Black votes matter. In both 2008 and 2012, black voters turned out at the polls at unprecedented numbers, helping to secure the election and reelection of the first black president in the Oval Office. Barack Obama owed much of his triumphant White House bid to this demographic, granting him more than 90 percent of their vote during each election cycle and even outvoting whites for the first time in 2012.
This year, black voters will account for more than 12 percent of the national electorate, but whether they’ll repeat history remains an unpredictable outcome. After all, Americans today are deeply divided along racial lines, and current presidential hopefuls have yet to deliver a message that resonates with black voters. There is no black candidate on the Democratic side this time, and the only one in the GOP has already fallen behind his fellow party contenders. But the problem of black underrepresentation isn’t exclusive to the presidential race. It trickles down to state and local governments, as Ferguson, Mo., made abundantly clear in 2014.
What’s certain, however, is that black Americans are more inclined in some states than in others to fulfill their civic duty by participating in the democratic process. And though various theories attempt to rationalize trends in blacks’ voting behaviors, simply identifying where on the map this group is most politically active — and therefore likely to maximize its electoral clout — helps to put this election year and racial-gap issues into context.
Source: Wallet Hub | Richie Bernardo