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Population and voting

by: Left Coast Libertarian

Thu Feb 21, 2013 at 21:43:17 PM EST

In 2012, the Presidential vote total decreased by around 2.4 million. If people had voted in the same percentages in each state as they did in 2008, it should've gone up by 6.4 million.  
Left Coast Libertarian :: Population and voting

Since the non-White vote went up by around 3.1 million, we can assume that there were 9.5 million missing White voters. Even though a large amount of those missing voters were in blue states, we shouldn't assume they were all Democratic voters. People do vote Republican in blue states also and we have reason to believe some of the East Coast drop was in Republican areas. While those missing California and New York voters weren't voting for Romney, they were all that interested in Obama either.

I could make more observations, including the states with declining population, but take away what you think is interesting.

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Will not find much like this in the MSM
Another great analysis. You don't find much in the MSM about this significant percentage drop off in voting between 2008 and 2012, but I think your analysis really lays it out quite well.  This vote drop off was widespread by state, as only a small handful of states actually showed an increase in voter turnout.  Obviously, the 6.4 million voter "shortfall" takes away from Obama's victory "mandate", as such a signicant decrease in voter turnout is nothing to crow about. Not that Repubs should gain too much satisfaction out of this, since these "missing" voters weren't turning out for them either.

One small technical item.  The Green Papers website lists total votes for President in 2012 as 129,148,846 not the 128,910,941 figure you have; this is why I thought the decrease in actual vote turnout between 2008 and 2012 was about 2.2 million not 2.4 million.  Not sure why they have a higher figure; I suspect it may be because of the way they treat "Scattered Votes".  In any event, whatever the actual figure, your analysis clearly shows that in percentage terms there is a clear downward trend in terms of voter turnout.  

It's probably write-ins. I don't count them because they can be silly votes like Mickey Mouse. If you're going to count write-ins, why not count undervotes? Is voting for Mickey Mouse any different than leaving the spot blank?

There are about 15 states that don't count write-ins.That doesn't mean there aren't write-ins in those states. People probably write-in candidates in those states too. The states just ignore them. I'm sure that others do include write-ins but I see it as a bad idea.  

R, CA-37; hometown: PA-2

[ Parent ]
California will only count writein votes if the candidate files the pertinent form with the state.

Mickey Mouse will not be counted, so he will not win the election.

[ Parent ]
More inconsistency
California, and some other states, only count write-ins certified as official by the state. So while Oklahoma doesn't count any write-ins, California counts some and Maine counts blank, Nevada counts None of the above, and Oregon counts everything.

R, CA-37; hometown: PA-2

[ Parent ]
same in MO
Paperwork needs filed to become an eligible write in candidate.

43 Male Republican, Maryland Heights, MO Pattonville School District, Maryland Heights Fire District (MO-2). Previously lived in both Memphis and Nashville.

[ Parent ]
Who are white voter no shows from 2008?
We gota get a better understanding of these voters because they may be an obvious target to get back above 50%.

State, age, income, views?  

My hunch is that majority of these voters are Obama 08 ones who are disappointed in what they saw, but saw Romney (rightly so) as generic republican trotting out the same old stuff for last 30 years, and a clumsy candidate who was uncomfortable around avg people in addition.  A few may be Mccain 08 voters also who fall in low/mod income and socon catagory, Sarah Palin may have motivated to come out kast time but Paul Ryan was no Sarah Palin.

42, Ross Perot Republican, CA-10

That's my guess
I knew three (white) voters in this category.  Disappointed w/Obama, but hated Romney and the GOP.  Two were independent, one was a Dem (but all of them vote Dem more than GOP). BTW I helped convince them to stay home.

I doubt that the missing voters were socons/evangelicals.  White evangelicals made up 26% of the voting pool, a record high, higher than in 2008 (25%) or 2004 (23%).  They voted by a record margin for Romney (79-20), even stronger than they did for Bush in 2004 (78-22).  

Christie 2016  

[ Parent ]
This jibes with my personal experience also.  I am going to overlay state exit polls with this data to get better view.

42, Ross Perot Republican, CA-10

[ Parent ]
Travis County
Went from 399K votes in 2008 to 387K in 2012 despite increasing in population. That's about a 3% decline. It's very clear when you look at the candidates who stayed home.

Obama 254K
McCain 137K

Obama 233K
Romney 140K

Obama lost 21K votes, Romney only gained 3K votes.

29 London/MA-07

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

[ Parent ]
So most of this decline
is probably from the white centrist or center-left, which jives with my personal experience.  Winning these voters would be a lift for any Republican, and incredibly difficult for someone other than a Chris Christie type.

Christie 2016  

[ Parent ]
One Thing to Add
Some of the missing White voters might've lived in California in 2008 but moved elsewhere in 2012.

R, CA-37; hometown: PA-2

In 2012, the Presidential vote total decreased by around 2.4 million. If people had voted in the same percentages in each state as they did in 2008, it should've gone up by 6.4 million.  

The reason why turnout was so high in 2008 was because of the excitement of Obama on the left and Palin on the right.  It may just be that (white) turnout returned to more normal levels with a weakened Obama and less exciting Romney.

While OTOH blacks and Latinos turned out in greater numbers because they were angry (voting for revenge).  Latinos were angry at the self-deportation rhetoric (justified), and I guess blacks were pissed at the Voter ID laws (unjustified).  

Christie 2016  

2000, 2004, 2008
Between 2000 and 2004 the turn-out went up by 16% but only up 7% between 2004 and 2008. I'm not sure there was much of a jump in turn-out due to the factors you mention.  

R, CA-37; hometown: PA-2

[ Parent ]
white lower middle class voters
ALthough I don't have any data to back my theory up, I strongly suspect the key group not turning out in 2012 were white lower middle class voters.  They were turned off by Obama's performance on the economy, but saw Romney as too much of a "Richie Rich" type who they could not relate to. Obama's campaign staff (and Santorum) did a good job in creating this image which Romney was never really able to fully counter; of course some of his own gaffes didn't help either.  This "rich guy" image problem also helped lead to the inability of Bush Sr. to acheive re-election (remember Ann Richard's line "Born with a silver foot in his mouth"). I suspect that Rubio and Christie would appeal more to these voters.    


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