Sunday 11 November 2012

US Elections 2012: The changing face of America

Just like the Olympics, the US Presidential election involves months and years of build up but no sooner as it arrives it's gone for another 4 years.

There's that inevitable post election feel of what next, but it's nice to know that we've hopefully got two years of non election talk before the cycle begins again.

In the end it turned out to be a comfortable victory for Obama - certainly in terms of the electoral college vote, even if the popular vote was much closer.

What soon became clear was that Mitt Romney simply wasn't getting the votes in the key swing states he needed if he was going to become the next President. Many of those voters included Hispanics who voted overwhelmingly for Obama.

This was a theme that many political commentators talked about. Hispanics have now overtaken African Americans as the biggest ethnic minority in America and their share of the population will continue to grow.

It's all very well the Republican Party appealing to its white conservative base of voters, but it's no longer big enough to win elections.

America is changing. It's becoming a more multicultural, more Hispanic, a browner country. The challenge for the Republican Party is acknowledging and accepting this change.

Although there's been this focus on the growing importance of the Hispanic vote in America, and the shifting demographics in the country. This is a topic I've been aware about for some time.

In my recent visits to America, I've always noticed just how Hispanic America is. In the big cities Spanish is the default second language, you turn the TV on and you quickly find a number of Spanish language channels.

As an outsider I can see this, but it seems many Republicans don't want to see or accept this change.

The percentage of white voters are shrinking in the United States and it's only a matter of time before America becomes a majority minority country.

This is great for the Democrats as so many Black, Asian, and Hispanics vote Democrat - If you're a Republican this is a nightmare.

There are two ways the Republican Party can go. They can look at the results with a sense of anger and bitterness and continue appealing to its core base of white conservative voters, while resenting the changing country around them.

Alternatively they can accept what's happening and start tailoring policies that are going to speak and appeal to the changing demographics of the country.

You might think that it's obvious what they should be doing, but I'm not convinced. There are many in the Republican Party establishment who see minorities voting for Obama and the Democrats as a sign of people who only want Government handouts.

With that attitude the Republican Party are going to find themselves struggling to win a Presidential election for years to come. If that happens I won't have much sympathy for them.

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