When it comes to any US election, there are some surprising demographics that come into play. In the case of Obama voter demographics, some information about those who supported this two-term president stands out above the rest.
17% of people who identify themselves as being conservative in ideology voted for Obama in the 2012 presidential election.
As a Democrat and the country’s first African-American president, Obama has naturally dominated certain voting demographics. His ability to become a two-term president, however, is based on this additional supporting information.
Who Voted for Obama?
- 6% of registered Republicans voted for Obama in 2012. More registered Democrats [7%] actually voted for Mitt Romney.
- Women [55%] were more likely to vote for Obama than men [45%].
- 93% of African-Americans voted for Obama. The next highest ethnic demographic was the Asian population [73%], followed by Hispanics [71%].
- Only 39% of Caucasians/Whites voted for Obama in 2012.
- With the exception of Mormons [78% against] and Protestants [56%], every major religious group in the US preferred Obama.
- People who attend church once per week or more were more likely to vote against Obama in 2012.
- 3 out of 4 people who identify as being part of the LGBTQI community voted for Obama.
Although it may be popular to say that third-party candidates influenced the elections which Obama won in 2008 and 2012, this wouldn’t be accurate. He received a majority vote in each election. Does this mean the US is moving away from conservative idealism? Not necessarily. The 2000 election between Bush and Gore, for example, was virtually 50/50 with Gore actually winning the overall popular vote. If anything, the US is almost perfectly divided when it comes to liberal and conservative ideas, which means it is those who find themselves between these two ideologies as a moderate that typically influence the outcome of any election.
Does Education Play a Role in Voting?
- 64%. That’s the percentage of the vote that Obama received from individuals who had not graduated from high school.
- High school graduates preferred Obama at 51% over Romney at 48%. Third parties received 1% of the vote from this demographic.
- People who had attended college, but not received a degree did not have a clear majority: 49% Obama, 48% Romney, 3% third-party.
- College graduates preferred Romney [51%] over Obama [48%].
- People with a post-graduate education preferred Obama [55%] over Romney [42%].
- Despite these facts, all household demographics with an annual income over $50,000 preferred Romney over Obama.
The interesting component here is that the most likely Obama voter is someone who has a high education level, but a low income level. Although there is some thought that Democrats influence this voting pattern through entitlements and welfare benefits, the demographics show that it is people who go to school who become low-income public servants who aren’t taking benefits. These are people who want their careers to mean something. They want to change the world and they supported Obama because they believed that he shared this vision.
How Geographic Location Influenced Voting
- Voters in large urban areas of 500k or more people preferred Obama [69%] over Romney [29%].
- Voters in rural areas preferred Romney [61%] over Obama [37%].
- Any population area that was 50,000 or below, including urban city suburbs, preferred Romney over Obama.
- The only regional area of the United States which preferred Romney over Obama was the South.
- On a county by county basis, Romney performed better than McCain over almost the entire nation. Gains by Obama in Alaska, New York, and the Gulf States helped him to carry the election.
- Massachusetts voted for Obama over Romney by a difference of 23%, which was the greatest home state loss for a candidate since John Fremont lost his home state in the 1856 election.
- The 2012 vote count for Obama was the most ever for a President seeking re-election. His vote totals are also the highest ever for a single election in 2008 and the second-highest ever in 2012.
President Obama is only one of three Democratic presidents to secure at least 51% of the vote twice. The other two are FDR and Andrew Jackson. The 2012 election was also the first election since FDR that a Democratic candidate won a majority of the popular vote in two consecutive elections. The Romney-Ryan ticket lost their home states, making it the first time since 1972 that both candidates on the other ticket couldn’t carry their home state. The bottom line is this: Obama might not be everyone’s pick for president, but the demographics show that he was the majority choice.