Is the end of white Christian America a good thing?

If you keep telling “whites” (a category not considered useful when I started analyzing election data, since almost all voters were “white” then) or white Christians that they are headed to minority status, they are going to start voting like members of a self-conscious minority group. Arguably they already have. The exit poll recorded that 59 percent of whites voted for Mitt Romney in 2012, the highest white percentage for any Republican candidate in history except for landslide winners Richard Nixon in 1972 and Ronald Reagan in 1984. (Warren Harding got 60 percent of total votes in 1920, but since just about all of blacks then allowed to vote surely voted for him his percentage among whites must have been 59 percent or lower.)

Some analysts have argued that no Republican could run significantly better among whites, because almost none had done so before. Why not? May and early July polling suggested Donald Trump, with his higher-than-Romney support from non-college-graduate whites, had the potential to do so — a potential he seems to have effectively squandered. Certainly higher proportions of whites have voted Republican in other races, and not only in the Deep South: look at Larry Hogan’s win for governor of Maryland in 2014, in which he got the votes of about 70 percent of whites.