By Henry Decker

2012 May Mark First Time Black Voter Turnout Rate Surpassed Whites

December 28, 2012 5:15 pm Category: Memo Pad 24 Comments A+ / A-
2012 May Mark First Time Black Voter Turnout Rate Surpassed Whites

According to a study from the Pew Research Center, African-Americans may have voted at a higher rate than whites for the first time in history in the 2012 election.

While the actual numbers can’t be known with certainty until the U.S. Census Bureau publishes the results of its post-election survey on voter turnout next spring, the Pew study finds strong circumstantial evidence that black voters’ turnout rate was indeed higher than white voters’ in November. As the study notes,

[A]ccording to census data and the election day exit polls, blacks made up 12 percent of the eligible electorate this year but accounted for an estimated 13 percent of all votes cast—a repeat of the 2008 presidential election, when blacks “over-performed” at the polls by the same ratio.

Black voters have now seen their turnout rate rise in each of the past three presidential elections. By contrast, the study found that white voters’ “share of the eligible electorate has been falling for decades,” and “their turnout rate appears to have declined in 2012 for the second presidential election in row.”

The high turnout rate is particularly notable in light of the voter ID laws that many critics believe were invented with the express purpose of disenfranchising minority voters. Some observers, such as The Nation’s Ari Berman, have argued convincingly that these efforts may have backfired and actually made black voters more motivated to cast a ballot; these numbers are consistent with Berman’s conclusion.

The numbers should also serve as a glaring warning sign for the Republican Party. According to exit polls, President Obama won an overwhelming 93 percent of black voters nationally, and that trend was magnified in swing states (in Ohio, for example, African-Americans comprised 15 percent of the electorate — up 4 percent from 2008 — and Obama won 96 percent of their votes).

Many GOP leaders have acknowledged that the party must do a better job attracting Latinos and women in future elections, but few Republicans have publicly called for greater outreach to African-Americans. That is a huge political miscalculation. Black voters were a major key to the Democratic victory in 2012, and as this Pew study suggests, they are trending towards playing an increasingly important role in the future.

Photo credit: AP/Pablo Martinez Monsivais

2012 May Mark First Time Black Voter Turnout Rate Surpassed Whites Reviewed by on . According to a study from the Pew Research Center, African-Americans may have voted at a higher rate than whites for the first time in history in the 2012 elect According to a study from the Pew Research Center, African-Americans may have voted at a higher rate than whites for the first time in history in the 2012 elect Rating:

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  • http://www.facebook.com/dominick.vila.1 Dominick Vila

    I was very impressed with the number of African Americans that were voting when I cast my Absentee Ballot. One of them was an elderly lady on a wheelchair who needed help from her son or grandson to cast her vote.
    I doubt this will happen again any time soon…

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/GGHNYPK4GNCRYZLXWVZ447WHJM Plznnn

      I believe Hillary may not be eligible because of her involvement in the Benghazi scandal & cover-up. It is a shame that Blacks turnout in huge numbers because another Black is running for President, not because of patriotic duty, or even really understanding the issues.

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/DLEQN4SJDGO6VGBMPHKYIJKUZU royce

        How the hell do you know that? We vote to prevent ignorant people like you from getting into office! Therefore, we don’t have to know the issues.

        • PaulineG2

          Royce: Yep! And, they said the same thing about white women…women couldn’t know anything about politics! Ha! They really know how to stir up a hornet’s nest!

      • firebirdrancher

        How do you know what motivated African Americans to vote? I (a white female) vote every election and have since I turned 21 (40 + years ago), but if I had to face the discriminatory practices meant to supress voter turnout put in place by Republican leadership that the black voters had to endure in many states across the country in this last election, I wonder if I wouldn’t have just thrown in the towel (as they wanted all Dems to do). What the R’s failed to realize is the fact that oppressed people tend to “sit in the back of the bus” for only so long, then they use whatever means necessary to instill equality into the environment. If you listened at all the vitriol coming from the right during the last election, I have to believe you would see other reasons for “Black turnout” to vote against the frightening future presented by the Republicans running for office. Even those who chose to wait in line for over eight hours for the priviledge of voting in this free country.

