Regardless of Obama and Mccain’s individual positive and negative political aspects, obviously many circumstantial qualities came into play for voters when deciding on whom to elect. There was Mccain’s age, Obama’s name, Palin’s sexy legs, and Biden’s zombie like personality. The most powerful of all though was the fact that Obama is black.
But how much of an effect did this really have on voters? I think the following maps make a really compelling case that, at least in the bible belt and non-coastal south, race was a big deal breaker for several white voters.
This first map shows all the places in country where people voted for a Republican candidate in greater numbers this election compared to 2004. So basically, the red parts are where people who voted for Kerry in 2004, but Mccain in 2008 live as well as areas where large numbers of first time Republican voters reside.
This second map displays where in the country the largest concentration of black people live. The red areas are the most densely populated.
There are a lot of ways of interpreting this data, but it is undeniable that the two maps seem to fit together like puzzle pieces. To me this is strong evidense that race played a big part both in how people voted, and how urgently they felt the need to register for the first time.