Numbers That Should Cause Republicans To Lose Sleep At Night
Charlie Cook takes note of the GOP’s scary math:
The white share of the vote in presidential elections has dropped 15 points over the past six elections, from 87 percent in 1992 to 72 percent in 2012. This trend has little to do with Barack Obama, the nation’s first African-American president. The declines from one presidential election to the next have been consistent: a 4-point drop from 1992 to 1996, 2 more points in 2000, 4 additional points in 2004, 3 points in 2008, and 2 points last year.
At the same time, the Republican share of the minority vote is getting grisly. Among the 13 percent of voters who are black, Obama won by 87 percentage points, 93 percent to 6 percent, while congressional Democrats won by 83 points, 91 percent to 8 percent. Latinos made up 10 percent of last year’s electorate and gave the president a 44-point edge, 71 percent to 27 percent, while congressional Democrats had a 38-point advantage, 68 percent to 30 percent. The Asian-American vote—3 percent of the electorate and now the fastest-growing ethnic group—sided with Obama by 47 points, 73 percent to 26 percent; congressional Democrats won by a 1-point-wider margin, 73 percent to 25 percent.
According to a Nov. 14 report by the Pew Research Hispanic Center, 40 percent of the population growth of citizens of voting age between now and 2030 will be Hispanic, 21 percent will be black, and 15 percent will be Asian-American. Only 23 percent of that growth will be white. Indeed 50,000 Latinos will turn 18 years of age each month for the next 20 years. The Census Bureau reported last year that 50.4 percent of all births in the U.S. in the 12 months ending July 1, 2011, were among minorities; 49.5 percent were among non-Hispanic whites.
This is simply math. As long as Republicans drive minority voters away, they will not be a nationally competitive party.
But it’s not just race and ethnicity that are a problem for the GOP:
While Republicans still do better than Democrats among voters 40 and older, particularly those over 65, they are losing to Democrats among voters in their 30s—and losing badly among those under 30. As someone who just turned 59, I can make this next provocative statement: Democrats are doing better among voters who can be considered the future. Republicans are doing well among those who could be described as the pre-dead.
As those voters whose political identities were strongly influenced by the success of Ronald Reagan’s presidency and the less-than-successful tenure of Jimmy Carter begin to lose their share of the electorate, and those whose political identities were formed during less auspicious times for the GOP increase their share, the future looks troubling for the Republican Party.
Next, look at gender politics. You could once suggest a half-empty, half-full assessment of the political gender gap. Yes, Republicans have a problem with female voters, but Democrats also have a problem with male voters. Keep in mind, though, that female voters outnumber males and that women live longer. In the past two presidential elections, 53 percent of the electorate was female. But worse for Republicans, the vote wasn’t symmetrical. Romney and congressional Republicans won the male vote by 7 and 8 percentage points, respectively; Obama and Democrats won the larger women’s vote by 11 points. That’s a losing equation for the GOP.
These aren’t new numbers, of course, but they point out a serious problem that the GOP faces in the coming years. In many ways, they’ll be able to avoid reality if they wish in coming years because 2010 redistricting likely ensures that they’ll hold on to the House of Representatives for the time being. However, what these numbers suggest is that, without significant change on their part, Republicans will continue to come up short when it comes to Senate elections in purple states and Presidential elections. The question is whether they’ll be smart enough to change before it’s too late.