Saturday, November 08, 2008

Republicans Stayed Home

So I'm trying to figure out why the Republicans lost. And I go back to one of the stats guys who misinformed me. Yeah I know. But he is an honest guy and is trying to figure out what his error was. Here is what Paul Marston has to say:

As usual, the media has missed the huge story of this election. Their story is that Obama registered huge masses of new supporters and got them to the polls. At first, that was what I thought, but that is not the key factor. I was expecting the highest percentage turnout in 100 years amounting to 130,000,000 voters, but instead as of 5:00 PM EDT, 121,146,964 people voted for Obama or McCain. In 2004, 121,069,054 people voted for Bush or Kerry. Hence in a hotly contested election in which a fortune was spent on the race, there was no big surge in voter turnout. The population is bigger and the number of registered voters is larger than in 2004, yet just about the same number of people voted. What are we to make of this? We know that a higher than normal percentage of minorities and under 30 youths turned out pushing up the Democratic votes. We know that about 15% of Democrats who voted for Hillary Clinton voted for McCain-Palin (the PUMA voters). So how are we to explain the results? The conclusion is inescapable. The Republicans stayed home in droves. Obama did not win the election, the Republicans gave it to him by not getting out and voting.
Remember when, before the election, I used to say:

Don't give it to him. Make him steal it.

I guess the Republicans weren't listening. Pity.

Paul goes on to say:
It goes without saying that when the results were widely different from what I predicted, I wanted to know how I could be so wrong. At first I thought it was because the PUMA voters did not turn out and vote for McCain-Palin but they clearly did. Then I thought that it was because Obama got millions of new voters to the polls and simply swamped the PUMA factor.

It was only when the turnout figures became available that I had to discard that theory. If the usual number of people voted yet more Democrats than normal turned out and there a sizable number of PUMA voters voting Republican, how could McCain-Palin have lost? When the results were staring me in the face, I was totally shocked. The smaller turnout meant that even fewer PUMA voters were required in the key states than I had calculated so McCain-Palin should have done even better than I predicted. Naturally my predictions were based on a normal Republican turnout. Who would have ever thought that the Republicans would fail to turn out in this election? While I am still busy trying to wipe the egg of my face, I am also extremely curious as to why so many Republicans stayed home. I imagine that I am not alone in wondering that at this point.
So lets look at some percentages.
"A downturn in the number and percentage of Republican voters going to the polls seemed to be the primary explanation for the lower than predicted turnout. The percentage of eligible citizens voting Republican declined to 28.7 percent down 1.3 percentage points from 2004. Democratic turnout increased by 2.6 percentage points from 28.7 percent of eligibles to 31.3 percent. It was the seventh straight increase in the Democratic share of the eligible vote since the party’s share dropped to 22.7 percent of eligibles in 1980."
There is a rumor going around that it was the Romney Republicans who stayed home. Is there any evidence of that? Yes there is.
WASHINGTON - For four years, Utah conservatives have proudly proclaimed they lived in the reddest state in the nation.

But no longer.

That mantle now belongs to Oklahoma and Wyoming, where Republican John McCain scored bigger victories in Tuesday's historic election of Democratic Sen. Barack Obama.
For those of you not keeping up - Utah is a predominately Mormon State and Mitt Romney is a Mormon.

There is even anecdotal evidence relating to the recent attacks on Sarah Palin by former campaign staffers.
There was speculation that the culprits may be former aides to Mitt Romney, positioning their hero for a future presidential run.
I'm sure the Republicans will remember Romney's loyalty when 2012 comes around and respond in kind.

And how about Romney himself? Was he for McCain all the way or did he have reservations?
“And as we face the very real possibility of an Obama presidency, that’s the last thing we need,” writes Romney. “It’s more critical than ever that we have a strong Republican leader to act as a “firewall” against bad legislation, tax increases, and increased spending. And Mitch McConnell has proven he will stand up for us.”
You know, that doesn't sound like the position of some one who wanted a McCain win with all his heart.

Cross Posted at Classical Values


Foobarista said...

The reason McCain lost is the Republicans lost the "Leave Me Aloners".

The problem was that small-government Republicans got swept aside by those who got used to the comforts of Washington. "Compassionate Conservatism" didn't help. Even people like me, who thought the WoT - including Iraq - were necessary had a hard time dealing with Bush's general incompetence in all things domestic.

He kept Congress funding Iraq by rolling over on everything else, which will likely end up being far more expensive to the country than the war itself, both in terms of government size and helping get Obama elected.

Now, given the choice between social-con big government and live & let live big government, any who isn't a bible-thumper chose the latter. (although I personally voted for McCain since WoT is a "voting issue" for me)

Now, the biggest danger for Republicans is to go for the Mike Huckabee "God, Guns & Butter" strategy, which will leave the large Leave-Me-Alone coalition in the Democrat camp for lack of anywhere else to go.

Obama may still overreach with his "communitarian" stuff like mandatory "volunteerism", etc and drive the Leave-Me-Aloners away, but I suspect he's smarter than that.

M. Simon said...



LB-Philadelphia PA said...

So where do I sign up for the Leave Me Alone Coalition?