Popular Vote 2012: Obama Wins That One Too, And Other Takeaways From Election 2012


While 2012 Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney continues to behave like a sore losers by decrying that Obama won reelection because of gifts to women, blacks and Hispanics — the electoral blocs that propelled the president into the White House for a second time — votes are still being counted towards the official totals of the 2012 election. 

And though Obama won the Electoral College by a landslide, the popular vote gap between the two candidates is expected to be much closer than in the state-by-state competition. A little over two weeks after the election, here are 10 takeaways regarding the results obtained by the president and the former governor of Massachusetts:

1. Obama Wins the Popular Vote Too: In the days leading to the election, the supposed closeness of the polls suggested that Obama had a good chance of prevailing in the Electoral College while Mitt Romney could potentially win the popular vote. It didn't happen. Out of 122 million voters, a little fewer than 61 million (or 50.6%) voted for Obama while about 58 million (47.8% did so for Romney).   

2. Libertarian Impact Not as Large as Expected: In the weeks leading into the election, analysts though Libertarian Party presidential nominee Gary Johnson would obtain a considerable larger amount of the popular vote, with some suggesting the former New Mexico governor could win 5% of the vote. It didn't happen either. Johnson, who for some was seen as the successor of libertarian-leaning 2012 Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul, obtained just about 1% of the vote.  

3. The Female Gap is Alive and Well in American Politics: Though, at some point after the first presidential debate, Mitt Romney seemed to close the gap among female voters, the president ended up winning this key demographic. Obama took an approximate 55% of female votes, though he lost the male one to Romney by winning just 45% of the male vote. 

4. Whites Went for Romney and Non Whites for Obama: Not a surprising one. Romney won almost 60% of the white vote, which however wasn't enough to counter the president's support among blacks, Hispanics and Asian Americans.

5. Millennials Are Still Fired Up and Ready to Go: When Romney picked Representative Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) as his VP, Republicans thought the policy wonk would attract young voters with his talk about the debt and the clever "fading Obama posters" metaphor. It didn't happen. Not only did millennials stuck with the president in 2012, but they also showed up in larger numbers than in 2008.

6. The GOP is an Aging Party: As in 2008, in 2012 older voters went Republican by supporting Romney over Obama. In fact, voters over 40 tended to vote for Romney while those under 39 were more likely to go with the president.  

7. Republican Voter Suppression Backfired: Despite efforts by Republican governors in the crucial swing states of Florida and Ohio, that tried to shorten early vote hours, Obama voters showed up in large numbers and didn't mind to be online waiting for hours in the cold or hot weathers to cast their vote.