August 12, 2014 12:44 pm -

Political Scientist Christopher Parker has a theory as to why Republicans don’t back immigration reform.

He surmises that House Republicans are balking because they “represent constituencies haunted by anxiety associated with the perception that they’re ‘losing their country’ to immigrants from south of the border.”

Recent polling backs this up. Significant numbers of conservatives, and white Americans in general, admit to feeling discomfort at the prospect of a non-majority white America. These views are even stronger among Tea Party-aligned conservatives. According to Parker’s polling, nearly two-thirds of Tea Party conservatives want to eliminate birthright citizenship, and 82 percent of Tea Partiers say they feel “anxious or fearful” about undocumented immigrants.

Another factor behind Republican recalcitrance on immigration and similar issues is the simple racial math underlying many House congressional districts. According to U.S. Census data, only 13 out of 234 Republican-held districts are majority-minority (that is, districts where white non-Hispanics make up less than 50 percent of the population). That’s about 5 percent of all Republican districts. In contrast, fully 49 percent of Democrat-held districts are majority-minority.

This chart tells the story:

On the left side of the chart are districts with the lowest white non-Hispanic population share. These districts are overwhelmingly Democratic. The least-white district in the United States is New York’s 15th, which lies within the Bronx and is held by Democrat Jose Serrano. In terms of ranking by non-white population share a Republican district doesn’t show up until number 21 on the list – that would be Florida’s 27th, a majority Hispanic district with a large Cuban population, held by Ileana Ros-Lehtinen.

Republicans, on the other hand, are better represented on the right side of the chart. The whitest district in the nation (at 96.2%) is Kentucky’s 5th, represented by Republican Hal Rogers. There are a fair number of Democrat-held districts over here too – seats in highly liberal but overwhelmingly white New England states like Maine and Vermont, as well as some seats in West Virginia and the Northern Great Lakes region.

D.B. Hirsch
D.B. Hirsch is a political activist, news junkie, and retired ad copy writer and spin doctor. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.

14 responses to 95% Of Republican House Districts Are Majority-White

  1. Anomaly 100 August 12th, 2014 at 12:53 pm

    I’m wearing my shocked face.

    • tiredoftea August 12th, 2014 at 1:46 pm


    • jasperjava August 12th, 2014 at 2:08 pm

      Me too. I expected it to be 100%.

      • Anomaly 100 August 12th, 2014 at 5:07 pm

        A few non-whites must have slipped in

  2. mea_mark August 12th, 2014 at 1:32 pm

    I think this should be considered more than just a theory, something more like the obvious reason.

  3. tiredoftea August 12th, 2014 at 1:46 pm

    Looks like the right has gerrymandered itself into a tight spot.

    • mea_mark August 12th, 2014 at 1:59 pm

      If not tight, certainly white.

      • tiredoftea August 12th, 2014 at 2:25 pm

        Yeah, the fear machine is working overtime to keep it so.

  4. uzza August 12th, 2014 at 2:11 pm

    The first two paragraphs are quite an accomplishment: Forty some words to say “are racists”.

  5. Maxx44 August 12th, 2014 at 2:36 pm

    And this is a surprise?

    • Suzanne McFly August 12th, 2014 at 3:29 pm


  6. Obewon August 12th, 2014 at 6:02 pm

    Repubs have painted themselves into another vanishing point corner. The great news is these 13 GOP minority-majority districts maybe the easiest to flip during the highest turnout POTUS election years. Higher minority birthrate demographics and greater Voter turnout will continue to cannibalize the entire 234 GOP tea paranoid districts.

  7. SkeeterVT August 13th, 2014 at 6:41 pm

    This backs up what I’ve posted earlier about House GOP districts: That the Republicans today are basically representing “white ghettoes.” A ghetto, by definitition, is a place that is totally lacking in any kind of population diversity.

    A significant part of the GOP voter base is essentially walling itself up in a self-created ghetto to isolate themselves from an increasingly multiracial, multiethnic and multicultural America. And the more they isolate themselves, the more paranoid they’re getting in dealing with a changing America.

    I know something about ghettoization, having grown up in the Bedford-Stuyvesant ghetto in Brooklyn, N.Y. in the early ’70s. Ghettoization inevitably warps one’s view of the world into a paranoid “us-versus-them” mentality. Had I not left the ghetto to live in a more diverse part of the city, I’m sure my own world view would have been warped into that mentlaity.

    This ghettoization of the GOP is really a shame.

  8. fairmont66 September 7th, 2014 at 11:06 am

    districts that majority white and surprise surprise majority racist as hell!