In 2008, minority voters turned out in record numbers, propelling Barack Obama to the White House. Similar results fueled his second-term victory on Tuesday. A 2-percentage-point increase in nonwhite votes — to 28 percent — sealed Obama's reelection, and data seem to indicate minority influence at the polls has grown stronger in the past four years.
Obama managed to win again, despite securing only 39 percent of white voters--who still represent the nation's largest voting bloc at 72 percent.
Poll after poll indicated the issue atop all voters mind this election season was the still-weak economy, a color-blind issue affecting nearly everyone.
However, analysis of voter data shows that the racial divide that dominated much of the race in 2008 is getting wider. Obama failed to capture the majority of the white vote in many of the nation's states--even the ones that traditionally bleed blue--and endured a 4-point drop among white votes over 2008.
Based on racial exit-poll data available from select states, Obama would have definitively lost 12 states to Republican nominee Mitt Romney if only white voters mattered. Add another three possible toss-up states and that's a full 242 possible electoral votes that Obama would not have.