An analysis of the electorate

Margin of victory

In thousands of votes

50 100 200

Hispanic population



Hispanic vote key in several swing states

According to exit polls, Hispanics voted overwhelmingly for President Obama and helped him carry key battleground states like Florida and Colorado. This map shows who won counties that have a Hispanic population of 20 percent or more -- and the winner's margin of victory.

Southern Florida

President Obama's support among Hispanics helped him carry Miami-Dade County, the massive population center in the southern part of the state. Obama won 60 percent of Florida's Hispanic voters, up from 57 percent in 2008. Overall, Hispanics made up 17 percent of the state's total voters.


Three-quarters of Colorado's Hispanic voters backed President Obama, up from 61 percent in 2008. Hispanics made up 14 percent of the state's total voters, and their support helped Obama carry Denver and its suburbs.

Change in margin
of victory from 2008

Worse Better

Areas with high unemployment shift toward Romney

Counties with higher unemployment generally favored GOP nominee Mitt Romney, and Romney tended to do better in those counties than John McCain in 2008. But since most of those counties are small and rural, they did not significantly help Romney's overall vote count. This map shows how Romney and Obama fared compared to 2008 in counties where the unemployment rate is higher than the national average.


Although Romney carried all but one of Ohio's counties with higher unemployment, it wasn't enough to overcome Obama's success in the rest of the state.


Obama carried Miami-Dade County by some 60,000 more votes than in 2008. The county's unemployment rate was about one percentage point above the national average.

Change in voter turnout from 2008

5% >10%
Higher turnout
Lower turnout

Voter turnout down overall, higher in some swing states

Overall, about eight million fewer ballots were cast for president in 2012 compared to 2008. But voter turnout actually increased in some states, including North Carolina and Nevada. This map shows the change in voter turnout from 2008.

North Carolina

More than 200,000 additional voters turned out in North Carolina -- almost half of them from Wake County, home to the capital city of Raleigh. The new voters seemed to tilt the state in Romney's favor; nearly three-quarters of the new Wake County voters went for the GOP nominee.


Most of Nevada's additional 43,000 voters turned out in Clark and Washoe counties, the state's largest population centers and home to Las Vegas and Reno, respectively. President Obama carried these two counties and -- ultimately -- the state.

SOURCES: AP; U.S. Census; Bureau of Labor Statistics. Maps powered by Leaflet.

CREDIT: Wilson Andrews, Dan Keating, Ted Mellnik and Karen Yourish - The Washington Post. Published Nov. 16, 2012.