There have been a few diaries this morning on turnout, so I thought I would provide a bit of data, based on turnout numbers and some percentages from a diary from earlier today.

From the U.S. Elections Project:

2006  40.4% total turnout, 85.7 million voters
2008  61.6% total turnout, 132.6 million
2010  40.9% total turnout, 90.7 million

This diary provides percentages of self identification by voters for 2006, 2008, and 2010. Combining the percentages in that table with the turnout numbers:

Data for liberals

2006 - 85.7 million voters x 20% liberal = 17.1 million liberals voted
2008 - 132.6 million voters x 22% liberal = 29.1 million liberals voted
2010 - 90.7 million voters x 20% liberal = 18.1 million liberals voted
Net change from 2006 to 2010: +1 million liberals
Net change from 2008 to 2010: -11 million liberals

Net change for turnout of liberal voters from 2008 to 2010: -37.8% of the 2008 total  (-11 million / 29.1 million)

Data for moderates

2006 - 85.7 million voters x 47% moderate = 40.2 million moderates voted
2008 - 132.6 million x 44% moderate = 58.3 million moderates voted
2010 - 90.7 million x 38% moderate = 34.5 million moderates voted
Net change from 2006 to 2010: -5.7 million moderates
Net change from 2008 to 2010: -23.8 million moderates

Net change for turnout of moderate voters from 2008 to 2010: -40.8% of the 2008 total (-23.8 million / 58.3 million)

Data for conservatives

2006 - 85.7 million voters x 32% conservative = 27.4 million conservatives voted
2008 - 132.6 million x 34% conservative = 45.1 million conservatives voted
2010 - 90.7 million x 42% conservative = 38.1 million conservatives voted
Net change from 2006 to 2010: +10.7 million conservatives
Net change from 2008 to 2010: -7 million conservatives

Net change for turnout of conservative voters from 2008 to 2010: -15.5% of the 2008 total (-7 million / 45.1 million)

Overall numerical turnout for moderates was lower in 2010 than both 2006 or 2008. For liberals it was pretty constant between 2006 and 2010 but 2010 represented a significant decline compared with 2008. Conservatives were clearly demoralized in 2006 and didn't turn out heavily compared with either 2008 or 2010.

Looking over the past 2 main elections (2008 and 2010), there were fewer voters of all stripes in 2010 compared with 2008 - liberal, moderate, and conservative. However, the greatest dropoffs in numbers were seen among moderates first, then liberals, and conservatives had the least dropoff.

Liberals and moderates experienced a similar dropoff in 2010 voting as a percentage of 2008 voters. Both liberals and moderates experienced a decline in voters near 40% (the net change for turnout). This number was slightly higher for moderates than for liberals. The main difference in 2010 is that conservatives, while they also declined, did not decline as rapidly between 2008 and 2010 compared with the other two groups.

* Update *

I was asked elsewhere to add 2004 data, so here it is:

2004: overall 60.1% turnout, 123.5 million voters.

CNN Exit Poll for 2004 says:

Liberal 21%
Moderate 45%
Conservative 34%

So that makes the 2004 numbers...

Liberal = 21% x 123.5 million = 25.9 million
Moderate = 45% x 123.5 million = 55.6 million
Conservative = 34% x 123.5 million = 42 million

2004 to 2008 changes:
Liberal +3.2 million = +12.3%
Moderate +2.7 million = +4.9%
Conservative +3.1 million = +7.4%

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#### Comment Preferences

• ##### Or you could compare 2006 to 2010, both mid-term(8+ / 0-)

elections and note that:

Liberals were UP +1 million voters
Moderates were DOWN -5.7 million voters
Conservatives were UP 10.7 million votes

So the Left didn't stay home.  The middle flipped more conservative, probably because of propaganda.  (Can you say Citizens United?  Gee, I knew you could.)

I suspect that the President actually campaigning around the country proclaiming loudly everything that they'd accomplished instead of Congressional weenies running away from it might have made a difference.

