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November 7, 2012 at 11:44 AM

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Demographics of Barack Obama, Mitt Romney voters and lessons for the GOP

Check out the demographics of who vote for Barack Obama and Mitt Romney based on a national exit poll in this Associated Press interactive. The statistics that jump out at me:

  • Only 39 percent of white voters went for Obama.
  • A majority of women voted for Obama.
  • A majority of wealthy voters who earn more than $100,000 a year voted for Romney.
  • The suburbs were almost evenly split for Obama and Romney.
  • Latino voters went for Obama, which was to be expected based on Obama's support for the DREAM Act.
  • Among Asian American voters, 71 percent voted for Obama, with a comparatively small investment by the candidates to win this group's vote.
  • Education level had little impact on how people voted, except for voters who did not graduate from high school.

Looking at the first two statistics I mentioned on white voters and women voters, this points to the biggest challenge the Republican party faced this election. For the party to take the White House in the future, it will need to embrace women and people of color.

What if both presidential candidates were white? The math would change on how people of color vote. But there is still a large gaping hole to be made up among women. The Democrats have been smart about defining a so-called war on women, and the Republicans have not helped their own case with their party platform and by backing candidates like Todd Akin in Missouri, even if party leadership later urged Akin to withdraw from the race.

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