Tag Archives: non-white

~10,000,000 Fewer Whites Voted in 2012 Than 2008 (Jay Cost)

Jay Cost counts up the racial breakdown and finds 10 million missing White Voters.  The question remains why did they not vote?

One of my intuitions was that the Democratic non-white vote would not rise very much this year because of the big jump in 2008, in particular in non-competitive states like Illinois, Mississippi, and California. Looking at the hard numbers, that turned out basically to be correct (although the Latino vote looks to have increased modestly).

What I did not anticipate was a steep drop in the white vote. My back of the envelope calculation suggests that the white vote was off by almost 10 million votes relative 2008. [This is the primary reason why Mitt Romney will end up winning fewer votes than John McCain, but have a larger share of the total electorate.]

So, the polls that showed a big Obama edge, often due to a loose likely voter screen, were right for an ironic reason. Turnout was down, suggesting a tighter screen would have been better, but because turnout was down so substantially among whites, the actual electorate looked a lot like more like the broader population than it has in years past (even in 2008). Thus, a loose screen produced the better reflection of the voting public.

A tip of the cap to those who figured it would go the other way. Job well done!

Ohio Tied if 407,000 White Voters Don’t Show Up — Gravis Marketing

I need to get on with my day of college football but this poll was too funny to just ignore. We already blogged today that Ohio isn’t the deficit for Romney polling and media would lead you to believe.  Now we have polls aggressively adjusting the racial composition of the polls to favor Obama.

Polls are tied despite heavy over sampling of non-Whites

Earlier this morning the comical SurveyUSA poll of Florida found a 16 percentage point drop in actual White votes (a Romney demo) yet Obama was only up 1%. Now Gravis Marketing surveys Ohio and finds a 7 percentage point drop in the expected White turnout and President Obama is tied at 47 with 6% Undecided.  Still well below 50% and with Undecideds likely breaking at least 2/3 for the challenger, he’d lose 49 to 51.

Ohio demographics

The racial composition of the Ohio vote in 2008 was: White (83%), Black (11%), Hispanic (4%), Asian (1%), Other (1%)
The racial composition of the Gravis poll is: White: (76%), Black (12%), Hispanic (6%), Asian (1%), Other (5%).
Did 407,000 Whites voters leave Ohio while 232,000 “Other” voters suddenly move to Ohio?  That is what a 7pp drop in White voters and 4pp increase in the “Other” category would mean based on Ohio’s 2008 vote. Something tells me that didn’t happen.

Most polls don’t re-weight by party ID but they do by race

Remember how much the media and polling firms mocked the critics over party ID complaints?  The said they don’t weight by party ID so the criticism is wholly without merit.  They admit they do weight by race though so these laughable demographic compositions are things the polling firm consciously CHOSE.  That is two straight firms, creating voter samples completely unrealistic anywhere beyond David Axelrod’s wildest dreams and yet President Obama can no better than a statistical tie … and that’s before we factor in Undecideds who break heavily for challengers.

Party ID

The party ID in this poll is D +9 (Dem 41, Rep 32, Ind 27).  This exceeds what we have been using for the 2008 party ID of D +8 (Dem 39, Rep 31, Ind 27).  But as @NumbersMuncher proved out, the real 2008 disparity was D +5 (Dem 37.5, Rep 32.5, Ind 30) while in 2004 it was R +5 (Dem 35, Rep 40, Ind 25). Far too many Democrats, but in this instance we see it is too many non-Whites and too few Whites.

The missing White vote

When the racial composition is correct, the Democrat over-sampling in polls like today’s D +9 means they are over-sampling White Democrats which hides the decline in support for Obama among White voters.  Now the polling outfits are fabricating racial demographics favorable to Obama with no reasonable justification and still only find Obama tied.  This is bad, bad, bad for the President. Importantly, the 2008 election racial demographics fail to account for 1.7 million White voters who stayed home in that election but appear to be more than enthusiastic this time around. In 2008 that was over 95,000 Ohio voters with a proclivity towards voting Republican.

