According to census data, 66 percent of whites voted last November, down 1 percentage point from 2004. Blacks increased their turnout by 5 percentage points to 65 percent, nearly matching whites. Hispanics improved turnout by 3 percentage points, and Asians by 3.5 percentage points, each reaching a turnout of nearly 50 percent. In all, minorities made up nearly 1 in 4 voters in 2008, the most diverse electorate ever.
By age, voters 18-to-24 were the only group to show a statistically significant increase in turnout, with 49 percent casting ballots, compared with 47 percent in 2004.
Blacks had the highest turnout rate among this age group — 55 percent, or an 8 percentage point jump from 2004. In contrast, turnout for whites 18-24 was basically flat at 49 percent. Asians and Hispanics in that age group increased to 41 percent and 39 percent, respectively.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.