Thursday, November 16, 2017

Revise and resubmit

After reading my last post, my esteemed friend Robert Biggert urged me to take a look at rates of immigration, and pointed to this column by Thomas Edsall, which argued that there was a turn towards Trump in places where there were few immigrants but the number was increasing rapidly.  Then this morning I saw another by Edsall which argued that there was a turn towards Trump in places where there were few "minorities" but the number was increasing rapidly.  The idea is that whites feel most threatened when they are first exposed to a significant number of "others."  After reading the first one, I got figures on the number of foreign-born people by state in 2000, 2010, and 2015.  I found the 2000-10 changes didn't make any difference to 2016 vote, but the 2010-15 changes did.  So I decided to limit my attention to changes in the black and Hispanic population since 2010.  The results from regressions with Republican gain over 2012 as the dependent variable (standard errors in parentheses):

Constant                 .026            -.062
                              (.013)           (.030)

Utah                         -.145         -.135
                                 (.021)        (.019)

Home                      -.040           -.046
                                (.017)          (.015)

Black (2010)           -.109            -.088
                                 (.028)          (.026)

Hispanic (2010)       -.131          -.096
                                 (.042)          (.038)

Foreign-born (2010)  -.084         -.041
                                   (.076)        (.068)

Disability                   .437            .649
                                  (.248)          (.226)

Grow10-15                                    .023

Adj. R-square            74.5%         75.4%

The last variable is the sum of the growth in black, Hispanic, and foreign-born population.  For each one, "growth" is the ratio of 2015 share to 2010 share.  The reason I used the sum is that when growth in each population was included separately, the group was statistically significant, but none of the individual estimates were.  Almost by definition, the largest values for growth occurred in places that had few "minorities" in 2010:  the states that ranked highest on Grow10-15 were North Dakota, South Dakota, Maine, Vermont, and Minnesota.  But the estimates for percent black and Hispanic in 2010 are still negative and statistically significant, so the conclusions from my previous two posts stand up.  (The estimate for foreign-born is negative although not statistically significant).  Going back to the "defense of whiteness" idea, these analysis suggest in the contemporary United States it's a temporary thing--it applies when "others" are first appearing but weakens or reverses as they remain.

1 comment:

  1. (I'm implicitly referring to the second article linked above.)
    There are other things happening, too. For example Dravosburg saw a big drop in population (2012 to 2016) and a big (10%) increase in voter turnout. As you should be able to guess, I think that this supports my theory that Trump turning out his base was the most important thing in 2016.

    I don't think people change a lot in four years, but what they are responding to changed radically: Romney cleared the Etch-a-Sketch and ignored his base in the general election, but Trump never pivoted and continued to speak to his base until the end.

    Also, remember all the enthusiasm for Clinton? Right, I don't either. The NYT published not one but two anti-Clinton editorials the Sunday before the election.

    (And, grumble, the people Trump got out were seriously affluent, with a median income US$10,000 higher than the median income of non-Hispanic whites, the most affluent demographic in the US.)

    Sorry for the ranting. I think this change in degree of racism bit is a case of trying too hard. We can agree to disagree at this point. Anyway, I'm an amateur at the demographics business, and it's going to show if I argue too hard. Just because I disagree with this analysis, doesn't mean I don't respect it.