Is Demographics Destiny?

Chris Bowers made an interesting point the other day, observing that whites broke 60-40 in favor of George H.W. Bush in 1988 while they went a basically identical 58-41 in favor of George H.W. Bush in 2004 but despite these similar results among America's largest racial group the 2004 race was much closer than the 1988 one. Basically, with very little change in candidate performance within major demographic groups, you've nevertheless seen a transition from big blowouts to narrow races. And with the white Christian share of the electorate expected to keep falling, you can expect to see Republicans start to play at a disadvantage.

The broad story is, of course, well known but the very, very similar white vote shares are interesting given how much is generally thought to have changed politically from '88 to '04.