Skip to comments.Itís the turnout, stupid (Great analysis)
Posted on 11/07/2012 5:53:47 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.
I believe it’s Hispanics (legal and illegal).
Now larger than the black bloc and 70% plus Dem votes (and fastest growing demographic)
That is shocking. Romney, despite many flaws, seemed to fire up the base so well in the first and second debate, he looked and sounded good. I didn’t expect radically large turnout, but certainly 2004 level turnout for the base. Clearly not. Personally, I have never seem more widespread intensity for an election than people I know on our side, even business acquaintances, where we had serious discussions. Any other cycle was not like that.
I guess the vote depressing of the anti mitt campaign worked.
or as I like to say given a choice between coke and diet coke people like the real thing, Democrats.
ABO would have worked if there had been deep differences.
I posted many times, many months ago:
Obamacare vs. Romneycare (”it was tailord for Massachuesetts” didn’t cut it for me and many other).
Obama vs. Obama=lite (or Obama-white.)
In the end, I held my nose and vote for Romney...but many others breathed freely and stayed home
I believe the turnout was there. All the conservatives I know went out to vote for Romney. All of them.
Either we really are outnumbered, or a lot of Republican ballots went missing, beside the massive vote fraud. Busloads of illegals brought to the polls and allowed to vote. Lots of people tweeting about voting multiple times. Snowbirds and students voting in more than one state.
I don’t know. Maybe we really are just outnumbered.
(Bringing back old tagline)
The math will not be denied. The economic data is absolutely terrible no matter the spin by the MSM. Obama should be the cat that has this ‘bell’ wrapped around his neck. All should know that central planning collectivism caused this collapse. America has crossed the rubicon.
The author misses the point about the turnout - it’s not R vs D, it was White vs. Non-White. The Obama machine has worked on GOTV for four years - of “their people” - and managed to get 2% more non-white voters in 2012 than they got in 2008. This happened while many of us (me) and Dick Morris were convinced they wouldn’t get anything close to the 2008 turnout of non-white voters.
Call it what you will, but they won fair and square. Got more votes than our side did!
Few voted for Romney/Ryan than McCain/Palin....that’s the crux. Obama voters turned out but obviously in fewer numbers but turned out nevertheless. Romney didn’t inspire -— I know
The problem with this is that moderates are actually liberals so saying there are twice as many who identify as conservatives then liberals is not really a point.
Another problem is that many aren’t really conservative but consider themselves that just because they are republicans.
They are still for some redistribution, just not as much as the democrats.
And if you are talking about turnout: The democrats always have more people to bring to the polls. They don’t actually have to convince more people to become democrats just to show up to the polls. Likely voters are more conservative than registered voters who are more conservative than adults in general.
Democrats don’t have to convince this pool to vote for them they simply have to convince this pool which normally doesn’t vote to suddenly vote and they get more votes.
Turnout works against us because we have fundamentally an issue with spreading conservatism. We are relying on fox news and talk radio to do it when only conservatives watch or listen to those programs. We have to convince lots of people to change their minds. Its not about turnout its about all the propaganda the other side has in the news media, television shows, video games, everything. With the majority comes more media spreading propaganda the majority likes and this leads to a bigger majority etc.
The only way to fight it is for all conservatives to dedicate themselves to convincing others at every possibility and to be greatly informed about the opponents arguments and how to defeat them. That is the only way. Maybe it is a long shot but it is the only way.
The thing that puzzles me is that Wall Street took such a hit today. They obviously thought Mitt was going to win or the sell off would have come a lot sooner. A little calibration here little calibration there...could ad up in the swing states
In another thread, it was postulated that-
a) Paulinistas pouted & didn’t vote
b) Evangelicals who hate Mormonism stayed home
c) Moderate R’s were turned off by the tone of the campaign
d) General decline in interest over the past 10-16 yeass
Causing a 2M+ drop...
Establishment Republicans ever anxious to hold on to power, and the establishment media, are going to blame the Tea Party and radical conservatives who voted for principled small government constitutional conservative candidates in Republican primaries for the election disaster of 2012.
Nothing could be further from the truth.
Governor Romney won the nomination by spending tens of millions of dollars knee-capping his conservative opponents in the primaries and then handed the election to Obama because he and his campaign team spent most of the campaign mired in the establishment Republican folly of trying to win by standing for nothing.
From conservativehq....my thoughts exactly expressed
Tremendous support for the turnout by the Obama campaign in the MSM, and tremendous support for Republican voter suppression by the MSM.
The MSM won the election for Obama. They protected him from numerous scandals and pushed the idea that recovery is occuring. They protected his every lie.
Fine but there were no realistic alternatives.
I like it...
Yes, and this hasn’t happened since 1936. That is a huge deal, and needs to be in the forefront of our minds. The electorate has gone crazy again, just like when FDR made the depression worse and we all pretended he saved us.
Romney lost because he always loses, he has been at this for 20 years, has devoted his life to it and spent about 55 million dollars of his own money on it, but people don’t like him.
Mitt did win a governor election with less than 50%, but he was a crummy gov. and had to abandon his plan to run for reelection, he damaged the state party, left office with 34% approval, and lost the seat to the democrats.
In 2006 he came out swinging and raised millions to drive off any serious competitors for the 2008 race, he succeeded and only faced no money people like McCain and Huckabee, Mitt lost to both of them.
Mitt is not liked or trusted by people.
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