Black Voters Made History By Beating Whites to Polls Last November

Story tools

A A AResize

Print

 
Brookings Institution scholars are reporting that African Americans turned out to vote at a higher rate than white voters last November. Brookings demographer William H. Frey analyzed 2012 census election data, along with Pew Research Center numbers, and found that black voters turned out at a higher rate than any other race, which was consistent with similar findings by Pew in December. Back then it was also estimated that black voters turned out at a higher rate than white voters, but Frey’s analysis finally confirms that conclusion.


The Associated Press, for whom the analysis was commissioned, reports that the finding reflects “a deeply polarized presidential election in which blacks strongly supported Barack Obama while many whites stayed home.”

One key downer from the report is that overall turnout rates have steadily decreased: 58 percent voter turnout in 2012 compared with 62 percent in 2008 and 60 percent in 2004.

Still, the milestone for African American voters is particularly significant given that they overcame many threats to the ballot franchise — namely voter ID laws and the attacks on early voting — in order to reach this peak in turnout. Read more here.