        • PaulineG2

          To firebirdrancher: Additionally, President Obama presented QUALITY and knowledge. A whole lot of we white voters support him and rightfully so. I admire a problem solver who thinks on their feet and has a fair-handed approach.

        • http://profile.yahoo.com/DZFTGTWHD5T2XNMYEYHHRBMHW4 Malcolm

          here, here

      • johninPCFL

        In your racist rush, you missed a key sentence: “Black voters have now seen their turnout rate rise in each of the past three presidential elections. ”

        Three. As in, including the election before Obama ran the first time.

      • Reddiaperbaby

        What arrogance!! How dare you imply that black people have no political awareness? They will vote again for a Democrat in 2016, a white one, because they loathe and detest the GOP which has made no secret of its contempt for them. And until the Rethuglicans get a clue, they will continue to lose for years to come. Live with it, idiot!

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/VMMSUH74Z46AIUN3UPZUUHKLY4 Gilbert

        I don’t know where the hell you have been, what rock you climbed out from under, … or what the hell you have been smoking??? When William Jefferson Clinton ran for President…African American voter turn out guaranteed him victory… both times. So go crawl back under the bigoted rock you slid from under and Shut-Up!!! You talk like a fool!

        • http://www.facebook.com/luthere.corbett Luther E Corbett

          Amen to That.

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/HX4VKHONQHCTHTINNLJKDAWOWA Kathy G

        It was not because Obama was running for President and a black man. Once the GOP does something to recognize Latinos and African Americans as American they will never win get their votes.

        I am sure many conservative whites voted for Romney because he was white. The shame is on you, GOP, and the teaparty. If Hillary runs she will win!

        • http://profile.yahoo.com/DZFTGTWHD5T2XNMYEYHHRBMHW4 Malcolm

          that is something to think about, I would vote for her for vice president in a minute, in 30 seconds I would vote for the current vice president

      • WhutHeSaid

        No matter the reason for the black turnout, the net result is that you bigots are LOSING because of it, and that’s just fine with me!

      • StephenMcDonald

        You are an obvious bigot with your statement that blacks only voted because Obama was black. I am a black male who has voted in every election I can both nationally and locally.If you even read the article it was stated that black voter turnout has increased since the last 3 presidential elections, that means it has been an upward trend since Bush- Kerry.
        Let me ask you why blacks, Latinos,women and now the growing Asian population vote Democratic, is it because the Republicans message only reaches a certain segment of America but not the whole USA.

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/DZFTGTWHD5T2XNMYEYHHRBMHW4 Malcolm

        Even a baby (black, white, brown, yellow) starts to understand as it grows the real meaning of the issues when it comes to they’re health and welfare, when you start to educating people it beings them together, so one would think that a smart fellow would join the babies and grow

      • http://www.facebook.com/clevelyn.crichlow Clevelyn Crichlow

        It is truly amazing that people can make such statements. Why do you think that the blacks voted , not because they are patriotism nor did they understand the issues. So by inference, everyother race voted patriotically and understood the issues.

  • http://www.facebook.com/luthere.corbett Luther E Corbett

    Amen to That.

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/DZFTGTWHD5T2XNMYEYHHRBMHW4 Malcolm

      prayer is always good

  • amarquez647

    If we were all intelligent voters and were capable of putting our personal biases aside, this black Irish man would have won by a larger margin. Oh well, another Irish president. Kennedy, Regan, o’bama.

  • onedonewong

    The number of “legal” black voters however stood at its usual 10%

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jim-Myers/100001512942781 Jim Myers

      Replying to onedonewong -

      Crawl back into the cesspool with Rush and Company.

      • onedonewong

        What’s a matter jimmy boy the truth hurts?? The FACT that over 20 precincts in Philly had more votes than voters and that 60 precincts had all of their votes going to barak…..pleeease this election was stolen pure and simple

  • dwhiteQ2

    African Americans have payed a tremendous price for the right to vote. Many died, certainly bleed and were placed in compromising situations with poll taxes, various forms of gerrymandering; intelligence test (how many marbles are in this jar)? Threats of job loss, etc, etc. Voting is very important to African Americans – not just when a person of color is running for office but at all times. Frederick Douglas in 1849 and 1852 stated there would come a day when the Negro (term used at that time) vote would determine an election. That day has come and will continue.

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