, Black voters.
If you don't like to read, just read the title for a thread sum'ray.
In a first, black voter turnout rate passes whites
WASHINGTON (AP) — America's blacks voted at a higher rate than other
minority groups in 2012 and by most measures surpassed the white turnout
for the first time, reflecting a deeply polarized presidential election
in which blacks strongly supported Barack Obama while many whites
Had people voted last November at the same rates they
did in 2004, when black turnout was below its current historic levels,
Republican Mitt Romney would have won narrowly,according to an analysis
conducted for The Associated Press.
Census data and exit polling
show that whites and blacks will remain the two largest racial groups of
eligible voters for the next decade. Last year's heavy black turnout
came despite concerns about the effect of new voter-identification laws
on minority voting, outweighed by the desire to re-elect the first black
William H. Frey, a demographer at the Brookings
Institution, analyzed the 2012 elections for the AP using census data on
eligible voters and turnout, along with November's exit polling. He
estimated total votes for Obama and Romney under a scenario where 2012
turnout rates for all racial groups matched those in 2004. Overall, 2012
voter turnout was roughly 58 percent, down from 62 percent in 2008 and
60 percent in 2004.
The analysis also used population projections
to estimate the shares of eligible voters by race group through 2030.
The numbers are supplemented with material from the Pew Research Center
and George Mason University associate professor Michael McDonald, a
leader in the field of voter turnout who separately reviewed aggregate
turnout levels across states, as well as AP interviews with the Census
Bureau and other experts. The bureau is scheduled to release data on
voter turnout in May.
Overall, the findings represent a tipping
point for blacks, who for much of America's history were disenfranchised
and then effectively barred from voting until passage of the Voting
Rights Act in 1965.
But the numbers also offer a cautionary note
to both Democrats and Republicans after Obama won in November with a
historically low percentage of white supporters. While Latinos are now
the biggest driver of U.S. population growth, they still trail whites
and blacks in turnout and electoral share, because many of the Hispanics
in the country are children or noncitizens.
In recent weeks,
Republican leaders have urged a "year-round effort" to engage black and
other minority voters, describing a grim future if their party does not
expand its core support beyond white males.
The 2012 data suggest
Romney was a particularly weak Republican candidate, unable to motivate
white voters let alone attract significant black or Latino support.
Obama's personal appeal and the slowly improving economy helped overcome
doubts and spur record levels of minority voters in a way that may not
be easily replicated for Democrats soon.
Romney would have erased
Obama's nearly 5 million-vote victory margin and narrowly won the
popular vote if voters had turned out as they did in 2004, according to
Frey's analysis. Then, white turnout was slightly higher and black
More significantly, the key states of Ohio,
Pennsylvania, Virginia, Florida and Colorado would have tipped in favor
of Romney, handing him the presidency if the outcome of other states
remained the same.
"The 2012 turnout is a milestone for blacks and
a huge potential turning point," said Andra Gillespie, a political
science professor at Emory University who has written extensively on
black politicians. "What it suggests is that there is an 'Obama effect'
where people were motivated to support Barack Obama. But it also means
that black turnout may not always be higher, if future races aren't as
Whit Ayres, a Republican consultant who is advising Sen.
Marco Rubio of Florida, a possible 2016 presidential contender, says
the last election reaffirmed that the Republican Party needs "a new
message, a new messenger and a new tone." Change within the party need
not be "lock, stock and barrel," Ayres said, but policy shifts such as
Republican support for broad immigration legislation will be important
to woo minority voters over the longer term.
"It remains to be seen how successful Democrats are if you don't have Barack Obama at the top of the ticket," he said.
2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not
be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
White people don't vote in high numbers when a Black candidate is running? Interesting indeed.
Now what will we do with this voting power next election when the candidate is not Obama...
Edited by carolina cutie - Apr 29 2013 at 3:13am