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Saturday, November 10, 2012

Obama's Victory -- Getting Out the Voters

I predicted Obama would win because independents would be scared of Romney's dishonesty.  But it turns out I was wrong.  A lot of disgruntled independents went to Romney.  No, Obama won by a large margin based on something that polls simply can't pick up -- who is really going to vote.

In a Presidential election, that really can be the deciding factor.  A large percentage of the population still doesn't vote.  Here are the turnout percentages (of all eligible voters) for recent elections:

2012:  57.5%

2008: 62.3%

2004: 60.4%

2000: 54.2%

It wasn't just minority participation, but of course that helped too.  Blacks continued to comprise 13% of the vote (same as 2008) and Latinos were up to 10% from 6% in 2008.  And these groups voted overwhelmingly for Obama.  Dick Morris puts it like this:

"By the time you finish with the various demographic groups the Democrats win, you almost have a majority in their corner. Count them: Blacks cast 13% of the vote and Obama won them 12-1. Latinos cast 10% and Obama carried them by 7-3. Under 30 voters cast 19% of the vote and Obama swept them by 12-7. Single white women cast 18% of the total vote and Obama won them by 12-6. There is some overlap among these groups, of course, but without allowing for any, Obama won 43-17 before the first married white woman or man over 30 cast their vote. (Lets guess that if we eliminate duplication, the Obama margin would be 35-13) Having conceded these votes, Romney would have had to win over two-thirds of the rest of the vote to win. He almost did. But not quite."

What's missing from theses statistics -- and what I still haven't been able to find -- is how these percentages compare with the overall percentages of eligible voters in these groups.  It would be easy enough to calculate -- e.g. we know there are 24 million eligible latino voters; if someone would just tell me how many people voted overall, I'd be able to lock that one down.

But anyway, the point is that Obama's people were out there making sure that anyone inclined to vote for him made it the polls.  One came by in early October, two more  knocked on my door on Monday night, and then another one knocked on Tuesday and left a little note.  I assume a lot of others got the same treatment.


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