Political participation amongst ethnic minorities

Obama supporters in New York, 2008
Obama supporters in New York, 2008

In the USA, as with many countries, the most economically disadvantaged citizens are often the least engaged with the political process. Ethnic minority groups in the USA are less likely to participate in politics compared to White Americans, who are more likely to stand as candidates, vote or campaign in elections. In the past, many politicians targeted their policies at the white majority which discouraged ethnic minorities from voting.

Barack Obama’s successful Presidential election campaigns in 2008 and 2012 energised black voters, with many people actively campaigning as well as voting. Hundreds of thousands of volunteers donated money, organised transportation to voting booths, took part in telephone messages, or simply posted the motivational message “Yes We Can”, on social media. 65% of African Americans voted in the 2008 Presidential election, the highest figure ever.