Monday, November 12, 2012

A Few Election Stats

One more post-election wrap-up here, now that Florida is officially in the blue column. This gives the President re-election with 332 electoral votes to Romney's 206. The popular vote also went to the President with 62.1 million votes (51%) to Romney's 58.8 million (48%), a 3.4 million vote advantage.

I'd say this is a clear mandate, but is this a landslide? Let's look at how the Republican pundits described what they would consider a "landslide" before the election:
  • George Will predicts "321-217 Romney landslide"
  • Glenn Beck, "landslide for Romney, electoral college 300+ R"
  • Michael Barone predicts "Romney trounces Obama in electoral college 315-223"
  • Larry Kudlow "predicting a 330 vote electoral landslide" (for Romney)
  • And let's not even get started on Karl Rove...
So, clearly the Republican pundits agree that 332 electoral college votes is a "landslide" - but I'll stick with clear mandate. Or was it?

When all the dust is settled, there will still be 40% of eligible voters (about 78 million) who chose not to participate last Tuesday. And, that figure includes about 13 million voters who participated in 2008, but couldn't be bothered with it again only four years later. More analysis will need to be done to determine how much of that drop-off in voting was due to voters displaced by Hurricane Sandy, and how much due to apathy, but I'm betting on apathy to beat Sandy in a landslide.

You know from my last post that I have some ideas for fighting voter apathy. I'll have some more to say about that later. But for now, here's an interesting info-graphic about who did (and didn't) vote this year (also shows how much more effective the Obama campaign was at using social media).


  1. Personally I'm for the Electoral College but that's another matter in regards to my real point. Obama won the popular vote by a margin of 3% and I consider that very slim. Are you going in the direction that if those inactive voters did vote it would be for Obama? If so I think that's a stretch, my guess is a lot of Ron Paul people sat it out and people who voted only once in their life in 2008 will never vote again. For the record I didn't vote for either one of them but chose option three so I have nothing invested in either one of their parties since I also think they're both morally and ethically bankrupt.

    1. Hi JR -

      I am absolutely *not* saying that the inactive voters would have gone for Obama. Each of the major parties this year was counting on increasing the other side's "enthusiasm gap." I find that sad and dangerous for the future of our democracy.

      Although I did favor Obama in this election, I am still very much an independent. One of my top issues for the nearly twenty that I've been an independent has been opening up the system to more voices in order to excite and involve the 40% of the electorate who have joined the Slumber Party. Now that this race is over, I'm shifting the focus of this blog back to that effort.

  2. Thanks for the clarification and I'm in agreement with you on opening up the system as an independent ("no party preference" in Arizona with open primaries) also wanting to see the 40% become involved. Pleased to hear your shifting the focus of your blog over to that and will "watch this space" for further posts.


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