In a milestone for the history of American voting trends, it appears blacks may have outpaced whites in their turnout rate for the first time ever.
Talking Points Memo
's Josh Marshall reports
on polling data from the Pew Research Center revealing black voters to have had a higher participation rate in the 2012 election year than than any other minority, and possibly even the majority. It's a phenomenon that shows the increasing importance of voting for the black community. As Marshall notes, unlike Asian-Americans and Hispanics, black voters can't rely on a fast-growing population for national political clout.
From Pew: "According to census data and the election day exit polls, blacks made up 12 percent of the eligible electorate this year but accounted for an estimated 13 percent of all votes cast."
Marshall believes a kind of GOP vote-squashing blowback was in effect in 2012, which may have rallied the black voter base in ways that led to the record turnout.
"I continue to think - and I'm not alone in this - that Republicans sowed the wind with voter suppression tactics and reaped the whirlwind," writes Marshall. "Far from taking the edge off African-American turnout, which was the intent, it mobilized these voters to historic levels."
Via Talking Points Memo