Thoughts, essays, and writings on Liberty. Written by the heirs of Patrick Henry.

“The advancement and diffusion of knowledge is the only guardian of true liberty.”     James Madison

November 4, 2008

Demographics, Statistics, and Signs of Hope

by Chris

Obviously, I disagree with the choice that 51% of Americans made last night, but in that choice, there are many aspects that I think are good things… perhaps great things.

The first point, is that although the democrats are already trying to spin this as a huge numeric victory, it is not. Though the electoral college totals are approximately 2 to 1 Obama, that is because of the math of the swing states in the electoral college. There are 8 states where Obamas margin of victory is 3% or under. A 1.5% swing one way or the other, and the results would be quite different.

I reported earlier this week that I believed the 10% support advantage polls showed for Obama was drastically inflated, and that any state within six percent would break for McCain.

It turns out I was half right. The real number was 3% not 10%. I thought that those six point states would swing all six points when it came down to actual voting. Instead they swung 3 or 4 points.

The polls however were very clearly wrong. The exit polls over indicated Obamas support by as much as 10% in some states. This is I think a long term problem that we need to address.

Now as to demographics, they interest me (of course they are also based on the flawed polling data, but the numbers are so large as to be at least indicitive).

McCain won about 60% of whites overall. This is a larger margin than expected. He won both white men, and white women, by a significant margin. It was expected that he would lose white women (and when race is taken out of the equation, McCain lost all women 45-55).

I don’t want to speculate as to why here; I’ll leave that to others. I’m sure they will do so, with great vitriol.

Obama won 95% of blacks, and this election featured the largest turnout of blacks in history. I think that’s a great thing. I hope that a non-black candidate would have the same result.

Obama won 60% of hispanics, a suprising achievement; and more hispanics voted in this election than any other election in american history. Again I think this is great.

Obama won 70% of people under 30 and 70% of first time voters. More people under 30 voted in this election than ever before in American history. First time voters made up a larger percentage of the electorate than any other election in American history.

Collectively the four groups I mentioned, usually make up less than 10% of actual voters. This election they made up about 30% of voters, and that is absolutely INCREDIBLE.

Although all the votes have not yet been counted, if the polls are even close to right, more Americans voted in our election than have ever voted before.

That is even more incredible. We have recently been a country where 40% participation has been considered “good”; and yesterday, we had perhaps 60% of the eligible voting populace do so. I won’t be happy until we get to over 80%, but I’m heartened.

In fact, I am heartened by all of this. I am given hope.

143 years ago, a black man in this country could not vote. 43 years ago, a black man in Mississippi may have even been killed for trying to. Next January, a black man is going to be president.

The cynic in me says that a fair portion of the reason his is president is because he IS black… but the idealist in me hopes this truly says that race is no longer relevant… or that at least we are walking down that road.

I hope these amazing changes continue, and grow. I hope that those people become fully engaged, and educate themselves, and perhaps commit themselves to liberty as they do.

I fear they will not, but I hope.

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23 Comments

  1. You can naively “hope” away with the rest of them while they are enacting policies to limit your liberty (which they have a long history of doing and have stated as part of their agenda). As for your adoration of voter turnout numbers, I consider that a bad thing since the number of people ignorant to the ideals behind the founding of this country has steadily been on the rise.

    Comment by RobbBond — November 4, 2008 @ 11:19 pm
  2. RobbBond,
    Were you one of those people who couldn’t vote, lived under Jim Crow, I am having a hard time figuring what limited liberty you talk of.

    You sound like a spoiled child, who can’t have his way.

    Chris,
    What a half ass compliment.

    Comment by VRB — November 5, 2008 @ 4:41 am
  3. VRB,

    Do not fool yourself that Obama’s victory means freedom. A black man is now a State Dictator; a black man is now a Master over other Black Men, & other men of color (if that really matters to anyone).

    I wouldn’t call that progress, but if it makes you feel good, hey why not believe it, that was pretty much Obama’s platform: “hope!” “believe!” “earth!”, “fire!”, “wind!”, “water!”, “heart!”, “lol!”

    I do not condone Jim Crow, & and am vehemently against racism & segregation, etc., so my words may be confusing & and bit harsh to someone who implied (in the post above me) that they experienced such in their lifetime.

    I am anti-slavery, & that includes economic slavery. I apologize, but I can’t let emotional reasoning trump the truth.

