The Multiracial Face of the Democratic Party

A major takeaway from Obama's win is how people of all races formed a coalition to re-elect him decisively.

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This is key, and has real consequences for how we should now see our body politic. No longer can politicians, pundits or partisan operatives lazily assume that the American electorate is so black and white. Beige and brown have become the order of the day, and even white voters can see through the dated race-baiting intended to manipulate them.

Of course, Obama's success required hard work and strategy as well. The president's Chicago team brilliantly employed a well-organized ground game of volunteers alongside a sophisticated system of analytics. It allowed them to micro-target everyone from blue-collar whites in Ohio, Wisconsin and Iowa; African Americans and independents from Denver to Portland, Ore.; and young Cuban Americans and Puerto Ricans in Miami-Dade, Fla. This reflects the new face of an increasingly diverse electorate.

In the wake of defeat, Republicans are now touting a need to adjust their outreach and messaging -- especially to Latino voters -- but what is actually needed is a full repudiation of the racist, xenophobic elements within the GOP. It has been tolerated for far too long, and window-dressing the problem with a Herman Cain or Marco Rubio won't solve the problem.

If Asians, Latinos and African Americans continue to find common ground -- both in social policy and in social identity -- the Republican Party may well find itself marginalized and beholden to a dying demographic. And as Arizona and Texas, with their wealth of electoral votes, become increasingly diverse, that fate seems all but certain.

Edward Wyckoff Williams is a contributing editor at The Root. He is a columnist and political analyst, appearing on Al-Jazeera, MSNBC, CBS Washington and national syndicated radio. Follow him on Twitter and on Facebook.

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