Nov 7 2012
02:27 pm

Quick Observations:

  1. Soft-support does not win elections. Romney was troubled by people voting AGAINST something rather than for something. Not a good scenario in a country were people tend to vote positively
  2. Obama lost two 2008 states, but those outcomes were idiosyncratic. Indiana came out against Mourdock, but went heavy for Romney. North Carolina was touch-and-go on its pick for President, but internally voted in GOP super majorities in State legislature with Pat McCrory as the new GOP governor.
  3. A full 1.2% of the conservative/libertarian vote that may have gone to Romney went to Virgil Goode, a loon, and Gary Johnson, not a loon.
  4. Gary Johnson carried an average of 1.1 points or so in every state in which he was one the ballot.
  5. Urban places and Hispanic Counties broke heavy for Obama as did rural counties in Eastern NC/Eastern Va. Texas cities went heavy for Obama as well.
metulj's picture

Analysis: Rural areas that

Analysis: Rural areas that remain in agricultural production, and have Hispanic or mixed Hispanic/African-American populations may become a new "heartland" regime. The US continues to become a coastal, maritime urban complex as part of its urbanization. The Virginia suburban counties are an outlier, but if Obama presides over the expected growth wave over the next 4 years, suburban voters could be lost to the GOP in places where they consider them locks: Atlanta, I-4 Florida, Indianapolis.....

Rachel's picture

Chuck Todd said last night

Chuck Todd said last night that he doesn't think you can continue to call the I4 corridor a true "swing" area - that it now leans Dem.

metulj's picture

Well, Chuck Todd holds more

Well, Chuck Todd holds more conflicting thoughts in his head than by 5-year-old does when he's in the Legos aisle at Target.

Rachel's picture

Last night he seemed to throw

Last night he seemed to throw the punditry out and concentrate on the actual data.

metulj's picture

Occasionally, he does his

Occasionally, he does his job? I spent the night why a woman in her 60s was reporting in the cold from outside of the Romney site (Margaret Warner). Oh, yeah. You had to plonk down cold hard cash to get credentialed for a stand up space.

Rachel's picture

Could you mean "trounced?"

Could you mean "trounced?" And yeah, I was wondering last night how many of the Romney votes were anti-Obama votes rather than pro-Romney votes.

metulj's picture

The GOP had better embrace

The GOP had better embrace the Sigma Phi Epsilon branch of its party. They may be morons, but if they read this thread: the Libertarians are for them, not the schizophrenic Republicans. Gary Johnson and his little band of followers may just seem like a bunch of crazy people, but, internally, they are a hell of a lot more consistent than the GOP, they are not racists, and, by rule, don't give a damn about what you do in your private life.

Somebody's picture

I would dispute the

I would dispute the characterization that we are necessarily a country where "people tend to vote positively." People vote one way or the other for all kinds of reasons, positive and negative. Certainly Romney benefited from anti-Obama votes, but the reverse is true as well. I heard plenty of voters interviewed on TV and radio stating that they weren't real happy with Obama, but that they would stick with him because they didn't like Romney at all.

This was a close, but good win for the President, and there are troubling numbers in the data for Republicans, but don't get cocky. The quickest path to defeat in the next election is through hubris over the last one.

metulj's picture

I would disagree

This is sort of the canonical article on my assertion. Negative support is a weak base.

Nadeau, R. and Lewis-Beck, M. S. (2001), National Economic Voting in U.S. Presidential Elections. Journal of Politics, 63: 159–181. doi: 10.1111/0022-3816.00063

National economic conditions regularly influence outcomes in U.S. presidential elections. However, beyond this simple finding, much remains unclear. How large are national economic effects? Which macroeconomic indicators? Subjective or objective measures? Retrospective or prospective? What is the role of institutions? In our analysis of the American National Election Studies, 1956–1996, we employ a National Business Index (NBI), an aggregate measure that amalgamates individual voter perceptions of the collective economy. It outperforms other national economic measures and reveals that effects have been underestimated. The assumption of strong retrospective economic voting is tested under different institutional hypotheses. Contrary to expectations, it is not found to be influenced by divided government, but it is heavily influenced by incumbency, meaning in practice whether a popularly elected president is running. Moreover, this incumbency variable highly conditions the time horizon of national economic voting. When a popularly elected president is not running, such voting is almost entirely prospective. These conditional effects go a long way toward explaining certain enduring controversies in the literature.

Fabricant's picture


All this says is that when an incumbent is running, voters will likely focus on past economic performance.

metulj's picture

Yeah, the idea is that they

Yeah, the idea is that they have an issue to look at which is positive voting rather than simple anti-Obama stuff which is what hurt Romney.

Andy Axel's picture

This being the first

This being the first post-Citizens United* election, I'm curious about the elasticity of the vote in terms of dollars spent per campaign. Current estimates show that the final tally will top $6bn in spending.

How many dollars were spent versus how much did the needle move in either direction? Or was there a backlash against the political ads reflected in the final vote totals?

While some conventional wisdom says that big-dollar donors "don't care about dollar efficiency, they care about winning," I think there's a point at which said donors will discontinue feeding dollars into the chipper if there aren't realized returns. (This might also go a long way towards explaining why the horse-race narrative was so important to so many, even as the statisticians were calling this race as nailed-up for Obama. Gotta keep those unrestricted dollars flowing into the advertising bucket...) Oh, to be a fly on the wall in Charlie Koch's office today.

