Politically speaking, America's Republican stronghold is the deep South, where vast suburbs surrounding cities like Atlanta, Dallas, Richmond and Charlotte are decidedly white and often politically conservative.
But population trends -- revealed in the last U.S. census -- show blacks and Latinos moving in to southern suburbs in high numbers, which threaten the notion of Republicans enjoying a safe harbor in southern states for much longer.
Census estimates show a 58 percent increase in the number of blacks who moved to the suburbs, compared to 41 percent for the rest of the country. This increase is up 52 percent from 2000.
Unless there is a large voting shift in black folks, who vote overwhelmingly for Democrats, the population shift could prove to be a bonanza for the Democratic party with an infusion of Democratic votes in traditionally Republican-leaning districts.
The news isn't much better for the Republican party when it comes to Hispanics, who also tend to vote more consistently for Democratic candidates.
Hispanics represented a larger portion of southern population gains than blacks did in 13 of the 16 southern states in the last 10 years, according to the census. Hispanics were a larger portion in just seven states from 1990 to 2000.
So as greater racial and ethnic integration come to America's South, greater numbers of black and brown faces in southern cities and suburbs could bring an end to a longtime GOP-voting advantage and shift the nation's political landscape.
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