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Election 2012: Behind the numbers

by | Nov 9, 2012

By Dave Andrusko

Beginning late Tuesday night (and I do mean late), we started to crunch some numbers. In this post we’ll add a few more, remembering that votes get tabulated for days and days after Election Day so what follows is not final, final.

  • You already know from previous stories that the media myth that women “turned” on Mitt Romney because of a spurious “war on women” was patently untrue. True, he lost 55% to 44% among all women (while winning among men), but that was because women of color overwhelmingly voted for President Obama. Among white women, Mr. Romney prevailed overwhelmingly, 56%  to 42%. Likewise, there were far more people who decided late that we had been led was the case, to the advantage of Mr. Obama.
  • There was tremendous debate over whom Independents were favoring, although the numbers consistently favored Romney. And, in the end, he won Independents by 5 points. Arguably the biggest shocker—and a tribute to the Obama turnout machine—is that the 18-29 year old cohort increased from 18% to 19%, when everyone had reported enthusiasm was down among younger voters. However, among white 18-29 year-old voters, Romney won 51% – 44%.
  • There’s been some confusion about how the “faithful” voted. This requires a careful explanation, in light of the near monolithic support for President Obama among African-Americans and heavy support from Latinos. For example, Romney outperformed John McCain among Catholics by four points but still lost 50-48, even though (a) White Catholics went for Romney 59% to 40%, and (b) Romney won by huge margins among those who attended church at least weekly. Also, according to Pew Research, “[N]early eight-in-ten white evangelical Protestants voted for Romney (79%), compared with 20% who backed Obama. Romney received as much support from evangelical voters as George W. Bush did in 2004 (79%) and more support from evangelicals than McCain did in 2008 (73%). Mormon voters were also firmly in Romney’s corner; nearly eight-in-ten Mormons (78%) voted for Romney, while 21% voted for Obama.” This was some talk that evangelical support was down for Mr. Romney but that may simply be because all votes have yet to be tabulated.  Religiously “unaffiliated” voters favored the President, 70% to 26%.
  • And if we needed any more evidence that the President has a separate rabbit’s foot in all four pockets, a total of 68% of the electorate said the economy is getting better (39%) or staying about the same (29%).
Categories: Polling