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UYGUR: Barack Obama‘s reelection campaign officially launched today, and one of the unspoken but obvious themes throughout the add that he released, is the big role that minority voters will play in the upcoming election. Now, look, everybody knows minority voters are important, but you‘ll going to see with the new data, that they‘re even more important that they were in the last election. The latest census data shows non-Hispanic whites now make up 63.7 percent of the population, as compared to 200 when they were 69 percent of the population, so the white percentage of the population has had a huge drop in just the last ten years, meaning voters and particularly Latinos, are much more important now in this upcoming elections.
And when it comes to impact of minority voters on future elections, whoa, check this out. Of those that are 18 and younger, just over 46 percent are minorities now. In 2000, only 39 percent were minorities. The National Journal‘s Ron Brownstein has a new in-depth analysis of the political impact of these demographic shifts. Brownstein points out, quote, “At the current rate of growth, nonwhites will comprise a majority of children in the United States by 2015.” That‘s only four years from now.
Now, the driving force behind the population shift, Latinos. There were 35 million Hispanics in the U.S. in 2000, and 50 million in 2010. That‘s a 47 percent gain. Now, here‘s the bottom line. Obama won overwhelming support of minorities in 2008, about 80 percent, which is a huge number. If he can maintain that support in 2012 or anywhere near it actually, he‘ll have a real shot of winning some states that he lost in 2008, and obviously keeping a hold of the swing states that he won, even though if you get just type of modest, I mean, in some cases, tiny you‘ll going to see support from white voters. According to Brown CS (ph) analysis, Obama could take Georgia with just 25 percent of the white vote. That‘s a stunning number.
Nevada with 35 percent, Florida with just under 40 percent and Arizona with 46.7 percent of the white vote President Obama would carry. So, the ad that he released today was kind of dull that lacked some energy, but it did most of his talking through who was on the ad rather than what they said, and it was chock-full of, you know, young voters, minorities, it had a young black activist, it had a Latino woman in Arizona. They hit all the swing states, so they get it. Obviously they‘ll going to make a concerted effort to go get those important demographic numbers on their side.
With me now is Ron Brownstein, the man we mentioned earlier. He‘s editorial director of the National Journal Group and MSNBC political analyst Pat Buchanan. All right. Both of you, great to have you here. Ron, let me start with you, I mean, those percentage of white voters you need in those states is so tiny, I mean, Georgia, I can‘t believe that‘s all he needs. He can‘t get 25 percent in Georgia?
RON BROWNSTEIN, NATIONAL JOURNAL GROUP: Well, you‘re not guaranteed. Yes, I know you‘re not guaranteed. Look, the basic dynamic is you look forward to 2012, is that the minority share of the population is increasing even more than people expected in this census, the minority share of the vote is going to rise in 2012. On the other hand, the Democrats and Obama has suffered an erosion of the support in the white community. The Republicans want a higher share of the white vote, and the 2010 congressional election than they have won in any election since the advent of modern polling, so that is the basic dynamic, can they hold enough of the white support versus the gains that they‘re going to see in the minority committee on likelihood.
Now, don‘t forget that the democratic support among minorities fell off somewhat in 2010, still won about just under three quarters of them that was down from four fists. If they hold that, it puts a lot of pressure on Republicans to replicate what was extraordinary success among whites.
UYGUR: Also, and it‘s not just the people who are going out to vote, it‘s the people that are trying to decide whether they should vote or not, that‘s another critical part of it. But Pat, I want to go to you here, I mean, as you look at those numbers, if the Republican Party keeps demonizing Latinos with anti-immigration rhetoric, aren‘t they killing themselves?
PAT BUCHANAN, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: No, no, the immigration issue I think in 2008 was about the fifth or sixth most important for Hispanics. But there is no doubt that ultimately the Republican Party has got a hellish problem, but Ron is exactly right, Cenk. Look, in 2008, 74 percent of the vote, I don‘t care the population, was white, and the Obama has had a horrible falling off, especially among the white working class. He‘s not going to win North Carolina this time. I don‘t think he‘s going to win Virginia. I don‘t think he‘s going to win Indiana. I think he‘ll be stronger out there in Colorado and Nevada, but look, I think this election is up for grabs, but let me say, on the long term, given the immigration patterns and the birth patterns, quite frankly the Republican Party as I‘ve known it, as we put it together in the Nixon and Reagan years, is ultimately doomed.
UYGUR: And you know, but you made a choice, right? I mean, I want to pull off on that Pat. I mean, it was called the southern strategy and it was to get white votes. Now that the demographic shift has happens, it seems that you‘re on the bad end of that strategy, doesn‘t it?
