American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research

Why Race Will Matter in Presidential Elections

The importance of race-specific voting blocs will take on increasing significance in the next few presidential elections, according to demographer William H. Frey. At an AEI-Brookings Event, Frey presented a new analysis of 2008 results from Census surveys and polling data that underlines how race-specific voting affected Obama’s victory. The increased turnout and voter shares of Hispanics, blacks and other minorities, especially in a new set of “rapidly growing” purple states, helped to secure Obama’s victory in 10 states where whites voted for McCain. At the same time the number of states where whites voted Democratic, mostly on the coasts and in the heartland, increased from 10 to 19, underlying their continuing importance in slower growing parts of the country.