Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Democratic Presidential Power Rankings

Wednesdays will be our Democratic Presidential Power Rankings:
Love him or hate him, Barack Obama has four more years as President of the United States. As he was fond of saying on the campaign trail, this is his last campaign. Unless wacky Republicans are right and Obama can somehow make himself President for life, then we will have someone running in 2016 different than him. But who will it be? A caveat of this, of course, is that 2016 is a long ways of f and it’s possible, if not probable, that a candidate will emerge in the next four years that we’ve never heard of.
1. Hillary Clinton- she is the current favorite to run in 2016, despite that she has been saying that she plans on retiring from the public life. Some people have taken this to mean that she will spend the next four years recuperating and primed for a Presidential run in 2016. Clinton still commands the respect and disdain of rivals and allies. But the biggest deterrent to her running, in my opinion, is her age. If she decided to run she would be one of the oldest first term Presidential candidates in history. I have her number one despite these concerns because of her name recognition.
2. Joe Biden- Biden cryptically stated that this would not be the last time that he voted for himself. Some have taken this to mean that Biden would run for President in 2016. His biggest problem is his age, as well. Biden recently turned 70 and is older than Clinton. Biden’s name recognition and experience will mean that he is a popular name to throw out there as someone who might run in 2016. This is before they realize his tendency to go “off the cuff” is potentially a pitfall. The Onion would love if Biden ran.
3. Martin O’Malley- O’Malley has gotten some publicity and name recognition for his “rivalry” with Bob McDonnell, as well, as being a surrogate during this election for Barack Obama. O’Malley has a strong chance, if he decides to run, to be in the Democratic primaries.
4. Cory Booker + Julian Castro- I’m lumping them together to deal with them at the same time. Castro was mentioned, because he made the keynote address at the 2012 DNC, something Obama did in 2004. Booker has been mentioned because of his name recognition, popularity, being young, and being a minority. Booker and Castro’s largest problems are that the highest offices that they have held are being mayors. Their largest stumbling block is the lack of experience that they have. At least, Obama was a Senator before being President. If Booker and Castro somehow manage to gain some larger experience in the next four years, they’ll definitely move up this list.
5. Elizabeth Warren- she proved to be a fund-raising giant in defeating incumbent Scott Brown in the Massachusetts Senatorial race. She’s kind of the “hip” name among Democrats to talk about potentially running in 2016. She has fairly high name recognition because of the popularity of the race but Democrats might shy away from her, because of her lack of experience.
6. Rahm Emanuel- Emanuel, despite being a mayor like Castro or Booker, is not listed with them because he has served closely with two different presidents. Serving under two presidents might give him some experience that is needed. But are we really going back to where Chicago is the heart of politics, again?
7. Andrew Cuomo- current governor of New York. Cuomo has a lot of name recognition, particularly among Democrats, coming in 2nd in some polls as an early frontrunner for the 2016 election. Cuomo seems like a favorite to be in the Democratic primaries, if he decides to run.
8. Al Franken- The former Saturday Night Live actor/writer has gotten some notoriety in politics for his close election in Minnesota and his petitions to try and overturn the Citizen’s United ruling. It’s unclear if enough people take him seriously to run for President. His age might also preclude him from running.
9. Independent/Republican Convert X- It’s possible that a high-profile Republican/Independent converts to being a Democrat and gets into the Democratic primaries. The people that I think might be possible for this to happen is Mike Bloomberg. Bloomberg is an independent candidate and mayor, who has expressed interest in running for President in the past. Bloomberg also endorsed Obama after Hurricane Sandy because of climate change issues. He has been in the spotlight for a number of things whether, it was for his guns bill/law or trying to limit the amount of sugary drinks we can consume. Another possibility is Chris Christie. Christie has been blamed by some Republicans for failing to endorse Romney in the wake of Hurricane Sandy, there is a slight possibility that Christie becomes disenchanted with the Republican party if they continue down this path. It’s also possible that Christie runs on the Republican side in 2016.
10. Celebrity Candidate Y- This has a popular idea by Democrats on some websites. The idea is that the Democrats would want a celebrity candidate who has little or no government experience to run for President. Michael Moore in his book Dude, Where’s my Country? argued for Oprah running. The popular name that has been thrown out now is Rachel Maddow. Let me say, that this is absolutely a terrible idea. I don’t believe the Democratic party would be able to recover if they allowed a celebrity to run for president. That being said, they might do it.