But no.

Happy little moron, Lucky little man.
I wish I was a moron, MY GOD, Perhaps I am!
-Spike Milligan

• ##### Yes,(8+ / 0-)

you could; my diary includes both for comparison, but the conclusion relates to the comments of this morning which really focused specifically on who turned out in 2010 vs 2008.

Conservatives tend to be more consistent voters, but they were also demoralized in 2006. Their 2010 turnout when they were energized was up, just like liberal turnout when they are energized is up.

• ##### Do you have data on the sub-groups. (6+ / 0-)

I seem to remember from last year the specific sub-groups with the largest drop-offs, were the young first time voters, African-American, and older women.

Comparatively, self-identified progressives, and/or liberals did well.

The means is the ends in the process of becoming. - Mahatma Gandhi

[ Parent ]

• ##### The Census tracks that(6+ / 0-)

Although it looks like 2008 is the latest they have.

This link has a bit of that information:
http://socialcapital.wordpress.com/...

Voting turnout rates were down among young voters (18-29) and blacks made up a lower percentage of voters in 2010 than in 2008 when Obama’s candidacy excited African-Americans to vote.  For example, blacks made up 12% of voters in 2008 and appeared to make up just 10% of voters in 2010 (based on exit polls).
• ##### That decline(3+ / 0-)
Recommended by:
HoundDog, CajunBoyLgb, BlueDragon

I think it is kind of confusing things to look at declines as a percentage of all voters. The problem with that is it is subject to being affected by changes in other groups. It makes more sense to look at changes as a percentage of previous numbers. That's why I did this diary.

So, the drop from 12 to 10 % of all voters could be due partly to gains in other groups rather than because of a drop in that group specifically. I suspect there was a drop, but I don't think that you can tell it very well from that particular number.

• ##### please don't take this seriously(3+ / 0-)

as in this is

/snark

so African Americans are to blame for the Republican win in 2010.

let's just pass that blame cup around.

and around

and around

I am awaiting delivery of my new DK4 signature

[ Parent ]

• ##### That's not what I'm trying to do Bluedragon(1+ / 0-)
Recommended by:
Fabian

But, when a group of folks tries to blame "progressives" we have to look at the data to refute.

Perhaps, you are the wisest to encourage to totally transcend the "blame game" and look forward to 2012 to win as much as possible.

If this is what you are saying, I'll agree 100%.

The means is the ends in the process of becoming. - Mahatma Gandhi

[ Parent ]

• ##### actually no if you're 10% of a smaller group(4+ / 0-)

(91 million voters) versus 12% of a bigger group (133 million) there's no other way to state it than that the first group is signifcantly smaller in number than the second, so there was a very significant drop off of African American voters in 2010 compared to 2008.

"Intolerance is something which belongs to the religions we have rejected." - J.J. Rousseau -6.38, -4.15

[ Parent ]

• ##### Yes(4+ / 0-)
Recommended by:
Fabian, HoundDog, CajunBoyLgb, James Allen

All groups declined, my point was really I'm not sure from a cursory look at the immediate numbers (without doing the math) whether African Americans declined more than "liberals" as a whole or not.

• ##### looks like a decline of 15.9 million(4+ / 0-)

down to 9.7 million, or 6.2 million voters, or 39%.

"Intolerance is something which belongs to the religions we have rejected." - J.J. Rousseau -6.38, -4.15

[ Parent ]

• ##### Thanks(4+ / 0-)
Recommended by:
Fabian, HoundDog, IndyRobin, CajunBoyLgb

I was tired of doing calculations :P

So, that's pretty much the exact same as liberals and moderates as a whole.

• ##### Bluedragon make a poignant snark(0+ / 0-)

I want to be sensitive too.

My interest is not to "blame anyone" but only to defend "progressives" against apparent attempts by certain sub-groups of the "centrist' to blame liberals.

