Break For

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mainn

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Hi, I saw this on the web:

"Republicans searching for a new direction after Mitt Romney's defeat will inevitably examine why President Barack Obama rolled up more than 70 percent of the Hispanic and Asian vote, and 9 of 10 votes among blacks, essential ingredients in his victory. Women also supported Obama over Romney nationally and in California, where they broke for the president by 27 percentage points."

Which definition of the verb "break" in this dictionary:

-- dictionary.reference.com/browse/break?s=t

should be used for this example?
 

SoothingDave

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Welcome to the forum. This is a good question. I'm not sure that any of the dictionary definitions cover this exactly.

The idea is that the two candidates split the vote of women. But the split was not even. Obama got 27 % more of the women's votes. The "break" or division of the votes went in Obama's favor.
 

mainn

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So, this use of "break" is slangy or informal?
 

SoothingDave

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It's jargon. "Break" meaning to split into two parts is standard English. It's quite common in politics to talk about how a group of voters will break.

Example:

Incumbent Rule
 

mainn

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Would it be correct to read "break" in this context in the sense of "breaking/running for the exit"?
 

5jj

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No. SD has explained what it means.
 
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