Census Shows Minorities' Role in Obama Victory

By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 21, 2009 8:03 AM CDT
LaZane Tyler, left, begins to cry after a broadcast prediction that Barack Obama, D-Ill, will become president in an overflow area of Grant Park in Chicago, Tuesday, Nov. 4, 2008.    (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)
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(Newser) – Increased turnout by minorities in last year's election helped Barack Obama take several swing states and advance in GOP strongholds, new data from the Census Bureau shows. Turnout was 64%, the same as the last presidential election—but a growing population means that 5 million more people voted in 2008 than 2004. Minorities account for almost the entire increase; 2 million more blacks, the same number of Hispanics, and 600,000 more Asians cast a ballot.

Minority voters helped Obama take Ohio, Virginia, Nevada, and Indiana, although he also won a majority of white votes in 19 states. And continuing demographic shifts—non-Hispanic whites will no longer be a majority by 2042—suggest that Republican failure to capture minority votes spells long-term trouble. "Democrats are getting the growing parts of the population: Young people, minorities and states people are moving to," one demographer tells the Wall Street Journal.