View Full Version : The Dems Won - Chris Cork - 12th November 2012

12th November 2012, 12:07 PM
Yes, the Democratic Party won the US presidential election last week, but as much as the billions of dollars the campaign cost, it was the demographics that won it for them. It was the diversity of America that won it, an America that is moving towards being a majority-minority nation, where the aggregate of minorities outnumbers the white population. It is also about age and where you live. Older white people voted predominantly Republican, and they are a population that lives mostly in the vastnesses outside the cities and the peri-urban conurbations where the jobs are that the Latinos, Asians and other immigrant groups, want.

Many of these new voters are voting for the first time. They are young and will be marrying or cohabiting and they will have children who will grow up to be Democratic voters as their parents before them. This time, the Democrats won 66 percent of the Latino vote alone according to the Reuters/Ipsos poll on election day. The Latino population is growing rapidly in states such as Florida – which has still to declare its result, as this is written on Saturday morning – and most crucially growing faster than the white population.

That is not going to change any time soon. Across the entire country the electorate is getting more diverse as the population grows, and the once majority white groups that founded the country diminish both in relative numbers and electoral relevance. The numbers of white voters is going to decline by a few points in every electoral cycle into the foreseeable future, and that is going to powerfully shape the America of tomorrow.

The raw numbers, rather than political spin show what is to come. Around 80 percent of the black/Latino/non-white vote went to the Democrats last Tuesday; the Republicans garnered 17 percent. The Democrats took 63 percent of the total number of voters aged 18-34. But look at the white vote – the Republicans took 57 percent compared to the democrats 41 percent.

Now consider that within a few decades the white voter is going to be in a minority, and America in terms of its voters and their numbers and power will have turned 180 degrees from the point at which it was founded. Some will see irony in this, others a poetic justice and still others a sense of bitterness, of deprivation of what they saw and regarded as theirs by right – the power to govern.

It is that divide wherein the seed of social disharmony and discord lies. A country already divided is going to get more divided still unless the Republicans can re-discover the Key of Inclusivity, which they most assuredly had lost in this election. If an aging white population finds itself forced to circle the political wagons, a worrying picture emerges. There will be no heralds to speak across the divide, no unfought or undisputed space and, for the white political minority of the future an embattled frustration lived out in a shrinking physical space.

Ethnic minority births topped 50 percent of the total births for the first time in 2011. Whites are projected to become a minority between 2040 and 50. It will be four or five electoral cycles before the newborns of 2010 and 11 cast their votes. The American Republican party is looking increasingly likely to become an endangered species. Could this be the point at which the hegemony of the Democrats and Republicans is challenged and a Third Force emerges in American politics? Not quite yet perhaps, but nothing is forever in politics and the demographics are today’s movers and shakers, the politicians their tools.