Republican Presidential Power Rankings

Every Tuesday until I get tired of it, I will be running power rankings of Republican presidential candidates. The goal is to accurately predict who will be running in 2016. Although, the vice-presidential power rankings were ultimately a failure because we were unable to predict who would be nominated, it was one of my favorite things to write.
Mitt Romney has been the looming specter of the Republican primaries. He has run in 2008 and 2012 in the primaries. So much, in fact, that many Republicans might be sick of him. Romney proved himself to be a masterful fund-raiser and once again proved that money can’t buy you happiness, but it can buy you a ton of negative ads in Ohio. So, what will happen in 2016? Will Romney run again?
1. Marco Rubio- Rubio will be #1 for the foreseeable future. He is my Erubiel Durazo. Congratulations to the one person who will understand that joke/reference. Rubio was featured prominently in my vice-president power rankings and figures to be featured here, as well. What does Rubio bring to the table? Well, he is relatively young. He is also a racial minority. He has good name recognition. His niche in politics, at this point, seems to be his stance on immigration issues. This makes him different than almost any other candidate, unless something drastic changes. Politicians, especially those running in the presidential primaries like to find their niche and stick with it. This could be his niche. If he chooses to run, he figures to be a force to be reckoned with.
2. Bobby Jindal- Jindal has already started his presidential run by distancing himself from the “gifts” comments Romney has made. Jindal has been one of my favorites since about 2010 or so. He was chosen to voice the Republican response to the State of the Union address. He has been the governor of Louisiana for some time and is also a minority, two things that might work in his favor. His biggest problem is that a presidential run might lead to intense scrutiny to his policies. I haven’t looked at them. But there might be things in there that might hurt his chances.
3. Jeb Bush- The Daily Show has not hesitated to link Jeb Bush to the 2016 presidential election. They even called the 2012 RNC: the road to Jeb Bush 2016. Bush has essentially retired from politics and there is no indication that he would run. But if he steps back in, he would definitely be a favorite for the Republican party. The Republican party is headed for a split or a return to the middle, both of these things help Jeb Bush. A more extreme Republican party would not be a good fit for Jeb.
4. Paul Ryan- I, personally, think that Ryan’s political career is over at this point. But he might decide to go out with a bang. Regardless of how Republicans feel about him now, there are factions of the Republican party who blame, rightly or wrongly, Ryan for the Romney loss. While Karl Rove is marching towards irrelevance, he did say that if you couldn’t win this election, you should get out of politics.
5. Bob McDonnell- McDonnell has some name recognition for being the governor of Virginia, for being a Romney surrogate, transvaginal ultrasounds, and being the leader of the Republican Governors Association. Like Jindal, his policies might hurt him, if he decides to run.
6. Brian Sandoval- a somewhat moderate pro-same-sex marriage Republican? What better way is there to announce that the party will be more moderate?
7. Chris Christie- As we get further from the election, Christie’s stock will rise. Numerous Republicans blame Christie’s failure to re-endorse Romney after Hurricane Sandy for Romney’s loss in the election. I thought Christie provided a nice moment both for him and Republicans by not bringing up politics where there was no point to. That moment will look better with the passage of time. His typical bulldog style/attitude will play well in the primaries.
8. Allen West- while he’s still complaining about a recount in the Florida Congressional election, he is still a favorite among Tea Party. If the Republican party splits, West could be mentioned as a possible presidential candidate. There was some talk in 2012 about a potential Gingrich/West ticket. That never came to fruition.
9. Scott Walker- Honestly, I have not understood why the media keeps saying that Walker is a Republican darling. He survived a recall election, bully for him. His policies in Wisconsin have been unpopular. He was never a fundraising giant until his back was up against the wall and got bailed out by his fellow Wisconsinite Reince Preibus and the Republican National Committee. But Walker continues to be mentioned as a possibility, so I’ll list him here.
10. Nikki Hayley and Kelly Ayotte- Both were mentioned as potential vice-presidential candidates for Romney. Hayley is the governor of South Carolina and reportedly declined the offer. There was a small scandal in her state around the same time. She denied any wrongdoing but a presidential run might put the spotlight on her. Ayotte was an early supporter of Romney. She is also an East Coast Republican who might connect with the Midwest (Ohio, Minnesota, Pennsylvania, etc.) much like Romney in 2012. I imagine the Republican party learns from the mistakes in this election.
Honorable mentions: Scott Brown, if Brown had been re-elected in 2012, I would have placed him on the list. As it stands, he does not seem to have the popularity to win his home state much less compete in a nationwide election.
General Petraeus- This sex scandal will hurt his chances. But it’s also possible that we just forget about them in four years. If Newt Gingrich can claim the moral high ground, anything is possible.
Mike Huckabee- there is a good chance that he will be moved much higher on this list as we move forward. Republicans have strong feelings towards Huckabee. He is leading early polls with Republicans and it’s ultimately up to him. If he decides to run, he’ll be a decided favorite for some time.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Treating patients with Medicare

