I posting this because I hoping it helps to calm the panic that I feel many progressives are feeling currently. This article was posted in real clear politics. Real Clear Politics.
Now to numbers and demographics (those things that, unlike Palin, really matter in this election year). It has been widely reported that Democrats have a decided advantage over Republicans in voter self identification (from the low double digits to a 20% spread). What has received less attention is the number of newly registered voters in 2008. According to USA Today in the 28 states that register voters by party affiliation the Democrats have added 2 million new voters in 2008 while Republicans have lost 344,000.
Remember to factor in the party identification numbers when lloking at polls. Even if the media doesn't. But there are even more important demographic numbers.
Remember to factor in the party identification numbers when looking at polls. Even if the media doesn't. But there are even more important demographic numbers.
Demographics also favor the Democrats big time in 2008. It is generally conceded that Obama will win the youth vote by a healthy margin, and if primaries are indicators of fall turnout (historically they are) the youth vote will increase substantially over 2004. Millions of new voters have reached 18 since 2004. Some examples according to the US Census Bureau:
• In Ohio (which John Kerry lost by only 120,000 votes in 2004), 750,000 eligible voters between 18 and 22 who could not vote in 2004 can vote in 2008.
• In Colorado (Kerry lost by 99,000) 293,000 between 18 and 22 have become eligible to vote in 2008.
• In New Mexico (Kerry lost by 6000 votes) 145,000 kids have reached voting age.
• In Michigan 690,000 have become eligible.
• In Virginia 465,000 (Kerry lost by 260,000).
• In Florida alone over 1 million young people have reached voting age since 2004.
I would assume that between 17-20% of the vote will between 18-29. If I had to guess it will be 18%. In 2004 the number was 17%. I would assume the number will be no lower this year and most likely up slightly.(Voter Demographics). Obama is winning young people at about a 60% rate. I would assume about 50% of young people will vote In 2004 47% of young people voted!. For example in Ohio working the numbers that 20%(60-40) X 750,000 X 50% = 75,000 net gain for Obama just from young people! That's 60% of the vote that Kerry lost the state by.
(NOTE: 20% is the margin the difference between 60% and 40%. Only about 1/2 of these new voters will vote hence 50%. I then multiplied it by the youth voter increase)
One reason why I think the youth vote will only go up 1% is I'm guessing there will be a huge Black turn out amongst all age groups. (this will some what depress the over all percentage of young voters even if the turn out numbers are very large.)
Then there are black voters. According to the Census Bureau there are 24 million eligible black voters in America of which 16 million (64%) are registered. In 2004 blacks cast 14 million votes or only 56% of the eligible black population. Blacks are registering to vote at historic rates in 2008 and turnout will soar above 2004 levels. Some examples:
• In Colorado there are 110000 eligible black voters. Only 50,000 voted in 2004.
• In Ohio there are 860,000 eligible black voters. Only 380,000 voted in 2004. (Remember Kerry lost by only 120,000 votes).
• In Virginia, 945,000 eligible black voters, 465,000 voted in 2004.
• Florida; 1,750,000 eligible blacks, 770,000 voted in 2004.
I am estimating a CONSERVATIVE 20% rise in the Black votes. I'm basing this on history. Kennedy with Catholics, Dukakis with Orthodox, and Jesse with Blacks in the 1984 primary, saw rises of 25-28%. JFK Catholic voter increase. 64% of eligible Blacks will vote in 2008. Let's again look at Ohio. One reason Ohio is more red then Pennsylvania is that Blacks in Ohio vote at about an 8% lower rate. We'll examine a 64% turn out. 860,000 @ 64% is 170,400 (the difference between 380,000/860,000 or 44%, and 64% of 860,000 is 170,400). Kerry lost the state by 120,000 votes! Also Al Gore at 91% is the highest vote percentage for a candidate since reconstruction. Bush because of the anti-gat marriage amendments got 16% of the Black vote in Ohio. Let's say Obama gets 93% about 2% higher then Gore. That's 34,200 votes that would switch + 93% of 170,400 new votes = 192,672. In my opinion most of the White Ohio vote that voted against gay marriage would most likely be the same ones who would vote on the basis of race, only less so (homophobia is more "exceptable" then racism in America) so I wouldn't expect to see a larger turn out in anti-black voters then anti-gay voter. So 2004 is the high water mark for "fear" voting.
