Some Final Thoughts on Campaign ’08
A wrap-up of possibly overlooked polling trends and end-of-campaign happenings.
Winds of Political Change Haven’t Shifted Public’s Ideology Balance
Still, ideological labels don’t always predict policy opinions; e.g.,about half of self-described conservatives say that all or some of the Bush tax cuts should be repealed while many liberals support off-shore drilling.
Barack Obama won only 53% of the vote on Election Day, but he is getting a landslide greeting from the American public with voters giving Obama better grades for his conduct during the campaign than any presidential candidate since 1988.
Young Voters in the 2008 Election
This year, 66% of those under age 30 voted for Barack Obama making the disparity between young voters and other age groups larger than in any presidential election since exit polling began in 1972.
In remarks at a dinner at the Newseum hosted by the Roper Center, Pew Research Center President Andrew Kohut analyzed the voter preferences revealed in exit and post-election polls and their implications for the incoming administration.
Inside Obama’s Sweeping Victory
Barack Obama captured the White House on the strength of a substantial electoral shift toward the Democratic Party and by winning a number of key groups in the middle of the electorate. In particular, the overwhelming backing of younger voters was a critical factor in Obama’s victory, according to an analysis of National Election Pool exit poll data.
Internet Now Major Source of Campaign News
Television remains the dominant source, but the percent of people who say they get most of their campaign news from the internet has tripled since 2004.
Democrats Post Gains in Affiliation Across Age Cohorts
The proportion of voters identifying with the Democratic Party has grown significantly since the 2004 election, and the shift has been particularly dramatic among younger voters.
Democrats Hold Party ID Edge Across Political Battleground
As shown in a series of charts, the Democratic Party now holds an advantage in several swing states, has increased its advantage in several “blue” states and cut into the GOP’s lead in some “red” states since the last presidential campaign.
The Element of Surprise
As recently as a month ago, this analyst and the American public itself were throwing up our hands and saying we can’t figure this one out — too many intangibles. No more.