* please recall that this group was chartered initially as "Citizens United Not Timid," a dedicated anti-Hillary campaign.

metulj's picture

"Oh, to be a fly on the wall

"Oh, to be a fly on the wall in Charlie Koch's office today."

I am sure there is a bug in Charlie Koch's office.

Hildegard's picture

L.A. Times columnist Doyle

L.A. Times columnist Doyle McManus reminded Bob Edwards yesterday that Obama outspent Mitt Romney by $250 million, but pointed out Romney had to run two campaigns (primary, general). To say nothing of dark money.

Somebody's picture

Well, there's the dark money,

Well, there's the dark money, plus no one seems to add in the budget for FoxNews, which had been running a 24-7 infomercial for Romney for quite some time.

reform4's picture

Texas Long-Term

I heard someone opine that with its looming demographic shift, Texas will soon become a swing state, and eventually solidly blue (assuming the Democrats remain aligned with the Hispanic community).

THAT is what's going to be the issue that eventually reforms the GOP. I see their only hope is embracing the libertarian wing, especially the youth, who are intellectually consistent with the 'smaller government' and apply it equally to social issues.

The evangelicals are going to get jettisoned soon, and as it turns out, they are a demographic dying breed as well (those identifying themselves as 'evangelical' are on a SHARP downturn).

For Tennessee, the only question is- how long will it take for us to catch up with this national trend?

Somebody's picture

Based on yesterday's count,

Based on yesterday's count, Texas would have to clone and add back in the equivalent of all the Democratic voters in Houston, Dallas, Austin and San Antonio* to the total Democratic roster before they could fill the gap and shift to become a 'blue state.' That's assuming the Republican numbers do not also go up.

It's not that it couldn't happen, but I wouldn't put dinner on hold to wait for it.

*P.S. Those cities (counties really) all turned up blue on the map, swimming in a sea of red.

Fabricant's picture

No, the demographic swings

No, the demographic swings are true. Half of Texas's population will be Latino in 20 years.

Somebody's picture

Well, I guess it depends on

Well, I guess it depends on how you define the word "soon." According to this guy, "soon" is estimated to be 2024.

Tamara Shepherd's picture


Per this 2002 Brookings study (relying on 2000 Census data), page 4 indicates:

Dallas, 23% Latino
Houston, 30%
San Antonio, 51%

So yeah, I can see 38 more assuredly blue electoral votes in the near future, too.

redmondkr's picture

CNN is showing a LBGT vote

CNN is showing a LBGT vote of:

Obama 76%
Romney 22%

Tamara Shepherd's picture




Is the order of the characters in this acronym significant in any way, or may I use them interchangeably?

I'm serious. I'm growing older and want to think that I'm still keepin' up okay...

redmondkr's picture

I usually put the 'L' first

I usually put the 'L' first in deference to my lesbian friends and my experience that hell hath no fury like a lesbian scorned.

I saw an LBGTQ the other day apparently because of the fact that there are several who prefer to be called just plain old queers (or maybe it's queens).

I don't know. I get this way when I'm reading Armistead Maupin and, anyway, God Save the Queens!

Rachel's picture

I believe the Q is for

I believe the Q is for "questioning." But I like queens better. :)

Tamara Shepherd's picture


Sounds like I don't really need to make any notation inside the back cover of my Strunk and White, then.


Factchecker's picture

Post mortem on the institution that is FoxNews


And also on Slate, Fox and Rove's 5 stages of grief:


Rachel's picture

Romney campaign concedes

Romney campaign concedes Florida.

Congrats, stickthrower!

R. Neal's picture

I'm wondering if the GOP

I'm wondering if the GOP voter suppression backfired. How many Romney voters showed up at the polls in battleground states and saw long lines and thought "Screw this. I've got better things to do like creating jobs and tending to my portfolio and besides I don't even like the guy."

I'm probably a little biased, and maybe influenced by our recent trip to Selma, but I'm thinking the people in those lines were thinking "Screw this. I'll stand here all day and night if that's what it takes to have my vote counted."

I'm thinking the national GOP, and particularly the Romney campaign just couldn't, or didn't even know how to, relate to Real Americans. Particularly in Ohio.

bizgrrl's picture

"Screw this. I'll stand here

"Screw this. I'll stand here all day and night if that's what it takes to have my vote counted."


Min's picture

If that is what happened...

...I'm very proud of my fellow citizens. It ought to be like that every election.

redmondkr's picture

Just now WBIR-TV ran that

Just now WBIR-TV ran that obnoxious American Crossroads Ad.

Factchecker's picture

Could we really start addressing real problems?!

NPR did a piece tonight about how the evangelicals are losing their grip on political influence. Did they really mean no more George W's or Saint Ronnies? Promise??

It was a tearful driveway moment.

redmondkr's picture

Remember a couple of years

Remember a couple of years ago when that study found that Fox watchers tended to be more ignorant of current events? Well look at Exhibit A.

redmondkr's picture

A few states have done it

A few states have done it again, they've pissed off the pope.

Fortunately, he doesn't really hold the keys to Heaven. Fortunately for him, neither do I.

bizgrrl's picture

Arizona woman runs over

Arizona woman runs over husband using Jeep SUV because he failed to vote in the 2012 presidential election.

Tamara Shepherd's picture



Solomon's husband, Daniel Solomon, told police his wife "just hated Obama" and was very angry he was re-elected and blamed the President for problems her family is going through.

Police said there were no indications that Holly was impaired by alcohol or drugs during the incident.


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