Skip to comments.How Americans Voted: A Political Portrait
Posted on 11/06/2004 10:40:14 PM PST by neverdem
A LOT like last time, only more so: That is the picture that emerges of George W. Bush's winning majority in the 2004 presidential election. He held on to the votes of most of the groups that supported him in 2000, while making inroads among a few that did not.
Most men, whites, Protestants, regular churchgoers, high earners, conservatives and, naturally, most Republicans voted for Mr. Bush. Women, blacks, Hispanics, young voters, the lower paid, moderates, liberals and, of course, Democrats gave John Kerry a majority of their votes.
This portrait of the 2004 electorate emerges from interviews with 13,600 voters conducted by Edison Media Research and Mitofsky International for the National Election Pool, a consortium of ABC News, The Associated Press, CBS News, CNN, Fox News and NBC News. The large number of respondents makes it possible to measure the preferences of some groups, like Jews and Asians, whose share of the population is too small to be examined in typical telephone surveys.
Highlights of the survey's results and comparable figures for the previous six presidential elections are shown in the table.
The Gender Gap
Although the majority of women continued to vote Democratic, Mr. Bush increased the Republican share, reducing the gap between his results among women and men to 7 percentage points, down from 10 points in 2000. A gender gap is seen in all age groups, ranging from 4 points among voters under 30 to 11 points among those over 60.
The gap first attracted attention in 1980, when men were 8 percentage points more likely to support Ronald Reagan than women were.
The Democratic candidate has won the most votes among unmarried voters in every election since 1988. Unmarried women, especially, backed Mr. Kerry this year, giving him 62 percent of their votes.
Religion, Race and Ethnicity
A majority of Protestants, particularly white and Hispanic Protestants, supported Mr. Bush. Black voters, regardless of religion, continue to support the Democratic candidate overwhelmingly, giving almost 9 in 10 of their votes to Mr. Kerry. Jewish voters also remained firmly in the Democratic column, though Mr. Bush expanded his share to 25 percent this year from 19 percent in 2000.
Although John Kerry was the first Catholic nominated by a major party for president since 1960, most Catholic voters chose his opponent. Mr. Bush was supported by 52 percent of all Catholics, a significant change from 2000, when Al Gore won more Catholic votes than Mr. Bush did. Fifty-six percent of white Catholics backed Mr. Bush this year, but 58 percent of Hispanic Catholics voted for Mr. Kerry.
In fact, a majority of Hispanics in general backed Mr. Kerry. Still, Mr. Bush won a greater share of the Hispanic vote than any other Republican candidate for president since the advent of exit polls in 1972. Mr. Kerry received a majority of votes from people under 30, both men and women. Although most white voters in general preferred Mr. Bush, his share of the white vote was smallest among those under 30. Blacks of every age overwhelmingly favored Mr. Kerry.
For the past three elections, Republicans have been steadily regaining voters aged 60 or older, a group that supported Ronald Reagan but switched to the Democrats in the Clinton years. This year, most voted for Mr. Bush.
Although Mr. Kerry was backed by a majority of voters who live in big cities, their support of the Democratic ticket fell to 60 percent this year, compared with 71 percent for Mr. Gore in 2000. Mr. Bush once again ran strongly in rural areas, and did slightly better among suburbanites, who split evenly in 2000. Suburban men were particularly supportive of Mr. Bush, giving him 55 percent of their votes.
As in 2000, few voters crossed party lines, and fewer still voted for a different party than last time. Political independents split their votes fairly evenly.
In party identification, Republicans appeared to pull even with Democrats at 37 percent of the voters each; four years ago, Democrats led, 39 percent to 35 percent.
Corona Mass Ejections
They are getting this information from exit polls. Unreliable.
I'll say it again, women should have never gotten the vote. What the heck are they thinking voting for Kerry?
Would Bush have won without Ohio, hypothetically?
Plainly I am to see that this election came down to a conspiracy between white, male Protestant Republicans---that selfish, racist group. Why else the need to trumpet a demographic profile?
You funny guy!
"Would Bush have won without Ohio, hypothetically?"
Nope, unless some state with 3-4 electoral votes was so close it could be contested...
I'm a funny girl who would give up the right to vote if it would keep this majority of ding bats from voting demonrat.
You can almost pin point the troubles of the nation to the time that women hit the polls. Male property owners voting is fine by me.
The fine ladies however aren't the issue IMO, it is more so the segregating mindset of politics from the left that plants the seed of "troubles".
"This portrait of the 2004 electorate emerges from interviews with 13,600 voters conducted by Edison Media Research and Mitofsky International for the National Election Pool, a consortium of ABC News, The Associated Press, CBS News, CNN, Fox News and NBC News. The large number of respondents makes it possible to measure the preferences of some groups, like Jews and Asians, whose share of the population is too small to be examined in typical telephone surveys."
The exit polling has been misused. It was never intended to predict results, only to explain how people voted. A valid sample of over 13,000 is huge, big enough to explain how Asians and Jews voted.
Deseret Morning News, Sunday, November 07, 2004
Experts say polls don't deserve a black eye
By Marin Decker and Tad Walch
Deseret Morning News
PROVO Exit polling received another black eye this past week when some early data appeared to predict a landslide victory for John Kerry. But the bad rap is bogus, say two well-respected Utah pollsters.
