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Last Tuesday evening I sat down to write a post conclusively showing that Democratic crossover voters couldn't have provided the winning margin for Dave Brat, the college professor who beat Eric Cantor in the Republican primary in an upset for the ages. It seemed pretty obvious, right? I mean, look at this graph by county:

The most Democratic counties gave Cantor, not Brat, the highest margins. Obviously Democrats weren't helping out Brat.

Then a funny thing happened. As I entered precinct data for county after county, the opposite pattern kept popping up for individual counties, something that can be seen in maps of the results and Obama's vote share by precinct. And, not being a Republican, I had to revise my conclusions in the face of the data. In the end, the number of Obama voters who voted for Brat may have been greater than Brat's margin of victory.

So can we say crossover voters were responsible for Cantor losing? No, Cantor himself is where the responsibility lies. If he were popular among Republicans, instead of having just a 43 percent approval rating, we wouldn't even be talking about this.

But head below the fold to see just what kind of effect Democrats may have had on this race.

Update: New post-election poll confirms the calculations in this post.

How Many Votes Are We Looking For?

Brat won by a margin of about 7,000 votes. We're looking for evidence of 7,000 Democratic voters crossing over to vote for Brat. That's about 5 percent of the total number of votes Obama received in this district. So those are our magic numbers, 7,000 and 5 percent.

How Will We Know When We See Them?

Before we go looking for extra votes from Democrats, we need to know what we're looking for. What would it look like if Obama voters did cross over to vote for Brat?

Let's assume that the chances of a Republican voting for Cantor are independent of the precinct they vote in; that is, a uniform level of support for Cantor across each county. In addition, we need to assume uniform crossover voting behavior. Then, as the concentration of Democratic voters in a precinct increases, Cantor's vote share should decrease. As the number of Obama voters crossing over increases, the effect should grow more pronounced. We end up with a family of curves. Below, the results calculated using the numbers for all of VA-07:

You can see that at 5 percent crossover voters or less, the effects are pretty subtle in precincts with less than 60 percent of the vote for Obama in 2012.

The other effect we would have to see is on turnout. Again, this effect is only obvious at pretty high levels of Obama support:

So do these graphs match the data? Read on.

Where Are We Looking For Crossover Dems?

In order to be able to see anything like in the graphs above, we need to have three things:

1. A reasonable approximation of our main assumptions.
2. Political diversity, with precincts evenly spread over the range of 10-90 percent Obama.
3. Lots of data.

There's only one county that fits the last two criteria reasonably well: Henrico. Chesterfield and Richmond City also fit OK, but could use more data. Families of curves were built matching the turnout and results from each of these counties.

What Do We See?

Henrico County first:

The first thing you should notice is that the data fit the general sweep of the models. That means, yes, we indeed had crossover voting. I assume that this would have occurred in all counties to some extent, not just this one. With that assumption, we can say with certainty that there were indeed thousands of crossover voters.

Second, look at the amount of scatter. That's our assumptions being violated. There's simply a varying amount of baseline support for Cantor among Republicans between precincts, which is understandable. Indeed, from the turnout plot, it looks like turnout increases slightly in more conservative precincts.

Finally, how many crossover voters did we have? Because of the scatter, we're not going to be able to pinpoint a number with any certainty. We can't even tell with much confidence if the 5 percent line or the 10 percent line would be a better fit. But we can feel confident about stating a range, about 5-10 percent.

You can see the relationships on the graphs above on the maps here as well. Henrico County is the crooked n-shaped one half-surrounding Richmond. The bright purple precincts where Cantor did worst are mostly the same as the blue ones where Obama did best, and the dark orange ones where turnout was highest.

Next, Chesterfield County:

Here, the range of crossover voters would be 2-5 percent, but we have only four data points to go by above the 60 percent threshold. The Turnout graph, notably, is essentially flat.

Finally, Richmond City:

Even fewer data here. But, they do show the expected pattern. The range is, again, 5-10 percent.

Looking Back to 2012

Cantor also was on the primary ballot in 2012. If we look back we see similar patterns, albeit with lower estimated crossover. Here's graphs comparing 2014 and 2012 voting patterns in Chesterfield, Hannover, Henrico, and Richmond City. Note that because Hannover is no longer the home base of Cantor's opponent, it "behaves" much better.

So, voters crossing over is not unique to this year. What changed is that this year, many Republicans wouldn't vote for Cantor.

