Monday, November 15, 2004

Election 2004 in figures

This is based on CNN's figures, which you can find here.

Gender: Men voted for Bush by a margin of 11 points, whilst women voted for Kerry by a margin of 3 points.

Race: Amongst whites, Bush had a lead of 17%; Kerry had a whopping 77% lead amongst African-Americans, 9 points amongst Hispanics, and 12 points amongst APIs.

Age: Only 18-29 year-olds were more likely to vote Kerry (9 points); anyone over 30 showed, on average, a 6% disposition towards Bush.

Income: Those earning less than $15 000 were almost twice as likely to vote for Kerry; at the top end of the income scale, the picture is almost completely reversed, with those earning more than $200 000 almost twice as likely to have voted for Bush.

Education: Surprisingly, this appears to make no consistent impact on voting behaviour: only those with some post-graduate study and those who haven’t completed high school were more likely to vote for Kerry.

Religion: Protestants were 19 points more likely to vote for Bush. Kerry’s Catholicism doesn’t appear to have helped him much; Catholics were 5% more likely to have voted for Bush – perhaps reflecting the relative popularity of the Bush campaign’s anti-abortion stance.

Within Protestantism, white Evangelicals were 57% more likely to vote Bush; a considerable margin, although not as homogenous as many commentators thought. This picture is reinforced by the stats measuring religious devotion: while those attending church at least once a week were much more likely to vote Bush, the margin is not as high as some of the more lazy commentaries would have you believe. Jews were 49% more likely to support Kerry – in keeping with previous elections, although the Democrats appear to have slipped amongst this constituency by around 9 points.

Marital/Family status: Married people 15% more likely to vote Bush – rising to 19 if they have children as well, although it is perhaps significant that this falls to an 8 point lead if these children are under 18 (perhaps those who have children who have left home are enthusiastic about “family value” as a concept). While Kerry predictably leads amongst gays, lesbians and bi-sexuals, (54 points) a surprising 23% voted for Bush.

Iraq: The statistics here show what a difficult issue this was – for Kerry that is: those who approved of the war have 6 points over those who did not; surprisingly, slightly more people thought Kerry’s attacks on Bush in the campaign were unfair than Bush’s attacks on Kerry; and 55% thought the invasion of Iraq was about the War on Terror as opposed to 42% that did not.

Terrorism: This was also a very difficult issue for Kerry. 71% of the electorate described themselves “worried about terrorism” and on this, Bush had an 18-point lead. This, despite the fact that a majority thought the invasion of Iraq had made terrorism worse.

The economy: Like terrorism and Iraq, this illustrates Kerry’s weaknesses. Despite the fact that 52% thought the economy was “not good or poor”, and despite the fact that 51% had no confidence in Bush’s ability to improve the situation, voters had even less (53%) confidence in Kerry.

Only amongst African-Americans did Kerry solidify and expand his voter base; amongst Hispanics Bush has gained slightly, as he has with Jewish voters. “Moral values” came top of the list of voter priorities, with 22% stating this to be the most important issue – but 20% had the economy/jobs as the most important. When this is combined with the other “bread-and-butter” issues, such as taxes and health care, the scale of the Kerry campaign's failure becomes clearer: despite the fact that the Bush administration has presided over an enormously rapid fiscal deterioration, Kerry hasn’t been able to persuade voters that Bush's tax-cuts for the rich have harmed the economy. Neither, for example, did the Kerry campaign tap into the colossal 93% of voters who were either “very concerned” or “somewhat concerned” about the availability and cost of health care.

It’s still the economy, stupid…

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