Monday, December 10, 2012

Why Republicans Lost – Part II - By Sean Noble

There is no single reason why Republicans, and in particular, Mitt Romney, lost in 2012. It was a perfect storm of a lackluster presidential campaign, an iconic incumbent, slightly improving economic indicators, and a super storm.

In my previous post, I pointed out Romney’s image problems, his problem with minority women, the unprecedented way that late deciders broke for the incumbent president, and faulty data by Republican pollsters.

Dick Morris points out that part of the reason Obama increased his share of votes among Hispanics and Asians is that white voters were a smaller percentage of the overall electorate – and that they stayed home.

Here are a few other important points in that vein:

  • Minority voting increased as a share of the electorate. Even as turnout fell, Hispanic/Latino and Asian vote shares grew relative to the non-Hispanic white turnout. Latinos were 10% of voters in 2012 compared with 9% in 2008. Asians also increased to 3% from 2%. African-Americans maintained at 13% of turnout. Non-Hispanic white voters fell from 74% to 72% of turnout.

  • Obama won larger majorities of Latino and Asian voters than in 2012. He won slightly fewer African-Americans. Obama increased his lead by 8 points among Latinos (71-27 in 2012 vs. 67-31 in 2008) and by 20 points among Asians (73-26 in 2012 vs. 62-35 in 2008). Romney won 6% of African-Americans, while McCain won 4% in 2008. Romney won non-Hispanic whites by 9 points more than McCain (59-39 in 2012 vs. 55-43 in 2008).

  • Younger voters showed up at the polls again and in bigger numbers. Voters aged 18-29 made up a larger share of the electorate in 2012 (19%) than in 2008 (18%). Obama won 60% of this group in 2012 (up from 56% in 2008).

One stunning statistic: people making less than $50,000 made up 41% of the electorate (+3 from 2008) and voted 60% for Obama and 38% for Romney.

Those making $50,000-$100,000 shrunk as a percentage of the electorate from 36% in 2008 to 31% this year. They narrowly supported Romney.

Three percent slipped into the lower income bracket and two percent went to the $100,000+ bracket (which supported Romney 54% over 44% for Obama). So as a result of Obama’s failed economic policies that have driven incomes down, he grew his voter pool. Talk about the perverse incentives of Obama’s agenda.

In the next installment, we’ll discuss consumer confidence as an indicator and whether voter fraud had an impact on this election.

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