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Yes, you read the headline right, and no, you haven't suddenly forgotten everything you know about math. A poll conducted by Langer Research Associates for Esquire and Yahoo! News showed Pres. Obama leads Mitt Romney by 10 points among men, 12 points among women, but only four points overall. If you've been reading this site for a while, you're probably already asking if there was some difference in the the questions or the sample or something. Smart ol' you! Yes, the overall four point lead is among likely voters, but the leads among men and women are among registered voters. That's a seven point swing based not on what voters think, but upon who is more likely to vote.

In other words, if all registered voters turned out, election news would be about the size of Obama's impending landslide. Romney would be hanging on in hopes that outside events or a massive unforced error by Obama changes the election. OK, given Romney's massive unforced error this week that might have imploded his campaign, Romney might have already thought that was his situation. However, that would definitely be his situation if all the registered voters planned to turnout. Assuming the voter preferences go on down the ballot, it might be unrealistic for the Republicans to think they can hold either house of Congress, and a lot of governors and state legislators would be in trouble too.

Look at the demographic breakdown, and the disappearance of the gender gap in Obama's favor is only one conventional wisdom defying part.

Look at this age breakdown:

AGE   Obama Romney
65+: 45 48
50-65: 39 53
40-49: 48 42
18-39: 70 26
Seriously, Obama is barely behind among seniors, and the lead among young voters is bigger than we ever guessed at. OK, than I ever guessed at. I thought 20 was possible. A 20 point win is pretty huge. So 44? It's just one poll, but even assuming it leans a bit too much in a Democratic direction, come on. That's a lot of votes going unvoted.

Broken down by regions, Obama trails by not a lot in the South and leads everywhere else. He leads among all income groups except over $100,000. He leads among all educational levels. How is this election not over? How is the Republican Party not reduced to a few red splotches in a sea of blue? Because of bunch of people registered to vote don't show up. That's not even looking at eligible voters who aren't registered. My understanding is that people can be convinced to register will probably vote.

It may be good news that there is this big load of votes to be gotten, but the bad news is GOTV (get out the vote) is more important for Democrats than Republicans. Republicans do it too, but if they don't do it well, they have a lot more margin for error. Lower turnout is likely to help them anyway, and especially in the era of crank billionaires and Citizens United, they have far more money to spend on advertizing  and will for the foreseeable future.

That's why it's vital that we register new voters, identify the Democrats and swing voters, and get them to the polls. If you think that means the "ground game" campaign will be starting soon, you're wrong. It's been going already. The Obama campaign was recruiting volunteers to help with grassroots organizing a year ago, even though he had no primary opponent. Phone banks and doorknocks might seem old fashioned, a relic of the pre-social media era, but they work. They have to be done right, but they work. And you need to work, if you want to get the unlikely voters to actually produce a result that looks like the country. Today being Saturday, there is a doorknock near you. I obviously don't know where you are, but I do know there's one near you, or if I'm wrong, you have a bone to pick with your local party or your candidates. There's almost surely some campaign running a phone bank whichever day you're reading this. Actually there surely is, because regardless of where you live or whose district you're in, you're in Obama's district and the Obama campaign has a virtual phonebank on their web site.

Some states have election day registration, and they tend to have higher turnout. We have it in Minnesota, and it's considered the main reason we always lead in voter turnout (even just giving access to the polls to people who moved after the pre-registration deadline adds a lot of voters). Anyone wanting to go both get out the vote among eligible voters and go on offense against voter restrictions should push for election day registration.

So we're out of excuses. We're not out of voters, but we are out of excuses.

Originally posted to ericf on Sat Sep 15, 2012 at 05:48 PM PDT.

Also republished by Community Spotlight.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Mitt has the hermaphrodite vote? (11+ / 0-)

    So I see only tatters of clearness through a pervading obscurity - Annie Dillard -6.88, -5.33

    by illinifan17 on Sat Sep 15, 2012 at 06:03:12 PM PDT

  •  interesting (17+ / 0-)

    So what is the matter with the 50-65 year olds?  I guess that is why we are in the mess we are in.  That is the general age of everyone in charge.

    •  Incredibly counter-self-interest. (19+ / 0-)

      The exact age group Paul Ryan is looking in the eye and saying, "No, it's your Medicare we're coming for."