So, this sounded troubling.  It still sounds troubling a bit, when we're using the words "expect" and "supposed to."  Because of the fee that will increase in every state, federal officials expect to attract more physicians to treat Medicare patients.

The Showdown

At the end of this year, the Bush tax cuts are set to expire.  President Barack Obama has been clear that he will let them expire for those making $200,000+ (or couples making $250,000+).  Many members of Congress have signed the Grover Norquist pledge not to raise taxes.  These Congressmen (and women, I presume), have to make a decision whether or not they will be able to compromise between letting these tax cuts expire and actively voting to raising taxes.  It will be an easy explanation that the vote for a smaller tax increase will not equal allowing the tax cuts to expire to their expected level.  Economist Paul Krugman has argued that Barack Obama should not back down and allow the tax cuts to expire alleging that the compromise talk is on par with blackmail.  So, we'll have a showdown, coming.  It's up to the members of the House of Representatives to initiate a bill that will allow this or not allow it, after all, all tax bills have to originate in the House.  Barack Obama, I assume, is set to veto any law that continues the Bush tax cuts. 

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Small businesses as job creators?

There are always discussions about how small businesses are creating our jobs in America.  But according to this study only about one-fifth qualify as employers.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Raising taxes on small businesses?

"The problem with raising tax rates on wealthy Americans is that more than half of them are small-business owners. Raising tax rates will slow down our ability to create the jobs that everyone says they want." - John Boehner

Boehner is wrong when he says that.  Michael Steel, Boehner's spokesperson, has already that he misspoke.  So I won't harp too much on Boehner, but only about 8 percent have an income of $200,000 or more. But Boehner is correct, sort of, that 53 percent of business income would be taxed in the top two brackets which President Obama wants to raise taxes on.  Those businesses are not necessarily small, though.  A more in-depth study found that more than 90 percent of small-business owners wouldn't be affected by Obama's proposal. The vast majority of people affected, over 90 percent are not small business owners.


Exit Polls: When did you decide to vote

There is a prevailing idea that running for President means you have to be stong up until the very end.  But, at least in the last two presidential elections this probably isn't true. 

Today (3%): This actually went down 1% from 2008.  In 2008, it was 4%.  Barack Obama won the people who decided the day of the election in both times.  In 2008, Obama won 50-45.  In 2012, Obama won the same category 51-44.  5% of this category gave no answer or answered with other.  It would be interesting to see if it's because they voted for other or it's because they may not remember who they voted for.

Last few days (6%): In 2008, they didn't list this as a choice.  But they listed last three days and in the last week.  McCain actually won those categories with last three days 52-47 and last week 50-48.  Obama actually won the last few days in 2012 50-45 with 5% saying other or no answer.  There's the idea that Hurricane Sandy played a role in the election probably coming to fruition.  But those deciding in the last few days to a week are the same as 2008.

In October (11%): Obama did well with voters who decided in October in 2008 winning it 54-45 but in 2012, he only won it 49-48. This overall number went down by 4% since 2008.

In September (9%): The overall number who said they decided that they made up their mind in September went down by 5%.  Romney did very well with voters who made their decision in September.  Obama won in 2008 54-45.  Romney won in 2012 53-45.  That is huge.  This probably has to do with Benghazi and the attacks on the Embassy.

Before that (69%): This percentage went up by 9% from 2008.  Obama won this category in 2008 52-47.  In 2012, Obama won 53-46.  Basically what we're saying is that by August 31st nearly 70% of the electorate has already decided who they would vote for.  70% already decided and the slight majority favored Obama by that point.  The idea that this was a close race, is wishful thinking by people.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Exit Polls: Income

Ugh...CNN isn't as good with their exit polls in 2012 as they were in 2008. 

