There were a fair few grumbles among Americans as the election approached – but none, thankfully, about the fact women or ethnic minorities were unable to vote.
Turn back the clocks 150 years, and it would have been a very different story, with the outcome of the election also greatly changed.
Buzzfeed has taken this year’s exit polls for gender, colour and age, and compiled maps showing whether the states would have turned blue or red before universal suffrage.
The maps interestingly reveal just how much Obama relied on the votes of America’s women and ethnic minorities compared to the staggering percentage of white men who supported Romney.
In 1850, only white men could vote. One map reveals how, if Tuesday’s election was solely judged on the votes from white men, Romney would have enjoyed a landslide victory.
Only Oregon, Washington, Maine, Massachusetts and Vermont would be blue, with Romney securing a staggering 501 electoral votes to Obama’s 37.
By 1870 – until 1920 – voters expanded to all men, which would have shifted the results slightly – yet Romney would still have secured a winning 322 electoral votes.
By 1920, women were allowed to vote, yet there were still massive hurdles for minorities, so Buzzfeed drew a man showing only white men and women.
A few extra states turn blue – Iowa, New Hampshire, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New York, Delaware – but again, red dominates. Romney would have won 441 electoral votes compared to Obama’s 97.
In 1971, the voting age was lowered to 18 from 24; a map for 1970 only includes the votes made in 2012 by people older than 24.
Finally, Obama secures a win, with his 276 electoral votes just surpassing Romney’s 262.
These can be compared to the actual election map, which shows the 332 electoral votes for Democrats and the 206 for Republicans.
While the central states remain largely red, the coastal and northeastern states are blue – revealing just how key women, ethnic minorities and voters under 24 were in securing Obama a second term.
Exit polls revealed that the percentage of votes by ethnic minorities has swelled since 2008, and the majority of these were won by Obama.
Seventy-one per cent of Hispanic voters, 73 per cent of Asian voters and a massive 93 per cent of African-American voters supported Obama.
But while his popularity among these groups swelled, he received just 39 per cent of white votes, down by four per cent on the last election, a drop his campaign had anticipated.
Romney secured 59 per cent of the white vote – the largest majority achieved by any presidential candidate in U.S. history who then failed to win.
And as the maps suggest, 52 per cent of men voted for Republicans, compared to just 44 per cent of women. Obama won just 36 per cent of votes made by white males.
Source: Daily Mail