      •  Rather pure self-interest. Them-and-theirs (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Crashing Vor, annan

        They are also the leading edge of the Boomer generation and - not disparaging Boomers as individuals -  but for most of the likely voters in this segment, life experiences are ones where the wars (and poverty) were always far away - and a problem that could be avoided with (you know the old saw you heard it all your  lives) a lot of hard work and a little luck.

        For this cohort of active voters, the refrains from the GOP are lifted from old songs and the first-wave boomers as a rule like them all.

        •  Older boomers are the liberals, it's the younger (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Meteor Blades

          ones way dragging them down.

          I'll find a link but younger boomers have been dubbed "Generation Jones" and looked at separately. Very different, especially politically.

          The 2004 election really showed it. In the swing states Kerry won every age group except Gen Jones. They voted for bush in such great numbers that they swung the states their way.

          And on a national level women in every age group went Kerry, except Gen Jones

          This article has stats of the 5 key swing states in 2004... gen jones vote vs everyone else
          I wish they showed gen jones vs older boomers,  that's a startling difference. But frankly even seniors (older than boomers then) in that election went Kerry by a bit. gen jones is nuts... they went for bush by 19 in Ohio, 13 in most other swing states

          I'll also let it explain this part

          Who is Generation Jones?

          For the uninitiated, Generation Jones is the large, heretofore lost, generation between the baby boomers and Generation X. Born in the years 1954 to 1965, Jonesers are not a small cusp generation that slipped through the cracks, but rather the largest generation in American history, constituting 26 percent of all U.S. adults today.

          Now I will confess that  I am in gen jones. So is Obama. So are many here.

          We didn't face the draft. Women had rights. We got to walk through the doors our elders had opened. Heck we had the pill and legal abortion and no AIDS in the picture.

          What went wrong with our spoiled generation? Are we bitter that we were too young for Woodstock?
          I wouldn't be too confident of the older Gen X either.

          I often think of this as we think as older people die off things will get better. Something can go very wrong, some rebound. Younger is not always cooler.

          I think it was Meteor Blades that I first saw post link to article about gen jones and 2004. Strange

          So be kind to true boomers and those older than them that led the way.  And think about... what can go wrong to turn the next generation?

          •  It's not older or younger, (0+ / 0-)

            it's what side of the ideological divide one comes from...we forget that most people in the 60s were not marching against the war or particularly supportive of those who were. We don't really know, based on the poll data, which end of the 50-64 group is more Republican, though it may be that those who are a ways off from qualifying for Medicare are less attached to the current system than current Medicare enrollees.

            "All governments lie, but disaster lies in wait for countries whose officials smoke the same hashish they give out." --I.F. Stone

            by Alice in Florida on Sun Sep 16, 2012 at 08:51:35 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  i'm in that age group and i';m (14+ / 0-)

      astounded by what i just read here!  

      this is the tail end of the vietnam era generation, or woodstock generation or whatever you want to call it.  this is the generation that was so concerned with nature and ecology.  and it seems to me we shouldn't be showing these sort of numbers.  it seems to me, that we know better or should.

      KEEP YOUR MITT OFF MY MEDICARE! (-9.75 / -9.05)

      by doesnotworkorplaywellwithothers on Sat Sep 15, 2012 at 08:57:08 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I wonder what the breakdown is... (7+ / 0-)

      by gender in that age group.

      You can tell Romney’s depressed. Last night he just sat on his couch and bought the Häagen-Dazs corporation ~ Jimmy Fallon

      by AuroraDawn on Sat Sep 15, 2012 at 11:48:34 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Boomer greed (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Words In Action

        A generation that entered the work force thinking Gordon Gekko was virtuous and is ungrateful for the luck they've fallen into. Just outvote them.

        Sincerely, an Xer

      •  Any boomer who entered the workforce in the (0+ / 0-)

        mid 1980s was a bit of a late bloomer (or at the very tail end of the "baby boom")....though in fact there was fierce competition for jobs in the 1970s, due to a combination of huge numbers of young people entering the work face while the economy was in prolonged stagnation.

