Here is something that you won't know if you live outside of Missouri and that you may not know if you live in Missouri. Jackson County is split between two election boards. One board serves Kansas City, the other board serves everything else. The board for the rest of Jackson County made their results official today.
ROY BLUNT* 63870 54.42%
ROBIN CARNAHAN 47634 40.58%
Other 5561 4.73%
TOM SCHWEICH* 61255 52.73%
SUSAN MONTEE 50567 43.53%
CHARLES W. BAUM 4203 3.62%
It was only 2 years ago that this part of Missouri reported these results
JOHN MCCAIN-SARAH PALIN* 92833 49.79%
BARACK OBAMA-JOE BIDEN 90722 48.66%
So how did it all fall apart? Let's go region by region
7 townships make up the territory of the Jackson County Election Board. One of these townships (Blue Township aka Independence) is split 8 ways. We will look at the results for each one of the Blue Townships along with the other 6 townships, showing both the results for Carnahan/Blunt and Montee/Schweich (with the reality that Montee/Schweich was a generic "which party do you like more" vote). Map images are taken off of Dave's Redistricting App
Description: NW Independence and Sugar Creek, MO. The type of precinct that any competent Democratic campaign should win every time.
2004p: Kerry 2954, Bush 2016. JK 58.9%, Bush 40.2%
2008p: Obama 2831, McCain 1868. Obama 58.8%, McCain 38.8%
2010s: Carnahan 1265, Blunt 1238. RC 46.6%, Blunt 45.6%
2010a: Montee 1390, Schweich 1140. SM 51.7%, TS 42.4%
Turnout plunge, 2008 Pres to 2010 Senate: 4812 in 08, 2715 in 10
Home area of this poster. Also worth noting that 12.24% is not the biggest plunge in support from Obama to Carnahan.
Description: NE Independence, moving from the city limits on one side past Missouri Highway 291 on the other.
2004p: Kerry 2961, Bush 2356. 55.2% to 43.9%
2008p: Obama 2994, McCain 2171. 56.7% to 41.1%
2010s: Carnahan 1311, Blunt 1422. 44.3% to 48%
2010a: Montee 1453, Schweich 1315. 49.6% to 44.9%
Turnout plunge: 5277 votes in 2008, 2961 votes in 2010, the biggest drop in this area. Never a great sign when 2/3rds of the McCain voters vote and half of the Obama voters don't vote for Democrats in 2010.
Biggest drop from Obama to Carnahan. Biggest drop from Montee to Carnahan. This is also part of the 53rd House District, which Democrat Diane Egger lost to Republican Brent Lasater. Lasater spent the vast sum of under $500 to be swept into office, despite a vast disadvantage in yard signs, functioning campaign offices, and family ties.
Description: The most Northeastern Parts of Independence. Includes unincorporated Jackson County, bordered by the Little Blue River
2004p: Kerry 3256, Bush 3337. 49% to 50.25%
2008p: Obama 3531, McCain 3253. 51.1% to 47%
2010s: Carnahan 1664, Blunt 2163. 40.8% to 53%
2010a: Montee 1828, Schweich 2032. 45.25% to 50.3%
Turnout drop: 6915 votes in 2008, 4080 votes in 2010.
Another 10% swing. Another big Montee/Carnahan drop (you have realized why the generic statewide Dem race is being listed here, right?). Although this was an area of importance for the groundgame of the campaign, more so than Blue 2 or Blue 1. Well, we held things at the state average in Blue 3.
Description: The Independence Square and lots of area that was in Independence pre-annexation binge (in the 1940s). Also includes Englewood
2004p: Kerry 2750, Bush 2428. 52.5% to 46.4%
2008p: Obama 2877, McCain 2197. 55.6% to 42.5%
2010s: Carnahan 1388, Blunt 1472. 45.3% to 48.1%
2010a: Montee 1443, Schweich 1423. 47.7% to 47%
Turnout drop: 5173 votes in 2008, 3058 votes in 2010.
In an ideal world, precincts you win by 13% are not 50/50 in the next election. But then again, in an ideal world, candidates who spend under $500 don't get elected for being in the right party.