If Gravis also gave us the preferences of these racial groups (I asked for them) we could easily rerun the numbers, but alas no such details are given like too many polling groups who don’t want pesky bloggers to blow their biased polls out of the water.

ABC/Washington Post Poll Makes In-Kind Contribution to Obama Re-Election Efforts

Not to be outdone by the ludicrous NBC/WSJ/Marist Battleground State polls from last week, ABC/Washington Post reveal their national poll today showing President Obama with a 3-point lead 49 to 46. Mitt Romney leads among Independents by 6 points (48 to 42) and locks down his base more so than Obama — Reps support Romney 93 to 7 while Dems support Obama 91 to 8.  Yet Romney trails by 3.  How?  Incredibly, they polled 9% more Democrats than Republicans.  This is not a new phenomenon as I outlined in mid-September in the post “Obama’s National Lead Based Entirely on Over-Sampling Democrats.”  Today’s ABC/Washington Post poll is the crowning achievement this cycle in unrealistic national polls only 3 weeks out from the election.  But these types of advocacy “polling games” are nothing new.

The party identification in the survey is D +9 (Dem 35, Rep 26, Ind 33). This compares to 2008 when party ID was D +7 (Dem 39, Rep 32, Ind 29) and 2004 when party ID split evenly (Dem 37, Rep 37, Ind 26).  Making matters even worse, in their poll just over two weeks ago that survey had a party ID of D +3 (Dem 33, Rep 30, Ind 33).  Did the public tune in to Barack Obama’s debate performance and just have a groundswell of love for Democrat passivity and listlessness and embrace the Donkey Party? According to the Washington Post, pre-Debate the race was 48 to 46 in favor of Obama.  Post-debate the race is 49 to 46 in favor of Obama.  Must have been an uneventful debate right?  Here is over-the-top liberal Democrat Andrew Sullivan’s blog yesterday on post debate polls:

If anyone thought that the feisty Biden debate undid the massive damage the president did to himself in the first debate, the news isn’t great. Biden does seem to have reversed the speed of Obama’s free-fall but not the decline itself. Romney’s debate obliteration of Obama – something that, in my view, irreparably damages a sitting president – does not seem to be a bounce, but a resilient jump. It’s not going away by itself. That is: not a bounce.

Sullivan also provides a devastating chart showing the post-debate Romney surge in polls (red line) and Obama free fall (blue line):

But today the Washington Post and ABC see fit to publish a poll with Democrat affiliation 9 percentage points greater than Republicans. This blog has hammered the issue of party ID time and again. Basically there is a zero percent change the Democrat’s advantage at the polls in 2012 will be superior to their advantage in 2008. Here is what I wrote on October 1st when critiquing the large disparities in party identification:

In 2008 seven percent more Democrats than Republicans identified themselves as such on election day, well above the historic average of 3%. This was a big change from 2004 when party identification was evenly split between the Democrats and Republicans. But there were many reasons for the strong Democrat turnout that do not exist today. The top of the ticket was a historic candidate (first Black President), America had war and Bush fatigue, the financial meltdown created an anti-Republican wave, and his opponent wasn’t the strongest (good biography, bad and underfunded candidate). These factors led to a strong Democrat self-identification advantage at the voting booth in 2008. But in the 2012 election, none of the advantages outlined above are there for Obama and many of those factors are now largely working against the President: 8%+ unemployment for three years, sub-2% GDP, 23 million unemployed, Arab Spring blowing up and casting the historic vote in 2008 is yesterday’s news. Additionally the Romney campaign ground game has exceeded the McCain campaign across many metrics as much as 10- to 15-fold. Despite the stark changes in each of these factors, polling outfits thus far have consistently sampled an election turnout often greater than candidate Obama’s 2008 best-in-a-generation advantage.

