Thursday, August 26, 2004

Indicators and Demographics

Gazing even closer than usual at the election, I find myself in the deepest jungles of Demographica. Before the readers’ collective eyes glaze over completely, or worse yet, they leave my site in search of something with more zip, let me say that I am trying to find those demographic points which are really relevant to the race. In any case, since so many polls refuse to reveal their demographics (making their conclusions suspect, in my opinion), there’s not always a lot of data available for comparison. Nevertheless, there are some points of reference, to let one determine weak and strong points in a candidates’ position.

As always, Gallup proves to be tremendously valuable, in this case providing the Exit Polls for every Presidential Election since 1952 http://www.gallup.com/content/default.aspx?ci=9469 (Roper is also useful, but their data only goes back to 1976). Gallup cites over thirty categories of Demographics, but because not every year has information for every category, I will simply use the information I consider relevant and complete. For the 2004 demographic numbers, I have pulled the internals from the following polls:

Zogby
The Battleground Poll
Marist University's
Last Two Polls
Pew Research
Fox News' Last Two Polls
LA Times
The CBS/New York Times Poll
Quinnipiac University
CNN/USA Today/Gallup's Last Two Polls
NPR
The Wall Street Journal/NBC News Poll
Democracy Corps
ARG


OK, On to the results:

In 1992, Bill Clinton won the White House with 43.2% of the Popular Vote. So, both Bush (46.0% avg) and Kerry (48.2% avg) are in range if things should shake out.

In 1992, Bill Clinton won the White House with just 41% of the Men’s vote. In 2000, Bush took 53% of the Men’s Vote. Bush right now has 49.0%, Kerry 42.2%. Both are below the average for their parties at this point, because of the undecideds.

In 1968, Richard Nixon won the White House with just 43% of the Women’s vote. In 2000, Bush took 43% of Women’s Vote. Kerry right now has 49.0%, Bush 40.8%, so this is a clear point of advantage for Kerry, and a problem for Bush. However, Bush can and will address this with speeches by Laura Bush and Lynne Cheney.

In 1992, Bill Clinton won the White House with just 39% of the White vote. In 2000, Bush took 54% of the White Vote. Bush has 54.0%, and Kerry has 40.0% right now.

In 2000, George W. Bush won the White House with just 9% of the Black vote. Kerry has 84% , and Bush has 12% of the Black vote right now.

In 2000, George W. Bush took 22.8% of the non-White Vote. Right now, Kerry has 73.1% and Bush 24.1% of the non-White Vote.

In 1968, Richard Nixon won the White House with just 38% of the under-30 vote. In 2000, George W Bush took 46% of that group. At this time, Kerry and Bush are effectively tied at 48% of that group.

In 1968, Nixon won the White House with just 41% of the 30-49 vote. In 2000, W. took 49% of that group. Right now, Bush leads Kerry, 49%-47%, in this group.

In 2000, George W. Bush won the White House with 45% of the 50+ vote. Right now, Bush leads Kerry, 48% to 46%, in that group.

In 1960, John F. Kennedy won the White House with just 38% of the Protestant Vote. In 2000, Bush took 55% of that group. Right now, Bush has 57% of the Protestant Vote, Kerry has 33%.

In 1968, Richard Nixon won the White House with just 33% of the Catholic Vote. In 2000, bush took 46% of that group. Right now, Kerry leads Bush, 50% to 37% , in that group.

In 1980, Ronald Reagan won the White House with just 86% of the Republican Vote. In 2000, Bush took 92% of the Republican Vote. Right now, Bush has 88.4% of the Republican Vote.

In 1992, Bill Clinton won the White House with just 82% of the Democrat Vote. Kerry has 85.4% of the Democrat Vote right now.

In 2000, Bush won the White House with 10% of the Democrat Vote. Right now, Bush is polling 8.3% of the Democrat Vote.

In 1960, John F. Kennedy won the White House with 5% of the Republican Vote. Right now, Kerry is polling 6% of the Republican Vote.

In 2000, Bush won the White House with 42% support in the East. He is polling 37% there now, while Kerry is at 58%.

In 1992, Bill Clinton won the White House with just 44% support in the Midwest. In 2000, Bush took 49% in the Midwest, and right now, Bush is leading Kerry in the Midwest, 50% to 43%.

In 1968, Richard Nixon won the White House with just 38% of the South Vote. In 2000, Bush took 54% of the South Vote. Right now, Bush leads Kerry in the South, 56% to 41%.

In 2000, Bush won the White House, and in 1992, Bill Clinton won the White House, with just 47% support in the West. Right now, Kerry leads Bush in the West, 48% to 46%.

There’s a pulse in there somewhere…

Overall, the indicators are what one would expect for this point in the race, but there are two points to watch.

First, it should be remembered that this position is in between the two conventions, when Kerry has rallied and energized his core, while Bush is stil preparing for the GOP Convention. I expect the Bush numbers to rise when the GOP Convention has its effect.

Second, Bush has risen in a number of areas from his 2000 performance. Like his Job Approval, this hints that a large number of people will decide to support Bush, if he just gives them a good reason. Between the Convention, the 9/11 anniversary, and the debates, I fully expect President Bush to provide a sound reason, and then some.

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