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Monday, January 07, 2013

2020 Presidential Election: A Blue Blowout?

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Photo credit: Troy McCullough (Idle Type)

Last Friday, Congress certified the 2012 Electoral College results and Barack Obama was officially reelected by a tally of 332 to 206. Unofficially, the Associated Press counted the number of individual votes the candidates received in nationwide balloting. In the AP's final election result, Obama got 51.1% of the vote, while Mitt Romney received 47.2%.

Many analysts have already highlighted the startling vote percentages Barack Obama achieved in 2012 among Latino and Asian voters. Here's how the Boston Globe framed it on November 9, 2012:
Exit polling by The New York Times showed Asian-Americans voted for Obama over Romney 73 percent to 26 percent, after backing him against John McCain 62 to 35...
Obama’s 47-point advantage among Asian-Americans on Election Day was bigger than his edge among Latinos, 44 points, or women, 11 points.

In 2008, Obama beat John McCain among Latinos by about two-to-one: 67% to 31%.  Romney managed to win only 27% of the Latino vote in 2012, while Obama won 71%. That's a bit better than 2.5 to one.

Given demographic changes, Latinos are expected to be an even greater electoral force in the coming decades. In 2010, there were about 50 million Hispanics living in the US, or about 13% of the population. By 2030, the numbers will be 78 million and they will comprise almost 22% of the population.

Asian-Americans are the fastest growing ethnic group in the US. There were just over 17 million Asian-Americans counted in the 2010 census, constituting 5.6% of the population. If the last decade's population growth holds up, there will be more than 25 million Asian American in the US in 2020. The US government forecasts 20 million Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders living in the US by 2020. By 2050, they are expected to make up nearly 10% of the US population.

Unless Republicans can increase their appeal to these demographic groups, they are in for more electoral disasters. Republican election strategist Ed Gillespie pointed out in January 2012 that his party would be in big trouble by 2020 if even 2008 voting patterns held:
“If the Republican Party nominee in 2020—just two elections after this one--gets the same percentage of the white, African-American, Hispanic and Asian-American vote, according to current projections the Democrat will win the White House by 14 percentage points.”
In the policy realm, Vice President Joe Biden already predicts that the Republican party will recognize the reality and cooperate with Democrats to pass immigration reform in the new Congress.


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