Over the last month we have seen:

Interestingly many of these above trends actually show up in the ABC/Washington Post poll.  President Obama’s support among Non-Whites is a surprisingly low 73%.  His support is typically closer to 80% so this drop of is a major red flag in the President’s re-election efforts.  But this is where the Democrat over-sampling comes in to save the President.  I went to great lengths to demonstrate that these polls that over-sample Democrats are not simply over-sampling generic Democrats, these polls very specifically over-sample White Democrats.  And in this survey we see Barack Obama’s support among White voters at 43%, the same level he achieved in 2008. If that percentage was accurate Obama would almost certainly be re-elected.  Unfortunately for him that support level is not accurate based on the unrealistic disparity in party identification and the over-sampling of Democrats masks what is far more likely support for Obama among Whites closer to 36 or 37% as I explained in the previous post here.

Despite the mountain of evidence above completely undermining the unrealistic voter turnout models presented by ABC, the Washington Post and others, major news organizations pass off these unserious polls as credible when neither sense nor reason supports such claims.  Today’s disaster is only the latest example of major news organizations weakening the public’s trust by publishing fantastical polls whose sole purpose is to advocate for one candidate over the other.

Obama.com: New Paradigm in Non-White Voter Participation Propels Obama IPO

The Gallup organization’s long awaited switch to the more accurate “Likely Voter” screen from the “Registered Voter” screen created a lot of fanfare but for many of the wrong reasons. President Obama whose job approval had been mired below 50% (awful for an incumbent this late in the game) received a 5-point bump to 53% in Gallup’s latest survey. This is hugely important because “a president usually pulls in a vote share roughly equal to his job approval rating.” This led to laudatory headlines like: “Obama’s First Term Approval Ratings Now Equal Clinton and Reagan.”  You can just feel that Reagan ’84 landslide coming for Obama can’t you?  Unfortunately for President Obama and his supporters, Alan Abramowitz at the Huffington Post dug into the numbers and found some unusual changes to the racial make-up of the poll the occurred during this switch:

Evidence from Gallup’s weekly presidential approval results indicates that the racial makeup of its tracking poll changed dramatically between the final week of September and first week of October — a change that coincides with the beginning of Gallup’s reporting of likely voter results in the presidential election. Although Gallup does not report the racial composition of its tracking poll sample in its weekly presidential approval results, we can estimate the racial makeup of the sample by extrapolating from the reported approval rating of the president among whites, nonwhites and all adults. The estimated nonwhite percentage of the sample for the past five weeks was as follows:

Gallup: % of Non-White Voters Surveyed

Changes in poll re-weighting like the above are what drive sharp criticisms from Republicans who, absent reasonable justifications by the polling organizations for such moves, allege bias when incompetence or unseriousness may be the more accurate aspersion. The race alterations specifically to Gallup’s polling assumptions have two fatal flaws: first, they fail to account for the missing White vote from 2008 and second, the steep increase in non-White participation maps out to a chart only a late-90s “dot com” CEO could love.

The Missing White Voter

The near-constant focus on the rise in non-White percentage of the electoral make-up ignores the fact that 1.7 million White voters stayed home in 2008. I addressed this issue at length in “The Reality of 2012 Voter Turnout: The White Voter” where we saw that in the 2008 election a -1.1% election-over-election drop in White participation led to an electorate make-up comprising record high levels of non-Whites totaling 23.7%. This drop in White participation was due various reasons — apathy towards Obama’s opponent, disinterest in expected loss, bad campaign message etc. The thrust of the argument was that while Obama campaign officials argue aggressively for polls with a racial composition at meaningfully greater minority levels than the 2008 historic turnout, there is another side of that coin and it works heavily against the turnout models of both the Obama campaign and of the vast majority of polls being published.

