Late on election night, a small melee erupted at the University of Mississippi here when a group of white students frustrated by the reelection of President Obama marched outside and began shouting racial slurs at African American students. Several hundred people gathered to watch as two white students were arrested.
“Mississippi still has a lot of work to do in race relations,” said Kimbrely Dandridge, an African American Obama supporter and president of the student body.
Yet even as that incident evoked ugly memories of an earlier era, Election Day in the South told a newer and more surprising story: The nation’s first black president finished more strongly in the region than any other Democratic nominee in three decades, underscoring a fresh challenge for Republicans who rely on Southern whites as their base of national support.
Obama won Virginia and Florida and narrowly missed victory in North Carolina. But he also polled as well in Georgia as any Democrat since Jimmy Carter, grabbed 44 percent of the vote in deep-red South Carolina and just under that in Mississippi — despite doing no substantive campaigning in any of those states.
Much of the post-election analysis has focused on the demographic crisis facing Republicans among Hispanic voters, particularly in Texas. But the results across other parts of the South, where Latinos remain a single-digit minority, point to separate trends among blacks and whites that may also have big implications for the GOP’s future.
In every Southern state except Louisiana, the population of African Americans grew substantially faster than that of whites over the past decade. The growth is fueled by black retirees from the north and rising numbers of young, well-educated blacks in prosperous cities such as Atlanta, Norfolk, Charlotte and Charleston, S.C.
It is safe to assume that there was a marked increase in African American support for Democrats in these last two elections due to man at the top of the ticket, however I think it is becoming pretty clear that playing racial politics when you are rapidly becoming the minority is a no win strategy for the GOP.
My assumption is that once they recognize this they will try to come at it from another angle, but to be honest, considering the falling number of white voters and evangelicals in this country, I don't see what other path lays before them that will work as effectively as the faith based approach and the racist one.
Is it really possible that we are seeing the beginning of the end of the Republican party?