The coalition that re-elected President Barack Obama is likely the most diverse in the history of the U.S. The easiest way to show how key it was for him to cobble together votes from such diverse groups is electoral maps showing what the same vote would look like in different eras.
This is what the map would look like before 1870 and the 15th amendment, securing the vote for non-white men for the first time in history.
Here’s the early 19th century map, showing how things would have shook out with just men voting.
Early 20th century impediments for citizens of color to vote in the U.S. meant that effectively only white men and women could vote â here’s what the map would look like.
For a long time, citizens had to be 21 or older to vote, and that would have altered the race from last week in a few subtle ways.
Finally, here’s how the race actually turned out.