Gallup today, however, proceeds to publish a survey the Obama campaign could wish for only in their wildest dreams. In their survey, the non-White percentage of the electorate comprised 30.6% of the entire poll — a 6.6% increase over the record 2008 level (and 4.9% jump week-over-week).  This increase comes in the face of steep drops in enthusiasm among Hispanics and Asians as well as a reduced (albeit small) drop in enthusiasm/support among Blacks. The decreased enthusiasm invariably translates into a decreased propensity to vote.  In 2008 Obama had countless advantages — historic candidate, bad economy/financial crises, Bush fatigue, and an ill-financed opponent — that not only do not exist today but actively work against him — bad economy, chronic unemployment even worse among minorities, well-funded opponent and energized voters antagonistic towards Obama. Yet Gallup finds minority interest, voter registration and enthusiasm dramatically superior to 2008 when every measurable aspect is worse?  Impossible, unrealistic and unworthy of a serious organization.

The Non-White “hockey stick”

But ignoring the missing White  vote is not the only problem with Gallup’s implausibly high 30.6% non-White voter participation. How does Gallup’s 30.6% non-White participation fit in with recent historical trends?

Below we have the non-White percentage of vote in each Presidential election since 1988 according to the Census Bureau, Current Population Survey, May 2010.  From left-to-right there is a steady increase in minority participation especially since 1992.

Non-White % of Vote 1988 - 2008

The change in Non-White participation election-over-election beginning in 1992 has averaged a 1.7 percentage point (ppt) increase over those five elections which includes 2008’s historic jump of 2.9ppt over the 2004 level.

Gallup’s assumption today, however, is that in 2012 the non-White percentage will jump 6.9ppt over 2008’s historic level despite all of the disadvantages previously outlined.

1998 “Dot Com” CEOs would be proud of whichever salesman sold that “hockey-stick” 2012 change in non-White voter participation to the Gallup organization. The absurdity of the dramatic increase in non-White participation in the Likely Voter screen is compounded because of this demographic’s historic reticence to participate anywhere near near such levels. Gallup better get that “Obama.com” IPO sold before November 6 because underneath this absurd racial make-up is a dwindling support for Obama among White voters likely to doom his re-election chances.  And if Obama has any more debates like his last, he’ll make the Facebook IPO look like the homerun of the century.

Although the sharp increase in Non-White participation helps goose up Obama’s job approval today to a stellar 53% (52.5% actually) it only achieves this because the non-White demographic approves of President Obama at a 77% level in the Gallup survey, largely consistent with historical trends and independent surveys. The White demographic approves of President Obama only at a 41% level — bad, and possibly fatal. Because the above outlined changes are wholly unjustifiable, all they serve to do is mask the reality that President Obama’s job approval remains below 50% which imperils any incumbent’s re-election. If we adjust the non-White participation to more acceptable levels (76/24 White/non-white split used in nearly every national poll), Obama’s job approval drops back below the 50% threshold his campaign is desperate to avoid.

Gallup does a great disservice to polling with changes like those outlined above. Although the racial re-weightings are nearly impossible to justify I’m sure Gallup has their reasons. If nothing else they should buoy the Obama supporters  because otherwise Obama supporters may become even less enthusiastic come election day and not even show up.

Hiding the Decline: What Polls Over-Sampling Democrats Mask

The over-sampling of Democrats in today’s polls most likely hides a sharp decline in support for President Obama among White voters. If President Obama’s support level among White voters dips a single percent or two below 40, his road to re-election would be in jeopardy. The national polling results today showing President Obama with support levels among Whites between 40-44% likely over-sample support for President Obama by 4% to 8% among this demographic. Poll re-weighting by race achieves an accurate demographic make-up for the United States in 2012 but almost certainly a wholly unrealistic split between self-identified Democrats and Republicans. Because the accurate re-weighting of polls by race often achieves political splits that are not credible, polling organizations give rise to accusations of bias when in reality better selected sample inputs would most likely achieve more credible end results but also meaningfully worse results for the President.

