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The Race To The Top

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South Carolina Governor-elect Nikki Haley will be that state's first female and first minority chief executive.

With power comes newfound opportunities. Pres. Obama's rise to the presidency was propelled in no small part by the fact that he was one of the few Democrats to win over a predominantly white electorate (in Illinois) -- and his ability to present himself as a post-racial candidate.

The biggest legacy of the Republican class of 2010 will be as much from its racial diversity as its impressive size.

For the first time, Republican leaders can point to a diverse array of officeholders with that same crossover appeal -- and that's a potent combination for a party which already has shown its strength winning over white voters.

Updated at 7:14 a.m. to include Rep.-elect Bill Flores (R-Texas) to the list of Republican minorities representing majority-white districts, and Rep. David Wu (D-Oregon) to the list of Democratic minorities representing majority-white districts..

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