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How Badly Does Obama Need the Minority Vote? How Badly Does Obama Need the Minority Vote?

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Politics

How Badly Does Obama Need the Minority Vote?

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(Doris Nhan)

Alabama
Obama (39%); McCain (60%)
(9 electoral votes)
Alaska
Obama (38%); McCain (60%)
(3 electoral votes)
Arizona
Obama (45%); McCain (54%)
(10 electoral votes)
Arkansas
Obama (39%); McCain (59%)
(6 electoral votes)
California
Obama (61%); McCain (37%)
(55 electoral votes)
California
Obama (61%); McCain (37%)
(55 electoral votes)
Colorado
Obama (54%); McCain (45%)
(9 electoral votes)
Connecticut
Obama (61%); McCain (38%)
(7 electoral votes)
Delaware
Obama (62%); McCain (37%)
(3 electoral votes)
District of Columbia
Obama (93%); McCain (7%)
(3 electoral votes)
Florida
Obama (51%); McCain (48%)
(27 electoral votes)
Georgia
Obama (47%); McCain (52%)
(15 electoral votes)
Hawaii
Obama (72%); McCain (27%)
(4 electoral votes)
Idaho
Obama (36%); McCain (62%)
(4 electoral votes)
Idaho
Obama (36%); McCain (62%)
(4 electoral votes)
Illinois
Obama (36%); McCain (62%)
(21 electoral votes)
Indiana
Obama (50%); McCain (49%)
(11 electoral votes)
Iowa
Obama (54%); McCain (45%)
(7 electoral votes)
Kansas
Obama (41%); McCain (57%)
(6 electoral votes)
Kentucky
Obama (41%); McCain (57%)
(8 electoral votes)
Louisiana
Obama (40%); McCain (59%)
(9 electoral votes)
Maine
Obama (58%); McCain (41%)
(4 electoral votes)
Maryland
Obama (62%); McCain (37%)
(10 electoral votes)
Massachusetts
Obama (62%); McCain (36%)
(12 electoral votes)
Michigan
Obama (57%); McCain (41%)
(17 electoral votes)
Michigan
Obama (57%); McCain (41%)
(17 electoral votes)
Minnesota
Obama (54%); McCain (44%)
(10 electoral votes)
Mississippi
Obama (43%); McCain (56%)
(6 electoral votes)
Missouri
Obama (49%); McCain (49%)
(11 electoral votes)
Montana
Obama (47%); McCain (50%)
(3 electoral votes)
Nebraska
Obama (42%); McCain (57%)
(5 electoral votes)
Nevada
Obama (55%); McCain (43%)
(5 electoral votes)
New Hampshire
Obama (54%); McCain (45%)
(4 electoral votes)
New Jersey
Obama (57%); McCain (42%)
(15 electoral votes)
New Mexico
Obama (57%); McCain (42%)
(5 electoral votes)
New York
Obama (62%); McCain (37%)
(31 electoral votes)
North Carolina
Obama (50%); McCain (50%)
(15 electoral votes)
North Dakota
Obama (45%); McCain (53%)
(3 electoral votes)
Ohio
Obama (51%); McCain (47%)
(20 electoral votes)
Oklahoma
Obama (34%); McCain (66%)
(7 electoral votes)
Oregon
Obama (57%); McCain (41%)
(7 electoral votes)
Pennsylvania
Obama (55%); McCain (44%)
(21 electoral votes)
Rhode Island
Obama (63%); McCain (35%)
(4 electoral votes)
South Carolina
Obama (45%); McCain (54%)
(8 electoral votes)
South Dakota
Obama (45%); McCain (53%)
(3 electoral votes)
Tennessee
Obama (42%); McCain (57%)
(11 electoral votes)
Texas
Obama (44%); McCain (56%)
(34 electoral votes)
Texas
Obama (44%); McCain (56%)
(34 electoral votes)
Utah
Obama (34%); McCain (63%)
(5 electoral votes)
Vermont
Obama (68%); McCain (31%)
(3 electoral votes)
Virginia
Obama (53%); McCain (46%)
(13 electoral votes)
West Virginia
Obama (43%); McCain (56%)
(5 electoral votes)
Wisconsin
Obama (56%); McCain (42%)
(10 electoral votes)
Wyoming
Obama (33%); McCain (65%)
(3 electoral votes)

View final 2008 electoral map | View map of 2008 results showing only white-voter preferences

Four years ago, African-Americans, Hispanics, and young voters came to the polls in droves, helping then-Sen. Barack Obama reach the White House and effectively defining one of the most racially divided electoral maps in history.

 

Obama managed to win the presidency with just 43 percent of white voters, while soundly winning over the nonwhite vote: 95 percent among African-Americans and 67 percent among Latinos. These numbers become more impressive considering that nonwhites made up just over a quarter of the vote. White voters cast 74 percent of the votes in 2008.

Obama’s victory, then, was largely created by historically high turnout among voters of color and youth, even though these groups were the clear minority at the polls. While the message in 2012 has been dominated by the stagnant economy, it’s also been an election colored by race and questions about whether the president has performed well enough to keep his minority base, while inspiring them to turn out Tuesday at the polls.

What’s clear is this: Without the minority vote in 2008, Obama would not have won. Considering his performance among only white voters four years ago, Obama would have won just 213 electoral votes--not even close to the 270 needed to clinch victory and far short of the 365 that he actually secured.

 

In fact, minority voters represented the tipping point in eight states, while presenting a considerable force in three others. That’s up to 11 states that Obama would not have won, and 152 electoral votes shy of the presidency.

In last week’s National Journal cover story, Ronald Brownstein discusses the importance of the minority and youth vote, as well as the vote among college-educated white voters, for the Democratic party. He also explores the unsustainable divides that have defined the political parties as of late. 

Obama’s hope for reelection lies on the coalition that has since been defined by the voters who powered his historic victory four years ago. Revisiting the numbers from 2008 reiterates this point and sets the stage again for the importance of the minority vote in Tuesday’s election.

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