        "All governments lie, but disaster lies in wait for countries whose officials smoke the same hashish they give out." --I.F. Stone

        by Alice in Florida on Sun Sep 16, 2012 at 08:59:18 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  re the Vietnam youngsters... (0+ / 0-)

      most of the 50-65 year olds would have fought in the tail end of the Vietnam War. An 18 year old in 1975, would now be 55. Apparently, after 1971 Gallup stopped asking people about their opposition to the war (when total support was at 28%), but we have these data points. The point is that the fighting age population was more supportive of the war than their elders.

      1966:

      A Gallup poll shows that 59% believe that sending troops to Vietnam was not a mistake. Among the age group of 21–29 [now 67-75], 71% believe it was not a mistake compared to 48% of those over 50
      .

      1970:

      A Gallup poll in May shows that 56% of the public believed that sending troops to Vietnam was a mistake, 61% of those over 50 expressed that belief compared to 49% of those between the ages of 21–29 [now 63-71]
      •  poorly phrased (0+ / 0-)

        i meant to say that "of those that served, most of the 50-65 year olds [etc]"

      •  Facts about Vietnam War casualties (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        KJG52, Alice in Florida

        American casualties were highest between 1966 and 1970, peaking in 1968 at 16,592 Killed in Action (KIA).

        The most common age at time of death was 20 years old, numbering 14,095 KIA.

        The oldest Boomers were 22 years old in 1968.

        It is fair to say that early Boomers bore the heaviest casualties and served during the bloodiest years of the War.

        Eradicate magical thinking

        by Zinman on Sun Sep 16, 2012 at 10:52:07 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  which could even be a reason (0+ / 0-)

          that they would be more supportive of the Vietnam War.

          •  In my experience, we didn't support the War (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            distraught

            I am a Vietnam veteran. I was there from the latter part of 1968 through the earlier part of 1970. Many of us were drafted, or enlisted under threat of the draft, and actively did not want to go there; once there most of us detested it. We supported one another most of all, that's mainly why we fought. Duty, honor, and group loyalty kept us going, not support for the War.

            I know my observations are limited to my personal experience, and I know other Vietnam veterans who supported the War then and still do so today. Higher ranking career NCO's and Officers were older than my lower ranking enlisted Boomer cohort, so their opinions are not relevant to our discussion of Boomers because they were not Boomers.

            Eradicate magical thinking

            by Zinman on Sun Sep 16, 2012 at 05:41:45 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I commented (0+ / 0-)

              on this elseware and was criticized for "ageism."

              My opinion is that we split about 50/50 so our votes have always cancelled out.

              The main thing to remember is that the percentage of people who act on their opinions is small.  If you get 25% for and 25% against some candidate yer doing pretty good.

              The remaining 50% will sit and complain.  (Totally made up numbers but that's the way it's looked to me these many years.)

              -6.12 -4.87 I don’t need insurance I need health care. You have sick people and doctors. Any third parties looking to profit from disease should go to hell. (Stolen from a comment somewhere on the Internet.)

              by jestbill on Sun Sep 16, 2012 at 08:29:09 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  I think you are replying to somebody else n/t (0+ / 0-)

                Eradicate magical thinking

                by Zinman on Sun Sep 16, 2012 at 09:37:20 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Nope. (0+ / 0-)

                  Personal views of things that happened years ago.

                  Of course draftees in VietNam were not strong supporters while in harm's way but the 50% I was talking about had no strong opinions either way.  Of the rest, half were for it but you all knew better than to make speeches.

                  -6.12 -4.87 I don’t need insurance I need health care. You have sick people and doctors. Any third parties looking to profit from disease should go to hell. (Stolen from a comment somewhere on the Internet.)

                  by jestbill on Mon Sep 17, 2012 at 01:19:00 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

  •  I live in Texas, (26+ / 0-)

    and many democrats in like circumstances may not see much point in voting...and this may be what is skewing this poll.

    I live in one of the reddest of red states as do many other democrats down here in the south.  Although the likelyhood of my vote actually helping Obama is somewhere between little and farfetched...I still plan to vote.  I always do.  While the overall popular vote won't be good for much as long as we're still dealing with an electoral college,  it definitely IS good for bragging rights after the election.

     I heartily recommend voting, and would encourage ALL democrats EVERYWHERE to vote a straight democrat ticket...even though you may not make a difference in your local districts, at least this time around.

