No Race Gap Seen in 2008 Vote Turnout

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The historic gap between blacks and whites in voter participation evaporated in last year’s presidential race, according to an analysis released today, with black, Hispanic and Asian voters comprising nearly a quarter of the electorate, setting a record.

The analysis, by the Pew Research Center, also found that for the first time, black women turned out at a higher rate than any other racial, ethnic and gender group.

The study attributed the findings to several factors beyond the obvious one: the candidacy of Barack Obama.

For one, the number of eligible Hispanic voters soared by more than 21 percent since 2004, a reflection both of population gains and growing numbers who are citizens. Their share of eligible voters increased to 9.5 percent, from 8.2 percent four years earlier.

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