With Republican Mitt Romney now his party’s presumptive presidential nominee, both his campaign and President Obama’s re-election effort are barnstorming the nation for votes.And the graphic with a few scenarios and then offering probable totals for an Obama/Romney matchup for 2012. Click the image for a larger resolution!
For former Massachusetts Gov. Romney, this means recapturing the enthusiasm of the 2010 midterm GOP rout, especially among white Republican leaning voting blocs concerned about taxes and excessive government spending.
For the Democratic president, it means tapping into the groundswell that got him elected in 2008, particularly when it comes to minority voters.
Obama and the Democrats believe demography is on their side. Census 2010 made abundantly clear that racial and ethnic minorities, especially Hispanics, are dominating national growth and will for decades to come. The Democratic agenda— favoring broader federal support for medical care, housing, and education seems designed to curry the favor of these groups, which played a huge role in tipping the balance in his favor in several key swing states.
But while demography is often destiny, it’s not necessarily a slam dunk that minorities can carry the day for Obama this time. The reasons have to do with the complications of translating pure demographics into votes and the outsized role that the nation’s still large white population can exert on national politics.