We can also estimate from comparing 2012 and 2014 turnout that Romney voters increased their turnout by about 30 percent, while Obama voters increased their turnout by about 75 percent. These are rough estimates; what is clear is that the increase among Obama voters was greater.

What's That Mean?

Based on the ranges of crossover voting seen above, we can extrapolate to the whole district from the three counties with sufficient data, assuming crossover voting behavior is relatively similar across the district. This range is 4 percent to 8 percent of Obama voters crossing over to vote for Brat, or about 6,000 to 12,000 voters.

If we estimate the number of Obama voters who voted for against Cantor in the Republican primary in 2012 instead of 2014, and increase their number by 75 percent we get ... 6,000 to 11,000 voters.

Remember, the margin of victory was about 7,000 votes.

Without these crossover voters, we can calculate that Cantor would have had 48 percent-54 percent of the vote.

Conclusion: Thousands of Democratic voters crossed over to vote against Cantor, many of whom also did so in 2012. They added substantially to Cantor's humiliation on election night, subtracting at least 4 points from his vote share, and quite possibly sealing his fate.

Hey, Wait! I Want To See More Data!

Sounds good to me. Here's all the precinct data. I've highlighted Brat's home region, where turnout was high, and support for Cantor was very low. You can see that when the Home Court Advantage effect is removed, there's a weak relationship between % Obama and % Cantor. Otherwise, it's just a scatterplot with no relationship whatsoever that would fool you into thinking Obama voters didn't come out to vote against Cantor.

The other five counties don't have precincts where Obama received more than 60 percent, so there's really not much to see. But here they are anyway.

Compare the above graph to the one below for 2012 primary results, when Republican support for Cantor was much more uniform across the district, in accordance with the assumptions necessary to identify crossover voting across a region. (Support was still lower in Hanover and New Kent though.) The trend of decreasing support for Cantor in more democratic precincts is clear for the 2012 data.

OK, Interesting But ...

... what about all those other precinct-level analyses that David Jarman talked about in his excellent summary?

Good question. Let's see what happens. We'll use 6 percent crossover Obama voters and 27 percent of the Romney voters, then run some calculations based on precinct data, and compare to the real numbers.

A. Michael McDonald's scatterplot showing lower vote totals in most Democratic precincts. Plotting model results in the same way shows the same shape graph with or without Obama voters crossing over. In other words, it's a Republican primary; the vast majority of voters are Republicans, hence they are more likely to be voting in Republican precincts, which therefore have more voters.

B. Four graphs in the NYT piece here.

Graph 1 - There is evidence of crossover voting. No argument here.

Graph 2 - Turnout was higher in Republican precincts, and Democratic precincts didn't contribute many votes. True, but meaningless. 68 percent of Obama voters live in Republican precincts; their votes will show up on the Republican side of this graph. Anyways, calculations show much higher turnout in Republican precincts with 6 percent crossover Dems, just as with no crossover voting.

Graph 3 - Brat's margin of victory didn't come from Democratic areas. No, it didn't. It doesn't have to. Again, 68 percent of Obama voters are in Romney precincts; if they vote for Brat, their votes will show up in Romney precincts.

Graph 4 - Biggest numerical increases in turnout compared to 2012 primary in Henrico County came in Republican districts. Yes, that's what we would see with 6 percent crossover voting. Why? Because the precincts with the largest number of Republicans are also the precincts where Democrats do the worst. Increase turnout in each precinct by 35 percent, and those with the most Republicans will show the most increase.

One last thing.

So I just showed you that there possibly—maybe even probably—were more than enough votes from Obama supporters to account for Brat's margin of victory. So why do I insist they're not responsible for said victory?

I'm trying to make a distinction between how he won—the exact makeup of his coalition—and why he won. Crossover voters contributed to the win, and were an important part, but the major reason behind it is that Republicans just didn't like Cantor.

Update: For some reason my updates are not working. I'll try again: jpmassar points out in the comments that not all crossover voters would have voted for Brat, which is true. I assumed all of them voted for Brat. If this assumption were severely violated, say only 50% voted for Brat, we would see much of the data for turnout above the 15% curve, which we don't.

