Among the issues most commonly discussed are individuality, the rights of the individual, the limits of legitimate government, morality, history, economics, government policy, science, business, education, health care, energy, and man-made global warming evaluations. My posts are aimed at thinking, intelligent individuals, whose comments are very welcome.

09 November 2012

What Age Were the 10 Million Missing Voters

I noted in this earlier post that nearly 10 million white voters did not vote in the presidential election and that about a million black voters also did not, compared to their numbers in the 2008 election.  What were the ages of the missing voters?

From the CNN exit polls for each election:

2008:

18-29 years old, 18% of voters, 66% voted for Obama, 32% voted for McCain
30-44 years old, 29% of voters, 52% voted for Obama, 46% voted for McCain
45-64 years old, 37% of voters, 50% voted for Obama, 49% voted for McCain
>= 65 years old, 16% of voters, 45% voted for Obama, 53% voted for McCain

2012:


18-29 years old, 19% of voters, 60% voted for Obama, 37% voted for Romney
30-44 years old, 27% of voters, 52% voted for Obama, 45% voted for Romney
45-64 years old, 38% of voters, 47% voted for Obama, 51% voted for Romney
>= 65 years old, 16% of voters, 44% voted for Obama, 56% voted for Romney

So, the only major change in the percentage of voters by age was the decrease in the 30 - 44 year old group who favored Obama in both elections.  They favored Obama by 6% in the 2008 election and by 7% in 2012.  The 18 to 29 year olds increased from 18% to 19% of the voters, but their preference for Obama fell from a 34% differential to a 23% differential.  I expected a sizable decrease here due to the very high unemployment of young adults.  Overrall, the changes in these two age groups did not help Obama relative to 2008.

The 47 to 64 year olds increased in percentage of voters from 37 to 38%.  They had favored Obama by a 1% differential in 2008, but they favored Romney by a 4% differential in 2012.  Those 65 and older were 16% of the voters in both elections.  They had favored McCain by 8% in 2008 and they favored Romney by 12% in 2012.  The changes for both of these age groups helped Romney do better than McCain did.

It is clear though that there were large decreases in the number of voters in each of these age groups, with the biggest decrease among 30-44 year olds who supported Obama.  The relative decrease among 18 - 29 year olds and among 45-64 year olds was slightly less than that for those 65 and over.

There is no simple explanation for the Romney loss based on age.  The lower turnout in this election has a much greater racial make-up than it does an age make-up.  Insofar as it has an age based effect, the harm to Obama was greater than that to Romney.

By age considerations, the reason Romney lost is because he did not get a high enough percentage of the vote in any age group to win.  Yes, the older and wiser the voter, the better Romney did.   No question it would have helped him greatly if 18-29 year olds had massively failed to vote relative to older voters.  I had expected their percentage of all voters to drop in this election relative to 2008, but that sure did not happen.  Apparently, though their absolute numbers dropped greatly, so did those of all of the other three age groups.

As yet, Romney's failure to motivate white voters to vote is still looking like his main, but not his only, problem.  The explanation that many are offering that he simply did not seem to differ in policy enough from Obama for voters to get enthusiastic about him  and come out to vote for him makes a lot of sense.  They decided to stay with the guy they did not like or agree with very much instead of trying someone else they were not sure they liked or agreed with very much.

1 comment:

Harry Dale Huffman said...

Whatever the reasons, it is the consequences of this decision that will play out now, for better or worse. "An eye for an eye" is the root of all evil, and that is what brought the Insane Left and Obama to power. Reasoned minds know it will not be pretty, but will look like the power struggles throughout history, so that no one will be able to say mankind has progressed one iota beyond the fears and superstitions of ages past. Many will even applaud these obsessive replays of historical strife, and the resurgence of benighted ideas that good men have beaten back, time after time, at the cost of their lives, and their childrens'.