Kennedy’s victory in 1960 will, in the long run, serve to bring many affluent and capable Catholic leaders in this country into the conservative ranks of the Republican establishment. (The Protestant Establishment, p. 315)
Baltzell saw that once the caste exclusions of Catholics were broken, they would be free to sort into their natural class affiliations. Richer people, other things equal, tend to become Republicans. Events have proven Baltzell right, and today Catholics tend to sort along class lines when they vote. There is no "Catholic vote."
Today there is a "black vote." African Americans vote overwhelmingly for Democrats. In fact, African Americans are more reliable Democratic voters than registered Democrats are. The vast majority of black elected officials are Democrats. Rich African Americans - including billionaire Oprah Winfrey - are strong Democrats.
I believe that the 2008 presidential election will resemble the 1960 election in many ways. Many people have drawn the parallel between Barack Obama and John F. Kennedy, not least the members of the Kennedy family. I think the election will be a squeaker either way, and I am not predicting an Obama victory.
I think the parallel can be drawn in the way Baltzell suggests:
An Obama victory in 2008 would, in the long run, serve to bring many affluent and capable black leaders in this country into the conservative ranks of the Republican establishment.