This actually appeared in Politico, in 2012:
If President Barack Obama wins, he will be the popular choice of Hispanics, African-Americans, single women and highly educated urban whites. That’s what the polling has consistently shown in the final days of the campaign. It looks more likely than not that he will lose independents, and it’s possible he will get a lower percentage of white voters than George W. Bush got of Hispanic voters in 2000.
A broad mandate this is not.
So Obama’s coalition is broader, but it doesn’t extend to a majority of Real Americans, who are white, so it doesn’t count. Right. Shorter Politico: Democratic states should get 3/5ths representation in the Electoral College.
This makes Scocca’s recent piece about Republican identity politics even more relevant:
White people don’t like to believe that they practice identity politics. The defining part of being white in America is the assumption that, as a white person, you are a regular, individual human being. Other demographic groups set themselves apart, to pursue their distinctive identities and interests and agendas. Whiteness, to white people, is the American default.
Yet Mitt Romney’s election strategy depends on the notion that the white vote is separate from the rest of the vote, and can be captured as such.
This has been the foundation of Republican presidential politics for more than four decades, since Richard Nixon courted and won the votes of Southerners who’d turned against the Democratic Party because of integration and civil rights. The Party of Lincoln became the party of Lincoln’s assassins, leveraging white anger into a regional advantage and eventually a regional monopoly. It’s all very basic and old news, but it’s still considered rude to say so, even as Republican strategists talk about winning the white voters and only the white voters.
I’ll guarantee that if Romney ekes out an electoral college and popular vote victory, we’re not going to be hearing about how Romney’s mandate is too narrow because it’s so dominated by white men.