Huh? Didn’t Romney win 59% of the non-Hispanic white votes on Tuesday? Doesn’t this mean that Republicans need to win more votes from minorities in order to win the presidency in 2016? Isn’t that the conventional wisdom that the kindly pro-Republican mainstream media has been explaining to us?
That might have some basis in fact if we didn’t have an electoral college. But let’s look at some of the actual STATES that Romney lost:
Maine: 94% white
Vermont: 94% white
New Hampshire: 92% white
Iowa: 89% white
Minnesota: 83% white
Wisconsin: 83% white
Ohio: 81% white
Pennsylvania: 79% white
Oregon: 78% white
Michigan: 77% white
Rhode Island: 76% white
Massachuetts: 76% white and Romney used to be the governor!
Based on the idea that whites vote Republican, these states should have been slam-dunks for Romney, but Romney lost all of them. Why did this happen?
The answer is abortion. Abortion is a toxic issue for many white voters, especially in the above-mentioned states that Romney lost but should have been able to win. Among the general electorate from the 2012 exit poll (which is actually less pro-choice than just whites because it includes anti-abortion Catholic Hispanics), 59% say abortion should be legal when the choice is only between legal and illegal. Romney won the pro-choice white voters who could hold their noise and vote Republican for other reasons. But Republicans can’t expand their white support because of the abortion issue.
I predict that Republicans will ignore this problem, and they will bitterly cling to their anti-abortion position, and they will buy into the idea that they need to be more pro-Hispanic. This will not help Republicans win Ohio which is only 3% Hispanic, or Michigan which is only 4% Hispanic. And in the long run, by going soft on immigration, they will create more Hispanic voters who will vote majority Democratic.
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Some commenters say that Republicans just can win those states because they are LIBERAL. But with the exception of Minnesota, Reagan won ALL of those states in 1980 and 1984. Before Republicans start pandering to Hispanics, they need to have a come to Jesus moment about why they can't win white states that they used to be able to win. Gerald Ford even won some of those states in 1976 even though he lost the electoral college vote.