” Essential reading from Sean Trende about the new demographic reality at the polls. Based on his back-of-the-envelope math, there are actually two reasons why there were more minority voters as a share of the electorate this time. One, the reason everyone knows: There were more minority voters, period. Two, the reason no one guessed: If current projections hold, there were many, many fewer white voters at the polls this year than in 2008.
Had the same number of white voters cast ballots in 2012 as did in 2008, the 2012 electorate would have been about 74 percent white, 12 percent black, and 9 percent Latino (the same result occurs if you build in expectations for population growth among all these groups). In other words, the reason this electorate looked so different from the 2008 electorate is almost entirely attributable to white voters staying home. The other groups increased their vote, but by less than we would have expected simply from population growth.
Who were they? He looked at his home state of Ohio to try to guess:
Where things drop off are in the rural portions of Ohio, especially in the southeast. These represent areas still hard-hit by the recession. Unemployment is high there, and the area has seen almost no growth in recent years.”