Conventional wisdom is that illegal immigration remains an intractable problem because neither the Democratic nor the Republican party elites want to do anything about it for self-interested reasons. The Democrats see the illegals, largely Hispanic, as a natural constituency, while the GOP sees them as a continuous source of cheap labor for Big Business. In the meantime, it’s “Screw the American people,” who in poll after poll have indicated our opposition to the economic-social-political effects of unimpeded illegal immigration.
This study should be a wakeup call to the GOP. It shows that it’s not just illegal immigrants – but immigrants in general — who vote more for the Democrats. America’s liberal immigration policy, legal and illegal, is a boon to the electoral fortunes of the Democrats and a bane to the GOP.
County-Level Analysis: GOP Vote Share Drops as Foreign-Born % Grows
WASHINGTON (February 19, 2010) – What are the likely partisan consequences of continued mass immigration? Those on the left see it as benefiting them; union leader Eliseo Medina recently told a gathering that immigration, ‘will create a governing coalition for the long term not just for an election cycle.’ At the same time, some on the right claim that immigrants are natural Republican voters, given their relative conservatism on certain social issues. Which view is correct?
To shed some light on this question, the Center for Immigration Studies is releasing a new report, ‘Immigration, Political Realignment, and the Demise of Republican Political Prospects‘ by James G. Gimpel. Gimpel, a professor of government at the University of Maryland, College Park, and co-author of The Congressional Politics of Immigration Reform, examined the Republican share of the vote and the foreign-born share of the population over three decades in all 3,000-plus counties in the United States.
Among the findings:
- The electoral impact of immigration has been greatest in counties with large populations, where most immigrants settle. In these locations, Republicans have lost 0.58% points in presidential elections for every 1% point increase in the size of the local immigrant population. On average the immigrant share has increased 9.5% in these counties.
- In counties of at least 50,000, where the immigrant share increased by at least 2% points from 1980 to 2008, 62% saw a decline in the Republican percentage. In counties with at least a 4%-point increase, 74% saw a decline in the GOP vote. In counties with at least a 6%-point gain in the immigrant share, 83% saw a decline in the GOP vote share.
- Republicans have remained competitive in presidential elections because losses in high-immigration counties have been offset by steady gains in low-immigration counties.
- Even in Texas and Florida, often thought to be an exception, the rising immigrant population across counties is associated with sharply diminished support for Republican candidates.
- In Texas, for example, the estimate shows that for every 1%-point increase in the immigrant population in a county, the Republican vote share dropped by 0.67% points, which is more than the decline nationally association with immigration.
- The decline does not seem to be associated with the local Republican Party’s position on illegal immigration.
You can read the report HERE.