How He Did It

Last night, Barack Obama became the first Democrat since Jimmy Carter to win a majority of American voters. How’d he do it? “With the near unanimous backing of blacks, the overwhelming support of youth as well as significant inroads with white men and strong support among Hispanics and educated voters,” according to Politico. Obama’s success with white voters is particularly noteworthy. He equaled Bill Clinton’s 43 percent of white voters in 1996, and though he did slightly worse among white women than Al Gore, he earned 41 percent of the male vote—the highest total again since Carter. He also split independent voters with McCain. All these stats were underwritten by the huge number of voters who listed the economy as the most important issue—a full 63 percent, according to exit polls.