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Group Support and Group Shifts


ShiftChart.pngHere is another way to consider the structure and change in group support for candidates in 2008.   The horizontal axis shows the group's vote margin in 2004 (Kerry minus Bush). The vertical axis shows how much the margin CHANGED between 2004 and 2008. The general upward movement of almost all points shows how widespread Democratic gains were, with only three groups moving down (below zero on the vertical axis.) 

The colors show 2008 winners. Groups to the left of the vertical reference line at zero that are blue switched winner from 2004 to 2008. All red groups also voted Republican in 2004, but most reduced the Republican margin.

Biggest Dem gains: Income over $200k, first time voters, Latinos, high school education only and age 18-29.  The only three decreasing Dem groups were small towns and late deciders (though the late deciders still gave a majority to Obama.) And gays dropped their Dem support the most, by over 10 points though still favored Obama by a substantial margin. Fair warning that with only 4% of the national exit poll identifying themselves as gay/lesbian/bisexual/transgendered the sampling error here is pretty large.

While the labels are hard to read, a careful look replays some study. Click on the graph for a large size version.

 

Comments
jme:

Quick question: how do the exit polls distinguish between rural and small town? I mean, what are the definitions of those groups, and I guess what are the sample sizes for those groups in the exit polls?

It's just that it seems weird (and maybe a little spurious) that there's such a disparity between how Obama faired with rural voters vs. small town voters.

Actually, now that I look at it, the circles sizes represent sample size, so it looks like Small Town is a pretty small sample size. But it also looks like the exit polls got more rural voters than small town voters? Is that consistent with census data?

I know it's minor, but it just seems weird that those two groups would be so different...

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Another Mike:

Good stuff. I wonder if there's a way to combine change in margin from 2004 to 2008 with change in voter share from 2004 to 2008. For example, blacks not only voted for Obama margin wise, but also greatly increased turnout, about 18%. This magnified their importance in Obama's victory.

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damitajo1:

I know that it is still popular for my fellow liberals to portray the election as a sweeping shift towards the Democratic ticket, but it is clear that Obama won because of heavy black and Latino turnout in key states. Combined, they gave him Florida, and Latinos gave him New Mexico and Nevada. Obama lost the white vote in ALL of the swing states -- and in some of the deep blue states, like New Jersey.

http://dissentingjustice.blogspot.com/2008/11/did-election-really-mean-radical-shift.html

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Vicente Duque:

I organize the data from NALEO, Eric Wagner, November 7, 2008 :

http://www.naleo.org/pr11-07-08.html

Obama's Latino Voters :

California 74%
Indiana 77%
Illinois 72%

Texas 63%
Arizona 56%
Virginia 65%

Nevada 76%
Colorado 73%
New Mexico 69%
Florida 57%

Texas is 52% minority,
Georgia 42% minority.

Percentage of Latino voters in the state total :

New Mexico 41%
Texas 20%
California 18%
Arizona 16%
Nevada 15%
Florida 14%
Colorado 13%
New Jersey 9%
Illinois 7%
New York 6%

Estimated Latino Vote :

2004 ..... 9,771,115
2008 .....10,992,504

Difference 1,221,389

Milenials.com

Vicente Duque

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werty83:

Charles,


Any chance you could reproduce that graph with the vertical axis at the +7 marker? I think that is the more relevant discussion. Not just which groups moved, but which groups moved more or less for Obama than the national average.

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