U.S. Census Bureau: 66 Percent of Blacks, 64 Percent of Whites Voted in 2012
From the New York Times this morning:
According to the Census report, 66.2 percent of eligible blacks voted in the 2012 election, compared with 64.1 percent of eligible non-Hispanic whites. An estimated two million fewer white Americans voted in 2012 than in 2008, just as about 1.8 million more blacks went to the polls, more than 90 percent of them voting to re-elect President Obama, exit polls showed.
The overall turnout rate nationwide was 61.8 percent in 2012, a decline from 63.6 percent four years earlier. Researchers cautioned that their estimates might overstate how many people voted across all categories, because they are based on surveys in which people were asked whether they had voted — a “socially desirable” activity.
The increase in black turnout seemed to stem from both energized voters and a successful voter-mobilization effort by the Obama campaign and civil rights groups. Many black voters were motivated not only to protect the president, political organizers said, but also to demonstrate their own right to vote.
But geographic figures also suggest that black voters flocked to the polls even with little nudging from political organizers. Among the states where blacks had the highest turnout rates relative to whites were Republican bastions where neither campaign devoted many resources, like Mississippi, Alabama, Tennessee and Kentucky.
An interesting Chart map of the U.S. on page 9 of the Census report indicates Black turnout surpassed that of Whites for almost every state east of the Mississippi. White turnout was higher in the Mountain West and Southwest.