More on Voter Demographics

Via the AP:  Black Voter Turnout Passed White Turnout For The First Time In 2012

The article is actually rather poorly written, to be honest, as it does not provided clear numbers in the body of the discussion (indeed, it reads a bit as if the reporter didn’t quite understand the topic being reported)..  However, the key figures would seem to be the following. 

First, in regards to whites v. non-whites:

The gap between non-Hispanic white and non-Hispanic black turnout in 2008 was the smallest on record, with voter turnout at 66.1 percent and 65.2 percent, respectively; turnout for Latinos and non-Hispanic Asians trailed at 50 percent and 47 percent. Rough calculations suggest that in 2012, 2 million to 5 million fewer whites voted compared with 2008, even though the pool of eligible white voters had increased.

Second, in regards to blacks v. whites:

Unlike other minority groups, the rise in voting for the slow-growing black population is due to higher turnout. While blacks make up 12 percent of the share of eligible voters, they represented 13 percent of total 2012 votes cast, according to exit polling. That was a repeat of 2008, when blacks "outperformed" their eligible voter share for the first time on record.

This is interesting for a variety of reasons, not the least of which being that blacks have traditionally had lower turn-out rates than whites.

Of course, all this points to the fact that if the Republican Party continues to appeal to older whites as its main base that it is going to be increasingly be in serious electoral trouble.

FILED UNDER: Quick Takes, US Politics
Steven L. Taylor
About Steven L. Taylor
Steven L. Taylor is a Professor of Political Science and a College of Arts and Sciences Dean. His main areas of expertise include parties, elections, and the institutional design of democracies. His most recent book is the co-authored A Different Democracy: American Government in a 31-Country Perspective. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Texas and his BA from the University of California, Irvine. He has been blogging since 2003 (originally at the now defunct Poliblog). Follow Steven on Twitter

Comments

  1. wr says:

    “Of course, all this points to the fact that if the Republican Party continues to appeal to older whites as its main base that it is going to be increasingly be in serious electoral trouble.”

    Not as long as the Republicans can keep those uppity minorities from voting.

  2. gVOR08 says:

    The high turnout probably does to some extent reflect backlash against the blatant attempts by Rs to suppress black votes. I’m sure that Republicans will learn from this experience. They’ll learn to keep their ongoing voter suppression less public.