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Presidential PVIs

by: Left Coast Libertarian

Sun Jan 27, 2013 at 01:02:43 AM EST

The conventional wisdom was that Romney would likely improve over McCain in Northeast, Midwestern, and Far West blue states. He'd improve on McCain by grabbing suburban/upper income voters and mostly tread water elsewhere.  
Left Coast Libertarian :: Presidential PVIs
The opposite proved to be true. Here are Obama's 10 best PVI improvements, excluding Alaska and Arizona, Palin and McCain's home states:

New Jersey
New York
Rhode Island
South Carolina

The four southern states were expected. McCain maxed out White voters and these states are adding minorities. Five of the other six states, however, are in the Northeast and the sixth is California.

Here are Romney's top 9. I only include 9 because there was a gap between 9 and 10, but there were a bunch of states that were very close to each other at 10-15.

West Virginia
North Dakota
South Dakota

We can chalk up Utah to the Mormon population and West Virginia to a rightward trend. Montana, Indiana, North Dakota, and South Dakota had been getting bluer the last two elections.  

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Presidential PVIs | 21 comments
you can chalk up
IN, MO, and IL to the advertising disparity between 2008 and 2012.  In 2008, Obama advertised in MO and IN (which both bleed heavily into Downstate Illinois).  In 2012, he did not, so he dropped significantly in both states.

Age 22, CA-18 (home), CA-13 (college)

Law and Order Liberal.

Berkeley Class of 2015.

That's a difficult correlation to make without more data
You'd have to see how well spending by media market for both candidates correlated with the changes. The Missouri and Indiana changes were most dramatic in markets Obama likely didn't emphasize in 2008. Indianapolis, St. Louis, and Kansas City probably had huge drops in spending but little change.

Romney improved most in the following districts:


Of these, only IL-15 was getting media from Indiana and even then it was Terre Haute and only part of it. IL-13 received some from St. Louis and IL-18 got some from Quincy, although that wasn't likely a market Obama emphasized either. The other three are all Chicago area.

These states moved similarly to Montana and the others, which had media neither in 2008 or 2012.  

R, CA-37; hometown: PA-2

[ Parent ]
As seen by Obama's county map of change in Kentucky, media market makes a big difference.  Look on USElectionAtlas at the counties where he had a big drop in the Western part of the state.  It's the same as the Evansville media market.

Age 22, CA-18 (home), CA-13 (college)

Law and Order Liberal.

Berkeley Class of 2015.

[ Parent ]
It's worth noting that Obama spend $4 million on ads in Georgia in 2008. In 2012 he spent $0 and had a slight 0.4 gain in PVI.

Democrat, NC-11

[ Parent ]
it was nowhere near saturation though
IN/MO were saturated.

Age 22, CA-18 (home), CA-13 (college)

Law and Order Liberal.

Berkeley Class of 2015.

[ Parent ]
The home state effect was also less profound
Obama loses a bit of his Illinois identity once he's President for four years. Indies who traditionally vote R swung to him in '08 because they wanted their senator in the White House. They reverted to form in '12 once his nonpartisan "change" message and Illinois roots were obfuscated by his strident liberalism.

That being said, the drop in adversting certainly had an effect. Obama did around 6 pts worse in IL-10, which borders Wisconsin. I doubt many Zion, Waukegan, and Winthrop Harbor residents watch Milwaukee news. However, they probably listen to Milwaukee radio stations, which had far more Obama advertisements in '08.

Ryan/Kasich 2016

[ Parent ]
Was Obama advertising on Chicago TV in 2008?
It would make sense, considering that he had money to burn and the market includes Northwest Indiana.  

23, Democrat, CO-4 (home), MI-12 (law school) 

[ Parent ]
Political ads and the Chicago market
I remember being at my uncle's house in Crown Point, Lake County, IN last August or so and watching a Joe Walsh for Congress ad on tv. You definitely do get Chicago ads in the Calumet Region of Indiana.

From IL-09, familial roots in MI-14, college in PA-02/07, and currently living in Barcelona.
Bob Dold for Congress, Mark Kirk for Senate, Andy Hill for WA Governor, Scott Walker for President!

[ Parent ]
No media planner would buy Chicago TV for him. It'd be a giant waste of money.  

R, CA-37; hometown: PA-2

[ Parent ]
There might be another reason.
The four southern states were expected. McCain maxed out White voters and these states are adding minorities.

You have a bunch of white conservatives staying home because they saw Romney as an Anathema to their values for various reasons.

Romney only got around 30% (in the GOP primary) in those four southern states.

Partially but Obama gained votes in MS and LA
Overall Mississippi population did not increase much, and the white population actually fell since 2000.

But what we got was

Obama 563K +8500
Romney 710K - 14,000

In 2008(with changes from 2004) it was

Obama 554K +96K
McCain 724K  +40K

Compared with 2004, Obama's outperformed Kerry by 105K votes, while Romney outperformed Bush by a little under 26K.

So unless we assume there are actual McCain/Romney voters, I think its probably a sane assumption that both happened. Obama got additional votes due to a growing minority population and some conservative voters stayed home.

In Louisiana Obama also gained votes on 2008.

Obama 809K +26K
Romney 1,152 +4K

Of course Obama is still below Kerry's total of 820K votes. And Romney is 50K above Bush's total.

