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Troubled Parties, Divided by Race

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Republicans draw frequent criticism for their weak performance among blacks, Latinos and Asians, with Donald Trump, like Mitt Romney before him, losing non-white voters by a crushing margin of three to one.

But few observers note that Democrats also perform poorly among the majority of voters who define themselves as white: Obama got only 39% of such voters and Hillary Clinton could well drop even lower in her percentage of the white vote. In fact, no Democratic nominee since Lyndon Johnson 52 years ago managed to win a majority of the white vote, though many of them—including Carter, Clinton and Obama—prevailed with the electorate in general because of overwhelming margins among communities of color.

These numbers don’t so much indicate a problem for Democrats, or a problem for Republicans, but a problem for America—with two great but troubled parties, increasingly divided by race and ethnicity as much as they are by ideology.

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