Update 2: New post-election polling by Cantor's pollster confirms the numbers in this post. From the new poll I calculated that 5-7% of Obama voters crossed over to vote for Brat, right in the middle of my 4-8% estimate. In reference to Update 1 above, the poll also tells us that about 85% of Obama crossover voters voted for Brat; in other words, in addition to the 5-7% who voted for Brat. My calculations are based on defining 'Obama voters' as all those who say they 'Always' or 'Usually' vote Democratic.

Originally posted to Daily Kos Elections on Mon Jun 16, 2014 at 08:00 AM PDT.

Also republished by Virginia Kos and Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (135+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Land of Enchantment, jnhobbs, raptavio, Garrett, pierre9045, Marcus Graly, ybruti, roycej, Overseas, Possible Liberal, OleHippieChick, reflectionsv37, sdf, citizenx, tle, hwy70scientist, ManhattanMan, Gooserock, Ashaman, Shockwave, vcmvo2, psnyder, fumie, eagleray, MartyM, puakev, Lefty Coaster, docmidwest, NBBooks, hankmeister, raines, Lujane, skepticalcitizen, Shadowmage36, third Party please, Mother Mags, Onomastic, Josiah Bartlett, eeff, AlyoshaKaramazov, Empower Ink, nomandates, kjoftherock, this is only a test, Mimikatz, VirginiaBlue, BadKitties, leonard145b, coquiero, GeorgeXVIII, Urban Space Cowboy, HappyinNM, suspiciousmind, dksbook, PapaChach, AnnieR, Forward is D not R, nirbama, PhilJD, radarlady, PatConnors, pixxer, Statusquomustgo, ANY THING TOO ADD, kharma, oldliberal, Sylv, Smoh, Bluesee, begone, DRo, createpeace, Brooke In Seattle, Rosaura, Prognosticator, BarackStarObama, Phoenix Woman, Capt Crunch, David Jarman, Yosef 52, shoeless, Anne Elk, Its the Supreme Court Stupid, VirginiaJeff, Hill Jill, Aaa T Tudeattack, Ageing Hippie, librarisingnsf, annominous, koosah, AllanTBG, trkingmomoe, enemy of the people, stevenaxelrod, sow hat, jck, majcmb1, Involuntary Exile, bryduck, Chitown Kev, rhutcheson, Halfton81, Bob Duck, camlbacker, millwood, Carojay, charliehall2, MRA NY, copymark, MichaelNY, ModerateJosh, George3, sotiredofusernames, kaliope, Jeff Y, glitterscale, Andrew F Cockburn, SphericalXS, Seneca Doane, SilentBrook, wbayasIII, bill warnick, DMentalist, buckhorn okie, Mopshell, diggerspop, jqb, Kay Observer2, MarciaJ720, maybeeso in michigan, kurt, bobcat41702, Loose Fur, Oh Mary Oh, elfling
  •  Nice wonkery. (19+ / 0-)

    I'm not sure without a really deep dive into your diary, but it seems to me that your conclusion is that even without Democratic help, Cantor would have fallen -- just perhaps not by 11 points. Is that correct?

    "Much of movement conservatism is a con and the base is the marks." -- Chris Hayes

    by raptavio on Mon Jun 16, 2014 at 08:11:00 AM PDT

  •  A subtle takeaway for Democrats (22+ / 0-)

    Another example they can use to motivate their base to come out to vote in November. Always need examples showing how voters, on an individual level, can have a major effect on US elections. Here is one example on why it is important to get every voter out to the polls.

    "In a country well governed, poverty is something to be ashamed of. In a country badly governed, wealth is something to be ashamed of.” -Confucius

    by pierre9045 on Mon Jun 16, 2014 at 08:16:20 AM PDT

  •  What I hope this means going forward, (25+ / 0-)

    is that Brat's support by crossover voters was a ratfu(k to knock Cantor out of his seat and get Trammel an easy opponent, that Brat is overconfident and gets a nasty surprise in November.
    Did I say easy? Sorry, it won't be easy.
    But this is a fight worth getting into. Particularly since VA's Dems are so weak, outside agitators, (like dKos elections?) should work to fill the gap.
    The double whammy for the GOP and the TeaBaggers would be delicious.

    If I ran this circus, things would be DIFFERENT!

    by CwV on Mon Jun 16, 2014 at 08:24:40 AM PDT

  •  question (7+ / 0-)

    Which i'm not sure has been adequately addressed.  What else was on the ballot?  That would certainly impact people's inclination to crossover.

