Tuesday, November 09, 2004

Analyzing Voter Turnout and Exit Polls

A few amusing, or otherwise entertaining and thought-provoking links that I thought you might enjoy:

Kerry Wins by a Landslide - A comical look at the global opinion of President Bush. When a paper, the Daily Mirror, from the United States major ally in the "war on terror" can run a headline entitled How can 59,054,087 People Be So Dumb?, you have to wonder how much credibility this administration can possibly have. Now that the British have begun a move to Impeach Blair, perhaps my suggestion of impeaching George W. Bush isn't quite so outlandish.

For more evidence on the thin support the Bush Administration receives outside of the non-friendly confines of the "heartland of America", take a look at Global Vote 2004. In a world-wide election, Bush received some quite outstanding support:

Canada - 74.2% Kerry, 9.1% Bush
Europe - 77.8% Kerry, 7.9% Bush
Asia - 75.9% Kerry, 14.8% Bush
Australia - 76.2% Kerry, 8.5% Bush
Central/South America - 79.5% Kerry, 9.8% Bush
Middle East - 45.6% Kerry, 37% Bush (It seems the red states and the terrorists are the only people who support Bush)

Global Vote - 77.1% Kerry, 13.8% Other, 9.1% Bush (Bush lost to "Others" -- ha, ha)

IQ and Politics - Pretty self-explanatory. The visual representation should reaffirm what you already knew.

Other ways to look at the election results:

Maps and Cartograms of US Election (University of Michigan Study) - Despite the fact that the standard electoral maps make most of the country look red, you have to remember that the final result was 51-48%, which is hardly a blowout. These maps give you a better visualization of voter turnout.

3d Representation of Voter Turnout - Another visual aid. You can really see how the democrats dominated every major city in the United States. The fact that New York City, the city most directly by 9/11, voted 85% in favor of the democrats, despite the fact that the two major reasons sited by Bush voters were Terrorism/National Security and Moral Values should make you question how tuned into to reality the "heart of America" truly is.

CNN Exit Polls - Despite being mocked for their inaccuracy in predicting the final results, the CNN Exit Polling data contains a wealth of information. I do have to call into question CNN's tactics. When I went to bed at 1:00 AM the night of the election, John Kerry held a 51-48% lead in the exit polls in both Ohio and Florida. When I awoke in the morning, I was somewhat surprised to see that the exit polling data had been "adjusted" to match the actual voting results. Were they really polling people in Florida from the hours of 1:00 AM to 7:00 AM that morning?

anyways, I'd like highlight a few key sections of data, and point out a few conclusions you could possibly draw from this data:

Vote By Income - A Straight Linear relationship (More money = greater chance of voting for Bush) For the population making under $15,000 per year, the vote went 63% - 36% in favor of John Kerry. At the other end of the spectrum, those making $200,000 or more voted 63% - 35% in favor of Bush (Guess they were a little worried about losing some of those tax cuts)

The line seems to be split around the $50,000/year mark. Those making less than $50,000/year voted in favor of Kerry by a 55% - 44% margin. It seems like once people get the point were they make a livable income, chances are that they no longer worry about anything going on around the world. I'm somewhat surprised to read from the data that 55% of the voting population makes over $50,000/year...That seems a little high to me, but I guess Kerry would've won otherwise.

Vote By Education - This actually seems to form a gradual bell curve. Voters with the lowest level of education (No High School) and Voters with the highest level of education (Postgrad Study) both voted in favor of Kerry. Kerry's highest level of support came from people with postgraduate study -- seems to coincide with the State IQ data sited above, along with a study conducted by the University of Maryland that stated Kerry supporters are generally well-informed on the issues, while Bush supporters seem to have their head buried in the sand. (I'm convinced these people would rather vote for Adolph Hitler or Saddam Himself if the alternative was to vote for a man that opposed their moral values...they really don't get it)

Most Important Issue - This is it folks. The #1 issue sited for deciding who to vote for? Moral Values, with 22%. Of those sitting moral values, an overwhelming 80% of these self-righteous folks voted for George W. Bush, the man responsible for inciting an illegitimate war, based on false pretenses, resulting in the deaths of over 100,000 civilian casualties and counting....

Kerry wins by an average of 50% margins on most other issues (Health Care, Economy/Jobs, Iraq, and Education), but he simply could not make up the ground.

The moral values issue is very, very cloudy. A few months before the election, the Bush administration called for a vote on a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage, knowing well that there was no way it would pass. They did this simply to draw the national spotlight on Kerry, making sure everybody knew he was in support of gay marriage. I knew right then this entire election would boil down to seeing if we could convince 51% of Americans that getting Bush out of office was more important than their own self-righteous reservations about gay marriage and abortion. In the debates, when questioned directly on the subject of the genetic disposition towards homosexuality, Bush had no answer -- he said he didn't know. How can you call for a constitution ban on an activity when you don't even have a firm grasp on the subject. Later, when asked if he supported a constitutional ban on gay marriage, he said he didn't. Is this not a flip-flop---they very activity the Bush Administration seem so keen on calling Kerry out on.

Anyways, I wanted to take one last look at the exit polls - 60% of Americans stated that they are in support of either Legal Marrying or Civil Unions among Same-sex couples, and 55% of Americans think abortions should be always or mostly legal. It's strange that an issues that the majority of Americans support could cause such divisiveness. When you get to the heart of the matter, this is a deep religious conviction for many people. For those 40% of Americans opposed to gay marriage, and 45% of Americans opposed to abortion, it was the trump card. Tell the people that the opponent supports these measures, and the sheep will vote for you despite the overwhelming evidence that you are on the way to becoming the worst president in United States history.