chapter  2
The “Missing” White Votes of 2012
Pages 29

The previous chapter noted that, in 2012, Mitt Romney performed better among white voters than any Republican presidential candidate since 1988, winning 59 percent of all white voters, according to exit polls. This is fi ve percentage points more than the Republican candidate earned in 2008. This fact is important because it demonstrates the declining clout of whites as a group within the electorate. Had George H. W. Bush or Bob Dole earned such a large share of the white vote, they would almost certainly have won in 1992 and 1996, respectively. This demonstrates that winning a majority, even a substantial majority, of white votes is no longer suffi cient to earn a victory in presidential elections. As whites continue to decline as a percentage of the electorate, even lopsided victories among whites for the GOP will be insuffi cient to win presidential elections without a substantial increase in the party’s share of votes from Latinos, African Americans, and Asians.