BUCHANAN: Not at look. Well, look, I mean, I came into politics in 1966, we‘ve had a pretty good run of it, but the truth is, in every election I‘ve been in, or the Republicans have been is 90 percent of the republican vote or 89 percent is white voters, and as that diminishes as a share of the population, undoubtedly you have to get higher percentages. Like Nixon and Reagan got about 64, 67 percent. Sixty percent is good, but ultimately, Republicans will going to have to do even better than that, or they‘ll going to have to get Hispanic votes, and the problem there is that Hispanics believe in government. They‘re big government people.
UYGUR: OK. Well, that‘s interesting. So, Ron, let‘s go to the idea of the power that Latino activists might have. Because when you look at it, not only is the Latino numbers rising, but there‘s actually a big gulf between that and the voters registration. So, they can get people to actually go out and vote, that would make an enormous difference. Does that give them more clout in this race?
BROWNSTEIN: It would. First of all, that was a really good analysis by Pat of the past 45 years of American politics. Yes, absolutely. There‘s an enormous gulf between 16 percent of the population, 14 percent of the adult population, Latino, only nine percent of the vote. Partially, you know, that‘s some people here illegally. Even people are here legally, many of them have not become citizens. Those who are citizens, many have not registered to vote. They are under, kind of under punching their weight in the elector, but even has, even with all of those hurdles that demography, the weight of the demography is inexorable. And you are seeing, you know, Pat noted 26 percent of the vote in 2008 was minority. When Bill Clinton was first elected, it was only 12 percent. I mean, this is a slow and steady change. It was not just a sudden jump with Barack Obama.
And it probably will be somewhere around 28 percent of the elector, and it does move states like Virginia, and North Carolina, Florida, they are state that I would disagree with Pat, I think there was a states that at least Virginia and Florida, then Obama really doesn‘t want to win, because they are diverse states. And if he can‘t hold those, it starts getting problematic to get up to 270. Not so much Florida, but certainly Virginia, he has going to have to trouble in those heavily white states. He needs to hold some of those states that kind of look like him. They are diverse and they are well educated.
BUCHANAN: All right. Cenk, let me say though. Let me give you some numbers from 2008. Seventy four percent of the vote was white vote, only 70.4 percent was Hispanic, even though Hispanics were about 15 percent of the population and are now 16 percent. You‘ve touched on their problem. It is, a lot of—numbers of these folks are illegal, some of them are very young, there‘s not a great interest on a part of politics, unlike African-Americans who are very political and who are frankly voting their percentages now in national elections. That‘s the problem for the Democratic Party, can you get these people excited and enthused when, after four years, they aren‘t as excited about Barack Obama in Libya and Barack Obama going back to Guantanamo as they were.
BROWNSTEIN: Pat, the challenge for Republicans, on the other hand is that under-18, Hispanic population which is so large, they are citizens, the vast majority of them in over 90 percent are citizens, they were born in the U.S., they‘re going to be eligible to vote when they‘re 18. And the Delta, the gap between the Hispanic share of the population, the Hispanic share of the vote is probably going to narrow at an accelerating rate in the next decade. And that does change the dynamic. Even in places like Texas, you know, there are 18 House Republicans, for example, who are in districts that are majority, minority.
Those are the kinds of places Democrats, Republicans are going to have to take back. And 2012 would offer some opportunity there because we saw a big fall-off in the minority share of the vote in 2010. That‘s one of the reasons why Republicans won districts that were heavily diverse. In 2012, the Obama campaign as you just saw on that video, is going to put a lot of efforts on expanding the electorate, on bringing out those voters. Look at the states they highlighted, North Carolina, Colorado, Nevada, they have an eye on this diverse electorate, and they could have a fix down the ballot as well.
UYGUR: All right. Pat, last question here. Hold on. And I‘ve got to ask you one last question here. Look, obviously that‘s the case, they‘re going to go ahead and put up immigration reform. They know it‘s not going to past but they‘re going to do it to try to get Latino votes, as we get close to the election. That‘s what President Obama is going to do. I think that‘s fairly obvious. If they don‘t do it, I would be really surprise. What is going to be the republican reaction? You said it yourself, they‘re in a world of trouble if they keep demonizing Latinos. Are they good on that Pat, anyway?
BUCHANAN: I don‘t think they demonize Latinos. They got a problem because simply because of demography. Here‘s the situation Cenk, basically, look, if we‘re looking at seven percent unemployment and things are really getting better in Michigan and Ohio, Obama is a clear and overwhelming favorite. If he‘s sitting up there at 8.5 percent or close to nine percent at that time, I think Obama will be perceived to have failed, and an awful lot of people like Michigan, the enormous gain.
UYGUR: I know, but Pat—about these election either, you‘re going to go off the cliff. You notice you‘re going off the cliff.
BUCHANAN: Look, none of us lives forever, Cenk.
UYGUR: Well, all right, there you go. There you admitting it.
All right. Pat Buchanan and Ron Brownstein, it‘s a great conversation. Thank you so much guys.
BROWNSTEIN: Thank you.
BUCHANAN: Thank you.