Nate Cohn highlights the increasing political uniformity of Southern whites:
While white Southerners have been voting Republican for decades, the hugeness of the gap was new. Mr. Obama often lost more than 40 percent of Al Gore’s support among white voters south of the historically significant line of the Missouri Compromise. Two centuries later, Southern politics are deeply polarized along racial lines. It is no exaggeration to suggest that in these states the Democrats have become the party of African Americans and that the Republicans are the party of whites.
The collapse in Democratic support among white Southerners has been obscured by the rise of the Obama coalition. Higher black turnout allowed the Democrats to win nearly 44 percent of the vote in states like Mississippi, where 37 percent of voters were black. But the white shift is nearly as important to contemporary electoral politics as the Obama coalition. It represents an end, at least temporarily, to the South’s assimilation into the American political and cultural mainstream.
This all intensified under Obama. And none of this is really disputed. Those who see no racial aspect to this have to explain a huge fucking coincidence, do they not? Aaron Blake thinks black voters could decide who gets the Senate:
Six of the 16 states with the highest black populations are holding key Senate contests in 2014. A seventh — the most African American state in the country, Mississippi — is holding a contest that could get interesting if there’s a tea party upset in the GOP primary.
This is a highly unusual set of circumstances, especially when you consider that most states with large numbers of African American voters generally don’t hold competitive Senate races because they are safely red (in the South, generally) or blue (in the Northeast).
What’s more, black voters don’t just matter to a lot of races; they also matter to the most important races.