Less than $50K (41%): Wow, it's the exact same as 2008.  In both 2008 and 2012, Obama won this category 60-38 both times.

More than $50K (59%): Romney made up a lot of ground here.  In 2008, Obama and McCain tied this vote 49-49.  But Romney won it in 2012.  He ended up winning it 53-45. 

But, how much did the richer influence this.

$50-100K (31%): Surprisingly, McCain and Obama tied this category, too.  Romney won this category.  He won it 52-46. 

$100K or more (28%): Wow, McCain and Obama tied this category, too (49-49).  Romney swung this a lot.  Romney ended up winning this category 54-44. 

I saved income for less because I knew that it would be the deciding factor in this election.  I didn't know that Obama and McCain tied for these categories in 2008.  But you can see that Romney did better with those making $50K or more than McCain did.  For whatever reason.  I'm going to look at all of the categories that changed 5% or more from 2008 to 2012.  But I'm basing my conclusions on what we found in these exit polls.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Exit Polls: Religion and...

So, there's a few here.  We can do religion and race...sort of...

Non-white (28%): This is really where Obama excelled in 2008 and 2012.  In 2008, Obama won this category 79-18 and in 2012 Obama won this category 80-18.  Interesting to note that the number of people saying other or no answer went down.

White, no religion (8%): This is a giant swing for Romney, here.  Obama won the category in 2008 71-26 and in 2012 he won it 63-31.  The amount of people saying other/no answer went up by 3%.  Lots of interesting stuff, there.

White protestant (39%): McCain won this category quite handily 65-34.  Romney did even better than McCain in 2012 at 69-30.  Pretty big swing that helped Romney, there.

White Catholic (18%): Obama who won Catholics overall, lost both times with White Catholics.  In 2008, McCain won 52-47.  Romney excelled compared to McCain.  Romney won the White Catholic vote 59-40.  Impressive, there.

White Jewish (2%): Giant swing, alert.  Obama won in 2008 at 83-16.  Obama still won this category in 2012 but Romney gained 13 points.  Obama won 71-29.  Wow....

White-other religion (4%): Another large swing.  Obama won it in 2008 67-28 and in 2012 it declined to 61-35.  Huge gains in two categories for Romney there.

Or we could do religion and attendance...

Protestant/weekly (15%): This is a big category for Republicans.  McCain won this category 67-32 in 2008.  Romney did even better than that and beat Obama 70-29. 

Protestant/not weekly (14%): This is a much more stable category comparing 2008 and 2012.  McCain won 54-45.  Romney won 55-44.  That is essentially the same thing.

Catholic/weekly (11%): This is a huge gain for Romney from 2008.  By the way, we can probably assume that the Catholic weekly attendance gains are due to the fact that those Catholics who attend weekly are probably white.  But anyways, McCain won this category in 2008 50-49.  Romney made huge gains and won 57-42.

Catholic/not weekly (13%): Romney made slight gains here...Obama won this 58-40 in 2008 and in 2012 won 56-42. 

All others (46%): Romney did better with this category than McCain.  Obama won 63-35 in 2008.  Obama won 58-39 in 2012.  The number of people said no answer/other went up by 1.  So it was a combination of Romney doing better than McCain in 2008 and Obama doing worse.


Exit polls: Religion

Vote by church attendance.  This is always an interesting category to look at for me.

Never (17%): Surprisingly, a pretty big swing here.  In 2008, Obama won this category 67-30.  In 2012, Romney made up ground, Obama lost a ton of ground.  Obama won the category 62-34.  There was a 1% increase in the amount of people saying other/no answer.  Interesting.

A few times a year (27%): Romney made up ground here.  Obama won the category 59-39 in 2008 and in 2012 he won the category 56-42.  I'm assuming that we'll see it be more stable as church attendance goes up.  But we'll see.

Monthly (13%): Starting to see it become more stable.  Only changing 2%. But a surprising switch. Obama won 2008 the category in 2008 53-46 but in 2012 Obama widened the gap and got it up to 55-44.  This is interesting, to me.

Weekly (28%): This is getting to the Republican stronghold.  In 2008, McCain won 55-43.  In 2012, Romney widened the gap to 58-41. 

