Both Hispanics and blacks voted at record high rates in the 2008 presidential election. However, non-Hispanic whites still had the highest voting rates (66%), as was the case in 2004 (67.2%). While overall voter turnout in 2008 did not change significantly from 2004, increases were reported in turnout among blacks (64.7%, up from 60%), Asians (47.6%, up from 44.1%), and Hispanics (49.9%, up from 47.2%). When controlling for other characteristics that are likely to impact voting and registrations, race was found to have a strong impact on these outcomes – an effect these percentages may not capture. When factors such as income, educational attainment, and age were considered, blacks were twice as likely as whites to register and vote.
The study does not provide analysis on the impact of tenure on registration and voting rates, but it does report that 51.6% of renters voted in the 2008 presidential election compared to 67.8% of homeowners.
These findings are based on the Current Population Survey (CPS) Voting and Registration Supplement conducted by Census Bureau in November 2008. It is a nationally representative sample of the civilian, non-institutionalized population living in the United States.
The report, Voting and Registration in the Election of November 2008: Population Characteristics, is available at: http://www. census.gov/prod/2010pubs/p20-562.pdf
A recent study of voter registration and turnout in the 2008 presidential election indicates an increase in minority voters, but finds that people of color, low income respondents, and those who occupy rental housing remain less likely to register and vote than whites, those with higher incomes, and those who own their homes.
The study by the U.S. Census Bureau found that family income had a significant positive impact on registration and voter turnout when controlling for the impacts of age, area of the country, sex, educational attainment, and race. Respondents with a family income above $75,000 were twice as likely to register and vote as those with a family income below $25,000. Respondents with a family income between $25,000 and $75,000 were 1.5 times as likely to register and vote as those with lower incomes.
While the percentage of voters with incomes below $20,000 remains low relative to other income groups (52%), a comparison to a previous Census report shows an increase from the 2004 presidential election (48%) (see Memo, 3/17/2006).
Housing had an impact on registration and voter turnout when duration of residence was considered. Those residing in the same housing for five or more years were twice as likely to register and vote as those living in the same residence for less than one year. Respondents who lived at the same address between one and four years were nearly 1.4 times more likely to register and vote as those living in the same residence for less than a year.