* African Americans

Obama won 95 percent of black voters in 2008. Kerry won 88 percent in 2004 and Gore won 90 percent in 2000. That improvement in overall margin was made even more important by the fact that black voters comprised a larger chunk of the overall vote in 2008 (13 percent) than they did in 2004 (11 percent) or 2000 (10 percent).

* Young voters (ages 18 to 29)

Obama’s margins among young people as compared to past Democratic nominees is startling. He won 66 percent among those ages 18 to 29 in 2008; Kerry took just 54 percent while Gore claimed just 48 percent. The youth vote has been consistent as a function of the overall electorate: 18 percent in 2008, and 17 percent in 2004 and 2000.

* Hispanics

Obama won 67 percent of the Hispanic vote in 2008, well above the 56 percent Kerry took in 2004. Gore fit in between those two — taking 62 percent. Hispanics have been very slowly increasing their share of the electorate — from 6 percent in 2000, to 7 percent in 2004 and 9 percent in 2008.