More than weekly (14%): I was dead wrong about it being stable.  In 2008, McCain won the category 55-43 but Romney dominated this category and stretched it to 63-36.  This is probably why I thought it was more religiously charged then it looked like, initially.

CNN breaks it down another way.

Never (17%): See above.

Occasionally (40%): Obama won this category in 2008 57-42.  In 2012, this changed slightly to Obama winning 55-43.  So not a big swing. But something interesting.

Weekly (42%): Pretty big change as we can guess from the above data. McCain won this category 55-43 in 2008 and Romney stretched this lead to 59-39 in 2012.  So, fairly big change. 

Exit Polls: Religion

Let's take a look at the exit polls for the 2012 election compared to 2008.  We've taken a look at most of the other indicators and now we're on religion.  I'm particularly interested in this part of the exit polls because of how religiously charged it seemed this election was. 

Protestant (53%): Romney did slightly better with Protestants than McCain did.  In 2008, 54% of Protestants voted for McCain and in 2012 57% voted for Romney.  1% answered other or no answer both times.

Catholic (25%): Romney made up some ground in the Catholic vote, too.  Obama won the Catholic vote 54-45 in 2008 and won it 50-48 in 2012.  2% answered other or no answer in 2012 compared to 1% in 2008.  Romney made up ground in both categories. 

None (12%): Obama dominated with people who identified with no religion in 2008, 75-23 in 2008.  While Obama did well with this category in 2012, he lost a lot of ground.  It fell to 70-26 in 2012.  The amount of people who said other or no answer went up 2% from 2008.  So, that's interesting.

Other (7%): This was pretty much the same from 2008 to 2012. Obama won 73-22 in 2008 and 74-23 in 2012.  The amount of people who said other or no answer went down two percent.  Very rare in 2012 to see the amount of people saying other or no answer actually went down. 

But, we're  not done with slicing the data for this category. We'll post the rest on separate posts.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Secretary of State Power Rankings

In 2008, Hillary Clinton was reportedly offered a choice between the position of Secretary of State and vice-president by Barack Obama. Clinton took the offer to be Secretary of State and has completed her job. There are reports circulating that she will retire before President Obama begins his 2nd term. If the reports are true, then President Obama would have to appoint a new person to take her place. Since I am a sucker for Power Rankings, even if they’re inaccurate, I present the Secretary of State power rankings. Of course, all this will be for naught if Clinton does not retire.
1. John Kerry- the 2004 Democratic nominee for President has been rather close to President Obama, even standing in during mock debates. Kerry is the prohibitive favorite for the nominee.
2. Susann Rice- current United States ambassador to the United Nations (or the UN). Rice would be a fine choice with her experience. Rice’s potential nomination would receive an outcry from the Republican community. She was featured prominently after the attacks of Benghazi. Some people fear, irrationally, that the United Nations are the steps to a world government. Because of this, a nominee that was an ambassador there might be challenged.
3. Colin Powell- If Obama wants to maintain the idea that he will work harder for bipartisanship then Powell should be in play. Powell who is more or less retired, now, might be speculated about. Powell who held the position under George W. Bush might not want it and Obama might not offer it.
4. Rahm Emanuel- Emanuel is the current mayor of Chicago. He has worked closely with President Obama and former President Clinton. He is Jewish and his nomination might be an indication that we might have a closer relationship with Israel in the next four years. I don’t think his nomination is very likely. If he was nominated, can you imagine the outrage over the Chicago political machine?
5. Bill Clinton- I’m not sure if this is allowed under the Constitution. But, if it is, Bill should totally be the choice.

Exit polls: Education

One of the Republican memes that has been gaining more traction over the last year is that colleges/universities are liberal bastions where all the professors will teach you with their liberal bias(es).  But they also like to claim that the dumber you are the more likely you are to vote Democratic. So, let's look at the numbers.

There are quite a few categories that CNN breaks down for us.  This is the highest level of education

No high school (I assume this means that they have no high school diploma): This basically stayed the same from 2008 to 2012.  Obama got 63% of these votes in 2008 and McCain got 35%.  In 2012, Obama got 64% of these votes and Romney got 35%.  Boring.  Let's move on.

Graduated high school: Again, basically the same.  Obama got 52% in 2008 and 51% in 2012.  McCain got 46% and Romney got 48%.  Is education going to be a constant indicator?  I'm going to get bored.  I like seeing differences.

