Romney's Diversity Handicap

His problem isn't that he lost the black vote -- it's that his party doesn't understand black voters.

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Republicans had predicted that black folks would make up 11 percent of the electorate this fall; black voters made up 15. That was the difference in Florida, Virginia and Ohio -- states that held Romney's only realistic chances of getting to 270.  "We didn't think they'd turn out more of their base vote than they did in 2008, but they smoked us," a Romney operative told Politico. "It's unbelievable that that they turned out more from the African-American community than in 2008. Somehow they got 'em to vote."

Yes. Somehow.

The fact that the United States is getting browner -- while nine in 10 Romney voters were white -- is an existential dilemma for the G.O.P. But the party's lack of diversity or credibility with voters of color means they make this unnecessarily more difficult than it already is.

Case in point: On Thursday, the head of Maine's Republican Party said that he thinks something nefarious was afoot; just who the hell were all these Negroes casting ballots? "In some parts of the state, there were dozens of black people who came in to vote," he told a reporter. "Nobody in town knew them."

He's calling for an investigation.

All those icebergs.

Gene Demby is a Brooklyn, N.Y.-based writer and the founder of the politics-and-culture blog PostBourgie. Follow him on Twitter

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