PolitiFact: Rove’s numbers on Hispanics right, but influence… | www.myajc.com


PolitiFact: Rove’s numbers on Hispanics right, but influence… | www.myajc.com

Karl Rove, the chief political strategist behind George W. Bush’s two White House victories, has been telling anyone who’d listen that the Republican Party must do better with nonwhites if it wants to get a Republican back in the Oval Office.

Rove said that at the Georgia GOP’s convention in May, with details about how Republicans have done well among Hispanic voters in Texas by aggressively recruiting Hispanic candidates for office and conducting other outreach efforts.

He offered some statistics to outline the potential trouble for Georgia Republicans if they do not employ a similar approach here.

“If the GOP leaves nonwhite voters to the Democrats, then its margins in safe congressional districts and red states will dwindle — not overnight, but over years and decades,” Rowe wrote in a Wall Street Journal op-ed. “For example, the Hispanic population in Georgia’s Gwinnett County increased by 153 percent from 2000 to 2010 while the GOP’s presidential vote in the county dropped to 54 percent in 2012 from 63.7 percent in 2000. In Henry County, south of Atlanta, the Hispanic population increased by 339 percent over the same decade. The GOP’s presidential vote dropped to 51.2 percent in 2012 from 66.4 percent in 2000. Republicans ignore changes like these at their peril.”

PolitiFact Georgia wondered whether Rove’s numbers were accurate and was there any context missing.

Gwinnett and Henry counties had an explosion in population growth in recent decades. Gwinnett’s population has increased nearly fivefold since 1980, from 166,903 residents to the 2010 U.S. census estimate of 805,321. Henry’s population, meanwhile, nearly doubled between 2000 and 2010, from 119,341 to 203,923.

Hispanics represent a significant portion of the population increases in the two counties, which have been reliable Republican terrain in statewide and national elections.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported in March 2011 that Henry’s Hispanic population had increased by 338 percent between 2000 and 2010, to 11,813. Gwinnett’s Hispanic population grew nearly 153 percent from 2000 to 2010, to 162,035.

The percentage increases were almost the same as what Rove wrote in his op-ed.

As for the recent performance of Republican presidential candidates, Rove was on target as well. In 2000, Bush, the Republican nominee for president, won 64.2 percent of the vote in Gwinnett County. Last year, GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney pulled 53.9 percent of Gwinnett voters.

In Henry, Bush garnered 66.5 percent of the vote in 2000 while Romney won 51.2 percent in 2012.

Rove implies a correlation between the increase of Hispanic residents in Gwinnett and Henry and the performance of Republican presidential nominees in those counties.

Most exit polls show about one-third of Hispanic voters nationwide backed Bush in 2000.

The nonpartisan Pew Hispanic Center reported Romney pulled in about 27 percent of Hispanic voters in 2012.

Census numbers, though, cast doubt on whether Hispanics had enough clout in the two counties to sway the outcome in 2012.

By 2010, Hispanics formed about a fifth of Gwinnett’s population, up from about 11 percent in 2000. In Henry, Hispanics made up just under 6 percent of the population in 2010, compared with 2 percent in 2000.

via PolitiFact: Rove’s numbers on Hispanics right, but influence… | www.myajc.com.

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