Progressive Fix, which bills itself as "The place for pragmatic progressives" and which is affiliated with the Progressive Policy Institute has produced an interesting piece: Why Dems Are Doing Worse in Some States than Others: It's Race, Not the Economy by Lee Drutman March 15 2011
In 2008, Democrats enjoyed a solid advantage in partisan identification. By 2010, that advantage had largely evaporated...
But the decline has not been equal across the nation. In fact, there is a good deal of variation in the change in Democratic identification across states, ranging from a ranging from a drop of 22.2 percent in New Hampshire (from +13.2% to -9.0%) to a drop of just 1.6 percent in Mississippi (see this table for state-by-state numbers)...
As it turns out, the only statistically significant predictor of the decline in democratic partisan affiliation advantage is the percentage of white people in the state. Surprisingly, the state economy (at least as measured by unemployment rate or change in unemployment rate) doesn't seem to matter.
Drutman draws the correct conclusion
This re-emphasizes the problems that Democrats seem to be having with white voters. (Democrats have not enjoyed parity with Republicans among white voters in 20 years, but 2010 was especially bad, with white voters breaking 62-to-38 for Republicans in the mid-term elections.)
He worries about what this means for the future:
Much prognostication has argued that the number one factor for 2012 will be the unemployment rate, because historically, the unemployment rate has been a very strong predictor of whether the incumbent party wins or not. This analysis suggests that something else is going on as well. Democrats are having a hard time with seniors and particularly white voters, and it's not just a story about the state of the economy. Democrats ignore these scatterplots at their peril.
The 2012 election is liable to be the most racially polarized in American history. President Obama has made this inevitable. I believe this explains the widely reported pessimism and defeatism amongst prospective GOP nominees. It is not that they don't think Obama can be defeated. It is that they know the hatred and rage such a victory will generate in the MSM and the Inside-the-Beltway establishment will make the next President's life very stressful. Think Watergate!
Generally the Progressive Fix comment thread on this article is unimpressive - distinctly unpragmatic in fact. Many readers have simply blown a fuse at the idea of analyzing the matter racially. Reader "free Bird", though, grasped the point:
I predict that all non-race-obsessed and all semi-patriotic Democrats will leave Obama.
His "base" is made up of those who need government help and angry "minorities" who hate "white"culture but want the goodies.
Just some facts.
"Whites" have figured out that the O does not like them. Guess it was something he said or did. All non white Dems who don't actively hate Western Civ. (a small number) are giving up as the true horror of the One becomes visible.
Hate Churchill, play golf, cover Jesus name, insult "clingers", lie, lie, lie, have Eric Attack Dog Holder innapropriately, shockingly and dangerously preach at "whitey", have private conversations with Farrakhan, etc. Where are the college records just by the way...