Skip to comments.Itís the turnout, stupid (Great analysis)
Posted on 11/07/2012 5:53:46 PM PST by Bigtigermike
In the weeks leading up to the election, conservatives universally derided the polls released by the mainstream media as having a built-in liberal bias because the samples they used to model the electorate were similar to the 2008 electorate. In 2008 the electorate which gave Obama his victory had a partisan split (D/R/I) of 39/32/29 (D+7). But that was the height of Obamania, we argued, and there was no way the electorate in 2012 could be anywhere close to what it was then after 4 years of the disaster known as the Obama presidency.
But we conservatives were wrong as the partisan split of those who cast a ballot in 2012 was 38/32/29, virtually identical to what it was in 2008. The question is why?
First, a little background. One of the best predictors of the partisan split of the electorate is party identification. Rasmussen tracks party ID on a monthly basis. At the end of October 2008, immediately before the 2008 presidential election, Rasmussen recorded a +7.1% partisan advantage for the Democrat Party. Obama went on to win that election by 7.2%. Another indicator which is highly correlated with the partisan split of the electorate is the generic congressional vote. Immediately prior to the 2008 election, RCP indicates that the Democrats enjoyed a 9% advantage on that key statistic.
This year the numbers couldnt be more different. Rasmussens most recent party identification survey indicated Republicans had a 5.8% advantage, a swing of 12.9% in four years. Significantly, this number is far better for the GOP than it was prior to the 2010 Republican mid-term blowout. On the RCP generic congressional ballot, the GOP has moved into a virtual tie with a 0.2% advantage, a swing of 9.2% since 2008. Given such dramatic movement toward Republicans, its understandable that conservative pundits and bloggers (myself included) would cry foul over polls using samples with partisan splits similar to 2008.
And yet when the dust settled, yesterdays electorate was D+6 which resulted in Obama being comfortably re-elected while Republicans actually lost seats in the Senate when it appeared less than a year ago that theyd retake it easily. What happened?
In a word, turnout. While highly correlated, there is a difference between party identification and the partisan split of the electorate. To be counted in the electorate, you have to show up and vote.
There are twice as many conservatives as liberals in the potential electorate, but too many of them stayed home and thus, werent part of yesterdays actual voting electorate.
I was in my car yesterday afternoon and Rush Limbaugh asked what he framed as a couple of rhetorical questions. In trying to reassure his listeners that Romney had this in the bag, he asked (paraphrasing) if they believed more Republicans would show up for Romney in 2012 than showed up for McCain in 2008, and if they believed fewer Democrats would show up for Obama in 2012 than in 2008. It was apparent that Limbaugh assumed the answer to both questions was a resounding yes and, consequently, more Romney voters + less Obama voters = GOP victory.
As I listened to this, however, I was skeptical of his assumed answer to the first question. I still dont know anyone who was enthusiastic about voting for Romney. I understand its anecdotal, but everyone I know who voted for him (or was planning to vote for him) did it on the basis of him being the lesser of two evils. C4P readers know that Ive written myriad posts over the last three and a half years in which Ive shared my opinion that Romney would be a dismal, unelectable cookie-cutter candidate who would inspire nobody, so I wont get into that now. Suffice to say that to beat an incumbent president with unlimited campaign funds, a seasoned campaign team, and the entire apparatus of the executive branch at his beck and call, a candidate needs to offer a more compelling reason for voters to turn out for him than simply relying on the fact that hes not Obama.
For this reason and others I questioned Limbaughs assumption that there would be a huge turnout for Romney. There wasnt, and thats why he lost.
Limbaugh was correct on his second question though. A comparison of 2008 election results and 2012 election results indicate Obama received about 9 million fewer votes yesterday than he did in 2008. But the data also indicate that the Romney-Ryan ticket received almost 2.3 million fewer votes nationally than the McCain-Palin ticket did in 2008. (Incidentally, that 2.3 million voter deficit is only marginally less than the number of votes by which Obama beat Romney in the popular vote.)
