How Obama wonNovember 5th, 2008 - 6:44 pm ICT by ANI
Washington, Nov.5 (ANI): Barack Obama, who will be the nations first African-American president, won the largest share of white support of any Democrat in a two-man race since 1976 amid a backdrop of economic anxiety unseen in at least a quarter-century, according to exit polls by The Associated Press and the major television networks.
Obama became the first Democrat to also win a majority since Jimmy Carter with the near-unanimous backing of blacks and the overwhelming support of youth as well as significant inroads with white men and strong support among Hispanics and educated voters.
The Illinois senator won 43 percent of white voters, 4 percentage points below Carters performance in 1976 and equal to what Bill Clinton won in the three-man race of 1996. Republican John McCain won 55 percent of the white vote.
Fully 96 percent of black voters supported Obama and constituted 13 percent of the electorate, a 2-percentage-point rise in their national turnout. As in past years, black women turned out at a higher rate than black men.
A stunning 54 percent of young white voters supported Obama, compared with 44 percent who went for McCain, the senator from Arizona. In the past three decades, no Democratic presidential nominee has won more than 45 percent of young whites.
It also appears youth turnout rose one point since 2004, to constitute 18 percent of the electorate.
McCain won a majority of every other age of white voters, which appeared to limit Obamas reach into many traditionally Republican states.
Obama performed slightly worse with white women, 39 percent of voters, than Al Gore did in 2000. McCain won the votes of white women, 53 to 46 percent, perhaps an indication of the historical candidacy of his running mate, Sarah Palin, the governor of Alaska.
Obama compensated for the drop-off in white female support with the strong 41 percent support from white men. No Democrat since Carter had until Tuesdays election earned more than 38 percent of the white male vote.
In 2000, white women split between the two parties while Republicans won white men by 24 percentage points. That white male gap was dramatically narrowed Tuesday to 16 points, a trend that began with the financial crisis, and one that allowed Obama to split the male vote overall.
McCain won only 57 percent of the votes of white men, who were again 36 percent of the electorate.
White college graduates, 35 percent of voters, broke for McCain 51 to 47 percent, marking roughly a 3-point gain for Obama compared to Gores 44 percent showing.
Obama performed at a similar level as Gore with working-class whites, earning 40 percent of their support to McCains 59 percent, which is roughly similar to George W. Bushs performance in 2000 and 2004.
Obamas victory also stretched into other key blocs won by Bush four years ago. Suburban voters, who were half of the electorate, split between Obama and McCain.
Rural voters, who went for Bush by 19 points in 2004, leaned to McCain by 8 points. And married voters, who went to Bush by 15 points, leaned to McCain by 6 this year.
Hispanics, who as in 2004 were 8 percent of voters, went for Obama by more than 2-to1, 67 percent to 30 percent. That marks a roughly 10-point drop-off in Republican Hispanic support, compared to Bushs performance in 2004.
Obama also won 84 percent of those Democrats who backed New York Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton in the hard-fought presidential primaries.
White independents, a fifth of voters, roughly split between the major party candidates, which has not occurred in a two-man race in three decades.
It was McCains support that was down compared to Bush in 2004, no small referendum on his effort to campaign as the maverick. Obama earned the same level of support as Democrat John F. Kerry in 2004 47 percent.
On the major issues, 63 percent of voters said the economy was the most important, six times more than cited the war in Iraq (10 percent), health care (9 percent), terrorism (9 percent) or energy (7 percent).
Not since 1980, in the shadow of a gas crisis and stagflation, did the economy dominate voters” concerns as it did Tuesday. Back then, almost seven in 10 voters named either the economy or inflation, jobs and unemployment, or balancing the federal budget as the top issue on their minds.
In 2004, only 20 percent of voters cited the economy, while 22 percent cited moral values, 19 percent terrorism and 15 percent Iraq. In 2000 as well, the economy/jobs, taxes, education, Social Security and world affairs all carried roughly equal weight among the voters. (ANI)
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