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.
I live in NY, where I could have voted for Mickey Mouse and it wouldn’t have made one bit of difference, given the overwhelming liberalism here & the electoral college.
When I looked about my polling place, which was sheer bedlam — crowds of blacks, Hispanics, hipsters, truly the 7th circle of hell — my heart sank. People like us are in the minority now. Romney wasn’t “cool”; Obama appealed to all the neurotic females (I’m a woman, so don’t call me sexist) and the “99%”.
The election was truly a triumph of the emotional over the logical, an indicator of the change in tenor of American life. It did not leave me disappointed, but concerned over an ominous future.
Ultimately a blog ...
Ultimately a blog ...
I was enthusiastic about Romney. I was giddy about Rombey. So were my co-workers in a 75+ company where most are Republicans.
Where is this jerk from?
The electorate is not conservative. Not like people here are at the very least.
Establishment republicans truly only care about winning and they will always only care about winning because otherwise they won’t survive. Whatever survives ends up the establishment.
People here need to stop blaming other people and start taking responsibility for not convincing enough people of conservatisms correctness.
This is laziness. We are just whining and hoping others will do the work of convincing the population. That is basically how we will always lose.
If this is the opinion year after year no matter how small the percentage of people in this country who actually work (which has been shrinking for decades) every year conservatives pretend that all would have been great if we nominated a conservative.
Grow up. Take responsibility and start dedicating your life to convincing people until we can get a critical mass. Otherwise tell yourself whatever you need to tell yourself to feel good while conservatism fails for want of demand.
Paragraph 3 and 4 prove what I’ve been thinking all along. This election was stolen.
People kept telling me “they can’t stuff enough ballot boxes to overcome the people that are going to vote against him”.... yea but you sure could if you also get rid of enough of the other guys votes to make it possible.
Does anyone truly believe less people voted for Romney than McCain in 08?!?!? No way, no how, even with crappy turnout due to evangelicals and vote my concious conservatives. I knew too many people, middle of the road average joes, completely pissed and looking forward to voting out of office the man they voted for in 08.
A good percentage of the vote Obama DID NOT have in ‘12 that he had in ‘08 are the guys that were chomping at the bit to vote against him.
Any warm body could have won against Obama, if the election had not been f’d with.
You are correct.
It was voter fraud. Period. If the U.S. of Chicago had their way Mitt wouldn’t even have gotten Ann’s vote. The voting system is as corrupt as anything else we do.
Obama didn’t only win in states controlled by democrats.
Interesting analysis. It’s a crying shame that a +6 GOP electorate didn’t come out in force. If we had a ringing conservative, that would not have been the case. Even so, by staying home they’ve handed over our country to America’s sworn enemy. How can they sleep at night?
That is false. Moderates are also liberals and liberals are basically socialists.
Stop telling yourself this lie.
Every poll considers general adults more liberal/moderate than registered voters and registered voters more liberal/moderate than likely voters.
Romney has to take some of the blame for the lack of turnout for him. He decided early on he could win without support of true conservatives and/or Evangelicals. No Republican has won in my lifetime without the support of both. Evangelicals and/or true conservatives also cannot win without RINOs and some “moderates” so it cuts both ways. That is why starting a third party would be foolish beyond words, but no more foolish than the G.O.P. trying to throw conservatives and Evangelicals under the bus.
I don’t care what the perceived flaws with Romney were, even if every single flaw he has been accused of was 100% valid it is still NO EXCUSE for letting Obama win. Anybody who did either of those is guilty of either an intellectual or a moral failure.
Not trying to be argumentative, but actually I do believe that. As an example, until about two months ago anyone on this forum who expressed support for Romney was pounced on almost immediately. There were some heated discussions on the matter with many declaration of intent to not vote or to vote 3rd party. While that moderated as time went on, there were still many who could never accept him.
While this forum is not truly representative of the republican voters at large, it does give an indication of the strong negative feelings existent. Questions about religion, abortion, and health care seemed to be issues that went beyond normal political disagreement and became matters of principle. Many voters who felt this way simply did not vote.
I agree with you. And even though it didn’t seem like much at the time, every time Romney agreed with Obama on anything during the debates, I could see his numbers falling like a backwards odometer. Not a good plan. You can’t say you are a contrast or opposite of your opponent if you keep agreeing with him. Romney is a nice man. In fact, he was much too nice for this deadly race.
