Oddly buried in the This Week community section of today's Chron is this article on Hispanic voting patterns from the 2004 election. This bit in particular piqued my interest:
Nationally, Latinos cast 8 percent — a little more than 9 million votes — of the total vote in the Nov. 2 election, and there's still some controversy as to whether 44 percent of the Hispanic vote went for Bush, as exit polling indicated, said Tatcho Mindiola Jr., director of the Center for Mexican American Studies and associate professor of sociology at the University of Houston.
"It's a considerable improvement over what he received last time," Mindiola said. "The question is why."
In Texas, Hispanics accounted for 23 percent — or 1.6 million votes — of the number cast statewide, he said.
In other states, "there is no question," he said, that Hispanics came out to the polls in large numbers, accounting for 21 percent of the vote in California, 32 percent in New Mexico, 10 percent of voters in Nevada and in Hawaii, 9 percent in New York and 3 percent in Ohio.
"South Texas still went for the Democratic Party, whereas the border went for President Bush," Mindiola said.
In the most heavily Hispanic counties in Texas (see spreadsheet), Bush got 44.5% of the vote. 471,000 votes were cast there; 85% of the population is Hispanic, so if they voted proportionally that's 400,000 voters, of which about 178,000 voted for Bush.
That leaves 1.3 million Hispanic voters in the rest of the state. If Bush got 59% of the Hispanic vote in Texas, that means a smidgeon over 1 million Hispanics total voted for him, or 822,000 of the Hispanics in these other counties. That comes to 63.2% of the Hispanic vote in all the other counties in Texas, including Bexar, Dallas, and Harris, in which Bush got 53.5% of over 2.2 million voters overall. These three counties would account for a huge proportion of those 1.3 million remaining Hispanic voters, and if they were going for Bush to the tune of 63.2% there's no way in hell he gets only 53.5% of the vote overall there. White voters are still the bulk of the electorate in the big urban counties, even as they drop to non-plurality of the total population (as an example, George Strong assumed 68% of the voters in the 2003 Houston mayoral runoff vote would be Anglos), so the only way to make these numbers add up is to assume that white voter support for Bush dropped like a rock in the big cities. Once again I say, no way in hell.
I continue to believe that the 23% figure for the Hispanic portion of the Texas electorate is too high, but there is another factor to consider when evaluating both that claim and the claim that Bush got 59% of their vote, and that factor is the percentage of the Anglo vote that Bush got. Yglesias thought that 72% white support for Bush was pretty darned high. Maybe so, but in Texas, maybe not. Consider the following:
County Pct Anglo Bush vote Pct Bush vote Total vote
Collin 76.1 173,014 71.23 242,889
Denton 76.0 140,541 69.99 200,791
Ellis 71.3 34,577 74.59 46,352
Johnson 83.2 34,739 73.54 47,232
Lubbock 62.5 69,675 75.28 92,548
Montgomery 81.4 104,361 78.10 133,624
Wichita 73.3 32,472 71.29 45,545
Williamson 73.5 83,079 64.97 127,857
Total 672,458 71.77 936,838
UPDATE: Ruy Teixeira performs similar calculations and comes to the same conclusions.Posted by Charles Kuffner on November 18, 2004 to Election 2004 | TrackBack