Every left-leaning constituency in the country wants to chalk up credit for the Obama victory—labor put him over the top, Latinos put him over the top—but the support was so broad, an MSNBC analysis finds, that few individual claims are valid. Most surprising is the much-ballyhooed youth vote: If nobody under 30 had voted, Obama would have won all the same states except for squeakers North Carolina and Indiana—still plenty for an Electoral College win.
In fact, though Obama ran up a big margin among the young, their much-touted surge in turnout barely appeared, meaning they were less-than-instrumental to his win. Obama could also have won without help from any Latino voters, losing only New Mexico and Indiana in that scenario. But with no African-American voters participating, John McCain would have pulled off a narrow victory.