Fun Facts And Demographics (National Edition)

Ken AshfordElection 2008Leave a Comment

  • The other day, I predicted Obama would win 52.2% of the vote to McCain's 46.6%.  Obama got 52.4% and McCain got 46.4%.  So, you know, bow to me.  Or something.
  • 130 million voted, 64% of the electorate — the highest turnout in U.S. history
  • Barack Obama's 52.4% of the popular vote is the best Democratic performance in 40 years, and the best of any candidate in either party in 20 years.
  • And no non-incumbent has got 52.4% of the popular vote since 1952.
  • Obama won self-identified independents (52% to 44%), and self-identified moderates (60% to 39%). I guess maverick voters didn't like the maverick candidate.  That's meta-mavericky of them.
  • Obama narrowly won among men (49% to 48%), and won among women by a large margin (56% to 43%).
  • For all the talk about Obama being unable to win over Hispanic support, Hispanic voters backed Obama by more than a 2-to-1 margin. McCain's Hispanic support dropped 10 points from Bush's four years ago.
  • Obama won Roman Catholic voters, another group he was supposed to lose.
  • Obama got 43% of the white vote; Kerry got 41% in 2004.  But whites made up a small percentage of the electorate this year.  When you factor these together, you find that 31.57 percent of voters in 2004 were white people who voted for John Kerry in 2004. In 2008, the tally was very similar — 31.82 percent of voters were white people who voted for Barack Obama.
  • Youth (i.e. people under 30) was about 18% of the turnout yesterday.  That's an improvement over the last three national elections.  While onoe cannot say whether the young people gave Obama his victory, it's clear that young people and first-time voters helped.
  • Obama is the first constitutional law professor to be elected U.S. President.  I can't even begin to tell you what this means to me.

I hate post-mortems, but the Wall Street Journal has a nice piece on why McCain lost.  To be sure, the economic crisis didn't help him (nor his response), and the article focuses on that.  But it also touches on something else: sometime after June, five of McCain's top advisors got together to give focus to the campaign and answer the question "Why should we elect John McCain?"  None of them could agree on an answer, so the entire campain just went negative on Obama after that.  In my view, that failed meeting sealed McCain's losses.

And finally, analysis from The Onion:

Nation Finally Shitty Enough To Make Social Progress

"WASHINGTON — After emerging victorious from one of the most pivotal elections in history, president-elect Barack Obama will assume the role of commander in chief on Jan. 20, shattering a racial barrier the United States is, at long last, shitty enough to overcome.

Although polls going into the final weeks of October showed Sen. Obama in the lead, it remained unclear whether the failing economy, dilapidated housing market, crumbling national infrastructure, health care crisis, energy crisis, and five-year-long disastrous war in Iraq had made the nation crappy enough to rise above 300 years of racial prejudice and make lasting change.

'Today the American people have made their voices heard, and they have said, "Things are finally as terrible as we're willing to tolerate,"' said Obama, addressing a crowd of unemployed, uninsured, and debt-ridden supporters. 'To elect a black man, in this country, and at this time — these last eight years must have really broken you.'

Added Obama, 'It's a great day for our nation.'"