Swing State Demographics that Might Sway 2012 Election Outcome

Yahoo Contributor Network

According to the Caucus blog, polls this week in swing states are showing volatility. There are 11 swing states political analysts often mention as key to the 2012 presidential election. As depicted in a Los Angeles Times map, these states are New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Virginia, North Carolina, Florida, Wisconsin, Iowa, Colorado, New Mexico, and Nevada. A June 18 New Republic analysis of eight of those states shows Barack Obama leading Mitt Romney in four and Romney leading in three, with the candidates tied in Florida.

Here are some demographics on the swing states that offer insight into their election influence.

Latino Voters

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette says Latino voters may determine the course of the vote in Colorado, Nevada, Florida, North Carolina and Virginia. In 2008, Hispanics turned out in big numbers to vote for Obama. In 2012, there are more Hispanic voters. In Florida and Nevada, Hispanics comprise more than 15 percent of the eligible voter population. In Colorado, it's 13.7 percent. Both Obama and Republican contender Mitt Romney have been courting the Hispanic vote.

Unemployment Rate

The state of the economy has been a dominant theme in this election cycle. Unemployment is particularly high in three swing states: Nevada has the highest in the nation at 11.6 percent, North Carolina. 9.4, Florida 8.6, compared to a national rate of 8.2 percent. The remaining swing states have unemployment rates below the national rate. These include Pennsylvania at 7.4 percent,

Ohio 7.3 percent, Virginia 5.6 percent, Wisconsin 6.8 percent, Iowa 5.1 percent, New Hampshire 5.0 percent, and New Mexico 6.7 percent.

Gender Gap

Obama has been leading Romney among women voters in swing states for months. In May, USA Today reported a 20-point gender gap, larger than that of the 2008 election. According to ABC News, Obama is targeting women in his swing state advertising, suggesting he is a strong supporter of women and families.

According to Forbes, women historically outvoted men in each of the 2012 battleground states. In 2008, the number by which female voters exceeded male voters at the polls in Virginia, was 369,000; North Carolina, 358,000; Ohio, 275,000; Pennsylvania, 419,000; Florida, 597,000.; Wisconsin., 81,000; Iowa, 102,000; Colorado, 62,000; New Mexico 56,000; and New Hampshire, 34,000.

View Comments (36)