Matthew Dowd, polling director at the Republican National Committee, has pointed out, if minorities and whites vote in 2004 as they did in the 2000 election, Democrats will win by 3 million votes, for just that reason. In the long term, unless the GOP can make inroads among minority voters, they'll lose. In 2002, they made essentially no inroads at all. Recall that in the 2000 election, Al Gore got 90 percent of the black vote; in 2002, blacks appear to have voted at similar rates вЂ“ if not slightly higher вЂ“ for Democratic congressional and gubernatorial candidates. Hispanic support for Democrats was similarly rock solid, despite strenuous GOP outreach efforts. For example, California governor Gray Davis beat his Republican challenger Bill Simon by 65 to 24 percent among Hispanics вЂ“ figures essentially identical to those by which Davis beat his 1998 challenger, Dan Lundgren. Nationally, a Greenberg-Quinlan-Rosner poll taken after the 2002 election indicated that Hispanics supported Democrats by 62 to 38 percent, figures nearly identical to 1998 numbers.
Research by political scientist James Gimpel confirms that Hispanic voting patterns haven't shifted. He found that Hispanics in 10 states polled by Fox News supported Democrats over Republicans in Senate races by more than two to one (67 percent to 33 percent). Democrats didn't fare quite so well among Hispanics in governors' races in these states (54 percent to 46 percent), but that result probably had a great deal to do with the inclusion of Florida and the noncompetitive Colorado election in their sample. Gimpel found little evidence that Latinos are moving toward the Republican Party, despite all the talk of Hispanics as swing voters.
What limited data there are on Asian voters indicate that they, too, haven't wavered in their support of Democrats. In California, Asians voted for Davis over Simon by 54 to 37 percent, similar to their preference for Al Gore over George Bush in 2000. In other words, practically all the available data indicates that minority support for Democrats didn't budge in this election. For the GOP, that's a very bad sign.