Deseret Morning News graphic
"When you want a poll to tell you who wins a race, you have to remember that a poll is an estimate with a margin of error," said Brigham Young University political science professor Kelly Patterson, who helps run the KBYU/Utah Colleges Exit Poll. "In those very close races, you could get it wrong and still be within your margin of error."
The science took a massive hit in 2000 when exit polls showing Al Gore winning Florida turned out wrong. The problem was compounded in 2002 when the national exit poll computer system crashed.
On Tuesday, moods flipped and flopped as leaked exit poll data surfaced on the Internet and showed Kerry ahead only to be proved wrong when the votes were actually counted. The drum beat of criticism picked up quickly.
"Somebody should reassess exit polling," pundit Tucker Carlson railed on CNN's "Crossfire." "It's useless."
"The exit polls got it flat wrong," Charles Gibson said Wednesday morning on ABC's "Good Morning America."
It wasn't that the information was wrong, it was more a case of it being mishandled, according to Patterson and professional pollster Dan Jones.
"Many times the early leaks are wrong, that's all I can tell you," said Jones, who regularly conducts polls for the Deseret Morning News. "And that's what happened (nationally)."
Patterson agreed. "Once the data are all called in, and once they've had the opportunity to weight the sample properly, those National Election Pool polls are quite accurate," he said.
Five networks NBC, ABC, CBS, Fox News and CNN combined with the Associated Press and other news organizations to form the National Election Pool. They also added the expertise of two polling groups, Edison Media Research and Mitofsky International.
Researchers randomly selected 13,047 voters Tuesday as they exited the polls. Snapshots of the results were reported to the news organizations several times during the day.
The problem began when snippets of national exit poll results, meant only for analysts at subscribing news organizations, were leaked Tuesday to Internet bloggers. The Web logs published the incomplete information, some with disclaimers.
By 10 a.m., the online magazine Slate was posting the first leaked numbers and the fallout began. Reports surfaced that the Kerry campaign was ecstatic and President Bush was nervous. Conservative talk show host Sean Hannity urged Bush supporters to get out and vote in Florida, Ohio and other swing states.
By 6 p.m., with additional exit poll data available, Ana Marie Cox predicted a Kerry landslide of more than 300 electoral college votes on her blog, Wonkette.com.
Meanwhile, the networks, which were burned in 2000, chastely held back the poll results. For that, they were chided by many, including noted political author Bob Woodward, who appeared on CNN and said network executives must have been on Valium to remain so restrained.
That restraint created such a market for any news on how the election was progressing that servers at several of the Web log sites slowed or even went down as traffic spiked.
Patterson said the public's insatiable desire to know who's leading a race creates an environment conducive to leaks.
"My guess is that the polling organization was being as careful as it could with the data, but in such a hyper-competitive environment, somebody learned something, and once it got outside the inner circle, it spread like wildfire," he said.
Jones pointed out that the poll results are what draw viewers.
"Look at the ratings," he said. "Which stations did the people watch? The ones that have projections."
But exit polls are designed to analyze why voters voted the way they did, not necessarily to project winners. Patterson said news consumers want immediate results and look to polls for answers hours before the votes are counted.
"The people see political contests as a race between two horses, and everybody wants to be able to say who's going to win," Patterson said.
Political science students from colleges around the state have conducted the KBYU/Utah Colleges Exit Poll under the guidance of professors for years. This year, their information was used by most of the local networks, while KSL-TV employed Dan Jones & Associates, as it has since 1982. Neither organization releases any numbers until after polls have closed at 8 p.m.
"We're very, very careful with our data throughout the day," Patterson said. "Only a certain number of people have access to it. I always chuckle about the many long-lost friends that call me on Election Day, asking me how I'm doing."
Jones won't take those calls either. "I won't accept any calls until the polls close, because I'm out there, and I don't want to leak the information," he said.
Both Patterson and Jones were quick to agree that exit poll data shouldn't be released until the polls have closed and the information is complete.
"The problem is there may be problems with the poll, so there may be adjustments that need to be made," Patterson said. "And that (early leaks) could affect the ability of the individuals doing the polling to actually make adjustments when they need to. Not everyone is going to understand the caveats, and not everybody's going to understand the complexity of the sample design."
Exit polling is a powerful if inexact science when the methodology is correct and the information is used appropriately, Patterson said.
"The polls themselves are quite accurate in estimating voter attitudes and behavior," Patterson said. "What they're not designed to do is precisely call a race, because polls work within a margin of error."
© 2004 Deseret News Publishing Company
No, not according to strait results from the electoral college and winner take all formulation.
Looking at the stats of the percentage of women that vote democrat just amazes me. I don't understand it one little bit.
This may be hard to believe but women that I consider friends are conservative. The back biters at work are to a one female democrats always trying to stir office politics, strife, rumors and gossip.
One to all the rest!
Now how could you possibly feel that the womens vote is to be negated?
Not a mindset worth comprehension IMO.
And you know what's missing completely from the article and data? Any questions about how active duty and/or retired military people voted. You would think, since Kerry was in Vietnam and all that, that this might be a good question to ask!
The statistics kind of speak for themselves. There seems to be alot of sorry women out there. But then anyone has to be a sorry individual to vote democrat in the first place.