Was there a disparity in Republican turnout in a sure thing state as opposed to a contested state? Was the turnout in Wisconsin, for example, close to what it was in the recall elections but the Democrats simply outperformed on the ground there? In other words, was the Republican and a Democrat turnout alike depressed where it is rational not to bother to vote because the outcome was known in advance, but was turnout along Republican lines equal to or only mildly depressed from expectations in contested states where the Democrats won because they outperformed on the ground?
I was watching the individual counties on election day using Politico and seeing an improvement for Romney over McCain across the board in in counties in Virginia, Florida and North Carolina and the final vote counts there show that as well. Romney did improve turnout slightly in Virginia, Florida, North Carolina, Wisconsin, Michigan, and Colorado if those are the final numbers.
I see that he lost 100,000 votes in Ohio though and that’s a bit fishy.
I don’t know where else the difference in his final vote tally is. Perhaps its the Hurricane or people are just better at knowing in what states their votes don’t matter much. Though in some states perhaps it was a little fruad involved such as Pennsylvania.
One other thing to consider, though I doubt that is a large reason is that a lot of our vote is in the elderly and we obviously would have lost some elderly voters to natural causes in the last 4 years.
If it really is turnout somehow than great. But I don’t think that is the whole story.
If you look at the county election map, its a sea of red. The cesspool cities dragged him across the finish line. PA solid red except for Philly.
Absolutely. Romney, and his team, made the assumption going in that the strong disapproval for Obama would get the base vote out, and their entire campaign was focused on getting the middle voters. Their turnout model failed completely. It is one thing to lose Ohio, which was ground zero, but to lose VA, FL, and a narrow NC win shows they were way off. Those states should have had a comfortable margin. We weren’t even close in some of the blue-leaning swing states like Iowa and Wisconsin. I thought we would at worst case see narrow margins in those states.
Yes, teaching the GOP “establishment” a lesson is definitely worth four more years of Barack Obama.
It’s not about being outnumbered. That was a given.
The fact is many Republicans screwed us all.
I don’t buy into the voter fraud conspiracy. They didn’t “lose” 2 million votes.
while Romney was not the first choice of anyone i know, EVERYONE i know voted for him enthusiastically since they knew that staying home or voting for Obama was going to bring horrible things down on our nation. everyone i knew was ENERGIZED for Romney by the last month of the campaign, because as people of faith, they knew that THIS WAS IT. and i live in freaking Northern Virginia, were we saw RECORD numbers of Romney signs and very few Obama signs where they had blanketed the area in 2008. so i truly don’t get it. i don’t know a single soul who stayed home in ANY state, of my friends, acquaintances and family, and they are in the swing states of FL, OH and VA. Heck i have friends and family in PA who were saying there was enthusiasm for Romney. so the result stunned me.
“I dont care what the perceived flaws with Romney were, even if every single flaw he has been accused of was 100% valid it is still NO EXCUSE for letting Obama win. Anybody who did either of those is guilty of either an intellectual or a moral failure.”
Amen. All you conservatives in battleground states who chose not to vote just condemned this country to a godless, socialist society.
Congratulations, you made your point, and you sold our country down the river.
and as far as who stayed home, my friends and family are in both the evangelical and Catholic camps, and they VOTED, they did not stay home. my SIL’s dad is a Baptist preacher who preached that Romney may certainly go to hell for his religious beliefs, he’s far less likely to take the country there in the next four years than Obama. SO again, i don’t get it. The Arlington diocese and priests in it were OUTSPOKEN about religious liberty, marriage and life being in the crosshairs. My Catholic family and evangelical family and friends all voted for Romney.
Yup. I cant tell you how many women i know who voted solely on abortion.
Disgusting and embarassing beyond words these idiots.
I mentioned to one moron yesterday that the response of the stock market to her vote alone cost her more in her IRA than the cost of “free” 4 years of birth control combined and she looked at me like “hhhuuuhhh??”
FNG ding bats
“You cant say you are a contrast or opposite of your opponent if you keep agreeing with him. Romney is a nice man. In fact, he was much too nice for this deadly race.”
True. I greatly admire Romney as a man now that I’ve learn more about him. He obviously has some strong character traits. I just wish he had been more aggressive, especially in the last month.
“Yes, teaching the GOP establishment a lesson is definitely worth four more years of Barack Obama.”
No it’s not. We are now in a situation where Obamacare will be irreversible and many other things will change that will not be able to be easily reversed. Furthermore, if Scalia and Kennedy cannot hang on, the balance of the Supreme Court will shift, and years of liberal precedents will fundamentally change our constitutional principles.
“Teaching a lesson” is stupid, childish, arrogant, and selfish, when we are faced with such a dire situation.
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