Problems with polls

The majority of polling critiques this election cycle focus almost exclusively on the amount of Democrats versus Republicans surveyed with the observation invariably there are far too many Democrats in the sample. There is much in dispute around this complaint because most polling organizations do not weight polls by the party identification of respondents. Polling organizations argue the disproportionately high amount of Democrats sampled draws a sharp inference there are more Democrats in the overall electorate, not just in the sample size. While it is possible and even probable there are a few more self-identified Democrats in the American electorate (the average in elections since 1984 is 3% more Democrats), the great dispute is the unusually large disparity of Democrats showing up in today’s polls, often as much as 7 to 12% higher than Republicans among the respondents. There are many reasons to challenge this conclusion which I will discuss later, but if we assume these polls have too many Democrats, an interesting phenomenon appears among which Democrats are oversampled.

Most polling methodologies, including how polls are weighted once responses are collected, mirror the Gallup Organization who has been the standard bearer in the US for over 75 years. According to the organization, “After Gallup collects and processes survey data, each respondent is assigned a weight so that the demographic characteristics of the total weighted sample of respondents match the latest estimates of the demographic characteristics of the adult population available from the U.S. Census Bureau. Gallup weights data to census estimates for gender, race, age, educational attainment, and region.” Based on explanations like this there is little reason to suspect intentional political bias in the disparate party weighting, especially when they do not re-weight polls by party identification. Importantly, though, they do re-weight polls by race. This gives rise to some curious issues regarding support levels for the President today.

Racial demographics and voting preference in the US

In the 2008 election, the racial breakdown of the national voting public was 74% White, 12% Black, 9% Hispanic, 2% Asian, 3% Other. When a survey is conducted polling organization re-weight the respondent answers to ensure the each of these groups has accurate representation in the final results. Most national polls reflect this reality usually within a 1% variation for any group.

If you look how each one of these groups vote, you find outsized rates of support for Obama among the non-White groups: Blacks ~95%, Hispanics ~70, Asians ~65%. These levels of support for Democrats are consistent with most modern elections although President Obama has been able to boost these levels slightly above historic averages. In aggregate, non-White support for Obama is roughly 80% in nearly every survey. At the same time Obama, like Democrat Presidential candidates before him, struggles with the White vote. In these same polls, Obama typically averages 40-44% support among White voters. His 2008 support level was 43% and it is widely believed by the Obama campaign among others that he needs support of at least 40% Whites to win the election.

Low potential for over-sampling non-White support for Obama

If we consider the idea that polling today has large over-samples of Democrats, the consistently high percentage of support for Obama among non-Whites makes it almost impossible to over-sample minority groups. First there is not a lot of room for support increases and second, data on the voting trends in non-White groups is often achieved through demographic specific polling of solely Blacks or Hispanics for example. Hence, any over-samples in the non-White demographic would meaningfully alter the already high levels of support for Obama and reveal itself as inconsistent with independent polling. Additionally, any over-samples in the non-White demographic would almost certainly change the racial make-up of the survey and set off red-flags to anyone scrutinizing polls. Therefore it is highly unlikely over-sampled Democrat polls contain an excess amount of non-White voters.

White Democrats

This leaves only White Democrats as the over-represented respondent in these polls that arguably over-sample Democrats. If the average in election turnout since 1984 is 3% more Democrats and these polls have 7 to 11% more Democrats, that means the polls specifically have 4 to 8% more White Democrats surveyed in their likely voter results. The problem for the Obama campaign is if his support level among White voters (74% of the voting public) is between 40%-44% and that support is based on a sampling that over-states his support 4 to 8%, his real level of support is probably closer to 36% or 37%. This is meaningfully below the campaign’s own magic level of 40% and is a huge danger zone for any Presidential candidate no matter how much anyone may spin the demographic changes in today’s America.