Let's examine older voters who were a higher percentage of the "fear" voting block. I coined this term "fear" voters. It's basically people who vote against their best interest because of "others". Black, Brown, Gay, Jewish, Feminist, etc.
Not to get morbid but there is another statistic that is working against the Republicans. The Center for Disease Control estimates there have been, on average, 2.5 million deaths in America each year since 2005, the overwhelming number of whom were 65 years and older. Since it is generally conceded that John McCain will win the over 65 vote the actuarial tables present a problem. But you say millions have turned 65 since 2004. Correct, but among the people who were 61-64 in 2004 the vote split evenly between Kerry and Bush.
I can't "confirm" this percentage but based on some googling about 75% of deaths in the USA are 65 or older (anyone got hard numbers) that's 10 Million people since 2004. Older voters were 24% of the total vote in 2004.
One last bit overlooked in this article. Is the Latino vote. Obama Crushing McCain Among Hispanic Voters.
Hispanic registered voters support Democrat Barack Obama for president over Republican John McCain by 66% to 23%, according to a nationwide survey of 2,015 Latinos conducted by the Pew Hispanic Center, a project of the Pew Research Center, from June 9 through July 13, 2008.
Latinos were 8% of the vote in 2004. But were Bush won 44% of the vote McCain is on pace to win 30%. That's a 1.1% drop in the popular vote total, if the Latino vote stays the same size. But most experts expect the increase to be from 8% to 9%. That's a 1.8% total popular vote total for John McCain at the current rate. But let's look at some battle ground states. About 2,200,000 people voted in Colorado in 2004. 264,000 were Latino. If McCain is losing Latinos by 14% less then Bush did that's 264,000 14% x 2 (-1% McCain + 1% Obama) or a swing of 73,920 votes. In a state Kerry lost by 99,000. Just for fun in Colorado the Black + Latino + Youth Vote increase should equal = 123,620. Colorado also has seen it's share of college educated voters increase as a percentage of voters. This is a demographic Obama is also winning.
Also looking to the future in Arizona with the Latino vote.
And in case you don't think these numbers matter, think again. Just look at McCain's home state of Arizona -- where McCain has been forced to campaign. If McCain were only able to manage 22 percent of the Hispanic vote in Arizona, just doing the math he'd have to pull in about 63 percent of the White, Asian-American and "other" vote in the state to reach the 50 percent marker (Jon Kyl received about 55 percent of the White vote in his 10-point reelection victory in 2006, for reference). Even if McCain only needed to hit the 48 percentage point mark to win because of third party participation, he would still need to get over 60 percent of the non-Hispanic and non-African-American vote in order to hit such a plurality. Let's say that mark is just 45 percent. McCain would still need to get 56.4 percent of the White/Asian-American/"other" vote -- again, above Kyl's performance in 2006.
In the South the GOP is able to get 70%-90% White voter victories, because of the Evangelical White Vote. But outside of the South in State wide election they very rarely get above 55% of the White vote. (Note: I'm of course leaving out Utah, Idaho, Wyoming with there large Mormon vote). There are not enough evagelicals, mormons, foreign policy hawks, in Arizona long term to keep the white vote that high, as the state continue to grow.
Lastly remember likely voter polls are based on past voter paterns. For example most of the polls I have seen in VA over ta pollster.com have the Black voter rate at 16%! Kerry got 18%. Does anyone believe FEWER Blacks will vote for Obama then Kerry!?! They also have McCain winning about 14% of the Black vote. Gore won 89% in VA. Does anyone believe Al Gore will get a higher vote percentage the Obama?!? I don't blame the pollsters it's to justify changing long term voter turnout numbers but I think they are wrong. Remember even with these numbers Obama has about a 1%-2% pre-bounce lead and only a 1%-2% post bounce deficit. Good news.
Correction: I stated earlier that 860,000 x 64% is 170,400". it now reads the difference between 380,000/860,000 or 44%, and 64% of 860,000 is 170,000.