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10 Things the Map of Obama’s Victory Reveals

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The election is over. All the votes have been counted (well, almost all of them). It is time to take a look at the electoral map and draw some conclusions about how Barack Obama succeeded in securing a second term in the White House.

Click on image to enlarge interactive map.

10 Takeaways from Obama’s 2012 victory:

  1. Obama rode to victory on the strength of the “Big City Blues” — Democratic voters concentrated in more populous areas. The map looks pretty red, but mountains and wheat fields don’t vote. People do.
  2. The United States remains divided politically along regional lines. The Northeast and West proved strongly Democratic, while the South and the Plains states continued to vote Republican.
  3. Not counting Florida, where the outcome is still undetermined, Obama won every swing state except North Carolina, which is traditionally Republican, but went narrowly for Obama in 2008.
  4. North Carolina is one of just two states Obama carried in 2008 that flipped Republican this year. Indiana, another traditional Republican stronghold, is the other.
  5. Speaking of swing states, Mitt Romney’s confusing position on the auto bailout likely hurt him in Ohio, a swing state most pundits agreed he needed to win to win the White House.
  6. Obama only carried about 40% of white voters, but captured 80% of the overall minority vote, 70% of the Hispanic vote, and 90% of the African-American vote.
  7. Obama’s “ground game” got minority voters to the polls. 28% of the votes cast were from minority voters.
  8. The results reveal a demographic shift in the electorate, as white voters now make up only 72% of the electorate, and shrinking.
  9. Obama’s victory comes despite millions of dollars in independent spending against him by Super PACS.
  10. The win also came despite the new voter ID laws and other voting restrictions in some states that many thought would discourage minority voters.

Contributing writer: Jim Berard. Map courtesy of Pam Allison and Esri.