Ron Brownstein explains what demographic change means for politics:
If the minority share of the vote increases in 2012 by the same rate it has grown in presidential elections since 1992, it will rise to about 28 percent nationally. By itself, that could substantially alter the political playing field from 2010, when the minority vote share sagged to just 22 percent. It means that if Obama can maintain, or even come close to, the four-fifths share of minority votes that he won in 2008, he could win a majority of the national popular vote with even less than the 43 percent of whites he attracted last time.
That was the gist of my column last Sunday. Money quote:
The hope of many was that Obama's presidency would usher in a post-racial politics. The truth is it has done nothing of the kind. But what's fascinating is how for the first time, this is actually backfiring. If you were a political party, what base would you prefer: a multiracial coalition that keeps growing in numbers and clout - or a largely white cohort defined in part by suspicion of multicultural America?
Think of it as the final reckoning of Nixon's Southern strategy.
Nixon rebuilt his party on sand.