But, anyone points out, that the whole "blame game" is not as productive as all of us pulling together again to win 2012, I will guickly agree with them.

:-)

The means is the ends in the process of becoming. - Mahatma Gandhi

[ Parent ]

• ##### I Saw -40% for Blacks, Here Yesterday Somewhere(5+ / 0-)

Those blocks were an important part of Obama's winning surge. They're constantly accused of under performing, but clearly for the next to most recent election, today's Democrats proved they will turn out.

We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

[ Parent ]

• ##### Here in Mass we saw similar drop offs for the (3+ / 0-)

Kennedy seat lost to Scott Brown.

Not that Martha Coakly didn't run a terrible campaign.

I'm hoping we can win that seat back.  Maybe with Elizabeth Warren.

The means is the ends in the process of becoming. - Mahatma Gandhi

[ Parent ]

• ##### If they were at -40%(2+ / 0-)
Recommended by:
HoundDog, CajunBoyLgb

of their totals, then that is in line with the liberal and moderate groups as a whole.

• ##### pat of butter, is there any way to (2+ / 0-)

sort the turnout data to see where / if the push to force voters to provide ID affected one party or persuasion more than the other?

Here in Texas we heard rumors that the GOP were sending poll-watchers to intimidate black and brown voters and poor voters, and putting out mailers saying that if you came to the polls you could be arrested for any outstanding warrants (bad checks, unpaid traffic tickets, etc) and that if you were Hispanic you could be deported regardless of citizenship.

LBJ & Lady Bird, Sully Sullenberger, Molly Ivins, Barbara Jordan, Ann Richards, Drew Brees: Texas is No Bush League! -7.50,-5.59

[ Parent ]

• ##### Yes(2+ / 0-)
Recommended by:
BlackSheep1, Fabian

But only really at the precinct level. If you know what precincts had particular GOP attention then you could compare turnout for those vs. others.

• ##### They ran(2+ / 0-)

away from it because it wasn't popular and because Obama didn't sell those policies before enacting them. He just thought checking something off a list was good enough. It wasn't.

It's the policy stupid

[ Parent ]

• ##### Thanks for this data(7+ / 0-)

Nate Silver at NYT/538 acknowledges an ethusiasm gap between 2008 and 2010:

http://fivethirtyeight.blogs.nytimes.com/...

• ##### Well, there's always an "enthusiasm(0+ / 0-)

gap" between elections in which there is a Presidential election and midterms.

• ##### Most excellent! Thank you for the real facts. n/t(6+ / 0-)

Improvement is change. Not all change is improvement.

• ##### thank you for doing the math(2+ / 0-)

i erroneously posted that the liberal vote was up because i was looking at the raw figures from 2006 to 2010.

Net change from 2006 to 2010: +1 million liberals

i find this sort of number crunching tedious in the extreme.

so thanks for looking at it for me.

I am awaiting delivery of my new DK4 signature

• ##### Ah, thank you.(9+ / 0-)

I'll delete now. I had a diary up previously saying just the percentages doesn't prove there wasn't a decline in liberal voters but seeing the actual numbers from 2006-2010 I can see that indeed liberal voters turned out.

Thanks for the informative diary.

Thank you for taking us in when we were alone, adrift with no place to go, cold and afraid..... Thank You Congress Matters!!!

• ##### Sorry(2+ / 0-)
Recommended by:
CajunBoyLgb, Dom9000

• ##### Your diary should stay(3+ / 0-)

because it makes a perfectly valid point that this diary answers.

Good conversation.

Peace,

Andrew

"Do what you can with what you have where you are." - Teddy Roosevelt

[ Parent ]

• ##### Ah, well, too late now.(1+ / 0-)
Recommended by:
Andrew C White

Thank you for taking us in when we were alone, adrift with no place to go, cold and afraid..... Thank You Congress Matters!!!

[ Parent ]

• ##### SOme of that moderate "drop off"(4+ / 0-)

may have been moderates changing to conservatives.

