To listen to pundits like Rush Limbaugh, one would think that the Republicans had died and gone to heaven. Getting a strong majority in the House and picking up several seats in the Senate certainly sends a message. But they shouldn’t get too comfortable.
The Republicans had their big day because Whites were a larger percentage of the electorate than in 2008 and because they were more inclined to vote for Republicans. Comparing the CNN exit polls for House races in 2008 and 2010 is revealing. In 2008, Whites were 74% of the electorate and voted 53% Republican, 45% Democrat. In 2010, Whites were 78% of the electorate and voted 60% Republican and 37% Democrat. (The White category includes a substantial percentage of Jews and Middle Easterners who do not identify as White and tend overwhelmingly to vote Democrat.) Read more