Wednesday, November 05, 2008

A staggering victory

Unless you have been in a coma and are waking up and reading this blog first thing (which would be both flattering and a bit disturbing), you already know that Barack Obama won an historic victory in the presidential election last night. But as I read over the news today, what began to sink in was how dominant, by almost any metric you can think of, this victory really was.

First of all, Barack Obama won more votes than any other president, EVER. This is in large part due to the fact that more than 133 million people voted, a 62.6% voter turnout. That is the most people to ever vote in a presidential election. Eight million more than voted in 2004, when 56% of the electorate voted, and a greater percentage of people voted than in the historic 1960 election between Kennedy and Nixon, which had a 63% turnout.

Secondly, the composition of the support for Obama was historic. He not only won African-Americans (95-4), he won the hispanic vote (66-32) and he won the youth vote (18-29 year olds went 66-32). And most impressively of all, he only came in about 4 points behind in college educated whites, up 17 points from Kerry's performance in 2004. Obama won large amounts of support from almost every demographic aside from white evengelicals (and he even improved a little in this group), making the support for his election among the most diverse in American history.

Third, Obama won all of the states that Kerry won (252 electoral votes) by more than 10% of the vote, and he captured another 4 states (26 electoral votes) by more than 7% of the vote. That means that Obama won the election before he even got to the "battleground states" or looking at things another way, it means that Obama secured the majority of the country's electoral votes (and thus the presidency) without competing in areas in which he was not completely secure.

There are many other ways you can look at this win, but all of them will leave you with the same thought, that Obama achieved an incredible, historic triumph.

Update: Obama has now won North Carolina, giving him 364 electoral votes, 2/3 of the total electoral votes available.

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