Ted McLaughlin : Can an All-White GOP Win in 2012?

Electoral College breakdown for 2008.

Can the GOP win in 2012
with only white votes?

By Ted McLaughlin / The Rag Blog / March 5, 2011

This country was generally controlled by the Republican Party in the years between 1980 and 2008. Republicans controlled the White House for 20 of those 28 years — Reagan (eight years), Bush I (four years), Bush II (eight years). Even during the eight years of Democrat Bill Clinton the Republicans controlled the Congress and were able to make sure that Republican economic policies remained intact.

These were good years for the rich and for corporations. Taxes on both were continually being reduced, unions lost much of their protection and power, and both businesses and the stock market saw much regulation disappear. The theory of the Republicans was called trickle-down economics, and it said that allowing the corporate interests to make ever larger profits would result in much of those new profits being reinvested, creating new jobs and a rising income and wealth for all Americans.

It didn’t work. Instead of reinvestment, most of the money just went into ever-growing corporate bank accounts and enormous management bonuses. The rich got much richer while almost nothing “trickled down” to the rest of America. This set up the largest disparity of wealth and income between the rich and the rest of America that had been seen since before the Great Depression, and like in 1929, the economy crashed in 2007 with many millions of jobs being lost.

This resulted in a Democratic victory in 2008, and that scared the heck out of corporate interests. They were afraid they might see a new era of regulation to rein in their unbridled greed, and (horror of horrors) might actually have to start paying their fair share of taxes. They had enough Republicans left in the Senate to block any real change, but they knew they had to do something to return their Republican buddies to power.

These right-wing corporate moguls (such as the Koch brothers) decided they needed to create a “movement.” Using right-wing organizations they had created they funded and organized the teabagger movement. They tried to pass this off as a grassroots movement of dissatisfied ordinary Americans, but it didn’t take long for the corporate funding and organizational ties to become known.

I really think these corporate founders meant for the new “movement” to be an anti-regulation and anti-tax movement. But once it got started and needed members, some people were accepted into the teabagger movement who had a different agenda. These were the racists (who were unhappy with an African-American being president) and their brothers in the anti-immigrant and anti-Muslim crowd. And there were enough people in these groups to make up a large part of the teabaggers and forever color their purpose and agenda.

The teabaggers joined with the neocons and religious fundamentalists and quickly took over the Republican Party. The Republicans already had an image problem, being composed almost entirely of whites, and this just became worse when these radical groups seized control and began to drum moderates out of the party. The result is a party that is not just made up of whites, but that is viewed as having anti-minority policies (by most minorities and many whites).

The Republicans were able to overcome this in the 2010 elections because of massive corporate spending in the election and a reduced turnout. But the turnout is unlikely to be that small in the presidential election year of 2012. Since the Republicans are not likely to receive any significant minority vote in 2012, the real question now is can they win with just a large white vote? And how large will that white vote have to be for them to be successful?

The National Journal has tried to answer that question, and I believe they have done a pretty good job of showing just how big a percentage of whites in each state President Obama needs to win election. They have done a state-by-state breakdown on this because, due to the Electoral College, state results and not the popular vote is the deciding factor.

As the map above shows, the Republicans won 22 states and the Democrats won 28 states. In 19 of those states Obama won at least 50% of the white vote. In the other nine he won less than 50% of the white vote, but when added to the minority vote it made up a majority of those state’s voters.

