The Demographics of Democracy
As the final weeks of campaign season come to an end, our presidential candidates are scrambling for votes across the nation. We’ve reached the point in an election when analysts and campaign managers are starting to make note of which way regions will vote. However, it is important to look beyond swing states and electoral colleges, and into the demographics of people voting.
After the 2008 election, it was clear that African-Americans sided with Barack Obama by a landslide. As the President approaches a possible reelection, it is expected that the African-American voting bloc will back him once again. However, the confines of race and the demography of groups affecting this election isn’t limited to just blacks voting for Obama and Mormons voting for Romney.
This election is an indicator of the fact that this country is comprised of a multitude of different cultures and creeds. Several of these groups are divided as Romney and Obama are frantically running around like children at an Easter egg hunt, trying to collect every color egg for their respective baskets.
In a poll done by NBC and the Wall Street Journal, numbers showed that zero percent of African-Americans are voting for Romney, give or take a small margin of error. Zero percent. With numbers like that, one might ask if race is still relevant in an election, considering we can call with certainty what group will align themselves where, but the voting identities of the people aren’t all cleanly cut and colored.
For example, the Latino voting community is one of the more divided groups in terms of a racial voting bloc. Though Obama now holds about 77 percent of the Latino vote, they are still a group that both candidates are vehemently fighting for. Now, the Romney campaign is claiming that they are aiming for 38 percent of the Latino voting bloc, making this demographic a highly contended area.
Though the split in this group isn’t a complete 50-50, there is still a great deal of conflict within the Latino voters and fighting to be done on behalf of their vote. Within the Hispanic community itself, there are groups of people and cultures that are torn between the presidential candidates. As many know, the Cuban community tends to align their vote more towards the GOP, which puts off the idea that all Hispanics will vote for Obama. Also, Latinos — much like other minorities — have reached the point where they are assessing what the President has done for them in the last four years. Some Latinos feel as though Obama didn’t do enough towards immigration reform, creating some resentment towards the President. However, Romney won’t do much for their cause either, leaving the community in a divide.
The Christian community is another example of a demographic that is relatively split amongst the candidates. With this campaign season, Romney’s faith has been more in the spotlight than the President’s, putting into question whether or not people of other faiths would feel put off by his Mormonism. According to a Pew poll, 48 percent of Protestants are expected to vote for Romney, while Obama leads with 53 percent of Catholics. Many issues in the media, such as abortion and birth control, are issues that many Christian groups have expressed concern over, making the fight for their votes more complicated.
With these colorful demographics at stake in this election, it is important to note how much the candidates are doing to address each of these groups. The Obama campaign has hit hard with minorities by launching several sub-campaigns including LGBT for Obama, Women for Obama, Latinos for Obama, Nerds for Obama, etc. It’s reached the point where “fill in the blank” for Obama probably has a website and a merchandise base. Romney, on the other hand, is trying his hardest to seem relatable to voters, especially those of color.
Though some voting blocs are a pretty done deal when it comes to votes, minority groups and demographics have become the forefront of the 2012 election, proving that politics isn’t just black and white.
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