Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Election Analysis

Are you ready to embrace a new America? Some of these breakouts may be interesting!

I only added that image so you can see that Barack Obama got 53% of the votes, and John McCain got 46% of the votes. While not a "landslide" it is a pretty convincing delta considering that we have seen the winner of the popular vote lose an election.

But that's just the tip of the iceberg, take a look at some of these breakouts and see where you fall in line with America or where you are "out of touch" with Modern America (I say that only jokingly but everyone may see some surprises).

This was a surprise to me that both men and women chose Obama over McCain. Going into the election it looked like McCain might have a lead among men but that the huge delta among women would trump that - but instead both picked Obama even if men just slightly did so.

If you are over 65 you picked McCain - otherwise you picked Obama. OK, that's a generalization but that trend is a fascinating look at either 1) passing the baton to the next generation as leaders or 2) ageism plain and simple.

What stood out to me is that the wealthiest American's - those who unlike Joe the Plumber will actually have their taxes raise - they chose Obama! I think that people's reactions to paying higher taxes come from fear and a "scarcity of resources" mindset versus a feeling of abundance in their lives. As you may know I think all taxes should be raised as we not only need to balance the budget but we need to address out 10 trillion dollar debt which is really just stealing money from our children - but that's another blog.

I was NOT surprised to see the poorest Americans (bottom ~40% of American's) chose Obama because of the hope and help from government he represents versus a "you are on your own" mind set some on the far right may have. I'm in between certainly.

Here is one of the biggest surprises to me. Obama won across all education levels. I'm not sure I can easily articulate my feeling on the matter other than to say I underestimated the fact that democrats and republicans span all education and income levels, only vary in where they live (rural vs urban) as a trend.

If I had to pick a surprise here it's that Obama won in the suburbs - only barely but that's where 50% of us live.

While who these groups voted for is NOT surprising, maybe what is interesting is to see that MORE Americans believe the government needs to do more than it currently is (hopefully this opinion was formed BEFORE the bail out because the government is "getting all up in it" now!).

These results are obvious, as people often vote by party line - but what is interesting is to see that almost 8% more of Bush's voters switched to Obama this year than vice-versa - and that is how the Democrats won - in the middle and with those who did note vote before.

Another example that the majority of Americans are in the middle on ideology and that's where Obama won. I am surprised to see 34% conservative and 22% liberal - both of those groups seem bigger than I would have expected.

No stunners here for me. I think if McCain is the choice of Protestants who represent 54% of the US, he had to win bigger than he did.

I was surprised to see that almost 1 in 4 white evangelicals in the US chose Obama. I didn't think it would be that big.

I think both of these can be explained by - the younger you are the more likely you were to vote for Obama.

This is interesting - and to break any myths about Democrats - if you work full-time - the more likely you were to vote for Obama.

The gun ownership wasn't surprising - but to break another myth about democrats - look how close our military vets were split between Obama and McCain - they chose McCain - but by much less than I would have expected. I believe had there been a poll among those currently serving in the military it may have been more lopsided. I think some people's views on war may change with hindsight.

and now LAST BUT NOT LEAST....

I put this one in last so that you could look at the differences in how American's voted by a number of different breakouts and maybe spent some time thinking about where your views fit in and where America's views fit.

Now - Are you prepared for an America where Obama won the presidency by a safe 7% margin but he would have lost the election among whites by a wide 12% margin.

Let that one sit in for a second...

I think this one is challenging to some Americans but one I am pretty excited about it. America has always been a "melting pot" and a diverse country, but now as we continue to grow more diverse and more globally connected - I think the "center-right" description of America is sure to almost disappear and I think even today it may be a "center-left" country (refer back to the question about should government be more or less involved).

This is my point - are some morning the loss of a country run by those who were in charge in the past or excited by those we represent today. I think the old-boys club that even Sarah Palin was fighting against is becoming a thing of the past - even if a large percentage of Americans by morn its passing or be in denial about the Modern America. I think the Democratic Party is best positioned to capture the huge growth in minorities in the future. So as the Republicans huddle up and figure out what they stand for after this loss - they need to figure out how to grow their base more than pander to it (just my opinion).

A nod to Hillary and a statement on Sexism
It may be dangerous and irresponsible to try and hold the Barack vs. Hillary primary as a statement on the views in the US (otherwise the battle of the sexes on the tennis courts would have defined athletic ability) - but I will use it to discuss sexism - not because I think Obama won solely because of this , but because I think we got a preliminary view of sexism in politics. I think as an entire nation the US was more willing to accept a minority male president than a female president. I think the qualities we look for in a leader we see much more positively in a male candidate than we do in a female candidate. I think we saw that our stereo-typed gender roles trumped out racial biases, maybe not directly reflected in votes because people vote for candidates for numerous reasons, but because of how Hillary and Sarah were treated. Politics may be the oldest "old boys network" left in the US - next to Commercial real-estate I am told as many female real estate agents work in residential sales instead.

I also should add that I believe ageism played a factor in McCain's loss but I also think that the youth of the country have different fundamental views that previous generations so you could also argue ideology but I don't want to discount ageism.

1 comment:

Karen said...

i liked your charts. The race one continues to frustrate me.

i think really what this should show to McCain's camp post-election are the areas they failed in - especially reaching a younger (<65) audience. Every time i, a 29 year old, turned around i saw Obama. he marketed where i was. I never heard boo about McCain. Why that's not obvious is beyond me but lead me to say multiple times - his campaign marketing people need to be fired and replaced by a 20 year old.