Using a variety of sources (2000 and 2010 census, 2008 American Community Survey, exit polling from the 2008 election), the National Journal has come up with figures for each state. In the list below the figure in parentheses shows the percentage of whites Obama got in 2008. The next figure is the percentage of whites he will need to carry the state in 2012 (marked in red), and the last figure is the amount of the white vote he will need to carry the state if he loses at least 10% of the minority vote he had in 2008 (an unlikely scenario considering the racist, anti-immigrant and anti-Muslim feelings now associated with the Republican Party). The * marks the states Obama carried in 2008. Here are the state-by-state figures:

  • Hawaii* (70%) 15.8% – 26.7%
  • Vermont* (68%) 49.6% – 50.0%
  • Rhode Island* (58%) 41.2% – 43.3%
  • Maine* (58%) 50.1% – 50.3%
  • Washington* (57%) 47.8% – 49.3%
  • Oregon* (57%) 49.5% – 50.2%
  • Massachusetts* (57%) 40.4% – 43.0%
  • Wisconsin* (54%) 46.6% – 47.7%
  • New Hampshire* (54%) 49.7% – 50.1%
  • Minnesota* (53%) 48.2% – 49.1%
  • Delaware* (53%) 35.6% – 38.8%
  • New York* (52%) 32.6% – 36.6%
  • New Jersey* (52%) 41.4% – 44.3%
  • California* (52%) 33.3% – 38.2%
  • Michigan* (51%) 41.8% – 43.8%
  • Iowa* (51%) 46.0% – 47.0%
  • Illinois* (51%) 34.0% – 37.6%
  • Connecticut* (51%) 35.3% – 38.4%
  • Colorado* (50%) 45.3% – 47.1%
  • Pennsylvania* (48%) 41.2% – 43.5%
  • Maryland* (47%) 25.2% – 30.9%
  • Ohio* (46%) 43.8% – 45.6%
  • Nevada* (45%) 35.3% – 39.5%
  • Montana (45%) 48.2% – 49.0%
  • Indiana* (45%) 44.6% – 46.0%
  • North Dakota (42%) 47.8% – 48.5%
  • New Mexico* (42%) 27.2% – 34.8%
  • Missouri (42%) 42.3% – 44.3%
  • Florida* (42%) 39.6% – 43.0%
  • West Virginia (41%) 49.0% – 49.5%
  • South Dakota (41%) 46.4% – 47.4%
  • Kansas (40%) 49.4% – 50.1%
  • Arizona (40%) 46.7% – 48.8%
  • Virginia* (39%) 33.5% – 37.6%
  • Nebraska (39%) 47.9% – 48.6%
  • Kentucky (36%) 45.9% – 47.3%
  • North Carolina* (35%) 33.9% – 37.7%
  • Tennessee (34%) 43.2% – 45.0%
  • Idaho (33%) 48.5% – 49.3%
  • Wyoming (32%) 51.5% – 51.9%
  • Alaska (32%) 47.5% – 49.3%
  • Utah (31%) 48.4% – 49.2%
  • Arkansas (30%) 42.9% – 44.8%
  • Oklahoma (29%) 48.0% – 49.4%
  • Texas (26%) 34.9% – 39.6%
  • South Carolina (26%) 32.4% – 36.3%
  • Georgia (23%) 25.3% – 30.8%
  • Louisiana (14%) 27.8% – 33.0%
  • Mississippi (11%) 21.1% – 27.2%
  • Alabama (10%) 25.1% – 30.6%

The Republicans thought they could fraternize with the teabaggers to win an election and then go on about their business. They were wrong (as were the corporate moguls who thought they could use the teabaggers). The teabaggers and their unsavory cohorts have now taken over the Republican Party and tarnished it with a racist and anti-minority image even worse than it already had.

Now they have painted themselves into a corner. They must win, if they can, with only white votes. Can they do it? It is unlikely, but it is just within the realm of possibility. But it’s going to become more unlikely with each future election, since the minority population is growing much faster than the white population.

Unless the Republicans can rid themselves of the teabaggers and other racist elements they may well be charting themselves a course to future extinction.

[Rag Blog contributor Ted McLaughlin also posts at jobsanger.]

The Rag Blog

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5 Responses to Ted McLaughlin : Can an All-White GOP Win in 2012?

