The Corner

Demographic Distractions

At Bloomberg View, I argue that Republicans aren’t going to figure out how to win the elections by obsessing about voters’ race, age, and sex.

Call it the tyranny of the cross-tab: Republicans look at the polls that show a group voting against them, and then take the mental shortcut of assuming it’s mainly because of some issue distinctive to that group. One result is to oversimplify reality: to obscure the facts that married women tend to vote Republican, for example, as do young evangelical Christians. Race, sex and age influence but don’t determine how people will vote — and the influence is often subtler than generally assumed. . . .


Men and women, whites and Hispanics, the young and the middle-aged: All of them want politicians to offer a practical agenda to create jobs, raise wages, and make health care and higher education more affordable. Most of them aren’t wedded to liberal answers on those issues. They will take them over nothing, and that’s what Republicans have been giving them.

Ramesh Ponnuru is a senior editor for National Review, a columnist for Bloomberg Opinion, a visiting fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, and a senior fellow at the National Review Institute.


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