Friday, May 17, 2013

These united, divided States of America

We all know this country is incredibly united, politically, within demographic groups, but incredibly divided between demographic groups -- almost to the point that making that observation approaches the tautological.

But here are some stark examples of the demographic divide, as illustrated by the 2012 election.

We all know about some of the demographic differences, but there are some other, really interesting ones I'd like to highlight.

Now... since nothing outside battleground states really matters, that's where I focused, and using and 2012 CNN exit polls, I put together these maps.

White Women in 2012 battlegrounds

Despite the ceaseless "war on women" narrative, it's hard to argue that Republicans have a problem with women.

It turns out they have a problem with women who are ethnic minorities, but Romney crushed Obama with the largest group of women in the country. It just blows my mind that that sentence is a reality and yet almost never mentioned.

Anyway, this suggests ethnicity; not gender, is what ails the GOP.

But among white women, these are some beat-down numbers.

Romney trounced Obama by 19% among white women in Virginia and by 17% in Florida, and if only white women could vote in battleground states, Romney would have won 126 of the 146 electoral votes available in battleground states.

These are numbers you rarely hear, because it's something people don't want to hear -- that a) racial polarization is primarily behind the gender polarization and b) that the breathlessly-hyped gender gap isn't where the GOP's problems lie.

Romney: 126 electoral votes.
Obama: 20 electoral votes.

Unmarried voters in 2012 battlegrounds

It's often said that the truest predictor of someone's voting habits is his or her's marital status.

Turns out the "often said" is very "well-said", because look at that map.

Obama: 146 electoral votes
Romney: 0 electoral votes

Married voters in 2012 battlegrounds

Again, your ring finger is your bumper sticker in battleground states.  Who ever knew Beyonce was in league with Reince Priebus?

Romney: 146 electoral votes
Obama: 0 electoral votes

College Graduates in 2012 battlegrounds

This map is based on everyone who has graduated from college, but NOT moved on to post-graduate studies (which changes things dramatically).

Romney: 121 electoral votes
Obama: 25 electoral votes

Post-graduates in 2012 battlegrounds

Today's post-graduates are tomorrow's faculty, and it looks like academia will retain its leftward bent.

Look at that map. It's a clean Obama sweep among the ranks of the double-diploma-d.

Btw, for kicks I checked out post-graduates in Alabama, and it turns out that Romney squeaked by with a 7% win with that demo. So he did win post-grads living in Alabama, but it was his worst performance among all educational groups.

There's just something about that second degree that changes everything (movie trailer logline).

Obama: 146 electoral votes
Romney: 0 electoral votes

Female vote in 2012 battlegrounds

Look at this map compared to the map of white women, and you'll see that the result is nearly entirely flipped.

Once again, this suggests ethnicity is the far bigger driver of the gender gap; not gender. For as roundly as Romney won white women, it wasn't enough to make up for his woeful performance among women of ethnic minorities.

If the GOP can figure out how to do better with minorities, they'll solve their problems with women voters, because again, those problems are based more on ethnicity.

Obama: 146 electoral votes.
Romney: 0 electoral votes.

Male vote in 2012 battlegrounds

This is one of the more interesting maps out there. Why? Look at Colorado. The exit poll suggested Obama actually did better among men than among women, which is very ?-inducing. Bad exit poll? Possibly.

Take a look at Wisconsin, too. If Republicans are going to flip Wisconsin in presidential elections, they've got to do much better among men. Romney did better in PA with men than Wisconsin. That's remarkable. One possible reason? Obama spent less time attacking Romney in Pennsylvania than Wisconsin.

Romney: 121 electoral votes.
Obama: 25 electoral votes.

Middle Class vote in 2012 battlegrounds

I'm not crazy about this definition of middle class, but exit polls broke income groups into three categories -- under $50K/year, $50K-$100K/year, and $100K+.

Thus, of those options, you'd call $50K-$100K the middle class.

The interesting this is that Romney won the middle class in nearly every battleground state, as well as the upper class.

But Obama crushed him so massively among those making under $50K that it compensated for losing the middle and upper classes.

And the middle class battles were often incredibly close. Obama won the middle class by 2% in Colorado and by 1% in Iowa.

Romney won the middle class by 1% in Michigan and 1% in Wisconsin.