"Intolerance is something which belongs to the religions we have rejected." - J.J. Rousseau -6.38, -4.15

• ##### Yes, you really need(6+ / 0-)

longitudinal data on the same voters over time to do this properly. Then you can see that person X who identified as Y position voted in 2006, then didn't vote in 2008, then voted in 2010 under position Z. That's the most complete and best way of doing analysis. Unfortunately exit polls are weak in allowing us to do a good research project.

• ##### Bush managed to piss off(4+ / 0-)

a fair number of cons/republicans so the self identification may have shifted from Con to Ind, or from Con to Mod

Show me the POLICY!

[ Parent ]

• ##### Thanks for the data!(4+ / 0-)

Can't really compare 2008 with 2010. Compare 2006 with 2010...off-year to off-year, "big" year to "big" year.

• ##### Well(3+ / 0-)

This diary was specifically responsive to comments about who either did or did not turn out in 2010 vs 2008. I think both are of interest, but it's very idiosyncratic. 2006 was a "weird" year for Republicans because Bush was at a very low point. There is no perfect point of comparison.

• ##### Great Diary! Moral - Mid-term elections have(6+ / 0-)

serious consequence!!!

• ##### Excellent diary - thank you(4+ / 0-)

The general rule is always compare like elections. So the proper comparison years for 2010 are 2006 and 2002.

Presidential years such as 2008 will always, always have vastly higher turn-out... as your numbers show clearly.

And as another commenter showed above, liberal turn-out was actually higher in 2010 then in 2006 while moderate turn-out was considerably lower and conservative turn-out... which almost undoubtedly includes the missing moderates... was vastly higher.

So many moderates switched to calling themselves conservatives, many stayed home, and lots of conservatives that stayed home in 2006 came out to vote.

Meanwhile liberals did what liberals do which is... vote reliably democratic.

Thank you.

"Do what you can with what you have where you are." - Teddy Roosevelt

• ##### This diary completely proves my point!(1+ / 0-)

Now if I could only remember what my point was...

I'm a concert pianist with a double doctorate... AND YOU CAN BE TOO!

• ##### Sometimes(2+ / 0-)
Recommended by:
Spit, Fabian

it's a lot easier to make points without a bunch of numbers getting in the way. :D

• ##### Did some moderates turn into conservatives?(1+ / 0-)

A lot of this assumes that the categories of liberal, mmoderate and conservative are as immutable as your skin color. If the percentage of black voters fell from one election to the next, you could assume that more black voters stayed homme. However when the percent of moderates kept dropping, and the percent of self identified conservatives keep rising, you would have to question whether some of the former 'moderates' have since joined the ranks of the conservatives.

• ##### The truth is(1+ / 0-)
Recommended by:
Fabian

when you have longitudinal data (data for the same set of respondents over more than one year) everything can change. Even "skin color" (or more accurately self-identified race) changes for some respondents. That is to say, some people who think of themselves as one thing at time point X think of themselves as something else at time point X+1.

Individuals identifying themselves as American Indian/Alaska Native on the Census went way up between 1960 and 1990 for example, likely beyond the true growth of population.

So, yes, I'm sure there is some shifting among these groups.

• ##### More data(1+ / 0-)
Recommended by:
Fabian

This is what I was referring to regarding the American Indian population:

1960: 552,000
1970: 795,000
1980: 1,420,000
1990: 1,959,000

source

So the percent change 1970-1980 was 79%. For comparison purposes, the percent change for whites during that time period was 10.6%, and for African Americans 17.7%.

• ##### Very interesting data point(1+ / 0-)

Could it be that more Aleutians and Hawaiians consider themselves 'native americans' than before? Maybe the old wording of 'american indian' excluded those groups?

• ##### Don't think so(0+ / 0-)

I think the definition stayed the same. I think it became more acceptable over time to identify that way, or I have seen research indicating as much, for those who are mixed.