The Reshaping of the 2012 Electorate

It’s been four days since President Barack Obama’s triumphant re-election. In his re-election bid, the Commander-in-Chief garnered 51 percent of the vote and won 25 states (including eight battlegrounds), plus the District of Columbia. He finished the election with 332 electoral votes compared to Governor Mitt Romney’s 206.

What was most striking about this election was the reshaping of the electoral demographics. A new coalition of voters accomplished several major feats, so I’ve compiled important statistics and accomplishments from this historic election.

Welcome to the new world, where minorities are capitalizing on their political power and maximizing their civic engagement potential!

Women in the 2012 Election

  • Women made up 53 percent of the 2012 voting electorate. 55 percent of this population cast their vote for President Obama while Governor Romney received 44 percent.
  • Among single women, President Obama beat out his Republican challenger by 38 percentage points. Amazing.
  • Twenty women will be headed to Capitol Hill to serve in the Senate. That is a record. Some of these leaders include Wisconsin Democrat Tammy Baldwin, who has earned the distinction of being the first openly-lesbian senator and Senator-elect Elizabeth Warren, who is the first woman senator elected from Massachusetts. Hawaii elected Democrat Mazie Hirono, the first Asian-American, Buddhist senator. Senator-elect Hirono is also the first senator born in Japan. In Hawaii’s 2nd Congressional District, the citizens also voted Democrat Tulsi Gabbard into Congress, making her the first Hindu representative. New Hampshire elected its first all-woman congressional delegation.

Diversity in the 2012 Election

  • Hispanics are 10 percent of the total electorate. 71 percent of Hispanics cast their ballots for President Obama. Without a majority of the Hispanic vote, it will be impossible for future presidential candidates to win the White House.
  • Caucasians comprised 72 percent of the electorate. 59 percent of that total voted for Governor Romney and he did not win the election. Minority populations officially voted their first president to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.
  • African Americans were 13 percent of the total 2012 voting population. 93 percent of African Americans voted for President Obama. Governor Romney earned 6 percent.
  • An exit poll conducted by Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research found that 77 percent of the gay vote went to the president. His Republican challenger received 23 percent.
  • Voters younger than 30 cast 60 percent of their ballots for President Obama compared to 37 percent for Governor Romney.
  • The U.S. Census reports that more than half of the nation’s population born in 2011 were minorities. This growing base of future leaders and voters will spread into southern states, like Alabama and Georgia, and through the Southwest to California. The electorate will never look or vote the same again.

2012 Election Accomplishments

  • Nevada elected Steven Horsford to the Congress. He is the first black congressman to represent the state and is the first black state Senate majority leader.
  • Minnesota rejected a proposition that would outlaw same-sex marriage while Washington State, Maine and Maryland passed bills allowing same-sex couples to wed.
  • Colorado and Washington State passed laws to approve recreational marijuana use for adults over 18.
  • For the first time, Puerto Rico’s citizens voted in favor of statehood. As it stands, Puerto Ricans can’t vote for the president, but they do have a non-voting member of Congress. Puerto Rico is also regulated by U.S. federal laws, but are exempt from taxation.
  • Californians passed proposition 36, which reforms the current three strikes law. Now, a third strike has to be serious or violent to warrant an automatic life sentence.

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