President Barack Obama has been elected twice by a coalition that reflects the diversity of America. Republicans have struggled to win with ever-higher percentages of the shrinking share of the population that is white men — "a Mad Men party in a Modern Family world," in the words of one strategist.
But at America's founding, only white men could vote, and the franchise has only slowly expanded to include people of color, women, and — during the Vietnam War — people under 21. These maps show how American politics would have looked in that undemocratic past.
Map 1: 1850
Map 2: 1870
Map 3: 1920
Map 4: 1970
Map 5: The Actual Election
Maps use the exit poll data available on CNN.com. 2012 presidential exit polls did not occur in AK, AR, DE, DC, GA, HI, ID, KY, LA, NE, ND, OK, RI, SC, SD, TN, TX, UT, WV, WY. Data for those states without exit polls was extrapolated from regional demographic voting patterns.
Note: an earlier version of one map included incorrect markings for three states.
Thanks to BuzzFeed's data scientist Ky Harlin and our information designer, Jane Kelly, for pulling together the data and creating these maps.