Monday, November 12, 2012

Further evidence that something has to do be done about the GOP / non-white voter divide

Mitt Romney won a larger percentage of the white vote than George W. Bush in 2004, but that wasn't enough to overcome massive deficits with non-white voters. Perhaps the best example of this lies with the Latino vote. Romney lost the third largest voting block by an astonishing 44 points (71-27%). Compare this to 2004, when Bush ran just 9 points behind John Kerry among a group that made up  8% of the electorate (44-53%). Or compare it to the 2008 Democratic landslide in which McCain lost the Latino vote by 36 points, or 67-31%.

Considering that current tallies have the national popular vote at about 50.6% for Obama, and 47.8% for Romney, how well would Mitt Romney have had to do with Latinos in order to overcome Obama in the national popular vote?

National popular vote, extrapolated from the 2012 Exit poll race/ethnicity numbers, assuming Romney wins 43% of Latinos:

If Romney had lost the Latino vote by just 12 points, or 55-43%, he would have barely won the popular vote 49-49%. In other words, Romney would only have needed to do nearly as well as George W. Bush did with Latinos in 2004 in order to have overtaken Obama in the national popular vote. But if we learned anything from 2012, it is that we no longer have a 2004-style electorate. And if you believe that presidential electorates will continue to be about 28% non-white or more, then you have to accept that Republicans must improve with some segment of that group. Historically speaking, Latinos have been the most receptive to Republican entreaties. It probably makes the most sense to start there.

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