  •  Question. (7+ / 0-)

    We're looking for evidence of 7000 Democratic voters crossing over to vote for Brat.

    What about Democratic voters crossing over to vote for Cantor?

    You'd need a net 7000 Democratic votes, not just an absolute number of D votes for Brat.

    Yes?

  •  Interesting analysis. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Lujane, trkingmomoe, MichaelNY

    As a voter in CA-23 I'm highly interested in this mess because it seems likely I'm going to bear some of the consequences of Cantor's loss.
      It seems to me that identifying what the mix of voters was precinct level will clear things up a lot. It might be good to take the total number of votes and the voter registrations and see if they resembled one another. i.e. look the number of votes on the D side and find the Ds that didn't crossover.
      I know from donking around with the returns for the Valadao race that truth of what happened in a particular race is only clear precinct level.

  •  Nice analysis (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Lujane, trkingmomoe, MichaelNY

    Hard to tell if the conclusion is right, but it's nice to see a common-sense treatment of the data. And it's nice to see the use of precinct data, rather than the cruder county results, in which all the effects are obscured.

    Michael Weissman UID 197542

    by docmidwest on Mon Jun 16, 2014 at 09:19:51 AM PDT

  •  I read that (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Catte Nappe, trkingmomoe

    A tea party group had a big push on get out the vote, using models to identify potential voters.

    I can't remember where I read it, but the title was something like Cantor beat with science.

    I am curious, if this is true, how could/would you tell who were the cross order democrats vs. who were the folks who the tea party recruited?

  •  Isn't there an easier way? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jbou, Willinois, trkingmomoe

    Instead of doing what has been done here and elsewhere (showing results in both directions), can't we just wait until the party database is updated (Votebuilder) then look and see just how many Democrats voted in the Republican Primary and compare that to recent primary elections and see if there's a substantial difference?

    Otherwise, it's just a lot of theorizing that can be interpreted many ways.

  •  I couldn't vote for Brat (4+ / 0-)

    I'm sorry but a vote for Brat is still a vote for Brat.  I sat out this primary rather than pull the lever for someone even worse than Cantor.

    I expect Brat to win in November, but in the long run, I expect that he will be easier to knock off than Cantor if our district turns a bit more blue.

    •  Not my district but (0+ / 0-)

      I am as democratic as they come but crossover voting for Machiavellian ends, as much as I hated Cantor, just doesn't set well with me.  Lets win on the strength of our ideas, our beliefs, our values, our policies.
      Talk that Cantor only lost because of crossover dems will only encourage the jerk to run again.

      I was a liberal when liberal was cool, I was a liberal when liberal wasn't cool, but I always was and always will be a liberal.

      by LemmyCaution on Mon Jun 16, 2014 at 05:45:33 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  What about Jack Trammel? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      MichaelNY

      I am curious to know this man, who may very well be a promising representative for VA's 7th district.  

      He is not a politician, so he breaks the Cantor mold, certainly. And he is a family man, and intelligent.

      If he represents the district's real needs and aspirations, why wouldn't he, and not Brat, win?

      If this were the case, would you vote for him, JaceInVA? I respect your standing on your principles.

  •  That would explain part of the polling error (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Phoenix Woman, trkingmomoe

    You can bet the pollster didn't poll Democratic voters.

    Yes, DailyKos DOES have puzzles! Visit us here Saturday nights @ 5:00 PDT (easier puzzles) and Sunday nights @ 5:00 PDT (more challenging) for a group solving. Even if you just pop in and comment while watching the fun, everybody is welcome. uid:21352

    by pucklady on Mon Jun 16, 2014 at 10:22:06 AM PDT

  •  question (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    trkingmomoe

    what is your precinct-level scatter plots and model runs for

    Lake of the Woods in Orange County

    As far as I can tell this is the epicenter of the region where cantor received 80-90% of the total vote, it also had a very high turnout.

    Be the change that you want to see in the world

    by New Minas on Mon Jun 16, 2014 at 11:35:45 AM PDT

  •  While I usually agree with your analyses, (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    James Allen

    I think you are just being ridiculous here.

