Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Demographic Thresholds

I have been saying all along, that McCain was closer to Obama in the election campaign than the polls were indicating. However, I have been doing so by focusing on party affiliation, the demographic most fiddled with by the polls. Those critiquing my analysis have sometimes pointed to internal demographics which show problems for McCain. With just a week until the end of the season, let’s see where the thresholds for election are, with regard to demographics. That is, what is the minimum performance in each area which was enough to get the win? Here are the numbers:

In 1992, Clinton won with just 41% of the vote from male voters. Right now Barack Obama is tracking 40% of the male vote in Battleground, and 47% in Gallup, while McCain is tracking 44% in Battleground and 46% in Gallup. Before I go further, I want to note that the party skewing could affect this numbers, and also that the numbers in a poll may end up being a bit different in the actual election results. Therefore, all we are doing is seeing whether the candidates are roughly where they want to be.

In 1968, Nixon won with just 43% of the vote from women voters. Right now Obama is tracking 54-55% with Battleground and Gallup, while McCain is tracking 35-39%. As I said, however, while this is a problem area it may be artificially low, as republican women have much higher support for McCain than do democratic women polled.

In 1992, Clinton won with just 39% of the White vote. Right now Obama is tracking 39-44% with White voters, while McCain is tracking 47-50% with White voters.

In 2000, Bush won with just 9% of Black voters. Right now Obama is tracking 82-91% with Black voters, but McCain is tracking only 3% with Black voters in both Battleground and Gallup. It’s very unlikely that McCain will reach the 9% mark, so either this measure will prove to be meaningless, or it will be a key demographic since Obama has locked it up.

In 1968, Nixon won with just 38% of the under-30 vote. Right now Obama is tracking 56-59% of that demographic, while McCain is tracking 29-38% with that group.

In 1968, Nixon won with just 41% of the 30-49 vote. Right now Obama is tracking 43-50% with that group while McCain is tracking 43-45%.

In 2000, Bush won with just 45% of the 50+ vote. Right now, Obama is tracking 35-45% with that group while McCain is tracking 44-50%.

In 1980, Reagan won with just 86% support from republicans. Right now McCain is tracking at 83-92% from republicans.

In 1992, Clinton won with just 82% support from democrats. Right now Obama is tracking at 80-89% from democrats.

In 1960, Kennedy won with just 5% support from republicans. Right now Obama is tracking at 5-7% support from republicans.

In 2000, Bush won with 10% support from democrats. Right now McCain is tracking at 7% support from democrats (PUMA influence not known).

In 2000, Bush won with 42% support in the East. Right now Obama is tracking at 52-58% and McCain is tracking at 35-36% in the East.

In 1992, Clinton won with 44% support in the Midwest. Right now Obama is tracking at 46-52% there and McCain is tracking at 37-39% in the Midwest.

In 1968, Nixon won with 38% support in the South. Right now Obama is tracking at 36-42% there, while McCain is tracking at 51% support in the South.

In 2000, Bush won with 47% support in the West (Clinton won with the same level in 1992). At this time Obama is tracking at 44-54% in the West, while McCain is tracking at 38-40% support.

As I wrote at the beginning, these numbers are comparing poll numbers to election results, and at this time in 2004 both Bush and Kerry were more than 5 percentage points away from their final results in many categories. The undecideds play a key role in the final tallies, and they will do so again this year. Also worth noting at this time are comparisons in these additional demographics:

Urban voters: 55-31 Obama
Suburban voters: 48-39 McCain
Rural voters: 41-40 Obama or 44-40 McCain depending on the poll

Single voters: 61-24 Obama
Married voters: 47-39 McCain

And finally, for some reason no major poll seems to be releasing any internal demographics for Asian voters. Sure, we’re talking between 1 and 2 percent, but in some places they could matter.

2 comments:

Hestrold said...

DJ - there is this, the big money goes to the internal pollsters. Why? They better be as right as possible.

http://thehill.com/campaign-2008/mccains-pollster-foresees-tight-race-on-election-night-2008-10-28.html

David Marcoe said...

So, DJ, what do you think the reliability of the demographics are for these public polls?