UPDATED Noon ET: Paul Ryan’s claimed that the “urban areas” were a principal reason for President Obama’s win. And while turnout increased in many population centers in swing states Obama won, they don't fully explain Obama's sweeping win.
“The surprise was some of the turnout, some of the turnout especially in urban areas, which gave President Obama the big margin to win this race,” Ryan claimed last week. “When we watched Virginia and Ohio coming in, and those ones coming in as tight as they were, and looking like we were going to lose them, that’s when it became clear we weren't going to win.”
With provisional ballots counted in the last few days, the president did increase his vote total in many "urban areas" in swing states he won. On Election Night, as votes were coming in, it wasn't the case that the president was running up the score.
The president's margins weren't atypical for Democrats. They run up margins in population centers, and President Obama is no different. And certainly Obama's margins in Cuyahoga County, where Cleveland is, and Northern Virginia, put the president over the edge. But they weren't unusual or particularly high.
So far, in Ohio and Pennsylvania, in fact, his vote totals are off from 2008, though ballots are still being counted and election results will change as more votes are counted. In 2008, more than nine million votes were counted after Election Day.
The one place where Obama did increase his totals significantly in population centers was Florida. There, he gained 56,000 more votes than 2008 in three counties – Miami-Dade, Hillsborough (Tampa), and Orange (Orlando). That’s 76% of his winning margin in the state.
In other swing states Obama won -- like Colorado, Iowa, Wisconsin, and Nevada -- Obama increased his vote totals, but not enough to significantly impact the overall vote margins in those states.
The “urban areas" vote
FLORIDA: +56,000 (Obama’s FL margin was +74,000)
Hillsborough (Tampa): +13,500
Orange (Orlando): +700
VIRGINIA: +12,000 (Obama’s VA margin +149,000)
NoVA (Alexandria +3,000, Arlington +2,000, Fairfax +5,000, Fairfax City +100, Falls Church +400): +9,500
IOWA: +7,500 (Obama’s IA margin was 92,000)
Polk (Des Moines): +7,500
COLORADO: +6,000 (Obama’s CO margin +123,000)
NEVADA: +5,000 (Obama’s NV margin was 68,000)
Clark (Las Vegas): +9,000
Washoe (Reno): -4,000
OHIO: -60,000 (Obama’s OH margin +106,000)
Cuyahoga (Cleveland): -37,000
Franklin (Columbus): -9,000
Lucas (Toledo): -14,000