So LTG started a string of threads about the right, anger, and their demographic characteristics. I think it will be interesting to revisit the 2008 exit polls and look at the demographics of voters for Obama and McCain.
Friday, August 14, 2009
57% of white men and 53% of white women voted for McCain. White men make up 36% of the electorate and white women make up 39% of the electorate. So, to the extent that voting for McCain is correlated with the tea party/health care town hall crowd, US West is right to point out that this right wing populist anger is not just coming from men.
McCain only won majorities of the votes in age groups over 50. McCain tied in the 40-49 age group. So, again assuming a correlation between voting for McCain and the tea bag/health care demonstrations people, there is a clear generational divide that cuts somewhere around the age of 45. That's pretty much the boundary between Gen X and the youngest Baby Boomers (born in 1964 by the US Census definition). The interesting thing here is that the stereotype of Baby Boomers as hippies etc is not reflected in their voting patterns. The reality is that as a group, they are demonstrably more conservative than younger voters. I even saw an interview on CNN yesterday that Arlo Guthrie (Woody Guthrie's son for Christ's Sake!) is a registered Republican (he wouldn't say straight out but I gather he is a Ron Paul fan but he also talks about family values stuff and he said he liked Sarah Palin).
Income is much more complicated. Obama clearly had an advantage among the lowest income groups but he also did well among the highest group (people making more than $200,000). The middle income ranges were split about even.
Education and race interact interestingly. McCain did best among white non-college graduates, 58% of whom voted for McCain. 39% of the electorate are white non-college graduates. Exactly the demographic that had done the best in the Post WWII era and have seen the greatest decline in lifestyles since 1980 or so. 39% is very close to the numbers for strong opposition to health care reform and favorable attitudes towards demonstrators at health care town hall meetings.
McCain won a majority of the votes only in communities with populations of less than 50,000. He barely lost in the suburbs. So there is a rural/small town component to this angry group.
Here is the kicker! 24% of respondents said they would be "scared" if Barack Obama won the election. Of that group, 95% voted for McCain. I think that pretty much provides us with the link between the numbers discussed here and the tea party/health care demonstrator crowd.
A word of warning for Democrats who think they can get their entire wish list though. Only 22% of respondents self-identified as "liberal." That's compared to 34% who self-identified as "conservative." Again, notice that number in the mid 30s.
Posted by Raised By Republicans at 7:30 AM