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Summer Doldrums "Outliers"


Frank Newport tries to make sense of the summer "campaign doldrums."

Rhodes Cook sees a new electorate in the making.

Jennifer Agiesta examines what increases in African American turnout might mean for Barack Obama in the South.

Patrick Murray responds to David Moore on swing voters.

PPP says the exit polls were wrong about black turnout in South Carolina (and North Carolina too).

Jay Cost reviews past vote returns from Ohio.

Mark Mellman says media accounts are too quick to minimize Barack Obama's lead.

David Hill, risking wrath from the "The Pollsters Protection Union," says we could do with fewer summer polls.

Gary Andres argues that independent-leaners behave like "base" partisans.

Alan Abramowitz argues that Obama's problem with white voters is no worse than previous Democratic candidates.

Marc Ambinder interprets the national polls.

Chris Cillizza sees evidence of the Obama Clinton scars healing among Democrats.

Dante Scalia examines the McCain New Hampshire "Mystique" in a three part series.

Steven Medvic finds evidence of racial stereotyping in American National Election Study data from 2004 (via Monkey Cage).

 

Comments
brambster:

Interesting PPP commentary regarding NC and SC 2004 exit poll data and the overestimation of the AA share. I'm going to address Tennessee however along these lines, and the exit polls can't be that far off reality in this state.

In response to Jennifer Agiesta's article and assertion that Obama won't likely flip some southern states, I would have to agree strongly, at least on the grounds of increased AA support. If you can trust the 2004 and 2006 exit polls in Tennessee, you might get a better picture of what the effects on AA turnout might be.

Harold Ford Jr. is like the Obama of TN from what I can tell, except he has more conservative and White support being that he is a Blue Dog Democrat, from that state of course, and a member of a political family. Ford Jr. showed a 13% turnout among the AA population in a hard fought and very competitive 2006 election, and he enjoyed 95% of the vote. If you look however at the 2004 exit poll in TN, AA turnout was also 13%, but Kerry swung a lesser 91% of the AA vote.

One would think that if having a black candidate would boost participation, it would have been seen in Tennessee in 2006 compared to 2004 since the former was competitive and the latter was not. The exit polls however suggest that it only served to increase Ford Jr's margin and did nothing measurable for turnout...unless something also inspired anti-Ford Jr. voters to turnout as well, but the turnout margin was a wash nevertheless. For instance, a +15% turnout by shear number among the AA population in TN would have been negated by a +2% turnout of specifically anti-Ford Jr. voters. I can't think of anything that would inspire more to turnout against Ford Jr. in this election outside of his race.

I am wondering if in fact there might be such an effect broadly in which a small percentage of the white population turns out in order to simply vote against the black candidate, and effectively wipes out the increased turnout of the AA population? Based on the primaries, I would expect this to primarily be seen in Southern and Application states if it in fact is real.

I did check TN's historical turnout percentages and found the following:

2006: 47.35%
2004: 47.30%
2002: 35.88%
2000: 37.95%

It does in fact look like turnout may have been boosted in 2006 over a less competitive midterm race if you use the difference in the presidential years as a benchmark. This could have merely been due to the fact that the race was competitive, but this data might support the idea of both a pro-black candidate move among AA's and an anti-black candidate move among others.

Pure speculation of course, but I would find this to be a lot more interesting and relevant than the often discussed and generally debunked Bradley Effect.

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cinnamonape:

Nowhere does the PPP commentary address "why" the exit polls have a differential with the reported State Elections Boards information.

Is the difference in absentee ballots vs. on-site voting? Wouldn't this show up in the State Records?

I would find it hard to believe that "whites" are misrepresenting themselves as black in the exit polls ;-)

And how do the Carolinas ascertain the "race" of their voters in the first place? Do they have election officials out making visual inspections of what race people are? How do they do this with absentee ballots?

Perhaps PPP should be a bit more careful about utilizing these State figures before blithely accepting them as gospel vs. the exit poll data?

Lastly, even if African Americans differentially vis-a-vis Whites vote in-person rather than via absentee voting...the fact that there remains a great incentive by AA voters to support Obama (vs. Kerry in 2004) remains. In addition Obama is almost certain to have a very strong voter turnout effort within AA communities...including "early voting/absentee ballot" submissions.

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