THE ROBERT W. WHITAKER ARCHIVE

archives
articles

WHITAKER'S LAW ON THE MINORITY VOTE | 2000-01-29

The Law reads thusly

"The only time Republicans get a large percentage of the minority vote is in a landslide when they would have won the election without a single minority vote."

I discussed this on November 28, 1998 in "You Never Win With the Black Vote." But this year they are selling the same old myth again, so it is time to go back over this.

Every Bush supporter recites the same old litany about how many minority votes Bush got in his last run for governor. This is supposed to prove he can get lots and lots of minority votes when he runs for president on the Republicans ticket.

He won't.

In 1998, Bush could have won the Texas governorship without a single minority vote. He won in a landslide, and minorities went along with the tide. In 2000, Bush will get the same minuscule percentage of minority votes Republicans always get.

For decades, moderates talked about how many black votes Eisenhower got in 1952 and 1956. He got over forty percent of the black vote. But the fact is that Eisenhower would have won if he had not gotten a single black vote. Like Bush in Texas, Eisenhower won in a landslide, and a higher black vote went along with it. But for decades, we had to listen to the same old line about how the Republican Party would get the black vote if it just got a little bit more liberal.