    Your most bogus assertion comes in your objection to David Jarman's 2nd and 3rd graphs. Yes, 68% of Obama voters voters live in Romney precincts, that number is much smaller when you're talking about Dems, and MUCH smaller when you're talking about liberals, particularly the ones influenced enough by party politics to bother to cast a crossover vote. Except for a portion of African Americans and (relatedly) the Louisiana-Mississippi region, it is almost universally true that the more polarized a place is, the greater the portion of its political dissenters who are unaffiliated and, to a greater degree, more moderate than the party they vote for. It's hard to imagine that more than 55% of the district's Dems or more than 35% of the district's liberals are from its Romney precincts. I won't presume to specify numbers relating to this race, but a much greater portion of crossover votes came from Obama precincts than you suggest.

    While I could come up with a number of other complaints,  there are a few pretty fundamental ones, particularly in regard to your portrayal of the home base effect. While it is clear that Brat had better turnout near Randolph-Macon, those precincts would very likely have been among the most anti-Cantor anyway, blurring your contention of a Obama-Brat correlation. (I would also contend that this "home-base" effect is much more the result of knowledge of the Brat campaign rather than support for it.) To get a real picture of the GOP primary electorate, in addition to the Hanover and New Kent voters, you need to remove the outlers: the 17 62%+ Obama precincts, the 3 25%- Obama precincts, the two mysterious Cantor precincts in Orange, and the 17 precincts with fewer than (arbitrarily) 100 votes (this leaves you with 89.6% of non-Hanover/New Kent voters, a 5,000 vote difference). This leaves you with Brat performing 0.34% better in a 60% Obama precinct than a 25% Obama precinct. That is a level barely above statistical noise.

    While it seems very likely that Democrats boosted Brat by at least a few hundred votes in strong Obama precincts, it is hard to see data that points towards a boost of more than (highballing here) 1,000 votes in the rest of the district.

    ME-01 (college) ID-01 (home) -4.75, -2.10

    by GoUBears on Mon Jun 16, 2014 at 11:55:28 AM PDT

    •  Food for thought. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Phoenix Woman, MichaelNY

      Thank you for your careful reading and informed criticism.

      In your first paragraph (you're referring to the NYT graphs, yes?) what you are saying (I think) is that you believe that the assumption of similar crossover behavior across the district is invalid. In other words, Obama voters are not all the same. While in a heavily Democratic precinct we might get 10% of Obama voters as crossover voters, in a heavily Republican district we will only get 1%. That seems like a reasonable hypothesis to me.

      However, if that were the case, then we should see the data in the plots above with multiple modeled lines following the black line for precincts with <50% Obama votes. This is clearly not the case in Henrico county at least.

      Next, I would agree with your comments about the home-base effect. I'm not quite sure how I managed to portray the home-base effect in any light except that it existed. Perhaps it was the use of the term Home Court Advantage? Does that imply to you support for some reason besides familiarity?

      Finally, you are correct that if you remove points above 60% Obama, Brat's home counties, and potential outliers, there's no relationship left. That would be because of the difference in support for Brat among Republicans between counties.

      Let's look at 2012, where there wasn't much of an organized campaign against Cantor, so Republican support should be much more uniform. For instance, Chesterfield County, when you remove the four points with Obama >60%, you still get a semi-decent regression with r2=0.43. Henrico, r2=0.38, Richmond it's r2=0.45. Support for Cantor drops by about ~15 pts as you move from 25% Obama to 60% Obama precincts in all three of these counties. It's possible that crossover voters came out in 2012 but not 2014 I suppose, but that doesn't seem too likely.

      •  Thanks for answering my points (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        MichaelNY

        while I do believe you overstate the crossover effect, I now understand your reasoning better.

        And yes, the "Home Court Advantage" does seem a bit misplaced to me. My characterization of that term would be an effect of "Hey, let's vote for the local guy!" or "Hey, let's vote for Dave!", but I don't think that was the case here. As he likely had more campaign volunteers in his home region, Brat easily had better name recognition. In this election, it wasn't policy differences that mattered (though that was part of the media's portrayal), it was the anti-Cantor sentiment. I believe Hanover's increased turnout was due much more to the knowledge of a non-Cantor being on the ballot than any real support for Brat by a 'hometown crowd'.

        ME-01 (college) ID-01 (home) -4.75, -2.10

        by GoUBears on Mon Jun 16, 2014 at 01:52:35 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Thanks (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Phoenix Woman, MichaelNY

          Words mean different things to different people. I think I understand what you're saying about the effects of campaigning locally versus the effects of loyalty due to local personal networks and relationships (even if the relationship is just being represented by the person in the city council or something). I will try to explicitly clarify which I'm talking about in the future.

