Wednesday, July 11, 2012

The More Things Change

Not Watergate related: Bob Haldeman's diary, July 11, 1972 (for those who haven't been following along, Haldeman is Richard Nixon's Chief of Staff):
Billy Graham called to give me the names of all his Christian youth types. He's very enthusiastic and thinks we have a very good group to work with us. He also feels we have a good chance on the blacks by splitting them and getting the religious blacks who are scared of the criminal elements [sic] and so on to come over to our side. He thinks we're in good shape with the Jews.
It's not quite the same as today; there's nothing about abortion and gays scaring all the blacks to vote for Nixon (at least not from what Haldeman says about what Graham said). But it's awful close!

And as long as I raised it I might as well let you know it worked about as well as usual, too. Nixon wound up with, according to one study, about a third of the Jewish vote -- more than he got in 1968, but just about normal for 1972-1984. As for African Americans...Gallup has "nonwhite" as a category, which is quite a bit more Republican than just the black vote (compare later years when both are available), and McGovern won that by a whopping 87-13 spread; ignoring survey error, Nixon only did one point better than in 1968, and two points worse than the combined Nixon plus Wallace total. 


  1. In the NES data, Nixon got 3% of the black vote in 1968 and 13% in 1972 (it doesn't matter whether you include Wallace or not for the 1972 vote, because NES couldn't find any black people that voted for Wallace (or, at least, enough to not round to 0%...I don't feel like getting out my NES cumulative file to run the numbers myself, so I'm just relying on the NES tables)

    1. oops! "whether you include Wallace or not for the _1968_ vote"

  2. In case you're wondering, that 13% is the high-water mark for the % voting Republican in the post-Civil Rights Act period.
    This somewhat coincides with Party ID, as 11% of the black sample ID'd as Rep/lean Rep in 1972, compared to 3-4 in 68-70, and 4-6 in 74-76.

    So, whatever Graham was saying, it was only correlated with black votes & partisanship in 1972 only. Seems more likely that's a story about how terribad a candidate Humphrey was than a story about some kind of major change in black politics.

    1. McGovern, you mean.

      And probably more like it's just part of the general shift to Nixon among all groups.

      Thanks for the numbers. Much more reliable than what Gallup has.

    2. I guess it only fits...I typed 1972 when I meant 1968....why shouldn't I mix up the candiadtes as well?

  3. Their source on the Jewish public was Billy Graham?


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