If you’ve been tempted to believe that the presidential polls have swung decisively in Romney’s favor because of a strong 1 ½ hour television performance, think again. As Rush explains, the polls of June through September telling us that Obama has been in the lead were not intended to reflect public opinion but rather to shape it. Alleged weakness among Hispanic, youth and various other voter categories has not suddenly reversed. Instead, the pollster bias identified in a previous post has been reduced as we near Election Day, enabling us to see a more accurate reflection of what has been in existence all along.
Conspiracy theory? A close look at voter behavior right here in Galveston County would suggest that Rush is right and the conventional wisdom – that Republicans overall and the Romney/Ryan ticket in particular trail Democrats badly among younger voters and Hispanics – is just wrong.
Galveston County Profile: More Red than Blue
The population of Galveston County is 295,747. As of September 2012, 183,609 of these folks are registered to voter, roughly 62%. Republicans outnumber Democrats by over 2 to 1; 22,000+ Republicans to 9,000+ Democrats as indicated by these folks participation in their respective primary elections. The charts nearby provides a summary.
More Property Tax Payers are Republican than Democrat
Mashing up property tax data with voter data, an interesting thing jumps out. 59% of Republicans own property and pay property taxes compared with 50% of Democrats. Does this imply that the folks who own property are sensitive to tax and spend issues and thus more inclined to support the Republican Party platform? Let us know what you think.
More Younger Voters Are Republicans, Too
The conventional wisdom says that young voters are more likely to be Democrats. It’s easy to buy into this argument, what with the proliferation of numbskull celebrities opining through efforts like “Rock the Vote” and other pop culture platforms. However, the data suggests that this is another myth perpetuated by the media. At 16% of the overall voting public, youth are the smallest segment of voters. But in Galveston County, Republicans outnumber Democrats at 5% to 4%, respectively. Tiny you say? Sure but nevertheless the data does not show Republicans trailing badly among this demographic.
Unclear: Democrats Becoming Extinct or Seniors Scared into Becoming Democrats?
What is unclear though is the behavior observed in seniors. 54% of all Democrats are seniors; meanwhile 45% of all Republicans are seniors. Understanding this in historical context wherein Galveston County has been a Democrat stronghold since the end of Reconstruction and has only recently begun to turn red, the chart nearby would seem to suggest that newer voters are identifying with Republicans and Democrat voters are aging out.
If this is true, it’s great news for conservatives and bad news for Lloyd Criss. However, it is also possible that the standard Democrat tactic of scaring the elderly as practiced by Lloyd and co – seen locally in the shameless ‘Stop the Republican attack on the elderly’ propaganda may actually be effective. More research is needed and Galveston County Conservatives will continue our digging into the data, looking more closely at the behavior of individual voters over time.
More Good News: More Hispanics Voting Republican
Like the afore-mentioned conventional wisdom which says the youthful voters are Democrats, the chattering class has been consistent in telling us about Republicans problems with the Hispanics (“HI-span-icks” for you Michael Berry listeners). First, census data tells us that Hispanics are 22% of the County population, or 65,064.Among registered voters, Hispanics represent 11% of voters or 20,570. Next, looking at party affiliation among registered Hispanics, 5% are Republicans while ONLY 4% are Democrat. This gap is not huge but it stands in stark contrast to the conventional wisdom which tells us the opposite is true.
Either Galveston County is atypical or voter behavior has been misrepresented, which is the crux of this post. We think it’s the latter.
Conservative Outreach Priorities – Galveston, Texas City, League City
There is an argument among conservatives that we really need to ‘get out there and get the folks registered to vote’. An argument with good intentions, however we believe it is misguided. We live in some of the most polarized times in American history. Given the substantial issues in play, it seems efforts are better applied at focusing on those who are already registered rather than trying to address voter apathy overall. We’ve done the voter registration drives, worked the tables on Saturdays at this and that location and we’ve concluded there are more effective means of building political support.
With that said, nearly 70% of registered Hispanic voters are concentrated in just three communities. The chart nearby shows that Galveston, Texas City and League City are home to 5,200, 4,500 and 4,000 registered Hispanic voters respectively.
Conservatives & the Republican Party should focus their outreach efforts – direct mail, community involvement, door-to-door – in these areas to maximize the impact.
Final Thoughts: Hispanics Will and Are Crossing Over
11% of registered voters are Hispanics. Although more Hispanics are Republican than Democrat, with only 5% indentifying with the GOP, this would seem to indicate a major opportunity for the GOP to increase its party affiliation among this demographic.
Can these voters be convinced that their vote is most effectively cast for GOP candidates? As staunch believers in traditional marriage and decidedly pro-life it’s been our experience that these folks can be convinced that they have more in common with Republicans than Democrats. In the May 2012 primary we personally observed lifelong Hispanic Democrats cross over and vote in the Republican primary when presented with a candidate they identified with and could believe in. The data shows that this is a broader trend that defies the convential wisdom.