  •  I'm an "independent" who could never vote for a (3+ / 0-)

    republican and look at himself in the mirror, no matter my motive, but hey . . . if Democrats took out Cantor . . . well, good job, guys!  You rock!!

    "The opposite of a profound truth may well be another profound truth.”" -- Paul Dirac

    by Rikon Snow on Mon Jun 16, 2014 at 01:15:33 PM PDT

  •  Hell yes, open primaries are open to all. Let the (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    trkingmomoe, Scandalous One

    cards fall where they may.  The teapublicans/libertarians who are trying to destroy the center of the Republican Party, must be challenged by their own.  

    As for me, more popcorn, while I anticipate the fall of all Republicans in the 2014 election.

  •  I wonder what the end result will be - not the (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    trkingmomoe, MichaelNY

    election, which I anticipate Brat will win, but for the House - will it be more moderate because a conservative was pushed out of the leadership?  Or will it be more conservative out of a growing fear of teabagger primaries?

    On a theoretical level, I support this kind of ratfucking in swing elections like, for instance, the state of Nevada - Reid probably saved his seat, and that was a good risk to take.  But I worked voter protection in this district back in '08 for the Obama campaign and, lemme tell you, it's a pretty heavily conservative and Republican district.  I'm all about getting resources to Trammel and seeing what he can do with them, but at the end of the day, safe bet's on Brat winning in November.

    It's all theoretical right now, anyone who tells you that they know the answer to all of those questions is lying, particularly since we haven't had any major leaks about who will be running for the House leadership and, more importantly, what leadership candidates various caucuses will be supporting.  But I sincerely hope that we don't have buyer's remorse.

    "The first drawback of anger is that it destroys your inner peace; the second is that it distorts your view of reality. If you come to understand that anger is really unhelpful, you can begin to distance yourself from anger." - The Dalai Lama

    by auron renouille on Mon Jun 16, 2014 at 01:24:05 PM PDT

  •  On it's face the premise is ridiculous. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LemmyCaution

    Why on Earth would Democrats want a Nutter like Brat on the ballot?  That close to the House?  I believe the adage is "better to deal with the devil you know than the devil you don't know".

    What concerns me is the possible misuse of the primary process.  I can see it now.  A Democratic Party favorite loses his/her primary because droves of Republicans came to vote for the number 2 or 3 candidate.  And the comeback?  "You did it first with Cantor!"  Um, no.  That didn't happen.  Seriously I can see this happening in heavily Republican districts so a solid candidate can never run against a perfectly gerrymandered spot.  It's like hanging a dead man - pointless but still you know for sure 'it ain't happening'.

  •  amazing work (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    trkingmomoe

    KOS: "Mocking partisans focusing on elections? Even less reason to be on Daily Kos."

    by fcvaguy on Mon Jun 16, 2014 at 01:35:35 PM PDT

  •  Isn't that usually the case? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    trkingmomoe, MichaelNY

    It's hard to ratfuck a popular politician because you need to cross a much bigger gulf.

    LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

    by dinotrac on Mon Jun 16, 2014 at 01:55:54 PM PDT

  •  If you cross over you undermine Democrat ticket (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    trkingmomoe

    My local Democratic party can't get anybody to run because so many Dems crossover to support the lesser of two GOP evils and lose their registration.
    Crossing over is a terrible idea.

  •  So, Brat's anti-establishment, anti-Wall Street (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    trkingmomoe

    message, however disingenuous, is meaningless and is therefore not suggestive that a more populist position on the part of Democrats would garner more electoral support. Centrist Dems will be relieved.

