Despite an unprecedented outreach by president-elect Barack Obama and the Democratic Party, some states with significant Indian populations safely sided with Republican John McCain on election day.
Indian voters have played a difference in close elections, especially in states like Montana and South Dakota. But this year, their power wasn’t enough to push the two states, which went Republican in 2004, to the Democratic side.
Obama made history by campaigning on the Crow Reservation in Montana in May and by launching impressive outreach efforts among American Indian and Alaska Native voters there. Native Americans make up 6.3 percent of the state population, according to the latest estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau.
But while Obama clearly won counties with large Indian populations, he lost the state to McCain by two percentage points. However, the race was fairly close — only about 12,000 votes separated the candidates in a state with about 38,000 Native Americans of voting age.
The Native Vote: Post-Election
November 10, 2008 by Jennifer Lawson