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...

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