The flip side of this argument is that Romney needs to do really well among working-class whites, carrying them by as much as 25 points over Obama to compensate for the GOP’s weakness among minorities. In ’08, John McCain carried working-class whites in Ohio by just 10 percent, and he lost the state. Romney has just a 6 percent lead among this group, “and that is fatal,” said Teixeira.
Confronted with this all this data favoring Democrats at a discussion sponsored by the Bipartisan Policy Center, Sean Trende, a senior elections analyst at Real Clear Politics, cautioned against expecting current trends to last far into the future. If he were making predictions in 1924, he said, he would have said African-Americans, loyal Republicans since the Civil War, would remain so, and that the South would continue as the bedrock of the Democratic Party. Ten years out, those predictions looked shaky; decades later they were laughable.
The alternative scenario offered by Trende assumes the immigration wave now benefiting Democrats stops; and that Latinos’ voting behavior shifts as they remain in this country, make more money, and their children and grandchildren go to professional schools. “The long-term trend is slightly toward Republicans,” Trende said. He noted that last year, there was net migration back to Mexico, a trend recently confirmed by a Pew Research Center survey that found immigration from Mexico “has come to a standstill.”
KEYWORDS: 2012 POLITICS