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Winning Numbers

Two pieces of data that explain Obama's second term

Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images

The surveillance scandal, the IRS mess, Republican obstructionism, and general second-term malaise are all conspiring to make Obama the lamest of ducks. And he has less than 1,300 days left.

View The New Republic's full guide to how he should make the best use of them.

49.75 Percent  Share of American children under five who are non-white, according to the most recent census figures.

Their mothers and fathers belong to the demographic that has transformed the electorate over the past decade and may be set to reshape education politics next. Obama has called for a universal pre-K program, funding for school upgrades, and fixes to No Child Left Behind. Could these voters put pressure on congressional Republicans to back the necessary spending, while also providing the administration with leverage it can use in any policy fights with the teachers’ unions?

3,054,000+  The number of Floridians who live no more than five feet above sea level.

That’s 16.2 percent of the state’s population—a much larger share than the blocs of Jews and Cubans that candidates aggressively woo. For these residents, the effects of global warming may be very direct; the same goes for voters in the low-lying, hotly contested coastal counties containing Virginia Beach, Virginia, and Wilmington, North Carolina. Could the White House’s new push on climate change create a potent wedge issue in three big swing states?

Nate Cohn is a staff writer at The New Republic.