## Who Are Americans? Interactive Exercises

### Who Supported Obama in 2012?

Barack Obama defeated Mitt Romney in the 2012 presidential election, winning 50 percent of the popular vote to Romney’s 48 percent. The map in Figure 10.6 of the textbook shows who won each state; there red seems to dominate. However, if we adjust the map to show each state in proportion to its population, blue states—those won by Obama—clearly dominate.

1. What is the difference between the map shown at the top of the “Who Are Americans?” exercise and the map in Figure 10.6 in your textbook?
2. What are four of the most heavily populated states according to the map in the “Who Are Americans?” figure? What are four of the smallest?

3. How many electoral votes does your state have? For which candidate were those votes cast in 2012?
4. Which state cast the most votes for Barack Obama? Which state cast the most votes for Mitt Romney?
5. The New York Times analyzed who voted for each presidential candidate in 2012 based on many categories discussed in the textbook. Look at this analysis at http://elections.nytimes.com/2012/results/president/exit-polls.html. What categories did the New York Times use to analyze voters? Which groups voted most heavily for Barack Obama? Which groups voted most heavily for Mitt Romney?
6. Now select the option at the top of the screen to “Size boxes by share of the state’s electorate.” What happens to the chart? Which groups of voters represents the largest share of those voting in the 2012 presidential election? For whom did each group vote?
7. With the exception of Texas, Obama won the states with the largest populations—California, New York, Florida, and Illinois. How are these different from those Romney won? What do these differences tell us about the political differences between more densely populated areas (urban areas) and those with lower populations (rural areas)?
8. What do you think causes the differences between urban and rural America? Do you think these differences will continue long into the future?