What, then, do the demographics of the 2012 presidential election indicate? As Nancy Benac and Connie Cass illustrated, nonwhites represented 28 percent of the 2012 electorate in contrast to just 20 percent in 2000. Obama received 80 percent of the nonwhite vote in both 2008 and 2012. White, male voters represented only 34 percent of the votes cast in the 2012 election as compared with 46 percent in 1972.
According to John Cassidy, white men chose Romney over Obama by 27 percent (62 percent to 35 percent). Caucasian women voted for Romney over Obama by 56 percent to 42 percent, a higher percentage than those who voted for either McCain in 2008 or Bush in 2004.
Today, according to Benac and Cass, 54 percent of single women vote Democratic, in contrast to 36 percent of married women. The single women's vote was strategically significant since it accounted for nearly a quarter of all voters (23 percent) in the election.
White voters favored less government (60 percent), Hispanics wanted more (58 percent), and, by comparison, blacks were the most interventionist of these ethnic groups (73 percent). Hispanics represented a significant and growing share of prospective voters in the Western battleground states.
In 2000, for instance, white voters constituted 80 percent of voters in Nevada. But by 2012 their percentage of the total vote had declined to 64 percent while the Hispanic vote had increased by 19 percent. Not surprisingly, 70 percent of Hispanics voted for Obama in Nevada.
The youth vote sided decisively with Obama, as Benac and Cass demonstrated. In the case of North Carolina, a battleground state that narrowly supported Romney, two-thirds of these voters supported Obama. Younger voters are also more ethnically diverse. Of all Americans under 30 who voted in the election, 58 percent are white as compared with 87 percent of seniors who voted.
Just how significant are these numbers? As Ryan Lizza noted, three-fifths of white voters selected Romney, equaling or exceeding the support that former Presidents Reagan and George H.W. Bush had received from white voters in 1980 and 1988, respectively. But if the white electorate was 87 percent of voters in 1992, by 2016 they will represent fewer than 70 percent of American voters.
As the demographic landscape of our country changes, even conservative strongholds such as Texas will be at risk. Ted Cruz, a newly elected senator from Texas, who campaigned from a "secure-the-borders" perspective, expressed it this way to Lizza.
In not too many years, Texas could switch from being all Republican to all Democrat.... If that happens, no Republican will ever again win the White House.... If Texas turns bright blue, the Electoral College math is simple. We won't be talking about Ohio, we won't be talking about Florida or Virginia, because it won't matter. If Texas is bright blue, you can't get to 270electoral votes. The Republican Party would cease to exist.
Obama and his team of advisers ran a tactically brilliant campaign. Obama's victory wasn't based on a narrative, because that would have exposed the economic failings of his administration.