President Barack Obama won a second term in office in the 2012 election and it wasn’t as close as conservative voters thought it would be. Although Obama’s win was far from a landslide, the voting statistics within the election are fascinating to see and show conclusively why Obama was able to get a second term in office.
Voter Turnout Trends
Black voter turnout was higher than white voter turnout in 2012.
Some might point to the fact that President Obama is African-American, thus this would help to encourage some people to vote who may not normally vote, but according to Pew Research this upswing has been occurring for some time. Since 1996, African-Americans are the only voter group to increase in voter turnout in each Presidential election.
How Could 2012 Have Changed?
1. Over 23% of registered voters chose not to cast a vote in the 2012 Presidential election.
2. Hispanic voter turnout was just 48%, which was 2 points lower than the 2008 election.
3. Youth voter turnout, which is defined as voters aged 18-24, declined 7 points from the 2008 election to the 2012 election.
Takeaway: There’s two ways to look at these numbers. One could say that President Obama could have had a landslide victory if everyone who was eligible to vote did so. There are also enough open votes that the election could have swung in the favor of Mitt Romney, though barely. The more likely scenario, however, is that voters were simply dissatisfied with either major political candidate and so they refused to vote.
Voting Statistics to Watch for in 2016
1. Despite their lower turnout, one of the largest groups the of upcoming youth voters will be in the Hispanic voting bloc, which makes up 24% of the youth population. This makes courting this vote incredibly important for the 2016 Presidential election. Each year, 800k Hispanic youth turn 18.
2. Minority voters may have only been 26.3% of all voters in the 2012 election, but that was a record share of the votes.
3. By 2020, the minority voters will control nearly 40% of the population and by 2060, estimates are that the minority will actually become the majority.
4. Courting the millennial generation, or voters born after 1980, will also become necessary as they will move up to be a majority influence within the electorate.
5. The independent vote will continue to be necessary, as more voters are finding themselves to be independently minded instead of voting straight party tickets in each election.
6. The gap between registered voters on the Census report and votes from national results was at its largest gap since the 2000 election. It is the first time the gap has widened since 1984.
7. Republicans also face dissension within their ranks as Tea Party candidates continue to have influence in GOP primaries, fragmenting the traditional Republican stronghold.
Takeaway: Republicans are going to have an uphill battle to wage in 2016 and beyond because their traditional stronghold voter bases are going to soon become statistical minorities. Add to that the fact that some Republicans prefer the more conservative Tea Party approach and it will be difficult for the GOP to have a consistent message going forward unless changes are made within the party itself.