Description: Independence south of Missouri-78, stretching from Blue Ridge Boulevard to Lee's Summit Road
2004p: Kerry 3519, Bush 3455. 50.1% to 49.15%
2008p: Obama 3462, McCain 3316. 50.1% to 48%
2010s: Carnahan 1935, Blunt 2305. 42.7% to 50.8%
2010a: Montee 2095, Schweich 2183. 46.7% to 48.7%
I would point out the examples of suburban areas moving to the right, but there's a lot of examples of that and no clear diagnosis as to the cause other than the obvious cause of "Suburbanites are not voting for us"
Description: Independence, mainly east of Lee's Summit Road, includes Blue River Community College and a lot of growing areas
2004p: Kerry 3609, Bush 3741. 48.8% to 50.5%
2008p: Obama 3744, McCain 3533. 50.7% to 47.8%
2010s: Carnahan 1930, Blunt 2478. 41.15% to 52.8%
2010a: Montee 2073, Schweich 2395. 44.5% to 51.4%
You might be looking at the Blunt/McCain percentage thinking that's the sign of future hope. Overlooking that a lot of protest votes went to two right-ring candidates due to the fact that neither Senate campaign ran much positive advertising in the first half of the campaign. It would be surprising if significantly more people voted for the third party candidates from the Dem side than from the Rep side.
Description: SW Independence, going all the way to Phelps Road (in-between Noland and Lee's Summit)
2004p: Kerry 3866, Bush 3749. 50.50% to 49%
2008p: Obama 3577, McCain 3473. 49.9% to 48.5%
2010s: Carnahan 2155, Blunt 2537. 43.8% to 51.6%
2010a: Montee 2320, Schweich 2407. 47.45% to 49.2%
Blue 7 is probably the best example of what i'd call "Obama underperforming" in 2008. Or maybe the best example of a turnout drop. But the post 2004 results posted online by Jackson County don't show the turnout of registered voters.
Description: SE Independence, lots of nice houses, and lots of economic development over the last 15 years
2004p: Kerry 3671, Bush 4320. 45.6% to 53.7%
2008p: Obama 3945, McCain 4115. 48.2% to 50.3%
2010s: Carnahan 2397, Blunt 3038. 42.1% to 53.4%
2010a: Montee 2585, Schweich 2868. 45.85% to 50.9%
The only Blue Township 'realm' won by McCain, which didn't get drastically bluer on the Auditor's side (Schweich beat McCain by a little over 2 percent in the areas featured in this post, but we can see that they ran even in this area). For every 1000 Blue-8 voters who voted in 2008, 695.9 of them voted in 2010, the best rate for Independence. As well, it had the most votes cast (beating Blue-7 by 700) and the most Bass Pro Centers of all the Blue areas.
Description: Raytown, Missouri
2004p: Kerry 7559, Bush 6527. 53.3% to 46.05%
2008p: Obama 8123, McCain 5702. 57.9% to 40.6%
2010s: Carnahan 4659, Blunt 3894. 52% to 43.4%
2010a: Montee 4910, Schweich 3640. 55.2% to 40.9%
Only one township was better for Carnahan in the "not running far behind Obama" category, but that township wasn't as important as this one. In the JCEB-area, Carnahan ran 8.1% behind Obama and here, she ran 5.9% behind Obama. Plus Raytown did not bleed turnout like the Independence townships did.
Description: Northeastern Jackson County, includes small towns like Buckner, Sibley, and Levasy
2004p: Kerry 1166, Bush 1863. 38.2% to 61.1%
2008p: Obama 1240, McCain 1965. 38% to 60.3%
2010s: Carnahan 662, Blunt 1408. 29.9% to 63.7%
2010a: Montee 740, Schweich 1327. 33.9% to 60.8%
Sadly for Sibley residents (their precinct went for Obama, really), this area is out of the running for the 2012 Democratic National Convention.
Description: Lee's Summit, Missouri
2004p: Kerry 17136, Bush 27762. 38% to 61.6%
2008p: Obama 21589, McCain 27557. 43.5% to 55.6%
2010s: Carnahan 12818, Blunt 20167. 37.4% to 58.9%
2010a: Montee 13369, Schweich 19598. 39.4% to 57.75%
That 2008 swing sure didn't last into 2010.
