Chris Bowers has been doing some electoral number-crunching:
Roughly 60% of all Democratic voters are now non-white and/or non-Christian (per exit polls).
Non-whites and/or non-Christians now compose 39% of the electorate, their highest total ever (per exit polls)
Over 60% of the country under the age of 43 is non-white and/or non-Christian (source). Many commenters will justifiably ogle the huge, pro-Obama youth vote this year, but really the non-white and/or non-Christian vote are deeply intertwined.
Over 100% of the population growth in America comes from non-whites and/or non-Christians. That is, the white Christian population in America is actually slowly declining, even though the population of the country is still increasing on right pace with average world population growth. (source)
Thus people who’re natural Obama supporters are increasing as a proportion of the US electorate. What does this mean? I think in 2012 the Republicans will run a campaign on “values” of the sort that won them the presidency in 2000. It’ll fail in 2012 because not enough of the electorate will care about that sort of thing any more.
But in a two-party system, the parties will always eventually re-align themselves and fight over the center ground. By 2016, if Obama is partially successful, the political climate will have moved slightly to the left. If he’s entirely successful, it’ll have moved a fair bit to the left. And so whichever party wins, they’ll carry assumptions that’re considered left-wing now but will be mainstream by then. So for example gay marriage will seem obvious and none of the candidates will remember being against it.
(via Matthew Yglesias)
UPDATE: Red State, Blue State has some interesting psephology.