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Telling numbers

November 06, 2008

Barack Obama's victory recalculated some assumptions about American political and party demographics. To illustrate, here are a few of his numbers as they stood late Wednesday.

The popular vote: 63.9 million, the most ever received by a presidential candidate.

The percentage: 52.4%, higher than any Democratic candidate has received since 1964, and higher than any candidate of either party since George H.W. Bush's 1988 victory.

The electoral college: 349 votes, pending the decision in North Carolina, more than George W. Bush won in either of his elections.

The states: Obama took Indiana and Virginia, the first Democrat to win either since the Lyndon B. Johnson landslide in 1964. He also restored Florida to the Democratic tally.

The demographics: Obama won majorities of women, blacks and Latinos, all by wide margins, as well as a narrow majority of men. He won going away among young people and those voting for the first time, and carried majorities in all educational groups. Big-city residents favored him overwhelmingly, but so did those living in small cities and suburbs.

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