left arrow road sign Bear Left!

Demographic Trends Indicate GOP Terminally Ill
Paul Corrigan

20 May 2001

Move over, Soviet Union. Our nation's demographic trends indicate that the GOP will soon be on the ash heap of history. Immigration, birth rates, aging of the population and changes in the way Americans live should put the GOP at an electoral disadvantage that not even a right wing Supreme Court can fix.

Constituencies that favor Democrats are trending upward. In the 2000 presidential election, the ethnic breakdown of the vote was extraordinary.

 % of Voting
% of VoteGoreBushNaderOther

Sources: www.census.gov and www.pollingreport.com. Please note that the information provided is inexact but still provides reliable macro-level data for analysis. In compiling this information assumptions were made on the part of both the Census Bureau and me.

Despite its success in bleaching the color of the American voter, the GOP lost the popular vote in the 2000 presidential election. Whites, who represent 73% of the voting age population, made up over 80% of the actual voters. The Republicans got elected by the slimmest of margins in the Electoral College, resorting to the extraordinary means of disenfranchising minority voters, using the federal judiciary to overturn "states' rights," and benefitting from a ballot process that nullified more Democratic votes than Republican votes. Florida, the swing state governed by the brother of the GOP standard bearer, appeared to be solidly in the Republican column until the voters went to the polls. Exit polls told the truth. Minority voting was up and Gore won the popular vote in Florida and the national election.

The Democrats have neglected their core constituencies for some time now in an attempt to land swing voters. Despite that neglect, blacks, Hispanics and Asian-Americans voted overwhelmingly for Gore. African Americans were 10 times more likely to vote for Gore than for Bush. Almost two out of three Hispanics voted for Gore. Asian Americans voted for Gore in relative percentages similar to Hispanics. The growth rate of the voting age population from 1996 to 2000 by race highlights the trends that spell trouble for the Republicans: White (non-Hispanic) 2.2%; Black 7.3%; Hispanic 16.4%; and Asian American 16.4%.

An analysis of racial groups by age reveals that minority groups aligned with the Democrats have a larger percent of their population approaching the voting age and a dramatically lower percent of their population over the age of 75. Only 20% of whites are between the ages of 5 and 19, whereas 28% of both blacks and Hispanics are between those ages. Well over 6% of whites are over 75 while only about 3% of blacks and 2% of Hispanics are over age 75.

Bush had to lie about what he would do as president to keep the 2000 election close. He promised compassion and has delivered right-wing dogma and corporate culture. The GOP also needed Ralph Nader to siphon votes from Al Gore. Despite all the lying, cheating, stealing and Nadering, the Democrats would have easily won the presidency if they registered more minorities and got them to the polls. It appears that demographic trends will do their work for them in 2004. Let's hope that the Democrats are not that lazy.

Bush, who has been underestimated by Democrats, has tried to stem the demographic tide by reaching out to African Americans and Hispanics. He appointed Colin Powell and Condoleezza Rice to key cabinet posts and has promoted faith-based initiatives that would put money in the hands of Black ministers. He delivered his "Cinco de Mayo" speech in Spanish (a language he is fond of calling Mexican) and reports indicate he plans to name a prominent Hispanic to the Supreme Court. To use a Texas phrase, "that dog don't hunt." Bush and his administration will not make the lives of African-Americans, Hispanics, and seniors better. No amount of makeup can make that fact pretty.

Seniors need services, security, and healthcare. African-Americans and Hispanics need economic opportunity, affordable housing, and a better future for their children. Bush and the Republican-controlled Congress are incapable and unwilling to identify these needs, formulate a strategy to meet these needs, and finance the costs associated with meeting these needs . If they did, we would call them Democrats.

In 2004 the GOP will be safe in Texas, where the state capital has seen a surge in white residents, and in other southern states that lack an appreciation for diversity. Bush is playing to a Southern Baptist constituency in a 21st century world. Historically, the Southern Baptists have been slow to accept change. Today, this denomination's leadership supports capital punishment, unequal treatment of gays and lesbians, and the theory that a woman's place is subordinate to and in service of her husband. In the past the same rationale was used to support slavery and segregation. Time marches on.

Whereas Clinton at least promised to "build a bridge to the 21st century," Bush and the GOP have dug a bunker in hopes of keeping the future at bay. Bush has his finger in a Republican dike. That dike is about to break.

Bear Left!: links library | archives | privacy statement | about us | home

© 2001 Bear Left!