The election: economics or demographics?

Article in the NY Times concluded that Obama has a tailwind because shifting demographics work to his advantage  …

This fall’s election will be a  contest pitting “demographics versus economics.”

White working-class voters have gotten seriously squeezed by high unemployment and stagnant or declining incomes.

But, the number of working-class whites is shrinking and minority voters have edged up as a share of the population … the combined effects of immigration and disparate birthrates.

Comprising 89 percent of the electorate in 1976, whites had fallen to 74 percent four years ago. During the same period, Hispanics grew from 1 percent of the electorate to 9 percent.

In 12 battleground states, the proportion of votes cast by working-class whites, a group Mr. Obama lost lopsidedly in 2008, will drop by three percentage points this fall.

A number of states are urbanizing and losing their historically large rural conservative vote.

Somehow, it doesn’t seem like a good trend when “working class” people — regardless of their race — simultaneously get squeezed economically and lose their voting clout …

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