It is looking more like 2010 election
When reading one of the endless stories about a just-released poll last week, a pair of numbers struck my eye: 60 and 37.The black share of the population is not growing. Hispanics are a growing share, but they also vote issues and not just as a tribal unit. Asians lean slightly Democrat, but they are concentrated in Democrat leaning states anyway and their percent of the population is still relatively small, but growing. The question should be what are Democrats doing to appeal to white voters? Not much. Their play to special interest groups is not working with whites.
Those were the percentages of white voters supporting Mitt Romney and President Obama in the ABC/Washington Post tracking poll. Overall, the poll showed Romney leading Obama 50 to 47 percent.
The reason those two numbers struck my eye is that they’re identical to the percentages of white voters supporting Republicans and Democrats in elections for the House of Representatives in the 2010 exit poll. Overall, Republicans won the House popular vote by a margin of 52 to 45 percent, tied with 1994 for the best Republican showing since 1946.
In fact, it’s the Republicans’ biggest margin among white voters in House elections since the party was formed in 1854. GOP presidential candidates have won by bigger margins among whites only in 1920, 1972 and 1984.
Some will ascribe this to racism. But Obama won enough votes from whites to win with 53 percent in 2008, more than any other Democratic nominee except Andrew Jackson, FDR and LBJ.
Why are whites more one-sidedly partisan than just about ever before? Maybe because they’re constantly being told that they’re headed toward becoming a minority of the electorate. Self-conscious minorities tend to vote more cohesively.
Republicans are often told that their party is headed toward minority status because of the rising numbers of heavily Democratic non-whites. Many analysts, even the perspicacious Ron Brownstein of National Journal, tend to lump all non-whites together.
But the three categories of non-whites — blacks, Hispanics and Asians — are strikingly different in partisan terms.