    Economic slavery is still alive & well in this country, & now Obama is part & parcel to it.

    Congratulations?

    Comment by Nitroadict — November 5, 2008 @ 5:03 am
  4. VRB, why would I compliment Obama or Liberals in general; you’re dead wrong about nearly everything.

    I will congratulate president elect Obama certainly; and wish him the best of luck, and the greatest of wisdom… but compliment him? I don’t think so.

    I am complimenting the American people, for finally giving a damn a little bit more. There is something wrong in a republic, when less than half the eligible voters do so.

    I am complimenting the American people for chosing to do something that would have been unthinkable not long ago. I don’t consider race a disqualifying issue; and this rather conclusively proves the majority of the American people agree.

    Other than that, I don’t see much justification for compliments…

    Comment by Chris — November 5, 2008 @ 8:58 am
  5. I also believe voter turnout is important. I consider it every Americans civic duty to cast their ballot. However, it is also your civic duty to make an informed and educated decision when casting you ballot.

    It is ignorant not to vote for a black canidate simply because he/she is black. But it is equally ignorant to vote for someone simply because they are black.

    My hope is that these new voters will continue to do so and will endeavor to stay informed of politics and the issues. We must hold all of our elected officials accountable for their actions.

    Comment by M Belt — November 5, 2008 @ 9:55 am
  6. Chris,

    I understand your sentiments, but I’m not sure there’s any correlation between increased participation and what libertarians would consider improved results.

    On the contrary, I think increased participation will only lend an air of legitimacy to Obama’s policies. Instead of resisting democratic socialism, our voters are pushing and prodding the government to introduce it.

    I prefer apathy.

    Comment by Brad Warbiany — November 5, 2008 @ 9:55 am
  7. Our american way of life is now in great jeopardy. The concept of opportunity has ,in a twisted way, just been thrown out. The freedom and opportunity that gave a black man the Presidency will now be crushed by his liberal ideas-something for nothing, america is the problem, capitalism is bad. The very fabric that forms the american spirit (risk/reward) is over. Hello Socialism and mediocrity. The two times the repubs had the house and senate began two incredible periods of prosperity. Has anyone noticed all these current economic crisis have been under Democratic watch?

    Comment by john b — November 5, 2008 @ 10:43 am
  8. If indeed people are informed and are embracing socialistic policies. Is it because they are looking for a “Hand Out” or a “Hand Up”.

    I fear the apathy.

    Comment by M Belt — November 5, 2008 @ 10:51 am
  9. john b,

    You say that as if under the Republicans capitalism was encouraged, and people were rewarded for what they did rather than for whom they know.

    Face it, the control of the executive branch has gone from one bunch of semisocialist corrupt tax eaters to another.

    To act as if Barrack Obama with his slightly heavier taxes and slightly worse economic policies is some giant step in a bad direction implies a massive lack of perspective.

    Yes, things are bad, but they’ve been bad since before I was born.

    Comment by tarran — November 5, 2008 @ 11:33 am
  10. Barack does not believe in secret ballot elections, he is “ashamed” at what the flag and Star Spangled Banner represents, he openly endorses class warfare by taxing 5% of the people, he thinks high gas prices are fine and because of direct tax on oil companies gas prices will go higher, he received direct advice and money from the very conspirators in the mortgage meltdown. That is just 5 off the top of my head. Worst of all! He does not give his children Christmas presents. true.

    Comment by john b — November 5, 2008 @ 11:56 am
  11. I’m with tarran on this one. In terms of real opportunity and independence for the people, the country has been wasting away since oh, 1930 or so.

    I’m starting to believe (hope) Obama and a compliant congress might actually be the needed reductio ad absurdum on Keynesian economics in America.

    Comment by Quincy — November 5, 2008 @ 12:56 pm
  12. President Hussein will NEVER represent me. First of all, he thinks he has been elected President of the World. I am proud to be and American and a Republican. What’s in your wallet?

    Comment by borderplex — November 5, 2008 @ 12:57 pm
  13. Do you happen to have numbers on how many registered republicans actually voted. Or know where I might find the numbers?

