Skip to comments.Palin Versus Obama 2012: The White Vote, the 2010 midterms and the Battleground States
Posted on 02/12/2011 1:12:28 PM PST by Brices Crossroads
As Sarah Palin ramps up her Presidential bid, and her nomination seems increasingly likely, look for the media narrative to shift to her unelectability. This is designed not so much to deny her the nomination as it is to dispirit and to demoralize her voters in the coming general election matchup with President Obama. Yet, for a number of reasons, principally the Democrats' dismal performance among white voters in the recent midterms, it is not Palin's supporters who should be demoralized, but Obama's.
Let's start with President Obama's performance among white voters in 2008. In 2008, Obama got the highest percentage of white votes--43%--of any Democrat candidate since Bill Clinton managed to get 44% in 1996. John Kerry (2004)and Al Gore (2000) managed just 41% and 42% respectively. Many pundits discounted Obama's lead in the polls in the runup to the 2008 election, because of the so-called Bradley effect, which holds that white voters, in order not to appear bigoted, will tell pollsters they intend to vote for a minority candidate and then proceed to vote against him. Not only did this so-called Bradley effect fail to materialize in 2008, in many states, such as Pennsylvania, Obama's over performance among white voters was the key to his victory.
Fast forward to the 2010 midterms. In the midterms, the Democrats registered their worst performance among the white vote in recorded history. Not only did the white share of the electorate rise from 75% to 77%, the GOP candidates crushed the Democrats among white voters 60%-37%, twice the margin by which the insipid John McCain had bested Obama in that demographic.
There is a belt of states stretching from the mid-Atlantic across the midwest (Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois and Iowa) in which the electorate, with exception of Illinois is approximately 85% white. Obama carried every one of them in 2008, in most cases overperforming among white voters compared to his national average of 43%. In 2010, the Democrats decisively lost the white vote, both college educated and non-college educated in every one of them, as the graphic linked below demonstrates!
In 2012, if the Democrats' 60-37 pasting in 2010, and the slight uptick in white share of the electorate from 75% to 77%, hold true, Obama is going to have to have to kick it up not one notch but several.
Pennsylvania is an example. A state without which he cannot be re-elected, Obama won Pennsylvania fairly comfortably by about 620,000 votes out of six million cast, a margin of about 10%. The white share of the electorate remained fairly stable between 2004 and 2008, at about 82%, with white voters casting about 4.8 million of 6 million total votes. Obama's 620,000 vote margin was directly traceable to the fact that he split the white vote down the middle with McCain, with each man notching approximately 50%. In so doing, Obama had to overperform his national white vote of 43% by only a net of about 6% in Pennsylvania to secure his 2008 victory there. But what if the national vote in 2012 mirrors that of 2010, with white voters casting ballots against him by 60-37? In that scenario, in order to maintain his 2008 margin, Obama would have to overperform his "national white vote" in Pennsylvania by a net of 12% in order to replicate his 2008 victory margin. If he overperforms among whites in Pennsylvania only as well as he did in 2008--that is, by about 6%--he would lose the white vote there by 55%-43%. His raw white vote would, by my calculations be reduced from approximately 2.4 million to 2.064 million, a loss of about 335,000 votes. Adding these 335,000 votes to the GOP candidate's total creates a net shift of 670,000 votes, enough to produce a 50,000 vote GOP margin, assuming Obama's share of the black and Hispanic votes stay the same. If Obama is in deep trouble in reliably blue Pennsylvania, he is in deeper trouble in less reliably blue states such as Iowa and Wisconsin and in usually reliable red ones like Ohio and Indiana.
Back to my original thesis, however. Why are the polls showing Obama far ahead of Palin? Let us put aside the well worn observations about the unreliability of early polls and the fact that many (such as PPP and NBC) are skewed, both of which are true to a great extent. I would suggest that there are at least two other factors that are depressing Governor Palin's showings in these polls. One of them, which I call the "Reverse Bradley Effect" has to do with President Obama. The other, which I refer to as the "Palin Effect", has to do with Governor Palin, principally the media's full bore assault on her.
First, the Reverse Bradley effect. The media and the pundits were wrong about the Bradley effect in 2008, as Obama garnered a higher share of the white vote than the two previous (white) Democrats. It is true that the white vote in 2008 was depressed because of the lackluster campaign run by McCain. But there was no Bradley effect at all and Obama got the highest percentage of the white vote of any non-incumbent Democrat nominee since Jimmy Carter in 1976. In 2012, however, I believe there will be a "reverse Bradley effect", that is: white voters who--when contacted by pollsters decline to state a preference or state that they prefer Obama when they do not, because of the stigma associated with voting to unseat the first black President. This effect will be intensified by the fear, whether rational or not, among some white voters of reprisals since Obama is now President and, as such, controls the levers of power.
Closely related to this reverse Bradley effect is the "Palin Effect", which holds that it is politically incorrect to state a preference for Sarah Palin for President and that only rubes and hicks will actually support her. Both these dynamics will, I predict continue to depress her performance in the polls, perhaps right up until the election. These dynamics cannot alter the salient facts of this election, all of which favor Palin's election, perhaps overwhelmingly: First, the white vote will be pivotal in this election as it was in the 2010 midterms. Second, with the GOP poised to nominate a candidate in Sarah Palin who will not bend to political correctness, as has every GOP candidate since Reagan, the GOP share of the white vote can again approach the levels it reached in the 1980s when it was 60-65%, numbers which Obama simply cannot overcome even in erstwhile strongholds like Pennsylvania.
