Matthew Dowd, a political analyst for Bloomberg News, said Republican President George H.W. Bush and his son, former President George W. Bush, also would have struggled to win amid the composition of the 2012 electorate, which had the lowest level of white voters on record at 72 percent.
“They would lose,” Dowd said on Bloomberg Television Wednesday.
To see the emerging importance of the non-white vote, Republicans need look no further than hospital birthing units.
Minority babies outnumbered white newborns in 2011 for the first time in U.S. history. The percentage of non-white newborns rose to 50.4 percent of children younger than a year old from April 2010 to July 2011, while non-Hispanic whites fell to 49.6 percent, the U.S. Census Bureau said in May.
“After 2012, the white vote in American shrinks to about 68 percent, and there’s no path to the White House without a significant Hispanic vote,” Al Cardenas, chairman of the American Conservative Union and an ambassador under President Ronald Reagan, said in an interview.
The figures highlight the rapid growth in the Hispanic and Asian populations, both of which have surged by more than 40 percent since 2000. Hispanics were 16.7 percent of the population in July 2011 and Asians were 4.8 percent. The black population has grown 12.9 percent since 2000 and makes up 12.3 percent of the nation. Non-Hispanic whites rose only 1.5 percent from 2000 to 2011, slower than the national growth of 9.7 percent, and are now 63.4 percent of the population.
Four states — Hawaii, California, New Mexico and Texas, plus the District of Columbia — now have majority-minority populations. A 2009 Census report estimated that non-Hispanic whites will become a minority of the total population after the 2040 Census, making up 48.5 percent in 2045.
Blacks and Asians joined Hispanics in strongly backing Obama. Nationally, non-whites made up 28 percent of the electorate, up from 26 percent in 2008, the exit polls showed. Obama won 93 percent of blacks and 73 percent of Asians.