Whites Staying Home Lifted Obama to Victory

votersIt was a foregone conclusion that many Protestants stayed home rather than vote for Romney because he’s a Mormon.
In a first, black voter turnout rate passes whites: study
Turnout among blacks in the U.S. surpassed white turnout, by most measures, a study showed.
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By Bill Hutchinson / New York Daily News
Sunday, April 28, 2013, 11:07 AM

“The 2012 turnout is a milestone for blacks and a huge potential turning point,” said Andra Gillespie, a political science professor at Emory University.

 

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The “Obama effect” revved up the black vote in November, securing the nation’s first African-American President a second term, according to an analysis by the Associated Press.

“The 2012 turnout is a milestone for blacks and a huge potential turning point,” said Andra Gillespie, a political science professor at Emory University.

“What it suggests is that there is an ‘Obama effect’ where people were motivated to support Barack Obama,” Gillespie said. “But it also means that black turnout may not always be higher, if future races aren’t as salient.”

Census and exit polling data suggest that had African-American turnout been the same as it was in 2004, when two white candidates dueled for the presidency, Mitt Romney would have narrowly won the election.

William Frey, the Brookings Institution demographer who crunched the numbers for AP, said overall voter turnout in 2012 was 58%, down from 62% in 2008 and 60% in 2004.

While black voters make up 11% of the electorate, they accounted for 13% of 129 million votes cast in 2012, about the same as in 2008, according to exit polling. About 93% of African-American voters voted for Obama.

The white voter turnout rate was 72% in 2012, down from 74% in 2008. Romney received about 59% of the white vote.

Latinos represented 10% of the votes cast in the 2012 election — 71% supporting Obama.
Last year’s heavy black turnout came despite new voter-identification laws.

The census data and exit polling also showed that whites and blacks will remain the two largest voting groups for the next decade.

“The 2008 election was the first year when the minority vote was important to electing a U.S. President. By 2024, their vote will be essential to victory,” Frey said. “Democrats will be looking at a landslide going into 2028 if the new Hispanic voters continue to favor Democrats.”

The AP analysis is similar to a Pew Research Center report in December, showing that Obama’s share of the white vote dropped from 43% in 2008 to 39% in 2012.

The decrease was especially sharp among white men — 41% of them supported Obama in 2008, but just 35% did in 2012. Obama’s vote share among white women dropped less, from 46% to 42%, the Pew research showed.

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