To be blunt, the Republican Establishment coronated a candidate who couldnt inspire the rank and file of his own party to come out in sufficient numbers to replace the man responsible for four of the most miserable years this country has endured since Jimmy Carter. In any event, this is how a nation with more Republicans than Democrats and twice as many conservatives as liberals ends up with a D+6 voting electorate. Its also how Republicans threw away their one opportunity to send Obama back to Chicago, take the gavel from Harry Reid, and get rid of Obamacare before it destroys our health care system and bankrupts the nation. Stupid party, indeed.
Based on the crowds Romney and Ryan were drawing I was really surprised by the low turnout. The thing was fewer people voted in this election overall. Obama got 8 million fewer votes. Fortunately is wasn’t enough. I don’t think the country is a majority a gimme country but part of the problem was less about 10 million people who voted last time were disenfranchised
This is wrong. Everyone I knew was very fired up to vote for Romney. People need to wake up. The election was stolen. 9,000,000 less votes than in 2008 for obama yet he still won? Tommy Thompson lost in Wisconsin? The same amount of people vote for Romney in 2012 as they did for McCain in 2008? NO WAY! What happened yesterday was a bloodless cou d’tat. The dictatorship is now in place. They now control it all for all time.
They knew exactly which states they had to rig. One person can push one button on a voting machine and not only does Romney votes disappear, the vote count also goes decreases. Last night they’d say “Romney has to win this county”. Then he would lose that county. On a county level it’s easy to rig the vote. And this is why Rove and Morris and even Barone were all wrong. Actually, they were all right. They just didn’t allow for the shenanigans.
Finally look at the look on Romney’s face. He knew he had won and he was wondering what the heck just happened. A lot of people had that look on their faces.
Mitt Romney was anything but a heartless ‘let them eat cake’ rich guy who wanted to put people ‘back in chains’, but a fair amount of those who voted for Obama believed this about him. It was only after he had the opportunity to put his face out in front of the public in the first debate that he had the ability to get beyond what he had been painted. It was really the only shot he had.
In our current societal structure, with the media we have, those who oppose the liberal agenda can make no statements, no ‘mistakes’, no errors in speaking that can in any way be turned into a soundbite. Obama could have called Mrs. Romney a slut, and the media would have covered for him. Heck, they said worse about Sarah. But senate candidates on the left make a comment about rape and abortion and it's international news. Rush Limbaugh correctly points out that we shouldn't be paying for Fluke's promiscuity with public funds, and he is painted as an unfeeling right wing nut attacking a poor young woman who just wanted social justice.
I think, rather cynically, that the most effective strategy for neutralizing the left has to start with an examination of how best to pit their coalitions against each other. The groups that make up the left’s coalition are generally driven by selfish interests, not a global ideology for the common good. Find those areas in which the self-interests of groups within their coalition collide, and exploit them. This is divisive, cynical, and potentially destructive politics, which could lead to significant pain for some people - and thus does not appeal to most of us on this side. Unfortunately, when faced with the same consideration, those who drive the left’s agenda had no significant concern what they did to the cohesion of our nation.
Anyway, I truly am demoralized. But, that's what they wanted. That's what they call ‘social justice’.
I agree. There was huge momentum for Romney. There were millions of new republicans added to the lists. Obama KNEW he was going to win by hook or crook. Why do you think they kept VA open? Why did they delay the tallies? They had to somehow pull out a win for Obama Were there threats made? I wonder. I am glad West is demanding a recount. So should Mia Love. She was up by 9 points 50+ - 40 something and then loses? NO WAY! It was stolen. Why do republicans not contest close losses? THAT is utterly stupid. It only emboldens the left to repeat this over and over again! I am ashamed to be associated with such a pansy organization. Got some balls GOP! Make them sweat for a change!
Unfortunately, I wasn’t. What we are seeing is voter disenchantment, not just with Obama or Romney, but with the entire political system. An increasing number of Americans do not wish to be associated with any political label. It’s a very worrying development.