There are some old conventional wisdoms when it comes to predicting outcomes of presidential elections. The key word here is “old.” For example, if we know anything, we know the economy has been a prime driver of voter preference, historically. It’s not that this is untrue, but it only half-tells the story. The economy has traditionally been an electoral driver for WHITE voters. White voters primarily make up the electoral center that swings from one party to another depending the election. African Americans, Asians, and Hispanics on the other hand have been part of a mainstay of the Democratic party. The reason why election outcomes have deferred to Whites in the political center is because their participation has been enough to outweigh the Democratic base. Relying on this predictive model is proving to be a hard tradition to break though I think it might be expiring.
In 2011, I had discussions with Republican friends who thought that I was crazy or perhaps brainwashed to believe that Barack Obama would be reelected. Granted they were living in the FOX Bubble where all they heard were conspiracy theories and talking points that vilified the incumbent 24/7. There was also a more moderate thread running in the media that this was the election handmade for Republicans due to a sluggish economic recovery, dissatisfaction over Obamacare as well as a series of other issues. Part of this thread was that the coalition that came out for Obama (including blacks) in 2008 would not be there for him again in 2012. But this was the white media. I could have been wrong, but I took it mostly as typical white condescension that a black guy winning the presidency was an aberration. They clearly did not see what was making me so confident in a successful Obama reelection.
I knew what the media had freely admitted in spite of their doubt, that Obama’s campaign team was surgically precise. That being the case, what would keep him from igniting the same fire among black voters that he did in 2008. Add to that the number of voter restriction laws suddenly put in place by Republicans that black voters KNEW were meant to hobble their participation. The message to black voters was that Republicans were trying to get rid of their guy and screwing with their rights as Americans in the process. Assumptions that this would seal the deal for a Republican in 2012 were way off. This would only serve to galvanize black voter participation in 2012.
This doesn’t even take into consideration the growing Hispanic vote with which Obama whomped Romney.
And here we are again hearing assumptions that Hillary Clinton or whoever becomes the Democratic nominee in 2016 won’t necessarily inherit the Obama coalition. This idiotically assumes that Barack Obama will have nothing to do with the election that determines whether his policies live or die. It is being said while DMV offices in Alabama (where voter id laws have been enacted) are being closed in predominantly black counties. Also concurrent with presumptions that Obama’s legacy has no chance of surviving are Republican candidate gaffes that insult Hispanics and question access to women’s health. What if Hillary Clinton, a woman is the nominee and the Obama coalition from 2012 is preserved. Will the economy be as much as a factor as it used to? I don’t think so, stupid. It’s a new era [Insert evil laugh].