President Obama won his second term by winning minority voters, particularly Hispanics, women and young voters. Some feared Obama’s voter turnout would be stifled by a lack of excitement about the election this year. This was not the case.
While a win for the Obama camp was expected, it is where he drew support from that is drawing much comment. The increasing number of minority voters has analysts proposing we have reached a new era when it comes to election results and turnout.
Census data from 2010 shows America is becoming more diverse. Racial and ethnic minorities, especially Hispanics, are dominating national growth and will continue to do so for years to come. The Democratic agenda, which supports broader federal involvement in medical care, housing and education, is typically more favorable to Hispanic voters, according to the Brookings Institute.
True to form, the Floridians are still counting votes, but even its 29 electoral votes are not enough to swing the election Romney’s favor. It looks like the final split in the Electoral College will be 332 for Democrats (Florida included) to 206 for Republicans. This shows the incredible significance the minority vote had on this election. Overall, Obama won a 44-point advantage among Hispanics.
When it comes to women voters, we also saw Obama prevail. According to Bloomberg, Obama built a 11 percentage-point advantage among female voters. Women’s issues were at the forefront of health care issues this election cycle, particularly concerning reproductive rights, funding to Planned Parenthood and abortion.
Ladies, if you’re wondering why we got so much attention this year, it is sheer numbers. In the 2008 election, 60 percent of the female population over the age of 18 turned out to the polls, as opposed to the 56 percent of men. This means more than 10 million more women voted in 2008. Simply, there were more potential female votes to garner. The gender gap worked in Obama’s favor.
Finally, Obama won the national youth vote with 67 percent to Romney’s 30 percent. Several analysts initially worried Hurricane Sandy would have a negative impact on early and absentee voting, which the Obama camp heavily relies on to garner young voters. However, these voters turned out where it counted. The youth voter share even increased slightly from 18 to 19 percent. Nearly 23 million young people voted and widely supported Obama, suggesting a potential new normal for this millennial generation of voters.
Overall, women, Hispanics and young people had a noteworthy hand in tipping the scale in Obama’s favor for the presidential race. While this ultimate outcome was expected, it suggests shifts in voting patterns and trends that will prove significant for future races, both presidential as well as on the state and congressional levels.
Pundits and GOP members alike are now urging the Republican Party to re-evaluate how it reaches out to minority voters. If the party hopes to win in the future, it will have to better meet the needs of a wider base, one that does not solely consist of older, white and male conservatives.