The 2016 electorate will be the most diverse in American history, with people of color comprising 31 percent of eligible voters, up from 29 percent in 2012. Despite his love for taco bowls, that’s bad news for Donald Trump.
In the latest CNN poll Hillary Clinton is beating Trump 81 percent to 14 percent among non-white voters, a big reason she’s leading Trump 54 percent to 41 percent overall.
Trump is faring worse among this key demographic than John McCain and Mitt Romney, who respectively won only 19 percent and 17 percent of non-white voters against Barack Obama. That’s a major reason Trump heads into the general election as a huge underdog against Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders.
“If the 2016 nominee gets no better than Romney’s 17 percent of the nonwhite vote, he or she would need 65 percent of the white vote to win, a level achieved in modern times only by Ronald Reagan in his 1984 landslide,” writes Dan Balz in The Washington Post. “[George W] Bush’s 2004 winning formula — 26 percent of the nonwhite vote and 58 percent of the white vote—would be a losing formula in 2016, given population changes.”
Trump supporters believe that he can turn out an unprecedented number of white voters, relying heavily on an analysis by Sean Trende of Real Clear Politics, who argued that there were 5 million fewer white voters in 2012 than in 2008 that lean Republican. The problem with this analysis is that turnout declined among every demographic group in 2012 except for African Americans 55 and older, so there were 2.3 million fewer minority voters as well. Of the 10 million newly eligible voters in 2016, two-thirds come from racial and ethnic minorities who strongly oppose Trump, according to the Pew Research Center. Whites had the slowest growth among all demographics.