Where Obama did better — and where he did worse

President Obama carried fewer states in 2012 than he did four years ago. He won a second term by dominating the nation's
large urban areas — although mostly by smaller margins compared to his 2008 vote totals.

2012 margin of victory

In the 2012 election, Obama amassed more votes than Romney by winning in the cities and suburbs.


Change in votes for Obama from 2008

Obama's losing margins worsened across rural and small-town counties, but not enough to offset votes from big cities. Obama did better in 560 counties but his vote margin was less favorable in 2,500 counties.

More votes
Fewer votes

Margin of victory by state

Obama won 13 states with a margin of less than 10 percent in 2012, compared to eight in 2008.

↑ 2012

↓ 2008

NOTE: Alaska's results are by state, not county.
SOURCE: Associated Press, National Atlas of the United States, U.S. Census, staff reports. GRAPHIC: Wilson Andrews, Emily Chow, Dan Keating, Ted Mellnik and Karen Yourish - The Washington Post. Published Nov. 7, 2012.