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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

Whites Moving Away from GOP

Pundits like to point out how dependent the Democrats are on the minority vote and, therefore, how vulnerable the Democrats would be to any weakening in that support. True enough. But it’s also true–perhaps even more so–that the GOP is utterly dependent on high levels of support among whites and, therefore quite vulnerable to any weakening of support among these voters.
And weakening of white support for the GOP appears to be precisely what’s happening–though you’d never guess it from the deafening silence among the very pundits who like to tut-tut about the Democrats’ dependence on the minority vote. Here are some very interesting figures from a recently-released Gallup report, “Black Support for Bush, GOP, Remains Low“, based on results of their 2005 and earlier Minority Relations polls.
1. In June of 2004, Bush’s approval rating among non-Hispanic whites was 61 percent. This June, it’s down to 47 percent, with 48 percent disapproval. In contrast, Bush’s approval ratings among blacks is flat-lined at 16 percent in the two polls, while Hispanics haven’t really budged either, giving Bush a 40 percent rating in 2004 and a 41 percent rating in 2005.
2. In June of 2004, the GOP enjoyed a 19 point lead in party ID (including leaners) over the Democrats among whites. This June, the Democrats actually have a small 2 point lead in party ID among whites. That’s a huge shift. Combined with the Democrats’ current 60 point lead in party ID among blacks and 19 point lead among Hispanics, that makes the GOP look quite vulnerable indeed.
After all, without white voters in essentially landslide proportions, the GOP political coalition, as we know it, could not exist. In fact, it wouldn’t even be particularly competitive.
Something more for Karl Rove to worry about! And for pundits to opine about, if they can tear themselves away from telling the Democrats to panic about their dependence on the minority vote.