“The Republican Party is going to have to do a lot of thinking,” said Neil King of the Wall Street Journal [pay wall] in reference to the new-found power of urban, nonwhite voters. But old ways of thinking in the nation’s reddest corner seem to be working just fine.
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Idaho has a statewide political leadership of nineteen justices and elected officials. All but four are white males from cities under 50,000. One is female. None endorsed Obama.
Tuesday’s exit polling offers a demographic explanation. Edison Research, in eighteen states, polled 350 randomly selected precincts. Blacks, Latinos, Asians, and self-identified gays, the poll reported, had all supported Obama by more than 70 percent. Obama’s enjoyed strong support nationwide from big-city voters and those with the most postgraduate education.
Idaho’s white-rural demographics remained the GOP’s bread and butter. Still among the whitest of white states, Idaho has fewer blacks than most any state west of New England. It ranks 40th of the 50 in urbanized population. Only the capital city is larger than 100,000. Only 7 percent of Idahoans have professional or postgraduate college degrees.
Nationwide the party of Romney may have to rethink its appeal to shifting demographics. In Idaho, defiantly red, not much thinking may be required.
Click image above to view the interactive Ada County Elections map.
The views and opinions expressed here are those of the writer and do not necessarily reflect those of Boise State University, the Center for Idaho History and Politics, or the School of Public Service.