    But then again...you never know.

    •  This is so true... (11+ / 0-)
      I heartily recommend voting, and would encourage ALL democrats EVERYWHERE to vote a straight democrat ticket...even though you may not make a difference in your local districts, at least this time around.
      Voting ALWAYS matters, even if you live in a Red State. If nothing else, it matters because of congressional and local elections.
      and many democrats in like circumstances may not see much point in voting.
      I've met many people who tend to think that way, and choose not to vote.

      That kind of thinking needs to stop. We need to stop thinking short term and start thinking long term.

      Congressional elections matter. Who controls your State House and State Senate matters. Who controls your City Council matters. Who your mayor is matters.

      The Republicans learned that early on. They worked hard for decades to win control of state and local governments throughout the country.

      If we want to change this country for the better, then we really need to fight to regain control of the government at the local level, not just at the federal level.

      You can tell Romney’s depressed. Last night he just sat on his couch and bought the Häagen-Dazs corporation ~ Jimmy Fallon

      by AuroraDawn on Sun Sep 16, 2012 at 12:13:54 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Bring a friend! (9+ / 0-)

    I did, and he committed to come back and make more calls on Monday.  :)

  •  Are these LV numbers reliable? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kyril, Mayfly, David in NY

    For if there is a sin against life, it consists perhaps not so much in despairing of life as in hoping for another life and in eluding the implacable grandeur of this life. - Albert Camus

    by Anne Elk on Sat Sep 15, 2012 at 11:05:02 PM PDT

  •  GOTV among folks with disabilities (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JanL, litoralis, raines, StrayCat, greengemini

    Last week I was at a couple of Philadelphia GOTV workshops focusing on folks with disabilities, sponsored by Vision for Equality and Disability Rights Network, among others.

    There are a lot of people with infirmities / disabilities (e.g. thousands of elderly voters in nursing homes) who want to vote but need concrete measures to assist them at the various steps of the registration and actual voting process.

    A speaker named Paul O'Hanlon pointed out that in past elections that were close, the number of untapped potential voters with disabilities easily exceeded the margin of victory. But the quintile with the least income and the least education — where many people with disabilities are situated through no fault of their own — typically vote at 30–35% rates rather than 55–65% rates of the other quintiles.

    The law requires state-funded agencies to be non-partisan, so there was no direct talk about supporting President Obama. Still, one thing was pretty clear to the attendees. This year and every year, folks with disabilities should vote as if their life depended on it — because it does!

    The Dutch kids' chorus Kinderen voor Kinderen wishes all the world's children freedom from hunger, ignorance, and war.

    by lotlizard on Sun Sep 16, 2012 at 03:52:19 AM PDT

  •  Election Day Care (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jgnyc, Words In Action

    Would organized campaigns to provide day care on election day help liberate parents, especially moms with younger kids (still the vast majority of caregivers, even in this allegedly egalitarian society), to both vote and GOTV?

    I started exploring this concept 4 years ago (and still have the domain) but didn't get serious about it. The one clear obstacle I found is that some places that provide childcare specifically don't do it on election day because the space is used as a polling place!

  •  I would say that generally speaking (3+ / 0-)

    young people are simply not as racist as older people.

    You can't stop progress!

    by gigihopes on Sun Sep 16, 2012 at 07:19:12 AM PDT

  •  Good lord, I just figured out my whole problem (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    StrayCat, Words In Action

    in life - I'm in the very worst age group possible.  No wonder I feel surrounded by crazies.  I am!

    "If you trust you are not critical; if you are critical you do not trust" by our own Dauphin

    by gustynpip on Sun Sep 16, 2012 at 07:57:32 AM PDT

    •  Me too. (0+ / 0-)

      And I live in Utah.

      Purging predominantly minority voters and requiring them to present IDs to vote in the face of VIRTUALLY NON-EXISTENT VOTER FRAUD is RACISM! I hereby declare all consenting Republicans RACISTS until they stand up and object to these practices!

      by Words In Action on Sun Sep 16, 2012 at 10:21:49 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  A Democratic Contract for America would help. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    KJG52, Colorado is the Shiznit

    A Democratic version of the Contract for America, one that would enumerate a dozen or so specific, widely desired commitments, would really help close the deal.

