Congratulations are in order to Barack Obama for becoming the 44th President of the United States. When he first emerged at the 2004 Democratic Convention, no one thought he could topple Hillary Clinton, and go on to win the general election, just 4 years later.
And while I did not vote for him, his success proves once again that America is truly the land of opportunity, far more so than any other nation on Earth.
Now, there are a few electoral statistics that reveal where the Democrats made the biggest gains relative to their losing effort 2004 (all data from CNN.com).
First, in income :
What is remarkable is the the highest income bracket, earning $200,000 or more, has swung 17 points towards the Democrats. Given that Obama wants to tax this group, this swing is surprising. By contrast, those earning between $100,000 and $200,000 have swung just 7 points towards Democrats.
Now, onto race :
Black turnout rose enough for them to become 13% of the vote, vs. just 11% before. The 7-point swing in favor of Obama relative to what Kerry got is unsurprising. But where the GOP took the biggest damage is in the Latino vote. A 13-point loss is huge, and resulted in states like Nevada, New Mexico, and Colorado shifting from the red column in 2004 to the blue column in 2008.
Lastly, we move onto ideology :
The GOP lost 6 points of the conservative vote. That is appalling, and if McCain was able to maintain the same 84% of conservative votes that Bush captured in 2004, the whole 2008 election would have been much closer. This also shows that Sarah Palin, as much as we may like her, did not enable McCain to net Bush's 2004 share of the conservative vote. Some may contend that Palin is the reason McCain got even 78% of the conservative vote, but this is impossible to prove or disprove.
For the Republican Party to return from the wilderness in a future election (whether 2012 or 2016), they must achieve at least three of the following four objectives.
1) Win at least 55% of the votes of those earning over $100,000 a year, including at least 60% of those earning over $200,000 a year.
2) Win at least 15% of the black vote. Blacks are the most loyal Democratic vote bank, but this also means Democrats are so dependent on the black vote that they cannot afford to let the GOP have even 15% of it.
3) Win at least 45% of the Latino vote. This group is growing quickly, and without it, the GOP has no future.
4) Always win at least 85% of conservatives. A party that cannot win 85% of its own base is in trouble. Now that Obama has won 20% of the conservative vote, he has to do their bidding as well, which is a topic I have discussed here, and is bad news for leftists.
So, of these four, pick any three. These four points do overlap with each other, particularly points 1 and 4, so courting multiple groups can be done simultaneously. But until at least three of these four are accomplished, the GOP will not win again.