A new report released today confirms what many people already know: old white wealthy Republican voters came out in droves for the 2010 midterm elections; minorities stayed home. It was that simple, and it’s what led to the thumping the Democrats took in the House and Senate.
The study, done by nonpartisan, nonprofit research center Project Vote, notes that African-American and Latino votes dropped off significantly compared to the 2008 election—43 percent and 40 percent, respectively—but were represented at rates similar to the 2006 midterms. According to Project Vote, four out of five 2010 voters were white.
In the end, it was “the year of older, rich people,” says the report:
Senior citizens turned out in force — their turnout was 16 percent higher than in the last midterm election of 2006, and 59 percent of them voted Republican, up 10 percentage points from 2006. While voters 65 and older are about 13 percent of the U.S. population, they made up 21 percent of this year's electorate.
Rich people voted heavily too. Total ballots cast by people making $200,000 a year or more expanded by 68 percent over 2006, the study found. Those making from $100,000 to $200,000 cast 11 percent more ballots than they did in 2006. The share of the vote declined for those making less than $50,000 annually.
-Cord Jefferson is a staff writer at The Root. Follow him on Twitter.