For the first time in history minority births are outnumbering white births within the United States. That news came via a new Census Bureau report released today. Eventually, a combination of the minorities will outnumber the majority of whites in the United States, though that date is actually expected to be pushed back because of decreased immigration and a lower birth rate for Hispanics. Still, the report signals a dramatic turning point in American history, with potentially huge political ramifications in the future.
In the 2008 election Senator John McCain actually won the white vote by a fairly large margin over then-Senator Obama, 55% to 43% according to a CNN exit poll. However, Obama won because of his superior performance among African Americans (95% to 4%), Latinos (67% to 31%), and Asians (62% to 35%). Whites made up about 74% of the voting sample in the CNN poll, yet Obama was still able to overcome McCain’s advantage among majority voters with his strong numbers among minorities.
Some might cite Obama’s own racial makeup as the explanation for these trends, but a look at the 2004 exit poll shows it is not a matter of the candidate’s race. Senator John Kerry (D-Mass) lost to President Bush in 2004, but Kerry won by large margins among all minorities. Looking at CNN’s exit poll again, Kerry won 88% of the African-American vote, 53% of the Latino vote, and 56% of the Asian vote. It was only Bush’s large lead among white voters (58% to 41%) that enabled him to win the election.
The problem for Republicans is that the percentage of voters who are white will continue to shrink more and more in the future. By 2040, or perhaps a few years beyond, whites will actually make up less than 50% of the voting public. Simply put, Republicans will find it impossible to win any national election in the future if the current percentages stay the same.
Republicans could attempt to capture more of the minority vote, but their recent actions may have made that task difficult. Republicans have taken tough stances against illegal immigration, including obstruction of the Dream Act that was pushed by Democrats. These positions are popular among many white voters, but they alienate many Hispanics, who will make an increasing amount of the voting bloc in the future. Republicans are generally opposed to affirmative action, programs that favor minorities. African-Americans have generally been strong Democratic voters ever since the 1960’s, and that trend is unlikely to end following the election of President Obama in 2008.
In many ways Republicans are caught in a catch-22. If they attempt to change their political stance to attract minorities, by supporting the Dream Act for example, they risk antagonizing white voters. However, by staying the current course Republicans doom themselves the political failure on the national stage.
Source: The Examiner