  1. Brother Jonah says:

    Oh, now, you KNOW we’re not supposed to call them racists anymore. They said so.
    They also are beating the drums, getting their freakier members like Jared Loughner and Shawna Forde (taken out of the picture for now) but they have a never-ending supply of “Lone Wolf Social Misfits” in reserve, just waiting for Rush or Glenn or Sarah to say the magic words to spin their Meth-Monster fantasies into a shooting spree… and the “leaders” know it and keep up the Hate Speech…

    Like… Hate Speech cannot be called Hate Speech, it’s too “politically correct” and as every Republican’t and TeaTard political hack has jumped onto that bandwagon, they’ve gotten their Demented Disciples, the future Jared Loughners, to believe that Politically Correct equals Terrorism and Treason.

    Both of which are capital offenses. But wait, the inJustice Department hasn’t prosecuted people for P.C.

    When Rush and Bill-do’Reilly have told them that they must take the law into their own hands,…. if the government can not or will not take the “necessary steps”. They invoke Posse Commitatus.

    So some ice-smoking semi-educated person, who believes already that blacks and Muslims and ‘mixcans” and Librul “Traitors” are persecuting the Tea Party “patriots”
    by not bowing in worship of Racial Purity, plotting the next Tucson Massacre, or Arivaca Home Invasion or Knoxville Church invasion to “teach them thar libruls a lesson”

    (of course the TeaPotty fanatics will deny it)

    Their leaders know full well that their words can drive the insane even further into murderous rage. They would have to know it or be entirely deaf and blind to the history of Murderous Cults and the “lone wolf” phenomenon they’ve already unleashed many times.

    That leaves Deliberate and cold-hearted manipulation of the killers.

    They’ll deny that as well, and actually DEMAND that we not point it out.
    Because it’s radically Political Correctness of course. And it will start their whole Circular Illogic cycle spinning again.

  2. toto says:

    By 2012, The National Popular Vote bill could guarantee the Presidency to the candidate who receives the most popular votes in all 50 states (and DC).

    Every vote, everywhere would be politically relevant and equal in presidential elections. Elections wouldn’t be about winning states. Every vote, everywhere would be counted for and directly assist the candidate for whom it was cast. Candidates would need to care about voters across the nation, not just undecided voters in a handful of swing states.

    In the 2012 election, pundits and campaign operatives already agree that, at most, only 14 states and their voters will matter under the current winner-take-all laws (i.e., awarding all of a state’s electoral votes to the candidate who receives the most popular votes in each state) used by 48 of the 50 states. Candidates will not care about 72% of the voters- voters-in 19 of the 22 lowest population and medium-small states, and big states like CA, GA, NY, and TX. 2012 campaigning would be even more obscenely exclusive than 2008 and 2004. Candidates have no reason to poll, visit, advertise, organize, campaign, or care about the voter concerns in the dozens of states where they are safely ahead or hopelessly behind. Policies important to the citizens of ‘flyover’ states are not as highly prioritized as policies important to ‘battleground’ states when it comes to governing.

    Since World War II, a shift of a handful of votes in one or two states would have elected the second-place candidate in 4 of the 13 presidential elections. Near misses are now frequently common. There have been 6 consecutive non-landslide presidential elections. 537 popular votes won Florida and the White House for Bush in 2000 despite Gore’s lead of 537,179 popular votes nationwide. A shift of 60,000 votes in Ohio in 2004 would have defeated President Bush despite his nationwide lead of over 3 Million votes.

    The bill would take effect only when enacted, in identical form, by states possessing a majority of the electoral votes–enough electoral votes to elect a President (270 of 538). When the bill comes into effect, all the electoral votes from those states would be awarded to the presidential candidate who receives the most popular votes in all 50 states (and DC).

    The bill uses the power given to each state by the Founding Fathers in the Constitution to change how they award their electoral votes for president. Historically, virtually all of the major changes in the method of electing the President, including ending the requirement that only men who owned substantial property could vote and 48 current state-by-state winner-take-all laws, have come about by state legislative action.

