The question arises while reading an analysis of Census Bureau statistics on the 2012 election by Dan Balz and Ted Mellnik.
One sentence in their Washington Post story fairly leaps out:
"The total number of white voters actually decreased between 2008 and 2012, the first such drop by any group within the population since the bureau started to issue such statistics."
America's white majority, which accounts for nine in 10 of all Republican votes in presidential elections, is not only shrinking as a share of the electorate, but it is declining in numbers, as well.
The Balz-Mellnik piece was primarily about the black vote.
Sixty-six percent of the black electorate turned out, to 64 percent of the white electorate. Black turnout in 2012 was higher by 1.7 million than in 2008. Hispanic turnout rose by 1.4 million votes.
But from 2008 to 2012, the white vote fell by 2 million.
This is the crisis of the Grand Old Party:
Minorities, peoples of color -- Hispanic, black, Asian -- gave 80 percent of their votes to Obama. And while the minorities' share of the electorate was 26 percent in 2012, minorities constitute 36.3 percent of the population. And their share of both the electorate and the population is inexorably rising.
Obama won only 39 percent of White America, lowest ever of any victorious presidential candidate. But he did not need any more white votes, when he was carrying people of color 4 to 1.
Any good news in the Census Bureau report for the GOP?
Only this: The tremendous turnout of black Americans in 2012 was surely due to Obama's being under ferocious attack and in peril of being repudiated. Black folks turned out in record numbers to rescue the first black president. That situation will not recur in 2016.
Yet the bad news for the Republican Party does not cease.
While the total Hispanic vote rose by 1.4 million between 2008 and 2012, some 12 million eligible Hispanics did not bother to vote. And when one considers that Romney lost Hispanics 71-27, any Democratic effort to get out the Hispanic vote is going to be problematic for the GOP.
Only 48 percent of eligible Asians voted. But when they did, they went 70 percent Democratic. Asians' numbers, too, are growing, and as more go to the polls, the GOP crisis deepens.
The Republican response to this gathering disaster?
Led by Sens. Marco Rubio, John McCain and Lindsey Graham, Republicans are pushing for amnesty and "a path to citizenship" for the 11 to 12 million illegal aliens in the country today.