Lowest white, highest black turnout helped Obama in US elections

May 1st, 2009 - 9:19 am ICT by IANS  

Barack Obama New York, May 1 (IANS) The lowest white turnout and record black women and youth ballots in the historic November election put Barack Obama in the White House, according new poll research.
An analysis of poll data by the Pew Research Center shows that blacks, Hispanics and Asians voted in unprecedented numbers to give Obama a huge edge over John McCain.

Though the whites still accounted for 76.3 percent of the record 131 million Americans who voted in the Nov 4 election, their turnout of 66.1 percent was the lowest in presidential elections.

On the other hand, a record number of blacks at 12.1 percent, Hispanics at 7.4 percent and Asians at 2.5 percent turned up to cast their ballot. The black voter turnout increased almost five percent to 65.3 percent for the first time, driven by increased participation by black women and younger voters.

With 68.8 percent vote, black women had the highest turnout in US election history.

In fact, young blacks in ages of 18 to 29 made history by increasing their voter turnout by 8.7 points - from 49.5 percent in 2004 to 58.2 percent. This was the highest turnout among young voters from any ethnic group in US election history.

Since more than 95 percent of blacks voted for Obama, the huge upswing in their female and youth turnout turned the scales in favour of Obama. As the Pew Research Center analysis shows, Obama got 67 percent of Latino votes as against 31 percent for McCain.

Among Asian voters, 62 percent supported Obama and 35 percent voted for McCain.

In contrast, 55 percent white voters supported McCain as against 43 percent for Obama.

Since Latinos are the largest growing ethnic group in the US, the number of Latino voters rose from 16.1 million in 2004 to 19.5 million in 2008 - up 21.4 percent.

In the 2008 election, whites made up 73.4 percent of the electorate (down from 75.2 percent in 2004), blacks 11.8 percent (up from 11.6 percent in 2004), Latino 9.5 percent (up from 8.2 percent in 2004) and Asians 3.4 percent (up from 3.3 percent in 2004).

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