29 London/MA-07

Centrist Foreign Policy Realist - Recovering Academic putting skills to work in Commodities Trading and Analytics

[ Parent ]
LA was the result of displaced black voters
from Hurricane Katrina that moved away and returned home (from Texas and other states) and rural whites who wouldn't support Romney. Similar dynamic in Miss. In SC, the black population isnt growing as a percent of the population, its decreasing. Its well known here that Romney's vote totals were down in rural SC counties from McCain/Bush because some white voters sat out because of his Northeastern/Mormon/CEO background. This happened in many rural white counties across the South.  


[ Parent ]
I have no doubt that some White voters sat out the election due to not liking Romney. I'm sure there's anecdotal evidence to support that. I don't think there's the same evidence to support that White voters stayed home in Mississippi but didn't in Missouri. In fact, all the deep south states had 99% or more of the 2008 vote total.

On the other hand, there was a drop-off of at least 5% in South Dakota, West Virginia, Oklahoma, Kansas, Tennessee, Indiana, Michigan, and Missouri, states Romney improved on McCain. Someone stayed home in these states, but it seems to be Obama voters, not McCain voters.

There was a blue state drop-off in Hawaii, Vermont, Rhode Island, New Mexico, and California. Some of these states may have been less enthusiastic for Romney.

I don't buy Romney did worse in the south because evangelicals stayed home, since there's no evidence they so elsewhere. Look at the exit poll numbers. McCain got 74% of the evangelical vote.  Romney got 78%. They were 26% of the electorate both times. You could make the argument that evangelicals didn't stay home, others did.

R, CA-37; hometown: PA-2

[ Parent ]
It was the SC Primary
They sat out in SC because of those Bain ads by Gingrich. Most southern states were more Republican in 2012 than 2008. SC is an outlier because of that nasty primary. Louisiana and Mississippi had more to do with Hurricane Katrina. I really don't think the Mormon thing really hurt him. There is really no evidence to prove that.

Male, PA-15, Libertarian leaning-Republican

[ Parent ]
I don't think it was Katrina.  That only affected the Gulf Coast, which is pretty conservative and not even 1/4 of the state.

Age 22, CA-18 (home), CA-13 (college)

Law and Order Liberal.

Berkeley Class of 2015.

[ Parent ]
The White Population is Falling in MS
According to Census estimates the  White population fell by 2K between 2010 and 2011. The Black population increased by 7K.

The trend isn't very important in Presidential politics, but there is a long-term trend do to the inverted age breakdowns. Older residents are disproportionately white. Among those under age 18 in 2010, the breakdown was

52% White
44% Black
4% Other

This can also be seen in the exit polls. Romney won voters over age 65 78-22. Voters under 65 went Romney by 5.

29 London/MA-07

Centrist Foreign Policy Realist - Recovering Academic putting skills to work in Commodities Trading and Analytics

[ Parent ]
Best evidence
The best evidence that the Mormon issue (or something) hurt Romney with conservative voters is from Oklahoma. There was virtually no drop-off between the vote totals for president and the downballot vote totals. That is highly unusual, because a notable percentage of voters routinely vote for president but skip the downballot contests. So, what appears to have happened in Oklahoma is that the number of voters that skipped the presidential line to vote for downballot races roughly equaled the more typical number of voters who voted for president but didn't vote downballot.

Democrat, NC-11

[ Parent ]
OK '08 vs. '12
In 2008, there were 1,462,661 votes cast for president in Oklahoma and 1,336,927 votes cast for the House races. So, the number of House votes cast were 91% the number of presidential votes. That is a typical drop-off.

In 2012, there were 1,334,872 votes cast for president in Oklahoma and 1,325,935 votes cast for the House races. So, the number of House votes cast were 99% the number of presidential votes. That is highly unusual.

Note also that the number of votes cast for the 2012 House races was 99% the number of votes cast for the 2012 House races. However, the number of votes cast for 2012 president was 91% the number of votes cast for 2008 president. That obviously suggests that the drop-off in apparent turnout was almost entirely an artifact of voters skipping the presidential line, rather than a result of voters staying home.

Democrat, NC-11

[ Parent ]
That should say:  the number of votes cast for the 2012 House races was 99% the number of votes cast for the 2008 House races, indicating no significant change in turnout by that measure.

Democrat, NC-11

[ Parent ]
Interesting Theory
That'd account for what appears to be a drop in turn out. Unfortunately, the state of Oklahoma doesn't list total ballots cast. In California we had 13,202,158 voters and 13,038,547 votes for President, including write-ins. That's 1.2% Presidential undervotes. Did Oklahoma have a higher percentage?

Of course one reason might be that Oklahoma was the only state that not only had only two candidates on the ballot, but it also didn't report write-in votes. In many states that's 2-3% of the vote.

R, CA-37; hometown: PA-2

[ Parent ]
Obama also got increased vote by having sharply increased turnout among southern black voters, far above what Kerry/Gore got.  In a way, 12 elections might be new baseline for D vote in south as long as the party can whip up the new voters to come back in 16 and beyond, the results kinda encouraged me to believe no additional southern state will go VA/NC way anytime soon.

42, Ross Perot Republican, CA-10

[ Parent ]
Presidential PVIs | 21 comments

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