• In 2012 the minority share of the vote rose to 28 percent, 2 percentage points above 2008 and more than double the 12 percent level for Bill Clinton’s first victory in 1992. (Source: Ron Brownstein)
But take the next step here. The minority vote share, which we all agree is overwhelmingly Democratic, doubled from 1992, yet Obama’s share of the popular vote was smaller than Clinton’s. There is really only one explanation for this: There has been an offsetting movement among whites. How much farther will that vote shift? I’ll obviously concede that at some point you run out of white people, and there’s a theoretical maximum to the share of the white vote that Republicans can win. But where is it? 60 percent? 65 percent? 70 percent? Remember, an analyst in 1960 would probably safely assume that Republicans could always bank on at least 30 percent of the black vote. Such projections are often infused with a lack of sufficient imagination.