Inside the numbers: ‘Obama coalition’ stronger in some areas than in 2008

Obama Coalition

U.S. President Barack Obama waves as he returns to the White House after winning reelection, on November 7, 2012 in Washington, DC. With 303 electoral votes, President Obama claimed a clear victory over Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney. (Photo by Joshua Roberts-Pool/Getty Images)

President Obama‘s coalition of women, Latinos, blacks and younger voters from 2008 didn’t just come back on Tuesday, but were stronger than ever in some ways. Here’s a closer look:

1. In Ohio, the black vote was an even bigger percentage  than in 2008

President Obama ramped up black turnout four years ago so much that it wasn’t clear he could grow that vote even more. But it appears that he did. In Ohio, blacks made up 11 percent of the electorate four years ago. According to the exit polls there, that percentage grew to 15 percent in 2012. While that is a preliminary estimate, it suggests the Obama campaign found and activated new black voters in perhaps the most important state in electoral politics. (Alternatively, the white vote could have dropped there, increasing black voters as a percentage while not meaning more blacks voted. It’s still not clear)

In other states, the strong black turnout and margins for Obama in 2008 were replicated. Obama narrowly lost in North Carolina, as nearly half of the voters in the state who backed Obama were black, just as in 2008.

2. Latinos and Asians were even strong backers

One in ten voters was Latino, and Obama grew his margin there from 67 to 71 percent of the vote. In Florida, Obama won the Latino vote by 21 points, six more than in 2008. Asian voters remain a tiny sliver of the electorate (2 percent in 2008, 3 percent in 2012), but the president won them by 47 percent this year, larger than his 27-point margin in 2008.

Obama won less than 40 percent of the white vote, but that matters less and less with each election cycle. In his victory, about 45 percent of the people who voted for the president were not white. Obama carried 80 percent of the non-white vote, which was 28 percent of the electorate.

3. Women and young voters remained

Obama won by slightly smaller margins among female voters and voters between the ages of 18 and 29, compared to four years ago. (He won women by 13 points in 2008, 11 in 2012, young voters by 34 in 2008, 23 in 2012)

But in some swing states, he posted modest gains among these blocs as well. For example, he won 59 percent of female voters in Iowa, compared to 55 percent in 2008.