Exit polls

Kevin Drum makes a great point about interpreting this years exit polls relative to 2004:

First things first. In 2004, Kerry lost to Bush nationwide by 2.4
percentage points. In 2008, Obama beat McCain by 6.3 percentage points.
That's a swing of about 9 points nationwide, which means that any group
that also swung by 9 points in Obama's favor was doing nothing except
following the national trend.

The interesting question, then, is which groups significantly over-performed or under-performed this 9 point trend.  Drum provides the answers:

  • Income $200,000 or more (+34)

  • First-time voters (+33)

  • No high school (+27)

  • Latinos (+27)

  • 18-29 year olds (+25)

  • Under $15,000 (+21)

  • Full-time workers (+19)

  • Urban (+19)

  • Non-gun owners (+18)

  • Non-religious (+16)

  • Parents with children under 18 (+16)

As for the underperforming groups:

  • Gay/lesbian (-11)

  • Last minute voters (-8)

  • Union members (0)

  • “Other” religions (0)

  • Gun owners (+2)

  • White women (+4)

  • 45-59 year olds (+4)

Among the most notable… Obama really did kick butt with young people.  They only went up a percent as a portion of the electorate, but they overwhelmingly supported him.  Given Republican rhetoric in recent years, it is also not surprising that Latinos went hugely for Obama.  And check out the swing among $200K earners.  Nice to see they realize things are more important than their marginal tax rate going up 3%.  I read a comment somewhere today referring to wealthier white-collar workers voting against their economic interests, but I think that is a really narrow way of looking at things.  Maybe in the short-term their marginal tax rates go up, but long-term, everybody does better with a healthy and robust middle class and less extreme income disparities– i.e., a Democratic economic program.  Given that I'm trying to finish up a book on parenthood and politics, I'm very intrigued to see the huge bump in parents for Obama and looking forward to figuring out what is going on there.

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