WASHINGTON - The sweeping turnout among ethnic minorities in the US presidential election is seen as a major factor in the re-election of incumbent Barack Obama to a second term in office.
"I thought four years ago there was an enduring Obama electorate, and that is what we've seen tonight," Tad Devine, a veteran Democratic strategist, told Reuters on Wednesday, November 7.
"It's made up of African-Americans, Latinos, single women and young people.
"You combine that with blue-collar union workers and upper-educated whites, and you have a majority, especially in battleground states."
Obama, America's first black president, won a second term in office on Tuesday after defeating his Republican challenger Mitt Romney.
The Democrat leader won 303 electoral votes, surpassing the 270-vote threshold in the Electoral College. Romney got only 206 votes.
Exit polls have shown that ethnic minorities and women have overwhelmingly voted for Obama on the November 6 election.
In Pennsylvania, for example, African-American turnout exceeded 2008 levels, ABC News said.
In Nevada, 18 percent of the voters were Latino - up from 15 percent in 2008, according to CNN.
In Florida, Obama was favored by more than 9 of 10 black voters and 3 of 5 Hispanic voters. Two-thirds of voters under 30 also cast ballot for Obama
Romney, meanwhile, was favored by more than 3 of 5 white voters and almost the same percentage of voters over age 65.
"This coalition has legs, Devine said.
It reflects the demographic reality of America - the country is becoming less white, and there are more minorities and single people."
Many black Americans see Obama's reelection as a victory for their decades-long struggle for civil rights.
In many ways, Obama's reelection can be seen as resilience on the part of the African American community, Lonnie G. Bunch III, founding director of the National Museum of African American History and Culture, told The Washington Post.
Columbus Mayor Michael V. Coleman believes that Obama's reelection was crucial for the psyche of black Americans.
I think, in some ways, it was more important than the first election, he said.
There may be some in the country who might have said the first race he won was because of timing that Obama was in the right place and the country was in such a bad place after Bush. So if he had lost, some would just say the first time was a mirage.
A recent study by the Associated Press has found that racial sentiments in the United States have not improved since Obama was elected in 2008 as the country's first black president.
The study found that 51 percent of Americans now express explicit anti-black attitudes, compared with 48 percent in a similar survey four years ago.
You want to hope it's a smaller minority with that real racial hatred, Bunch III said.
You see the vitriolic comments, and you realize the first election of Obama didn't change the pain and hatred. In some ways that election magnified some of it.
It is not a post-racial world, but a world that would make us believe in the possibility of bringing people together.
Coleman, the Columbus mayor, opines that Obama's re-election will usher in a new start for the United States.
I think this represents the beginning of a new era in America, he said.It will be focused on merit, truth-telling and having a moral center. All those were things that Mitt Romney never quite got.