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Hullabaloo


Wednesday, November 07, 2012

 
Skewed Vision, not skewed polls

by digby

Why the conservatives were convinced that the polls were skewed and why they were wrong:

PARTY ID: During the campaign, conservatives embraced a theory that polls were skewed, based on the thought that the electorate could not possibly lean as heavily Democratic as it did in 2008. In the end, though, the party ID makeup in 2012 was 38% Democratic, 32% Republican and 29% Independent, almost identical to 2008's 39-32-29 split.

LATINO AND AFRICAN-AMERICAN TURNOUT: A big question hovering around Obama's re-election was whether he could turn out Latino and African-American voters. With lower Democratic enthusiasm overall, it was assumed that these demographics wouldn't turn out at the same levels as 2008. But African-Americans made up the same percentage of the electorate as they did in 2008 (13%), and the Latino percentage actually increased from 9% to 10%.

YOUTH TURNOUT: Similarly, it was assumed that young people would not be as enthused, and thus would not turn out at the levels they did in 2008. But 18-to-29-year-olds made up 19% of the electorate in 2012, up from 18% in 2008.

THE CATHOLIC VOTE: Obama's support among Catholics was expected to be hurt because of his administration's high-profile scuffle with the Catholic Church over the contraception mandate in the Affordable Care Act earlier this year. But Obama won the Catholic vote by a 50-48 margin — a drop from, but not the catastrophic slide that some projected.

Some of this was living in their big bubble of discontent. But I also think they have to look to the last two years of governance and campaigning for the answer to why the Obama turnout would have been so good despite a lackluster economy and a deflation of hope for change. The answer is simple: from 2010 on they acted like a bunch of assholes and the people who were only mildly paying attention or who were feeling disillusioned realized that as bad as things are, these people had to be stopped.

That GOP primary, where the arrogant audiences behaved like barbarians and booed a gay soldier, cheered lustily for the death penalty and shouted "yeah!" when a candidate was asked is someone should die for lack of health insurance presented a perfect picture of what the Party had become. The nomination of the quintessential plutocrat and a running mate known for his plan to brutally slash the modest American safety net was a perfect capper. As Ari Melber put it here:

Republicans presented the coldest, most concentrated pitch for selfish individualism since Barry Goldwater. Historians may marvel at how Ayn Rand and the assault on "takers" became such mainstream themes in the year 2012. Or how nationally televised primary debates devolved into attacks on government obligations that were once located firmly in the zone of bipartisan consensus. National disaster response used to be an obvious government project, but Romney felt the need to pretend that states should pick up the tab; several Republicans disputed the duty of hospitals to provide emergency care to poor people, a humane tradition that was codified into federal law by, yes, Ronald Reagan.

If there was a moment that crystallized what we were dealing with, it was that amazing video of Romney standing before a group of vastly wealthy socialites derisively describing 47% of the American people as dependent losers.

If the Republicans want to know why the turnout among Democrats was so high, all they need to do is look in the mirror. America is a complicated place, but most people in this country are hard working straight arrows who still believe that America is a fairly generous and decent country. That ugly GOP vision clearly isn't one that most of them want to live with.


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