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Census data shows blacks voted at higher rate than whites for first time

MILWAUKEE (WTAQ) - For the first time ever, African-Americans had a higher voting rate than whites in last fall’s presidential election – and Wisconsin appeared to have followed the same trend.

The U.S. Census Bureau said Wednesday that 66.2 percent of blacks voted nationally, 1.5 percent higher than the rate for white voters.

The Census Bureau surveyed Americans about their voting, and it found that 79 percent of black Wisconsin adults went to the polls, compared to 75 percent of non-Hispanic whites.

There was a 10 percent margin of error in the Wisconsin survey, due to the state’s relatively small numbers of black voters.

But Milwaukee Journal Sentinel analyst Craig Gilbert said the voting percentages appeared to be consistent with the election results.

Milwaukee is where the state’s black vote is concentrated, and the city gave more votes to President Obama last year than in 2008 – even though the statewide support declined.

The national Census report also showed that the voter turnout for black women was 9 percentage points higher than for men. Overall, about 4 percent more women than men voted last November.

The youth vote – which Obama especially courted in 2008 – dropped this time. Obama is the nation’s first African-American president, and this term is his last.

Census officials would not project what the racial voting trends might be in the future.