But regardless, this is the income group where the battle raged hottest.

Now, of course, I recognize that you have co-occurring variables that can obscure the predictive power of any one of these categories, but the fundamental truth of demographic division and unity remains.

Finally, via CNN, here's the salient exit poll data I used for these maps, which I created with


Married:  Romney 53% Obama 46%
Unmarried: Obama 60% Romney 35%
College graduate: Romney 55% Obama 43%
Post graduate: Obama 60% Romney 39%
White women: Romney 53% Obama 46%
Women: Obama 51% Romney 48%
Men: Obama 51% Romney 46%
$50K-$100K: Obama 50% Romney 48%


Married: Romney 56% Obama 43%
Unmarried: Obama 61% Romney 38%
College graduate: Romney 52% Obama 46%
Post graduate: Obama 53% Romney 46%
White women: Romney 58% Obama 41%
Women: Obama 53% Romney 46%
Men: Romney 52% Obama 46%.
$50K-$100K: Romney 54% Obama 44%


Married: Romney 52% Obama 46%
Unmarried: Obama 63% Romney 45%
College graduate: Obama 50% Romney 48%.
Post-graduate: Obama 57% Romney 43%
White women: Obama 58% Romney 41%
Women: Obama 59% Romney 40%
Men: Romney 53% Obama 44%
$50K-$100K:  Obama 50% Romney 49%


Married: Romney 54% Obama 45%
Unmarried: Obama 66% Romney 32%
College graduate: Romney 55% Obama 44%
Post graduate: Obama 60% Romney 39%
White women: Romney 53% Obama 47%
Women: Obama 57% Romney 42%
Men: Obama 50% Romney 48%
$50K-$100K: Romney 50% Obama 49%


Married: Romney 54% Obama 44%
Unmarried: Obama 64% Romney 33%
College graduate: Romney 52% Obama 47%
Post-graduate: Obama 54% Romney 44%
White women: Romney 52% Obama 46%.
Women: Obama 57% Romney 41%
Men: Romney 49% Obama 48%
$50K-$100K: Romney 52% Obama 47%.

New Hampshire:

Married: Romney 50% Obama 49%
Unmarried: Obama 58% Romney 40%
College graduate: Obama 50% Romeny 48%
Post-graduate: Obama 60% Romney 39%
White women: Obama 56% Romney 43%
Women: Obama 58% Romney 42%
Men: Romney 51% Obama 47%
$50K-$100K: Obama 51% Romney 47%

North Carolina:

Married: Romney 60% Obama 39%
Unmarried: Obama 61% Romney 37%
College graduate: Obama 50% Romney 49%
Post graduate: Obama 51% Romney 48%
White women: Romney 67% Obama 33%
Women: Obama 51% Romney 49%.
Men: Romney 54% Obama 45%.
$50K-$100K: Romney 54% Obama 45%.


Married: Romney 56% Obama 42%.
Unmarried: Obama 62% Romney 36%
College graduate: Romney 53% Obama 45%
Post-graduate: Obama 50% Romney 48%
White women: Romney 53% Obama 46%.
Women: Obama 55% Romney 44%
Men: Romney 52% Obama 45%
$50K-$100K: Romney 52% Obama 45%


Married: Romney 55% Obama 43%
Unmarried: Obama 64% Romney 34%
College graduate: Romney 57% Obama 41%
Post-graduate: Obama 53% Romney 45%
White women: Romney 54% Obama 45%
Women: Obama 56% Romney 43%
Men: Romney 51% Obama 48%
$50K-$100K: Romney 58% Obama 41%.


Married: Romney 55% Obama 44%
Unmarried: Obama 61% Romney 37%
College graduate: Romney 50% Obama 48%
Post graduate: Obama 57% Romney 42%
White women: Romney 59% Obama 40%
Women: Obama 54% Romney 45%
Men: Romney 51% Obama 47%
$50K-$100K: Romney 53% Obama 46%


Married: Romney 54% Obama 45%
Unmarried: Obama 61% Romney 37%
College graduate: Romney 50% Obama 49%
Post graduate: Obama 62% Romney 37%
White women: Obama 53% Romney 46%
Women: Obama 57% Romney 42%
Men: Romney 51% Obama 47%
$50K-$100K: Romney 50% Obama 49%