The election is over. All the votes have been counted (well, almost all of them). It is time to take a look at the electoral map and draw some conclusions about how Barack Obama succeeded in securing a second term in the White House.
10 Takeaways from Obama’s 2012 victory:
- Obama rode to victory on the strength of the “Big City Blues” — Democratic voters concentrated in more populous areas. The map looks pretty red, but mountains and wheat fields don’t vote. People do.
- The United States remains divided politically along regional lines. The Northeast and West proved strongly Democratic, while the South and the Plains states continued to vote Republican.
- Not counting Florida, where the outcome is still undetermined, Obama won every swing state except North Carolina, which is traditionally Republican, but went narrowly for Obama in 2008.
- North Carolina is one of just two states Obama carried in 2008 that flipped Republican this year. Indiana, another traditional Republican stronghold, is the other.
- Speaking of swing states, Mitt Romney’s confusing position on the auto bailout likely hurt him in Ohio, a swing state most pundits agreed he needed to win to win the White House.
- Obama only carried about 40% of white voters, but captured 80% of the overall minority vote, 70% of the Hispanic vote, and 90% of the African-American vote.
- Obama’s “ground game” got minority voters to the polls. 28% of the votes cast were from minority voters.
- The results reveal a demographic shift in the electorate, as white voters now make up only 72% of the electorate, and shrinking.
- Obama’s victory comes despite millions of dollars in independent spending against him by Super PACS.
- The win also came despite the new voter ID laws and other voting restrictions in some states that many thought would discourage minority voters.
Contributing writer: Jim Berard. Map courtesy of Pam Allison and Esri.