  3. toto says:

    In Gallup polls since 1944, only about 20% of the public has supported the current system of awarding all of a state’s electoral votes to the presidential candidate who receives the most votes in each separate state (with about 70% opposed and about 10% undecided). Support is strong among Republican voters, Democratic voters, and independent voters, as well as every demographic group surveyed in virtually every state, partisan, and demographic group surveyed in recent polls in closely divided battleground states: CO – 68%, FL – 78%, IA 75%,, MI – 73%, MO – 70%, NH – 69%, NV – 72%, NM– 76%, NC – 74%, OH – 70%, PA – 78%, VA – 74%, and WI – 71%; in smaller states (3 to 5 electoral votes): AK – 70%, DC – 76%, DE – 75%, ID – 77%, ME – 77%, MT – 72%, NE 74%, NH – 69%, NV – 72%, NM – 76%, OK – 81%, RI – 74%, SD – 71%, UT – 70%, VT – 75%, WV – 81%, and WY – 69%; in Southern and border states: AR – 80%,, KY- 80%, MS – 77%, MO – 70%, NC – 74%, OK – 81%, SC – 71%, VA – 74%, and WV – 81%; and in other states polled: CA – 70%, CT – 74%, MA – 73%, MN – 75%, NY – 79%, OR – 76%, and WA – 77%.

    The National Popular Vote bill has passed 31 state legislative chambers, in 21 small, medium-small, medium, and large states, including one house in AR, CT, DE, DC, ME, MI, NV, NM, NY, NC, and OR, and both houses in CA, CO, HI, IL, NJ, MD, MA, RI, VT, and WA. The bill has been enacted by DC, HI, IL, NJ, MD, MA, and WA. These 7 states possess 74 electoral votes — 27% of the 270 necessary to bring the law into effect.


  4. Steve Russell says:

    So much for a post-racial politics. The good news is there’s a generation divide. The kids do seem to get it.

  5. Brother Jonah says:

    The most probable way they would do it would be how Rick GoodHair slithered into another term… suppress “minority” voters through evictions and convictions, and using Klan volunteer poll watchers.
    Renters aren’t considered human to the Elitist White Supremacists.
    They even say that tenants don’t pay property taxes, which is a damned lie. They pay the landlords’ property taxes and at a higher rate than a similarly valued owner-occupied home. Take it back to the “original intent” where only wealthy white males could vote.
    But it’s not racist in any way.
    Sure it was the demonstrated “original intent” of a majority of the Framers of the Constitution, but, so was the exclusion of the Bill of Rights. First ten Amendments.

    The nasty little upshot of that is, if you’re evicted between the last day you can register to vote, and voting day, you’re disenfranchised. (unless you’re white and a registered republican)

    The Klan poll watchers/election judges know how to read court dockets, and how many and who exactly was evicted in the Magic Window. And the Judges, mostly Republican, throughout Texas, and the big-belly Redneck Sheriffs and Marshalls, they know exactly what they’re doing, along with their Slumlord fellow pigs. Look for a lot of that bullshit next year.

    Look for a lot of dragnet operations in “minority” neighborhoods like South Oak Cliff, Grand Prairie, Polytechnic Heights, Stop Six, Segundo Barrio in El Paso, Canutillo, Ysleta del Sur, Socorro Mission… really nationwide, too, now that Republitard TeaPotty Klansmen like Rick GoodHair and Barbour and Scott Walker are in charge of State Election codes. And their demented extremist disciples feel they have a restored “license for Racism”.

    News flash for the “take our country back” crowd, you never did own America. There have always been those of us who don’t fit in with your lily-white Ozzie and Harriet vision of what you believe America should be. It’s shown in the casualty counts from every time you tried to drag us down or drive us out or exterminate us.
    You’ll either accept that Other Americans have just as many rights as you, or live in miserable hatred and frustrated helpless anger… because we ain’t giving up or giving in or going away.

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