Description: Blue Springs and Grain Valley
2004p: Kerry 13974, Bush 20824. 39.9% to 59.5%
2008p: Obama 16464, McCain 20980. 43.4% to 55.3%
2010s: Carnahan 8656, Blunt 14741. 35.2% to 59.9%
2010a: Montee 9274, Schweich 14239. 38% to 58.3%
Biggest plunge in percent outside of Independence. This township fell back to the norm in 2010 (well, at least for Auditor)
Description: Southwestern Jackson County, includes Lone Jack (where everybody going to school in Warrensburg had one friend get pulled over for speeding) and Lake Lotawana
2004p: Kerry 1458, Bush 2456. 36.95% to 62.2%
2008p: Obama 1579, McCain 2591. 37.5% to 61.5%
2010s: Carnahan 989, Blunt 1964. 32% to 63.5%
2010a: Montee 1054, Schweich 1887. 34.4% to 61.6%
The best township when it comes to not having a huge drop from Obama to Carnahan. Which means nothing significant because it's very Republican and is still very Republican. Also, for every 1000 voters who voted in 2008, 733.6 voted in 2010, the best rate of any township in 2010.
Description: Grandview, MO
2004p: Kerry 6168, Bush 3666. 62.4% to 37.1%
2008p: Obama 7121, McCain 3084. 68.9% to 29.8%
2010s: Carnahan 3764, Blunt 2193. 60.9% to 35.4%
2010a: Montee 3814, Schweich 2090. 62.4% to 34.2%
Turnout plunge: 10338 for President, 6182 for Senator
Grandview is pretty much the only area with a significant minority population in the district and it's votes as a percentage of the 2008 votes still beat Blue 1 and 2. If 1000 people voted in Grandview in 2008, 598 of them would have voted in 2010. The overall percentage was 62.9% and the worst townships put up around 56% of their 2008 turnout in 2010.
Election results sorted by the 2008-2010 turnout plunge
Places where the 2010 vote total was under 60% of the 2008 vote total: Carnahan 49.4%, Blunt 44.7% (18996 votes, from Blue 1, 2, 3, 4 and Washington) - Obama 59.5%, McCain 38.7% (32515 votes)
Places where the 2010 vote total was over 2/3rds of the 2008 vote total: Carnahan 37.9%, Blunt 58% (50163 votes, from Blue 7, 8, Fort Osage, Prairie, and Van Buren) - Obama 44.1%, McCain 54.8% (72416 votes)
Places not included in the last two lines: Carnahan 40.15%, Blunt 54.7% (42787 votes, Blue 5, 6, Brooking, Sni-a-Bar) - Obama 48%, Obama 50.6% (66266 votes)
It's no coincidence that the areas with the biggest plunge in turnout are the areas with the biggest drops in Democratic support in this area.
As someone who did a share of volunteering with the knowledge of where the walks were going to, I can tell you that a lot of canvassers went to Blue 3 and Blue 8. The logic being used was that from August to mid-October, voters who we had no data on were being contacted to figure out where they stood on the election.
But the problem seems to be not the people who were unknown and undecided, but the people who were passed over because we knew they were Democrats. And ultimately, the GOTV approach seemed to be a lot closer to just one visit on the last weekend. The coordinated campaign (of the MO Democratic Party and OFA) found a way to aim for one group, lay off another, only to see both groups not vote for Democrats on election day.
The 4 Blue areas which saw the biggest drops in turnout and Democratic performance will likely still be very White when the 2010 Census totals are released. The 2000 totals showed those areas standing in-between 85% to 92% and the precinct results from the 2008 primary showed strong majorities for Hillary Clinton. So I feel it would be inaccurate to categorize the drops in turnout as a "diehard Obama supporter" thing like the turnout drops in St. Louis City and Kansas City will be categorized (both areas had turnout below 40% on 11/2). Without knowing the number of registered voters in Blue 1 through 4, I'd imagine there's no way the turnout broke 40% and may be closer to 33%
The most concise advice is the most vague advice here. Don't move left or right. Just figure out what you actually stand for which is relevant to the voters and talk about that stuff. It seems that the Republican message was more relevant to inspiring people to vote. It may not be a message of realistic positions, but what was the alternative? Insane beats Irrelevant most of the time.