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Black voter turnout up, but Dems can't take 'Obama effect' for granted

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Though we don’t have exact data on the 2012 election turnout breakdown just yet, 2008 turnout data represented the smallest gap on record between whites (66.1 percent turnout) and blacks (65.2 percent turnout). According to the AP-Brookings analysis, 2 million to 5 million fewer whites voted in 2012 than in 2008, erasing that narrow lead.

Latinos still lag

The same headlines that warned of plummeting black voter turnout in 2012 also trumpeted the so-called Latin sensation, which was supposed to see record levels of Latinos turn out at the polls.

They did, but not at the levels black voters turned out.

Consider this: While blacks make up about 13 percent of the population and 12 percent of the share of eligible voters, they represented 13 percent of the total 2012 votes cast, thereby “outperforming” their share.

By contrast, Latinos make up 17 percent of the population but just 11 percent of eligible voters and 10 percent of total 2012 votes cast, somewhat underperforming for their share.

In fact, Latinos probably won’t surpass the share of eligible black voters until 2024, according to the AP-Brookings analysis.

Why the lower Latino rates?

Latinos may be growing fast, but they’re still a fairly young cohort, with more than one-third of Latinos (almost 35 percent) younger than the voting age of 18.

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