Ron Brownstein has a piece in National Journal about voters' "white flight" from the Democratic Party during the midterms that is bound to get a lot of attention:
By any standard, white voters' rejection of Democrats in November's elections was daunting and even historic.
Fully 60 percent of whites nationwide backed Republican candidates for the House of Representatives; only 37 percent supported Democrats, according to the National Election Poll exit poll conducted by Edison Research.
So it's no surprise that formula -- blowing a minor incident out of proportion to suggest the president has, as Glenn Beck put it, "a deep-seated hatred for white people," has been replicated over and over again ever since. Republicans characterized the Affordable Care Act as "reparations" and Finreg as "racial quotas." With few opportunities for future legislation in the new Congress, Republicans have already signaled their interest in investigating the NBPP case and the Pigford Settlement, which Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) has compared to reparations for slavery (It actually involves USDA discrimination against black farmers in the 1980s and 1990s.)
I think the effectiveness of that strategy is overblown, and the performance of the economy -- and the administration's failure to more effectively address it -- has more to do with the phenomenon Brownstein describes than conspiracies surrounding the New Black Panthers. The demographics of midterm electorates tend to favor Republicans more than Democrats generally as well. But there's no question that these are the kind of demographic results Republicans have been aiming for.
Earlier this year I wondered if Unholy Teabaggery was an effort to pump up the GOP’s percentage of the White Vote in advance of 2010 or 2012. This was just speculation on my part. You’ll need Egg headed Over Educated Political Scientists to do the field work and crunch the data to examine if there is a correlation between an increase to the white vote and unholy Teabaggery.
However it is no secret that the modern GOP was built around winning large majorities of the White vote.
You can go all the way back to Richard Nixon’s Southern Strategy itself where the GOP sought to align White Southern voters with the GOP over the issue of race. Under the Southern Strategy, if the GOP could obtain a supermajority of the white vote it could secure victories at the polls. While it initially worked, by the late 80s and early 90s, the Southern Strategy risked bringing declining returns at the polls. By this time, appeals based on race could backfire. But if your electoral strategy is based upon supermajorities of white folks, how do you motivate enough white folks to vote GOP? The answer obviously was to bring in Religious Fundamentalists, Evangelicals and other Religious Conservatives into the fold to maintain a sufficient share of the white vote to win elections. This occurred throughout the 1990s. Remember Murphy Brown, Impeachment and Family Values? The Egg Heads with the Pocket Protectors tell us that this was about an effort to boost the GOP’s percentage of the White vote at that time.
However, due to demographics and the fact that the white vote has decreased in terms of the overall portion of the electorate, the GOP needs increasing super majorities of white voters to win elections if it is to continue with the Southern Strategy.
In 2010 we now have Unholy Teabaggery and GOP’s portion of the White vote is as high as it ever has been.
Coincidence? Can’t say for sure, but its not surprising.