David Weigel, Slate: Poll: Hillary Clinton Does Better With White Voters Than Any Democrat Since 1976
I know the election is still two years away, but a recent poll shows why Hillary’s inauguration is virtually inevitable:
Clinton’s grabbing 46 percent of the white vote. That’s better than Obama did in 2008 (43 percent), better than John Kerry did in 2004 (41 percent), better than Al Gore did in 2000 (42 percent). It’s even better than her husband did in 1996 (43 percent), though that result — like the 1992 result — is skewed by the presence of Ross Perot. You have to go back to 1976 to find a Democrat who polled better than 46 percent with whites. And when Jimmy Carter narrowly defeated Gerald Ford, the electorate was 89 percent white overall. In 2016, it’s likely to be closer to 70 percent white. In 2016, a Democrat who wins only 40 percent of the white vote and holds close to Barack Obama’s totals with non-whites can win easily.
And Hillary will easily win close to Obama’s totals with minority voters, because the Clinton’s have been mending fences and re-establishing their close ties to the African-American community which were strained by the 2008 campaign, and the GOP continues to do everything it can to appear xenophobic and racist to minority voters. Barring a severe recession, which seems unlikely to me since the economy has been chugging along at a steady, sustainable rate, Hillary’s somewhat more centrist positioning, nostalgic appeal to blue-collar whites and healed relationship with African-Americans seals off every possible avenue the GOP has to expand its appeal beyond its narrow demographic base of aging white evangelicals.