    The "Contract"could be signed onto by federal candidates across the country and the campaign would be a joint call to rehire Obama and remake Congress if you want these changes.

    I don't know exactly what the most compelling list would be, I believe one exists that would turbocharge the entire and currently apathetic voters at the same time.

    Subjects COULD INCLUDE include the following, but would need to be stated in specific aims.

    1) Reform Income Taxes to strengthen the Middle & Lower Class; add upper brackets, increase rates on upper brackets, establish ATM's for upper brackets. Establish Capital Gains brackets and rates (with protection for first home sales).
    2) Eliminate or increase the FICA cap to increase Social Security and Medicare solvency.
    3) Increase the Minimum Wage to $10.
    4) Penalize &/or gradually eliminate offshore tax havens
    5) Close specific, explicitly outrageous tax loopholes for the wealthy.
    6) Penalize/reward companies that increase/reduce outsourcing, create jobs in the U.S.
    7) Overturn Citizens United (Constitutional Amendment, if necessary)
    8) Re-instate Glass-Steagall.
    9) Protect women's reproductive health re: contraceptives, mandatory ultrasound, availability and access to clinics, etc.
    10) Re-vamp election system to increase confidence in election results and protect the voting franchise.
    11) Promise to use savings from shutting down the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars as a true Peace Dividend for reducing the debt.
    12) Promise to protect coverage & benefits of Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security (protection from Simpson-Bowles).

    Purging predominantly minority voters and requiring them to present IDs to vote in the face of VIRTUALLY NON-EXISTENT VOTER FRAUD is RACISM! I hereby declare all consenting Republicans RACISTS until they stand up and object to these practices!

    by Words In Action on Sun Sep 16, 2012 at 10:20:43 AM PDT

  •  GOTV is important, as is said her ad naseum (0+ / 0-)

    and it is true...and we all know that by now

    at the same time, do NOT accept these ridiculous "likely voter" screens by random pollsters as gospel truth

  •  Baby Boomers suck (0+ / 0-)

    I'm a boomer, but I have to say our generation has pretty much ruined America, probably irreparably, and these poll numbers are shameful.

    •  Maybe it's the inevitable fate of empires (0+ / 0-)

      rather than the fault of any particular generation? Fact is, this was a long time in the making...and if the boomer generation was so awful, then the "Greatest" generation were really lousy parents.

      "All governments lie, but disaster lies in wait for countries whose officials smoke the same hashish they give out." --I.F. Stone

      by Alice in Florida on Sun Sep 16, 2012 at 09:11:12 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Thank you so much for this. (0+ / 0-)

    We need to apply our conviction and enthusiasm to getting out the vote!

    Without doing so, we risk losing the election.

    We can help prevent that nightmare from happening.

    Let's get it done.

    "Compassion is not weakness, and concern for the unfortunate is not socialism." Hubert H. Humphrey

    by Onomastic on Sun Sep 16, 2012 at 07:14:21 PM PDT

  •  Ya know, I hear you and all, (0+ / 0-)

    but the words ring hollow to me.

    Here's why:

    Phone banks and doorknocks might seem old fashioned, a relic of the pre-social media era, but they work. They have to be done right, but they work. And you need to work, if you want to get the unlikely voters to actually produce a result that looks like the country.
    Alright, so this is the problem I have with the blockquote above (bold mine).

    Who are you trying to convince? New voters, undecided voters, or disaffected voters?

    Because the undecideds in this election are pretty much nil. The wiggle room here is very small, as has been reported for months now. New voters are usually Gen Y and, although they will help with GOTV, they are not the end all - be all of GOTV for Obama.

    So that would leave disaffected voters. Just today, a Facebook friend of mine posted what she thought was a winning (Charlie Sheen-esque) picture, with this caption:

    Being able to vote and not doing so because there isn't a perfect candidate who completely agrees with you is childish and idiotic.
    Yeah.

    Tell me how you guys, and OFA, are going to reach the disaffecteds again? I sincerely want to know the answer to this question.

    Logic will break your heart forever. Be brave. -- The Stills

    by Colorado is the Shiznit on Sun Sep 16, 2012 at 09:05:07 PM PDT

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