EMT 11/28/15 [krakatoa] | Main | Colleje Football Thread: Week 11 [CBD]
November 28, 2015

Saturday Politics Thread: Turnout Trends and Strategies [Y-not]

I side-barred this the other day, but you may have missed it. Dan McLaughlin wrote a great piece about trends in voter turnout over the past several presidential elections. It's full of crunchy data -- follow this link to read it.

The gist of the article concerns the much-circulated myth that some 4 million conservative voters stayed home in 2012, leading to Romney's loss.

Here's what Dan has to say about that:


To the extent that any of these analyses are based on the proposition that Romney got millions fewer votes than McCain, they are provably wrong. What happened is pretty simple: some states and localities take longer to count the votes than others -- some big cities are notorious for this, some count absentee ballots slowly, California traditionally counts very slowly, and some of the jurisdictions hit hard by Hurricane Sandy in 2012 were understandably slow getting finalized. But the final numbers are not what was originally available in the immediate aftermath of the election:

In 2004, George W. Bush got 62,039,572 votes vs 59,027,115 for John Kerry.

In 2008, John McCain got 59,950,323 votes vs 69,499,428 for Barack Obama -- in other words, McCain lost about 2 million votes from what Bush had received, while Obama gained over 10 million vs Kerry's total.

In 2012, Mitt Romney got 60,934,407 votes vs 65,918,507 for Obama -- a million more votes for Romney than McCain, and 3.5 million fewer for Obama (but still up around 6 million compared to Kerry).

Presumably, some of Bush's voters in 2004 stayed home in 2008 and 2012, while others switched to Obama or one of many minor third party candidates. But even if we compare Romney to Bush, he's off by only a little over a million votes, not such an enormous number in an electorate of around 130 million people. And exit polling doesn't really support the notion that self-identified conservatives were noticeably missing...

Dan goes on to make some observations about what voters are up for grabs, including Evangelicals and Catholics, and working-class white. (I'd just note that American Catholics do not vote as a bloc. With the exception of JFK, their voting patterns generally mirror the country as a whole.)

This figure derived from Sean Trende's analysis shows which regions of the country had lower turnout (blue) versus higher turnout (red).

TurnoutMap.jpg

Dan concludes:

No matter who the Republican Party nominates in 2016, there's a lot of work to be done trying to expand the GOP presidential electorate, whether by appealing to new, young voters, disenchanted Obama 2012 voters, evangelical Christians, working-class white Northerners/Midwesterners, or some other group. History suggests that the opportunity is real, and the task is achievable. The electorate is never set in stone, the battle never over. A clear message, and an appealing candidate who means what he or she says and stands for something and can explain what it is and why, is certainly an important asset in that process. But even then, there's no magic formula, no cavalry of millions of conservatives waiting just over the hill to save the day, and no single issue or message that will flip the switch. The work will be hard, and will take energy and determination and a whole lot of one-voter-contact-at-a-time labor to register, to activate, to persuade. George W. Bush did that work to get Republicans 11 million new votes from 1996 to 2000, and another 12 million in 2004. Barack Obama did that work to get Democrats 10 million new votes from 2004 to 2008. It will need to be done again.

If you enjoy analysis based on data rather than "feelings," I encourage you to read this article.


Open thread for politics.

digg this
posted by Open Blogger at 10:44 AM

| Access Comments




Recent Comments
humphreyrobot: "Don't make riots negative. You can spruce up the p ..."

artemis: "I watch college football (and it does look like th ..."

Just Lily: "See, this is exactly the kind of rapid, fulsome re ..."

Yudhishthira's Dice: "Oh, and this prosecutor will be fine. He was carry ..."

Anna Puma: "If Pence shoots Comey and Trump grants Pence a ful ..."

guest myspace user: "well...either the FBI is completely corrupt becaus ..."

Deplorable Jay Guevara[/i][/s][/b]: "Here's the inexplicable thing: have the sportsball ..."

RoyalOil: "If any of that sound illegal, that's right: You're ..."

Additional Blond Agent, STEM guy [/i]: "[i]Does a two hour "Implicit Bias Workshop" in Jul ..."

Braenyard: "Fans that attend games aren't truly customers they ..."

BurtTC: "Nobody's going to mention the new post. Which isn' ..."

jakee308 : "That's in the lawless Big cities run by Democrats. ..."

Recent Entries
Search


Polls! Polls! Polls!
Frequently Asked Questions
The (Almost) Complete Paul Anka Integrity Kick
Top Top Tens
Greatest Hitjobs

The Ace of Spades HQ Sex-for-Money Skankathon
A D&D Guide to the Democratic Candidates
Margaret Cho: Just Not Funny
More Margaret Cho Abuse
Margaret Cho: Still Not Funny
Iraqi Prisoner Claims He Was Raped... By Woman
Wonkette Announces "Morning Zoo" Format
John Kerry's "Plan" Causes Surrender of Moqtada al-Sadr's Militia
World Muslim Leaders Apologize for Nick Berg's Beheading
Michael Moore Goes on Lunchtime Manhattan Death-Spree
Milestone: Oliver Willis Posts 400th "Fake News Article" Referencing Britney Spears
Liberal Economists Rue a "New Decade of Greed"
Artificial Insouciance: Maureen Dowd's Word Processor Revolts Against Her Numbing Imbecility
Intelligence Officials Eye Blogs for Tips
They Done Found Us Out, Cletus: Intrepid Internet Detective Figures Out Our Master Plan
Shock: Josh Marshall Almost Mentions Sarin Discovery in Iraq
Leather-Clad Biker Freaks Terrorize Australian Town
When Clinton Was President, Torture Was Cool
What Wonkette Means When She Explains What Tina Brown Means
Wonkette's Stand-Up Act
Wankette HQ Gay-Rumors Du Jour
Here's What's Bugging Me: Goose and Slider
My Own Micah Wright Style Confession of Dishonesty
Outraged "Conservatives" React to the FMA
An On-Line Impression of Dennis Miller Having Sex with a Kodiak Bear
The Story the Rightwing Media Refuses to Report!
Our Lunch with David "Glengarry Glen Ross" Mamet
The House of Love: Paul Krugman
A Michael Moore Mystery (TM)
The Dowd-O-Matic!
Liberal Consistency and Other Myths
Kepler's Laws of Liberal Media Bias
John Kerry-- The Splunge! Candidate
"Divisive" Politics & "Attacks on Patriotism" (very long)
The Donkey ("The Raven" parody)
Powered by
Movable Type 2.64