    The frog jumped/ into the old pond/ plop! (Basho)

    by Wolf10 on Mon Jun 16, 2014 at 02:06:47 PM PDT

  •  Total Speculation (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LemmyCaution, lostboyjim

    The bravado of the title of this essay is shocking, when the author admits she is just speculating.  This is unscientific nonsense.  As a very active Democrat in the 7th District I'll add my own speculation. Yes, there are probably more Democrats in the less affluent areas of the Seventh District, the same areas  that went for Brat, but there are also MANY more Tea Party Republicans in those less affluent  areas. You should have seen the yard signs in those precincts and no Dems were putting out yard signs LOL.  Cantor won big in the posh  areas where his Country Club friends live....those who like Cantor are out of touch with the anger that Tea Party types and Libertarians feel toward "traditional" Republicans.  So coming to the conclusion that Dems crossed over because Brat won in the less affluent areas is a false premise....he won where there are lots of Tea Party types.  Tea Party and Dems live side by side in these precincts.   Here's an unscientific observation of my own.  Though I've been an active Democrat for decades in the Seventh District, I only know ONE, count them ONE, Democrat who actually crossed over and voted for Brat.  Why didn't more people do it?  Because Brat is to the right of Cantor, and in this very gerrymandered District it is very, very wishful thinking that the Democrat will win, as hard as all of us might try. Voting for Brat if you are a Dem would be like voting for a pig in a poke.  He could make things worse.  Not many wanted to take that chance.  

    •  For what it's worth, I personally know 3 Democrats (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      MichaelNY, SilentBrook, Phoenix Woman

      who crossed over and voted for Brat. (I'm one of them.)

      The three of us live in the more affluent parts of Chesterfield and Henrico. We each saw this as our chance to get rid of Cantor, and decided we'd take our chances on getting rid of Brat, either this November or in 2016 -- when Hillary hopefully shakes up the electorate by appealing to crossover female voters.

      VirginiaBlue posted that he/she did the same, as did other Henrico democrats she met with.

      Can Brat make things worse? Possibly. But for the moment, Republicans are having to absorb the loss of a major fundraiser for the GOP, not to mention their only Jewish Congressman.

      Stephen Colbert does superb satire. Pity those offended by it.

      by VirginiaJeff on Mon Jun 16, 2014 at 09:25:01 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  thousands of Obama voters did vote against Eric Ca (0+ / 0-)

    Don't you think the Republican uninsured, unemployed,  women, minorities, veterans, and students might have voted against him also.

    It's called the chickens coming home to roost.

    Step up to the plate Mitch, your next.

  •  What needs to be done (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MichaelNY

    is to compare the voters in the 2014 Republican primary to recent Democratic primaries such as the 2013 Democratic primary for Lt. Governor and Attorney General. Those data won't be available for weeks.

  •  What happened in the Democratic primary? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    lostboyjim

    If crossover voting was a detectable effect in this election as opposed to merely something that happens routinely in all open primaries, then the Democratic primary would see reduced turnout along with the Republican primary seeing increased turnout.

    Since there are more Democrats in Democratic precincts we would expect turnout in the Republican primary to increase the most in Democratic precincts along with the Democratic primary seeing the greatest reduced turnout in Democratic precincts.  That should be accompanied by reduced Cantor support in Democratic precincts.

    Furthermore, treating this election as though it is stagnant is a poor method to use, since we can compare to past turnout.  How does Cantor's precinct performance compare to his primary in 2012?  Where was his rate of loss the greatest and does that correlate to the location of Democrats in the district?

    I don't know that much about this district, but it looks to me like the Brat vote is pretty accurately predicted by the proximity to Ashland, which is where Randolf Macon College was.  That's what we'd expect in a Republican primary between a very well known candidate across the district and a low budget grassroots campaign.  Where Brat was able to campaign a lot he won, where Brat was not able to campaign a lot he lost.

    Unless you're arguing that Democrats were super energized and rushed to the polls in their own primary in addition to the Republican primary, then the Democratic primary should have lower than expected turnout combined with higher than expected turnout in the Republican primary.  I have no idea if that's the case, but its an important question for this.  Without a doubt Democrats crossed over and some of them voted for Brat while others voted for Cantor, whether they made any tangible difference however is a more difficult question, and one that to me you haven't answered.

    "You can only protect your liberties in this world by protecting the other man's freedom. You can only be free if I am free."-Clarence Darrow

    by cwech on Mon Jun 16, 2014 at 10:38:14 PM PDT

  •  Not sure if this is a good thing or not. While ... (0+ / 0-)

    Not sure if this is a good thing or not. While I am happy over Cantor's defeat I'm not happy about the fact that Brat will likely succeed him- though their votes in Congress are likely to be pretty much identical in the end. Still, would rather have seen him crash and burn in the GE.

  •  Is Crossover voting a good thing? (0+ / 0-)

    Ok, Snaudenfreuden here for Cantor....

