House Democrats will make history in the 2012 election, sending to Congress next January the first women and minority-majority party faction in U.S. history.
A new analysis by the Cook Political Report reveals a further progression of white flight from the Democratic Party, which is increasingly represented by women and minorities, while the GOP remains a party dominated by white men.
The projections were calculated by David Wasserman, an election analyst for the non-partisan Cook Political Report, who details the rise of women and minority influence in the Democratic ranks in the latest issue of National Journal magazine out today.
In 1950, white men constituted 98% of House Democrats -- a percentage that fell precipitously to just 53% following the 2010 elections. Based on the makeup of candidates in the current congressional races, Wasserman projects that the 2012 elections will result in a House Democratic Caucus that will be 46%-48% white males when the next Congress starts in January -- whether or not Democrats win a majority.
In contrast, white men continue to make up the vast majority of the Republican Party. In 1950, House Republicans were 97% white men, which fell to just 86% in 2012 -- a figure that Wasserman says will remain largely unchanged in the next Congress.