    Comment by Bard Donahue — November 5, 2008 @ 1:09 pm
  14. What concerns is just how much or how little knowledge some of these voters actually had of the candidates and their policies. I really wish that every election ballot had 3 or 4 simple questions that had to be answered be each voter. Something as simple as:
    1) Who is the VP running mate for Obama, 2) Who is the VP running mate for McCain, etc. Each with 4 multiple choice answers. I’m not saying that a person should have to pass a litmus test to vote, but I think that Americans should now just how many voters have little, if any knowledge of what or who they are voting for. I know folks that voted for Obama because they felt that his policies were best for this country, I also know folks that voted for Obama strictly because he was black, and I know folks that did not vote for Obama because of his race.. There should be no place in American politics however for race, religion, or party affiliation. It must be strictly about what is good for America as whole and not just one persons little slice of pie. We already know that votes base strictly on party affiliation can and will have a detrimental effect on our country, just look at us now. Democrats won’t support a Republicans bill and vice a versa therefore nothing gets done. I also think that we should REQUIRE that political adds contain the whole truth and not just half or partial truths. We have seen more than our share of this during this past political season. Candidates that are not completely truthful and don’t tell the whole story should be fined, $100,000.00 each time they run a bad political ad.
    It kills me when I hear an ad say I will give 97% of Americans a tax cut when you are really planning on allowing the current temporary bush tax cuts to expire which will actually mean that everyone is going to see a tax increase.

    We must have change in our elections or we will not be around much longer and if we are we darn sure won’t be a democratic America.

    Comment by Carl — November 5, 2008 @ 1:20 pm
  15. john b,

    “You say that as if under the Republicans capitalism was encouraged, and people were rewarded for what they did rather than for whom they know.
    Face it, the control of the executive branch has gone from one bunch of semisocialist corrupt tax eaters to another.
    To act as if Barrack Obama with his slightly heavier taxes and slightly worse economic” policies is some giant step in a bad direction implies a massive lack of perspective.
    Yes, things are bad, but they’ve been bad since before I was born.

    I disagree with you. Although Republicans have become the New Democrats and Democrats have become the New Socialists, there is still a big difference between a BHO presidency and even a GW presidency. The top marginal tax rate will increase somewhat dramatically (as will the other rates as well I believe), National Health Care will be pushed on us, union intimidation will be strengthened with secret balloting, freedom of speech will be curtailed with the “Fairness Doctrine”, and I’m convinced an assault weapons ban will be reinstated. That’s just to name a few. I was never a fan of Bush’s excessive spending or foreign policy but Obama is about to dwarf that (and oh by the way, he won’t be getting troops out of Iraq anytime soon).

    Comment by RobbBond — November 5, 2008 @ 2:02 pm
  16. Spare me the praise of voter turnout. It sounds like the Leftist propagandist media. If people are informed on the issues and they choose to vote for a candidate then that’s great. But listening to some of the people voting this year it became obvious that there were many ignorant people casting their votes. In my mind, if you haven’t taken the time to study candidates/issues, you should have the moral integrity to stay home. Of course I don’t advocate any kind of government testing, what I’m saying is that an individual should feel morally compelled to stay home if they don’t know what the hell they’re voting for.

    VRB, as for the denigrating remarks above and your questioning of which liberties will be threatened, I’ve already pointed out several in my post above. No spoiled child here, just a rational thinking human being. Try it sometime.

    Comment by RobbBond — November 5, 2008 @ 2:09 pm
  17. None of you would have lasted as a black man in Mississippi under Jim Crow. You are privileged spoiled brats.
    That pseudo philosophical BS about not having liberty is all it is, not pain in the mind or body, no degradation of spirit, if it were so, there would not be so much self righteousness here.

    Comment by VRB — November 5, 2008 @ 4:47 pm
  18. None of you would have lasted as a black man in Mississippi under Jim Crow. You are privileged spoiled brats.
    That pseudo philosophical BS about not having liberty is all it is, not pain in the mind or body, no degradation of spirit, if it were so, there would not be so much self righteousness here.

    What the hell are you talking about? Put down the bottle of scotch, man. So when you don’t have the liberty to own a high-powered rifle, when you don’t have the liberty to listen to your favorite radio program, when you don’t have liberty from union oppression, when you don’t have liberty from excessive taxation, then that’s all just “philosophical BS”? I got news for you pal, the push for each one of those scenarios begins within the next 4-8 years. That’s real – not philosophical.

    Comment by RobbBond — November 5, 2008 @ 5:41 pm
  19. (@ VRB)

    Why the hell would I be in Mississippi if I were Black?

