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History Again

Now that the dust has settled, the euphoria or shock cooled, one thing stands out about the re-election of President Barack Obama.  History was made once again.  Yes, it was the first time a Black man was re-elected to a second term in office, it was the first time that a sitting president was re-elected when economic growth was sluggish and unemployment numbers high, but it was also the first time when a coalition of minorities cast the deciding vote.

According to one analysis in Time Magazine, ‘The Nov. 6 election signaled a demographic tipping point: A record number of Latino and Asian voters, the country’s fastest-growing voting bloc, formed a coalition with Black and white Democratic voters to re-elect the country’s first African-American President.  A new American majority – a multiethnic majority – has not only arrived but is infact reordering the political landscape.’

The power of this new minority majority or multiethnic majority played out in several key states.  In Ohio  where African Americans make up 12% of the Ohio population they gave President Obama the leading edge by turning out in greater numbers than in 2008 growing from 11% to 15% of voters.  In Virginia, a state that not too long ago exemplified the Jim Crow South, exit polls showed that Obama won 93% of black voters, 65% of Latino voters and 66% of Asian voters.  While Obama’s support among white Virginians was only 38%.

Mr. Obama’s victories in Colorado, Nevada and Virginia came in part because Hispanics turned out in droves and voted Democratic. In Colorado, 14 percent of the voters were Hispanic, and Mr. Obama won three-fourths of them. In Florida, Hispanic voters were almost one-fifth of the electorate, and Mr. Obama won about three-fifths of them.

The rise of the minority majority has been happening for some time, but the power of its impact has been particularly felt in the last two elections. “We are a much more diverse country than we were just a generation or two ago”, said Paul Taylor, who oversees the Pew Social and Demographic Trends project and the Pew Hispanic Center.

The Minority Majority is the new America and they are the New Deciders.

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