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In percentages: how America voted

Barack Obama won his second term in office on November 6. He won with 332 electoral votes to the 206 of his competitor, Mitt Romney. This translates to over 62 million people voting for Obama and less than 59  million for Romney.

When a president is elected in the United States, they have not been voted in directly by the people. Instead, the people vote for the electors of their state, electors pledged to a candidate. These electors then vote for the president and this decides the outcome. To win, the president needs a minimum of 270 votes from the Electoral College. As can be seen from the results, President Obama gained a comfortable victory.

According to exit poll results from the BBC, Obama has kept the majority of the female vote, with 55%, as he did in 2008, but he lost some of the male votes to Romney meaning that 52% of men voted Republican.

The BBC poll shows Obama winning the majority of votes from African-Americans with 93%, Latinos or Hispanics with 71%, Asian-Americans with over 70%, and those of other ethnicities with over 50%. The only ethnic majority won by Romney was that of white voters, with about 60%.

The age of voters indicates a strong preference for Obama in the youth vote, 60% of voters aged between 18 and 29 voted for him. This shifted to Romney as the age of the voter increased, building to nearly 60% of those aged 65 or over. The largest section of the electorate, those aged 45 to 64, were just won by Romney with 51%.

The percentage of those of lower incomes overwhelmingly voted for Obama, whilst those of the highest incomes went to Romney.

Christians split, with the majority of Catholics and unaffiliated Christians voting for Obama, whilst the Protestant and Mormon majorities voted for Republicans. 70% of Jewish voters supported the Democrats, and those of other religions or no religion also voted for the Democrats.

In terms of issues facing the country, those who thought that foreign policy and healthcare were the most pressing issues, voted with a majority for the Democrats, whilst those concerned about the economy and the federal budget deficit voted Republican.

Finally, there were indications that Romney suffered from an empathy gap between himself and the electorate, and that this helped Obama to win his second term in office.



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November 2021
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