Third, and finally, the battleground states in which the white vote will be pivotal (Pennsylvania, Ohio, Wisconsin, and Iowa, to name only four) are all states located in the upper midwest. McCain lost them all of course but, of the four, George W. Bush only won Ohio twice and Iowa once. I attribute his lack of success in the region to his southern accent. Here Palin has a built in advantage. Palin's upper midwestern accent will play much better there among white voters than Bush's drawl and her accent will not be a liability in the south at all. In states like Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania, she will sound like a native, and this will enhance her chances in all of them.
The bottom line is to prepare for a flurry of polls which will tell us all that Palin can't win, and these polls will likely persist right up until the election, as they did in 1980. Just remember that the overriding dynamic is not the polls but the demographics of the electorate and turnout and Palin's impending nomination, all of which bode well for us based upon the 2010 results, especially in the battleground states. In these crucial respects, Sarah Palin is in the catbird's seat, while it is Obama's Presidency that is the fluttering canary in the coal mine.
lol. Based on what?
I am with Wasilla No. 22! I'm voting for the "Barracuda"!
If Palin secures the nomination, I’m sure there will be a Soros funded, MSM propelled “independent” challenger on the ballot in most states.
The only way the Baraqqi regime can repeat is to achieve a Clintonian plurality win.
Should make for an exciting 2012.
There is a lot to this article, with a lot of interesting facts and figures but for the moment I want to mention this phrase that caught my eye: “the insipid John McCain”.
From now on that’s how I’m going to refer to him.
I'm really not trying to be insulting, but a lot of people who dislike Palin are just ignorant. My brother is an example. He's a Moonbat, and he would never vote for any Republican, but he is still instructive here -- he hates Palin because she is so stupid! Why does he think that? Mostly because Tina Fey can see Russia from Sarah's house.
Plenty of Independents may have a negative view of Sarah, but I am convinced that this is baseless and can be easily overcome. The more important thing to realize is that Palin may be the first Republican to generate fervor among a large part of the GOP base since Reagan. I grant that Bachmann, Cain, or Demint could do the same. I say nothing against them. I just think Palin has a real star quality and gets everyone pumped up (one way or another). We have a history of Doles, Bushes and McCains. I'd like to see a candidate who gets people really pumped up. Those guys didn't.
In the past I've liked Duncan Hunter, and Fred Thompson. But they never caught fire. Because they put people to sleep. Sarah won't put anyone to sleep, and I like her principles.
Obama is responsible for the LARGEST tax cut to the middle in the history of our country. NO one can argue this FACT!
Of course the reason they are paying less taxes is they don’t have a job.
Heck, look to Free Republic for her unelectability!
Some FR "conservatives" attack her non stop, while correctly witholding comment on other potential candidates.
Watch what happens to their principles if the ticket ends up Palin/Bachmann or Bachmann/Palin!
Besides the Bradley Effect, looks like the Not On The Ballot Effect will come into play as well. A handful of states that require proof of presidential eligibility, and then Sarah being unopposed on those ballots, will drive some mighty negative press on the zero, and drive his numbers down in the states that still have him on their ballot.
I gave some money to Hunter. He did get the whole border thing on the table I think during the debates which was worth the money right there. I grew up in Minnesota so that caused me to look at Bachmann in the first place (and keep watching) - and she seems like a good conservative.
Cain and Demint who? (I know, I need to get out more - just like most of the other voters).
Based on the fact that Huckabee isn’t running, and he is usually in the top three with Palin and Romney in most polls.
The majority of his supporters have said Sarah is their second choice, which makes sense since they tend to be evangelical Christians, a group that is also very favorable to Governor Palin.
If you take any of the recent polling data and a majority (probably 60% if not more) of Huckabee’s support to the Palin column, she will win in a landslide.
She is in far better shape than the media will let on. They know it, that’s why they have to attack her relentlessly..it’s not working for them though.
Another great piece from Brices Crossroads!
Thanks for letting me share it!
Do we want a president who will crush the head of world socialism? Then, my friends, elect Sarah Palin in 2012.
Thank you Brices Crossroads for your wonderful piece. For those of you who wonder why Sarah Palin will win the GOP nomination:
1)Mike Huckabee is NOT running in 2012 (several interviews over the past year, Mrs. Huckabee not giving Huck the thumbs up, Huck’s 7 figure gig at Fox, their new heavily mortgaged home in Florida, a June cruise to Alaska, Huck announcing he will not be making any decision to the latter part of summer if he decides to run at all, Huck cancelling his presidential PAC but keeping his normal PAC open, Vander Plaats in Iowa had to backtrack about Huck showing up in June to speak). Need I go on.
With Huckabee out of the mix several polls have shown that Palin would benefit the most from his non-entry into the 2012 race and that she would have a substantial lead over the rest of the field.
Does anyone really believe the greatest majority of Huck’s evangelical supporters are going over to Romney?
2)By virtue of the Rasmussen poll released just over 2 weeks ago, Sarah Palin now leads among support from evangelical Christian voters and also among TP supporters. Yes there is overlap but each constituency roughly represents 40% of the entire GOP primary electorate.
3)Sarah Palin has announced she is hiring a chief of staff for SarahPAC. As we all know eventually she will be moving him over for her presidential campaign. Once Palin proves to the world she is a serious player the skeptics who think she is not will be totally on board.
4)Palin’s speech at the Reagan Library changed a lot of people’s minds imho as she came across as very presidential in that speech and not so energetic as she is in rallies.
5)And finally did you see the results of the American Spectator poll now being held over the last few days. Of a field of 20 horse race entrants and the OTHER category she now leads with about 51% of the vote with Ron Paul the nearest at 5.5% of the vote. She has over a 45% lead over her next opponent. If that isn’t dominance what is?
And by the way you can only vote once in the poll and you must be human to vote.
Oh yea, I remember us talking about that.
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