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Election 2012: Obama 332 and Romney 206

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Tuesday’s election heralds a fundamental shift in our democracy. The map above shows the shrinking electoral base of the GOP. Even an incumbent facing 8 percent unemployment and a population still riddled with racism won handily.

Four years ago, I reported from Grant Park that: “The Grant Park crowd was one of the most diverse crowds I have ever seen, from all demographic perspectives. On the way to the party we passed a Young Republican event. It was perfectly white and 85% male. Barack took 95% of the Black vote; 66% of the Hispanic vote; 56% percent of the female vote; 69% of new voters; and 66% of voters 18-29.  That adds up to a historic coalition that could prove durable for many election cycles yet to come.  Indeed, the one age group McCain won was voters over 65.”

At Tuesday’s celebration at McCormick Place, a more powerful demonstration of that reality displayed itself. The energy and determination of Obama’s supporters saved the Democrats and not even a hurricane of big money could stop them. In fact, the big money back-fired as people voted against the candidates most supported by big money, which I will be writing about soon. I met middle class people who scraped to the bottom of their monthly budget to give money to President Obama’s campaign.

But the big story of the night was the diversity of the President’s supporters. It was a beautiful crowd. The only Americans I did not meet there were wealthy, old, white males. They apparently had monopolized the Romney gathering in Boston.

In sum, I saw intense energy and diversity on display Tuesday at McCormick Place. This election provides a virtual road map to future Democratic victory.

Here are the hard facts of the power of diversity for the Democrats: Obama won woman voters by a 55-44 margin; African Americans by 93-7; Latinos by 71-27; and Asian Americans by 74-25. He also carried the youngest voters by 23 percentage points. Notably, Obama also won the votes of the highly educated by 55-42. This coalition is not going away and the GOP should come to grips with this reality, although they utterly failed to see its implications after 2008.

Indeed, looking at the map above, Texas seems poised to become the next  battleground state that used to vote solidly Republican. In Texas, Latinos now comprise 25% of voters. Texas also includes major urban areas, a demographic that voted overwhelmingly for Obama.

In coming days, I will write about many dimensions of all of this, including: the need for the GOP to abandon its collapsing Southern Strategy (particularly its voter suppression efforts); its manifest hostility to Latino voters; its excessive reliance on big oil and big finance; and the opportunities for new progressive coalition that puts broad-based economic growth front and center.

Today, the emphasis is the power of diversity at the polls. As former GOP Chair Michael Steele put it: “Every month 50,000 Hispanics turn 18 years old, what is the Republican Party going to do about that?


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