Michael Barone

That's a counterbalance to Obama's 93 percent among blacks and 71 percent among Hispanics. They were just 23 percent of the electorate, and though Hispanics will be a growing percentage, blacks probably won't.

It's going to be hard for other Democrats to replicate Obama's coalition in 2014 and 2016. It's not clear whether other Democrats can generate the turnout among blacks, Hispanics and young voters that he did.

And it's pretty clear that under the Obama aegis, Democrats cannot make the kind of gains in congressional races that they did in 2006 and 2008.

Back then, Democratic strategists Rahm Emanuel and Charles Schumer fielded moderate-sounding candidates in Republican-leaning territory who were able to win because of discontent with the performance of George W. Bush. When his job approval fell below 40 percent, Republican candidates almost everywhere were hurt.

Democrats in 2014 will have to run as members of the party led by Obama. That could be a hard sell in the 24 states and 228 congressional districts that he failed to carry in November.

Take Georgia, where Republican Sen. Saxby Chambliss announced Friday he will not run for re-election next year. Obama got 45 percent of the vote there, his second-highest percentage in a state he didn't carry. (The highest was in North Carolina.)

Examination of the 2012 returns in Georgia's 159 counties and in its 14 congressional districts reveals unusually high turnout among black voters -- considerably higher than in the 2010 off year or any election before 2008.

Georgia Democrats have high hopes of winning Chambliss' Senate seat. But it looks like an uphill climb.

George W. Bush's 51 percent re-election, with 11.5 million more votes than four years before, got his strategist Karl Rove musing about a permanent Republican majority. That didn't happen.

Now Obama's 51 percent re-election, with 6.8 million fewer votes than four years before, has Democrats talking about annihilating the Republican Party. That's not likely to happen, either.

Michael Barone, senior political analyst for The Washington Examiner (www.washingtonexaminer.com), is a resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, a Fox News Channel contributor and a co-author of The Almanac of American Politics. To find out more about Michael Barone, and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com.

COPYRIGHT 2013 THE WASHINGTON EXAMINER

DISTRIBUTED BY CREATORS.COM


Michael Barone

Michael Barone, senior political analyst for The Washington Examiner (www.washingtonexaminer.com), is a resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, a Fox News Channel contributor and a co-author of The Almanac of American Politics. To find out more about Michael Barone, and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com. COPYRIGHT 2011 THE WASHINGTON EXAMINER. DISTRIBUTED BY CREATORS.COM