Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Comparing 2010 and 2006

2010 may be a good year for Republicans on par with the great year Democrats had in 2006. But the reason for their likely victory is very different.

The Democrats' big win in 2006 was not driven by the enthusiasm gap, but because a lot of people who had voted for George W. Bush in 2004 switched over to supporting Democratic candidates. According to the 2006 exit poll the electorate that year was actually more heavy on Bush voters than the 2004 electorate that reelected Bush. 49% were Bush voters to only 43% who were Kerry voters, compared to Bush's 51-48 popular vote victory in 2004.

The reason Democrats won even though the electorate disproportionately consisted of Bush voters was that 15% of those Bush voters cast their ballots for a Democrat, a pretty large amount of crossover.

There aren't nearly that many Obama voters leaning toward the Republicans this year. Our last national generic ballot survey found only 8% of people who voted for the President in 2008 were planning to support the GOP this year. But those surveyed represented an electorate that favored Barack Obama by only a point, 46-45, and because of that the generic ballot was tied despite the small number of voters crossing over.

The big 2006 Democratic win was about voters abandoning the GOP. If Republicans have a big win in 2010 it's mostly going to be about Democrats staying home. And it's important to keep that in mind when considering the implications of the 2010 results for 2012- Barack Obama might be alright in 2012 even if his party gets pummeled this year if he get those folks back out to vote when it's him on the ballot.


Dustin Ingalls said...
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Anonymous said...

If progressive voters do not turn out in November, but they vote for Obama in 2012, what is it they don't understand about how politics work?

If they want Obama's agenda to move forward, do they not realize that staying home or voting for repubs will just stop the agenda they want?

Christian Liberty said...

As Gallup and Rasmussen both show, it's about fewer people identifying as Democrats and more people identifying as Republicans... and more people preferring Republican policies on everything from economic policies to immigration to healthcare to energy exploration.

Anonymous said...

I disagree with, polling and talking to independents/moderate dems-repubs shows that many people who voted for Obama and democrats are going to flip in 2010.

Turnout will be down amongst the youth and black voters, but this didn't matter as much because the black vote is highly concentrated in safe democratic districts.

More interesting is polling that shows latinos going back up to 40% for republicans.

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