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2012 in review: Obama rides Hispanic, youth vote to victory

Republicans kept saying it: Young voters and Hispanics will not turn out for President Barack Obama a second time because of the economy. But the 30-and-under vote was crucial in several battleground states, including Florida, and Obama captured more of the Hispanic vote than he did in 2008.

Obama's re-election was important not just for policy implications — ensuring "Obmacare" will survive and the prospect of higher taxes on the well-off — but also for what it said about the changing face of America.

Mitt Romney tried to build a coalition of white voters, whose share of the electorate has been dropping for decades, while alienating Hispanics, the fastest growing demographic, with tough rhetoric.

Obama plans to kick off the second term with a push for immigration reform, a promise he failed to deliver on in the first four years, but the climate has never been more favorable. Democrats maintained control of the Senate and gained seats in the House, but Obama faces the continued challenge of a divided Congress. Sweeping accomplishments may be limited unless he can cultivate bipartisanship.

Blame goes both ways. Though Democrats like to paint Republicans as relentlessly obstinate, Obama's party could make it difficult to compromise on reforming Medicare and Social Security.

2012 in review: Obama rides Hispanic, youth vote to victory 12/28/12 [Last modified: Friday, December 28, 2012 4:25pm]

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