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Obama won 39% of the white vote–what it really means


There’s been a lot of focus on the share of the white vote President Obama won in the election—39%—and what that number means for him.  So we wanted to dig into the data in some individual states to give more context to the president’s showing.

First, a look at Obama’s share of the white vote in southern states.

Here’s where the exit polls show a dramatic skewing of the numbers in states like Mississippi and Alabama, where President Obama won only 10% and 15% respectively, of the white vote.  In North Carolina, Obama got 31% of the white vote, and in Florida and Virginia, he got 37%—all much closer to the national average than in the deep south states.

Now let’s look at Obama’s share of the white vote in Midwestern states.  Here he overperformed the national average.  In Ohio the president got 41%  of the white vote and in Michigan he captured 44%.  In Minnesota and Wisconsin the president won 48% of the white vote.  And in Iowa, 51% of the white vote.

These numbers show that white support for the president is heavily influenced by region, particularly in the deep south.

NBC’s Domenico Montanaro contributed to this report.

Obama won 39% of the white vote--what it really means