Not Enough of the White Vote for Romney?

Mitt Romney's share of the white vote in the final pre-election poll — about 57.6 percent — is one reason to be confident in a win for Barack Obama, the American Prospect's Jamelle Bouie says. In a blog post today, he suggests that the Republican candidate would have been wise to put more effort into reaching out to African-American and Latino voters to make up the difference.

Given the likely composition of the electorate—74 percent white, 26 percent nonwhite — Mitt Romney needs to win at least 61 percent of white voters. But in this average, he roughly repeats George W. Bush's 2004 performance. Then, this was good enough to eke out a small win in the popular vote. Now, it brings him within striking distance of 50 percent, but no further. What's more, this is probably the last presidential race where Republicans can count on maximizing their share of white voters to win the election; as National Journal's Ron Brownstein points out, the white share of the electorate has steadily declined in every election since 1992, from 88 percent of all voters to 74 percent four years ago.

Which is to say that if Republicans had made efforts to bring Latino voters in—or at least, not alienate them—they would be in better shape. The same goes for African American voters …


Read more at the American Prospect.

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