    But is screwing with the other party's primary healthy for Democracy?  (In Texas it tends to be Republican dicking with the Democratic Primary...is that healthy?).

    Minority rights should never be subject to majority vote.

    by lostboyjim on Tue Jun 17, 2014 at 08:04:33 AM PDT

  •  logic says... (0+ / 0-)

    while the republican pollsters may be idiots, it's probably safe to assume that they polled republican voters and excluded democratic voters. it's also safe to assume that total incompetency might explain a predicted landslide turning into a squeaker.

    the only reasonable explanation for a predicted landslide turning into an 11 point loss has to be cross-over votes. in a low-turnout election, it wouldn't take too many crossover voters to make an impact.

    one of the tests for the possibility might be comparing both parties results from two years ago with this year. i was only able to skim the post (add sucks), so you may have covered that.

    the one theory that is laughable is the anti-jew theory. ludicrous.

  •  why he loss (0+ / 0-)

    He loss because one he is a republican to they stop people living ! When they stop unployment  extention that was the worst thing they could have ever done ! Its crazy how everyone keep talking about this ! People have and still is losing there home and cant pay there bills and all you hear is this junk ! Are they the hell kidding me ! I can care less he loss and he is not going to be the only one a bunch of them need toget in line because they are next ! Them almost 3 million are so loss there jobs and some loss there homes and unployment and cars and the sad thing about! Some of that 3 million was probably his voters ! But they did not give a care what happen to them people so now and 205 is when they will see how it not to have a place to live ! Because I will never ever vote again and Idont care who the hick it is !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! UNLEESS ITIS GOD ! "OKAY "

  •  Cantor is out because the Kock's wanted him out. (0+ / 0-)

    Why? I know they are white supremacists and I think that goes hand in hand eventually with anti-Semites. If the Kochs wanted him in they would have moved heaven and Earth to save him. Crucify me, but I think it's a Jew-hating thing. These old polluters are our Nazis.

    "Education Is Not the Filling of a Pail, But the Lighting of a Fire" W.B. Yeats

    by RareBird0 on Tue Jun 17, 2014 at 02:56:08 PM PDT

  •  crossover assumption (0+ / 0-)

    The analysis hinges on the assumption that the Republican support for Brat is independent of the county - or if you will the fraction of democrats in a county.  One could assume, instead, that in a county with more democrats, that there are fewer crazy Republicans.  This is a reasonable assumption based on the fact that people do interact with neighbors and colleagues.  This assumption leads to the same pattern of results that you have - but without the cross-over.  In short, you actually need voter registration data vs. the vote to answer the question you have posed.

  •  These graphs are goofy. (0+ / 0-)

    They are not based on any data that is relevant to the question. They appear to assume that Cantor would receive the same percentage of votes except for cross over votes as if all Cantor voters in the previous elections would continue to vote for Cantor. That is a patently false assumption.

    Data relevant to the question:
    How many people voted in the Dist 07 primary 2014?
    How many Republicans voted in the Dist 07 primary 2014?
    How many Democrats voted in the Dist 07 primary 2014?

    The very low turnout in the Republican vs. Republican primary means that no extrapolations form a Republican vs. Democrat general election can be made.

    The best graphs would come from previous Republican vs. Republican primaries at times there were also Democratic candidates in the primaries and then compare with this primary without Democratic candidates.

    If we don't even know how many Democrats voted in the primary, then there is no basis for guessing how many.  

    "The owners of this country know the truth: its called the American Dream because you have to be asleep to believe it." ~ George Carlin

    by Gregory Wonderwheel on Tue Jun 17, 2014 at 06:48:13 PM PDT

  •  Someone needs to tell the NYTimes... (0+ / 0-)

    whose front page carries a story foreseeing bad times for moderates due to the Cantor crash.  

    ...And all the other media who have elevated a once dying 'Tea Party' to a muscular force, a lynchpin in Rep. elections.

    BTW, Brat did not run on the Tea Party line nor did he receive monetary backing from that party, yet Gwen Ifill, on PBS Newshour, broke the news saying, "Tea Party candidate David Brat..."

    Credit where credit is due:
    Weak Republican support and Dem voters' turnout together knocked Cantor from power in VA 7th district primary.

  •  .....and We helped! (0+ / 0-)

    My wife & I are two Democrats who voted to help rid Virginia of Cancer....oops, I mean Cantor. Well, not much difference between the two is there?

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