New Race Politics and the Virginia Election

As the white electorate grows smaller as a share of the total, the necessary margin among whites will have to grow substantially for the GOP to stay competitive in Virginia.

Virginia’s election results were a deep disappointment for Republicans who have long been competitive—even dominant—in this Southern state. Terry McAuliffe defeated Ken Cuccinelli 48%-45%, and the margin was greater in the Lt. Governor’s race. A closely contested Attorney General’s race is too close to call.

As we reported last night, Latino Decisions 2013 Election Eve poll in Virginia (complete slide deck, topline results and full cross tabs), provided stark evidence of the demographic train-wreck that has beset the GOP in its current incarnation. While the exit polls suggest that Cuccinelli carried whites by a sizable 56%-36% margin (and 58%-33% among white men!), the story of the election is, as it was in 2012, a demographic one.

Latino Decisions estimates that Democrat Terry McAuliffe outpaced his GOP opponent, Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, by 37 percentage points among Latinos and 29 percentage points among Asian Americans, receiving 66% of Latino vote and 63% of Asian American vote. Added to the exit poll estimates of African American vote (90%-8% favoring McAuliffe), it is abundantly clear that the GOP has a demographic problem of immense proportions.


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