Some college: Obama got 51% in 2008 and 49% in 2012.  McCain got 47%.  Romney got 48% in 2012.  The percentage of people who answered with other or no answer increased by 1 point to 3%.  Which is the highest among education levels besides postgraduate which is also 3%. 

College graduate: Finally, some bigger changes.  Obama's vote with college graduates in 2008 were at 50% and in 2012 it declined to 47% in 2012.  McCain got 48% of the vote there and Romney was able to gain ground there and got 51% of the vote in 2012. 

Postgraduate: This changed slightly (or a lot if you're just comparing to education levels).  Obama got 58% of the postgraduate votes in 2008 and that declined to 55% in 2012.  Romney was able to gain ground in this demographic by increasing it from McCain's total 40 to 42%.  The number of people saying other/no answer increased by 1%.

Education levels stayed relatively stable which is interesting and will probably be expanded on later. 


2012 Republican Response to the Election

The Republican response to the 2012 election troubles me.  There have been petitions to secede from the United States from some states.  Others have merely claimed that there is widespread voter fraud.  They have claimed that there are overvotes in Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Florida (which those three states taken together add up past the electoral college victory for Obama).  There are petitions to institute a recount of the election.  I am troubled by this. It seems like this is a problem. I will make a longer post about why it troubles me.  I'm just saying it troubles me for now.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Exit polls: Ideology and Party ID

So, the three ideologies that CNN uses is liberal, moderate, and conservative.  The Party ID's that they use are Democratic, Republican, and Independent.  Again, I'll expand later on swings in demographics by 5 or more points.

So, those who identified themselves as liberal in 2008 went 89-10 for Obama over McCain with only 1% saying other or did not answer.  In 2012, liberals went 86-11 for Obama over Romney with 3% saying other or did not answer.  Those who identified themselves as Democratic went for Obama 89-10 over McCain.  In 2012, Obama got 92% of the votes from those who identify as Democratic and Romney fell to 7%. 

Those who identify themselves as moderates supported Obama in 2008 60-39.  This declined in 2012 from 60 to 56 and the number of people who stated other or no answer went from 1% to 3%.  Those who identify themselves as independent supported Obama in 2008 52-44 with a whopping 4% saying other or no answer.  In 2012, those who identified themselves as independents did a huge swing for Romney, where he lead with independents 50-45.  5% of independents said other or gave no answer.  This is a huge swing for Romney. I'll go over this when I expand on these things but typically you would assume that those who identify themselves as moderate would also identify themselves as independents but it doesn't seem to match up with the statistics if 56% of moderates voting for Obama but 50% of independents are voting for Romney.  Just something interesting to think about.

Are we getting more partisan as a country?  I would really like to expand on this at some point.  In 2008, those who identified themselves as Conservative supported McCain 78-20 with 2% going with other/no answer.  In 2012, those who identified themselves as Conservative voted for Romney 82-17 with 1% saying other/no answer.  Those who identified themselves as Republican supported McCain 90-9.  This increased for Romney to 92 in 2012. 

Just so you know, those who identified themselves as liberal went up by 3 from 2008 to 2012.  Moderates went down 3% and Conservatives went up by 1% in the same timeframe.  But those who say they're Democratic went down by 1%, Republicans stayed the same, and Independents went up by 1%.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Why am I looking at 2008 exit polls instead of 2010

I don't know how predictive looking at mid-term elections are for looking at the next presidential election.  In my Political Behavior classes, we concluded that the out-party always significantly outperformed the in-party in the mid-term elections. Presidential elections always have higher turnout so you have a higher sample size and there's something to be said for comparing like things. 

So, just a few small reasons.

Exit Polls: Race

Be prepared to read information about exit polls. Nothing really exciting.

