A new American University study found that 131 million people voted in the 2008 election and that black voters came to the polls in record numbers.

Overall turnout out was up by 9 million from 2004, and the turnout level was 63 percent, up from the 61 percent level four years ago. The turnout level was the highest since nearly 65 percent of eligible voters cast ballots in 1960.

The turnout level among black voters was "virtually certain" to have exceeded the turnout level among white votes for the first time ever, according to Prof. Curtis Gans. States with large black populations saw record numbers go to the polls, including: Alabama, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Texas and Virginia, in addition to the District of Columbia.

"It is virtually certain that African-Americans were a major factor in Democratic turnout increase and Democratic victories in Indiana, North Carolina and Virginia," Gans said.

While Democratic turnout level increased in all but four states, the GOP turnout increased in only six states.