Washington The victory of longtime Sen. Thad Cochran in Mississippi shows politicians may be forced to learn a new math as the voting population slowly changes complexion.
Cochran won a tough race this week after recruiting Democrats and blacks to vote for him in a Republican primary. Political observers say minority voters can take advantage of this strategy to force politicians to campaign strongly for their votes.
Political parties have an incentive to pay attention: blacks and Hispanics are voting at greater rates in non-presidential elections.
In 2006, blacks and Hispanics voted at nearly 39 percent and 19 percent respectively. Whites and Asians voted at nearly 51 percent and 22 percent. The Census Bureau shows those rates are an increase for blacks and Hispanics and a decrease for whites and Asians.