WASHINGTON — Blacks voted at a higher rate nationally than whites in the 2012 election, although that wasn't the case in Oklahoma, according to a Census Bureau report released Wednesday.
The higher participation by blacks was a first since the Census Bureau started tracking voting data by race in 1968, according to the report, which was based on a survey.
The number of black and Hispanic voters increased from 2008 to 2012, while the number of non-Hispanic white voters decreased by about two million in that time.
“Since 1996, this is the only example of a race group showing a decrease in net voting from one presidential election to the next, and it indicates that the 2012 voting population expansion came primarily from minority voters,” the report says.
President Barack Obama, the nation's first black president, was re-elected in 2012. Census Bureau sociologist Thom File declined to speculate Wednesday on whether Obama's race drove blacks to the polls, saying the study looked only at demographics and not at partisan preferences.