green card it isn’t evident yet to me. Spending $40 or $50 billion for border security in the surveillance state that is modern America is a Kafka-esque joke. Republicans are all but ready to defund the IRS over campaign finance enforcement, but expect the government to effectively use e-verify to watch employers. Kafka rolls over in his grave.

    • seekingtounderstand says:

      In case you haven’t noticed it is not just the illegal working person getting crapped on in this country. American workers are getting it from all sides of government. Funding our own demise.
      With NSA and drones why spend money on a border fence.

  7. SmyrnaModerate says:

    Republicans are in an impossible position on immigration. They will get no credit for any bill that passes because too much damage has already been done with year after year of rhetoric and state level immigration efforts here and in the other Republican controlled states where most of the hispanic growth is occurring.

    On a national level, Hillary Clinton is already picking out new furniture for the White House in 2016 and, though it is early, there appears to be no credible threat on the Republican side to stop her. All early polling has her walking away with the election. Since it seems we now elect every president to 2 terms that means the next theoretically competitive presidential election will not be until 2024. By 2024, the “demographic bomb” will have already have gone off. Even without amnesty, the children of current illegal immigrants who were born citizens will be becoming voters at overhwelming rates. Texas, Georgia and Arizona will already be purple if not lean blue by then and the Republicans will no longer have any competitive path to the presidency, at least not by advocating many of the party’s current core principles.

  8. seekingtounderstand says:

    Rove is saying that America has two choices:
    Communism (society without religion) Democrats
    Socialism (society with religion) Republicans
    Both controlled by special interest or the highest bidder

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