An enthusiastic audience was rewarded at our November 12th meeting with a fascinating breakdown of the Presidential election results delivered by Dr. Chris Malone, Associate Professor and Chairman of the Political Science Department at Pace University, and author of Occupy Wall Street…from New York to the World which will be available at Amazon in January 2013.
The first slide shown compared the Electoral Votes for Obama of 2008 with those of 2012; 336 to 332 with the loss of only one battleground state, North Carolina, and that by a very small number, validating the polling of the Obama camp and proving the Romney polling estimates disastrous.
53% of the total votes were cast by women. Slides showed the breakdown of votes by age, marital status, education, race and income. Over 60% of the younger population voted for Obama as did the lower echelons of the educated and the higher ones…and the unmarried sector. By issues the breakdown showed the greatest discrepancy on the Health Issues. 81% of the electorate found Obama the more caring candidate and the majority favored tax increases and a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants…so a mandate seems clear.
Most voters (69%) made their decisions before September by the close of the conventions, and only 9% the last week…3% of them the last day. 30% of the total vote is represented by large cities, 47% by suburban areas and 21% rural ones. The debates had little or no effect on decisions.
Most interesting were Cartogram maps done by the University of Michigan showing the entire country, states and counties by the actual blue and red votes within them, indicating that the country is really purple.
Another fascinating breakdown was that of Congress and President by party since 1969. In that time, there were only 2 or 3 years when the majority of Congress was of the same party as the President,…we were and are a divided country.
Questions from the audience addressed the future of the Republican Party, action on Global Warming, the Tea Party, Michael Bloomberg, and early voting. The Republican Party, according to Dr. Malone, will have to attract a more diverse base and reconsider social issues. The Tea Party is fading fast. Grover Norquist’s power is greatly diminished. Global Warming will not be seriously addressed for a couple of years. Bloomberg’s future is hazy and early voting is the way of the future, with help on this promised to the League by our wonderful speaker who promised to return in 2013.
by Betty Golub
League of Women Voters of Somers
Issue XXV, Number 6