The Republican ticket is flooding the airwaves with commercials that develop two themes designed to turn the presidential contest into a racially freighted resource competition pitting middle class white voters against the minority poor.Edsall argues that this strategy seems consistent with the data on party identification posted online by the Pew Research Center.
There is extensive poll data showing the depth of Republican dependence on white voters.However, if you look at those data posted by Pew, you see that white, non-Hispanic Republicans account for only 27 percent of registered voters. Assuming that equal proportions of people in all parties and racial groups vote (and, of course, that's a big assumption), that is clearly not enough to win the election. Other factors besides race are going to have to play a role.
On August 23, Pew Research released its latest findings on partisan identification, and the gains that the Republican Party has made among older and non-college whites since 2004 are remarkable.
Most importantly, the Pew surveys show that 89% of voters who identify themselves as Republican are white. Faced with few if any possibilities of making gains among blacks and Hispanics — whose support for Obama has remained strong — the Romney campaign has no other choice if the goal is to win but to adopt a strategy to drive up white turnout.