    Your hypothetical, altrustic “emergency situation” scenarios make my head hurt at their inplausibility.

    Like all other human beings, i had no choice as to what, where, how, I was born, let alone what I would look like.

    I do not demean the struggle others have gone through, nor do I pretend to understand, fully, as to what they went through, but that is no reason to use that very struggle, as you are, for political opportunism.

    You sir, would not last 3 mins without government, let alone affirmative action, & other social programs, before whining about the injustice of the world, placing responsibility onto others.

    “Anyone who disagrees with Obama is racist!!!#$!$”
    “Anyone who disagree with Obama wouldn’t last 3 seconds in Missipii as a Black man!”

    Etc. Etc. & Etc.

    Comment by Nitroadict — November 5, 2008 @ 5:59 pm
  20. I begin by quoting at length from Chris’s article:

    “Now as to demographics, they interest me (of course they are also based on the flawed polling data, but the numbers are so large as to be at least indicitive).

    McCain won about 60% of WHITES [caps mine, for emphasis] overall. This is a larger margin than expected. He won both white men, and white women, by a significant margin. It was expected that he would lose white women (and when race is taken out of the equation, McCain lost all women 45-55).

    I don’t want to speculate as to why here; I’ll leave that to others. I’m sure they will do so, with great vitriol.

    Obama won 95% of BLACKS [caps mine, for emphasis], and this election featured the largest turnout of blacks in history. I think that’s a great thing. I hope that a non-black candidate would have the same result.

    Obama won 60% of HISPANICS [caps mine, for emphasis], a suprising achievement; and more hispanics voted in this election than any other election in american history. Again I think this is great.

    Obama won 70% of PEOPLE UNDER 30 [caps mine] and 70% of FIRST TIME VOTERS [caps mine]. More people under 30 voted in this election than ever before in American history. First time voters made up a larger percentage of the electorate than any other election in American history.

    Collectively the FOUR GROUPS [caps mine] I mentioned, usually make up less than 10% of actual voters. This election they made up about 30% of voters, and that is absolutely INCREDIBLE [caps Chris's].”

    Thanks for bearing with me.

    My first point is that Chris actually mentions five groups, not four, even if we give him the benefit of the doubt and lump white men and white women together into a single “white” group.

    My second point is that I do not believe that any four of the five groups Chris mentions “collectively…usually make up less than 10% of actual voters” unless by “usual” Chris means “typical of the 1820s” or some other such ludicrous misuse of the term.

    According to CNN ( http://www.cnn.com/ELECTION/2004/pages/results/states/US/P/00/epolls.0.html ), in the 2004 election (Bush v Kerry), voters in the 18-29 age range alone accounted for 17% of the vote. Black voters alone accounted for 11% of the vote (in 2004). Hispanic voters accounted for 8% of the vote (in 2004). First-time voters accounted for 11% of the vote (in 2004). It’s not correct to add those totals together, but still “collectively,” they cannot total less than 10% of the vote, as Chris claims they usually do.

    In the 2000 presidential election (Bush v Gore), according to the Roper Center ( http://www.ropercenter.uconn.edu/elections/how_groups_voted/voted_00.html ), the numbers were similar: blacks 10%, under 30 17%, Hispanic 7%. That page doesn’t give a number for first-time voters, but still we can see that the under 30 group by itself counts for more than 10% of the total vote.

    Chris, I would like to know from which election or set of elections you derived your “less than 10%” result. How far in the past are you living?

    Comment by icancounttofour — November 6, 2008 @ 12:27 am
  21. I actually like Carl’s idea of a short multiple choice questionnaire designed to gauge voter’s knowledge on the issues before actually casting their ballot. It would be interesting to see the results. Of course, answering the questions incorrectly wouldn’t and shouldn’t prevent anyone from voting, but I’d love to see the data on something like that.

    Comment by MW — November 6, 2008 @ 8:25 am
  22. Can you share with us where you get your statistics from? I am interested in learning about other voting break downs (for example, what percentage of U.S. soldiers voted Republican? What about doctors?), but I can’t seem to find anything on the internet. Thanks.

    Comment by Gayle Leche — November 7, 2008 @ 10:47 am
  23. They were the current fox news numbers as of about midnight on election night.

    Comment by Chris — November 7, 2008 @ 10:50 am

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