Thursday, November 4, 2010

Looking Forward

Barack Obama won the national popular vote by about 7 points in 2008. Republicans look to have won the national House vote by about 7 point this year. One big question about that 14 point shift- how much of it was Democrats going to the Republicans and how much of it was Democrats staying home?

The answer is about half and half. The national exit poll showed those who voted Tuesday split their votes for President evenly in 2008, 45% for Barack Obama and 45% for John McCain. If you take the breakdown of how they voted and weight it to the actual 53-46 win Obama had in 2008 you get Republicans up by just a single point in the House vote, 49-48. So about 8 of the points of movement in 2010 can be attributed to voters changing sides (13% of Obama voters chose Republicans while only 7% of McCain voters chose Democrats) and the other six can be attributed to the Democratic turnout dropoff.

Those numbers have to be at least a little reassuring for Democrats. Most of those drop off voters are probably going to be back in 2012, especially after a couple of years watching how the Republicans in the House handle themselves. The fact that Democrats would be running even nationally at this very low point for their party if their folks turned out bodes well for the next election if there's even a small amount of warming up to the President between now and then.

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

The big question is which states saw the biggest drops in D turnout? If these were swing states such as PA or OH that would be more significant than other places.

Anonymous said...

Looking toward 2012 I anticipate the electoral map looking more like 2004 than 2008. The expanded map will be rolled back to a much closer electoral count. I think states like Indiana, Virginia and North Carolina will be off the table for Obama in 2012, and states like Ohio and Florida will be very difficult to win, especially with GOP governors in place. Get ready for a LONG night in two years.

Anonymous said...

No one "watches" what the House does. 2012 will come down to Obama and the economy.

Michael Dohrn said...

Hi Tom,

Thanks for all your posts, it's really helpful being able to stay updated directly from a pollster about how polls are running.

It seems precipitous to make a hard-line estimate about how many Democrats failed to show up vs. switched to Republicans. I'm just not sure how you would tell the difference between the two, statistically. You could look at party registration switches and compare that against voter turnouts in 2008 and 2010 state-by-state and almost certainly learn something, though.

wt said...

The problem with the 2004 map is that Obama probably has Iowa, Nevada, New Mexico, and and Colorado flipped already (if Bennet and Reid can win, Obama can probably do the same in those states).

So that leaves the GOP searching for about 10 electoral votes. (I'm assuming FL, NC, VA, IN, and OH all go red). Where to get those votes? Wisconsin? Minnesota? New Hampshire + Connecticut? It doesn't look easy.

Eric said...

In terms of 2012 the results were about as bad as possible for Obama, losing the house and any semblance of a workable majority (if such a thing even exists) in the Senate means his legislative agenda is DoA.

Further, keeing incredibly unpopular Reid & Pelosi as the Dems congressional leaders and the Dem majority in the Senate reenforces the image of Dem control in Washington with now (some) real Republican opposition.

Ask any Regan staffer how easy it is to demonize the House while you control the WH & Senate.

The '12 election is going to be about 1. The Economy and 2. Obama's record. He can hope for a push AT BEST on the prior and has NO hope on the later.

That said the man did get 53% in '08 and while VA, NC & IN are obviously back in the GOP column the close result for the Governor's race in OH shows it will be very very close all the way to November '12.

Jonny M ax said...

I'm hopeful there will be big turnout in 2012 for the Democrats.

It seems very likely that the Republicans will make huge fools of themselves in the next two years... hopefully folks will realize that the GOP has no solutions - just BS.

They got elected on lies.

Christian Liberty said...

when voters see how responsibly Republicans govern, even more voters will swing Republican.

for Democrats to lose so many seats when the election was held near a peak in irrational exuberance just shows how much more severe Democrat losses will be in 2012, once the damage Democrats have caused to our economy becomes readily apparent.

the pro-Republican swing in the electorate (even without depressed Democrat turnout) is sufficient to take back the White House and the senate in 2012 and to increase Republican majorities in the House.

 
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