White voters (72% of exit polls), overall, favored Romney 59-39.  Public Policy Polling tweeted during their release of their final polls that Romney needed to win the white vote, by at least 20 points in swing states to have a chance of winning the election.  In 2008, McCain won the white vote 55-43.  So, Romney gained points with the white vote from 2008.  But where is this lead coming from, so we can break it down by gender or age.  White male voters, overall, supported Romney 62-35 which is basically Romney gaining five points since 2008.  White women also supported Romney more than they did McCain, gaining 3 points, from 53 to 56.  I guess it's helpful to look at it that way.  But maybe there's an explanation found in the age groups.  White 18-29 year olds supported Obama in 2008 54-44 and in 2012 that switched to Romney 51-44.  That's a huge swing for Romney.  It's actually the biggest one we've seen so far.  White voters 30-39 were not included in CNN's exit polls of 2012.  They only listed 39-44 which is not included in the 2008 exit poll data, by itself.  Whites aged 45-64 supported McCain in 2008 56-42.  In 2012, Romney gained a significant edge and got up to 61.  Obama fell to 38.  White seniors (65+) gave three points to Romney in 2012. The biggest gain for Romney in white voters was with younger voters. 

Black voters (13% of exit polls), heavily supported Obama 93-6.  Which is down slightly from 2008, 95-4 Obama in 2008.  Black men's support for Obama heavily declined from 2008 to 2012.  In 2008, black men went for Obama 95-4 and in 2012, it ws 87-11.  Black women stayed the exact same in their support for Obama from 2008 to 2012.  Young black voters, declined from 95-4 in 2008 (in favor of Obama) to 91-8 in 2012.  Black voters aged 45-64 declined slightly in their support of Obama from 2008 to 2012.  Black seniors stayed the same.

Latino voters (10%), increased their support of Obama from 2008 to 2012.  Obama gained a total of 4 points in the Latino vote.  Latino women was a huge swing for Obama from 2008 to 2012.  Obama gained 8 points in that category (from 68 to 76).  Latino men were essentially the same.  Continuing the trend of 18-29 year olds losing support for Obama from 2008 to 2012 by losing two points with them.  But geez, Obama picked up a lot of support with Latinos aged 45-64 going from 58 to 68.  Latino seniors slightly declined their support of Obama from 2008 by three points.

I'm going to expand in later posts about certain demographics that changed 5 or more points from 2008-2012.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Housecleaning and a first look at the 2012 presidential election

Sorry, I've been really busy with my new job being a "student information associate" for a for profit university.  I don't know how much I'm allowed to talk about it or how much I'm allowed to complain about on a social media site.  I haven't posted here for awhile.  Most of my quick thoughts are shared on our Facebook page, where I've been grouchy/grumpy with people primarily because of my new job of being a "student information associate." 

But, anyways..

1. Barack Obama got re-elected.  I wonder who could've predicted this. What have we learned from this election or how will this affect other elections later on?  Here's more or less, the results of the election.  Obama won the popular vote 51-48 and got over 300 electoral votes.  As a side note, I only got one state wrong in my projections of the electoral college (damnit Florida).  But we'll look at some exit polls, for the rest of my numbered points.

2. Probably unsurpising to most casual observers of politics, Barack Obama won the votes of women 55-44.  The gender gap was going to be crucial in this election.  Despite Romney's best efforts to change that, at least early in the campaign, Obama held onto his lead.  Romney's roundabout answers to questions about gender equality such as what he would do in the Lily Ledbetter situation hurt him.  President Obama played up these situations in his campaign.  It worked.  Mitt Romney won with men 52-45.  Romney needed to win that by a wider margin if he wanted a chance of a victory.
2008 comparisons:  Obama won both men and women in 2008.  With men, Obama won 49-48.  Obama won women 56-43.  Essentially, the gender gap is the same thing.  Romney/Ryan did better with men than McCain but the same with women.

3.  What propelled Obama to victory was his lead with young voters.  18-29 year old voters went for Obama 60-37.  While it is only about 20% of the voting, those leads are hard to overcome.  Obama won 30-39 year olds 55-42.  Basically, with about 35% of the electorate, Obama had a huge lead.  Romney did win 40-49 year olds 50-48, 50-64 year olds 52-47, and ran away with seniors (65+ years) at 56-44. 
2008 comparisons: Despite concerns that Paul Ryan's Medicare plans would turn seniors off, according to exit polls, Romney/Ryan fared slightly better than in 2008.  They went up 3 points.  Romney made up ground with younger voters, as Obama won young voters (18-29) 66-32 in 2008.  30-39 year olds stayed about the same but Romney lost a couple points there.  40-49 year olds are the same thing, essentially. 50-64 year olds switched over to Romney by three points.  But age, seems to be fairly stable from 2008-2012.  So, there's that.
I'll look at other portions of the exit polls but I wanted to start with age and gender...