News & Politics

U.S. Census Confirms: Mitt Romney Won Abysmal 17 percent of Votes among People of Color.

Black voters turned out at a higher rate than whites for the first time in history

We all know that Mitt Romney completely tanked among votes from people of color last November. New U.S. Census data shows that Obama received a staggering 83 percent of all votes from people of color, while Mitt Romney picked up an abysmal 17 percent.

Most strikingly, the report confirms earlier analyses that a higher percentage of black voters hit the polls than whites for the first time in an American presidential election. Defying various attempts by the GOP to suppress their voice, 66.2 percent of eligible black voters turned out last November, compared with 64.1 percent of whites. In addition, Hispanics and Asians also turned out at a higher rate in 2012, with about 1.4 million and 555,000 more voters, respectively.

As CNN points out, growing turnouts from people of color, including the highest turnout of black voters in American history, help explain Barack Obama’s victory in 2012. CNN’s exit polls found that “93 percent of African-Americans, 71 percent of Hispanics and 73 percent of Asians supported Obama over Romney.” Contrast that with Mitt Romney’s mere 17 percent pickup of non-white votes.

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While the Census report confirms Romney’s loss in 2012, what’s perhaps more interesting is some of the data’s implications for future presidential elections. Barack Obama’s candidacy undoubtedly contributed to the rise in voter turnout among people of color, but the report shows that the demographic shift in American elections has been underway for many years now.

"Over the last five presidential elections, the share of voters who were racial or ethnic minorities rose from just over one in six in 1996 to more than one in four in 2012," wrote Thom File, the report’s author.

People of color made up 26.3 percent of voters last November. As Pew Research points out, “this share will rise to 37.2%, and by 2060 it will be 54.8%, according to Census Bureau projections. If the racial voting patterns from the 2012 election persist, the electoral playing field for future Republican presidential candidates will become increasingly difficult.”






Steven Hsieh is an editorial assistant at AlterNet and writer based in Brooklyn. Follow him on Twitter @stevenjhsieh.