Hiding the decline

The issue with the suspect polling internals and media embrace of the figures is the consistent lead for Obama would be immediately challenged if his support levels dropped dramatically among the outlined racial groups. Support levels of 60% among Hispanics (9% of the voting public) or 80% among Blacks (12% of the public) would jump off the page to poll watchers. The same holds true for support levels of 36/37% among Whites (74% of the voting public). It would be near impossible for Obama to win the Presidency with support levels like the ones I just outlined. Unfortunately support for President Obama among White voters has declined from 43% in 2008 to apparently as low as 36%-37% in today’s polls absent unrealistically high levels of self-identified Democrats. With White voters making up 73-74% of the electorate and support levels in the upper 30s, it is inconceivable President Obama has the advantage these polls lead readers to believe. But the results largely go unchallenged in the media despite the impractical internal party identification make-up.

Polling bias and Party identification

When we reflect on accusations of bias in polling based on party identification, it seems hard to justify when most organizations do not adjust their polls based on this metric. These organizations do, however, run the risk of confirmation bias where the media and polling firms have a predilection towards one candidate and upon achieving results they agree with fail to challenge outlier data like unrealistic Democrat turnout levels in 2012. Inconvenient poll compositions like the fantastical party identification of respondents shake the credibility of desired outcomes but no explanation is given for such oddities. This leaves more fair-minded poll watchers uneasy with the factual reporting on data with obvious internal issues while partisans react more strongly with bias accusations not substantiated based on the available data. The over-sampling of Democrats may not be showing the bias of polling organizations but it is likely hiding the decline of dwindling White support for Obama.

This only raises the question of where the polling firms are getting their samples from — possibly heavy Democrat districts — because the end results are party identification breakdowns unrealistic in today’s electorate. In 2008 seven percent more Democrats than Republicans identified themselves as such on election day, well above the historic average of 3%. This was a big change from 2004 when party identification was evenly split between the Democrats and Republicans. But there were many reasons for the strong Democrat turnout that do not exist today. The top of the ticket was a historic candidate (first Black President), America had war and Bush fatigue, the financial meltdown created an anti-Republican wave, and his opponent wasn’t the strongest (good biography, bad and underfunded candidate). These factors led to a strong Democrat self-identification advantage at the voting booth in 2008. But in the 2012 election, none of the advantages outlined above are there for Obama and many of those factors are now largely working against the President: 8%+ unemployment for three years, sub-2% GDP, 23 million unemployed, Arab Spring blowing up and casting the historic vote in 2008 is yesterday’s news. Additionally the Romney campaign ground game has exceeded the McCain campaign across many metrics as much as 10- to 15-fold.

Despite the stark changes in each of these factors, polling outfits thus far have consistently sampled an election turnout often greater than candidate Obama’s 2008 best-in-a-generation advantage.

That means something else is going on. But the polling organizations shrug their shoulders and have been found to say the losers in the results are just crying sour grapes. This is even though their sample outcomes have party identification splits unrealistic beyond any stretch of reason. Sadly no credible defense is given for the unusual party split in these results which gives rise to charges of bias whether intentional or accidental. If the polling firms believe today’s electorate will exceed the incredible 2008 advantage Obama achieved they should make the argument to justify results that contain suspect internal data. But they would also have to explain why the 2008 election gave Democrats massive majorities in the House of Representatives yet today’s electorate will likely return massive majorities in the House to Republicans. It defies all logic. But very likely due to “confirmation bias” the media and polling organizations report favorable results for President Obama without challenge.

There are many explanations for odd internal data in polls as well as the built in accuracy issues that come with the very nature of polling. As Michael Barone writes, “it’s getting much harder for pollsters to get people to respond to interviews. The Pew Research Center reports that it’s getting only 9 percent of the people it contacts to respond to its questions. That’s compared with 36 percent in 1997.” But consistently unrealistic sample outputs give rise to greater scrutiny from the polling outfits and media organizations who report the results uncritically for whatever their reasons may be.

Point of Clarification on my 2012 Turnout Piece and the White Voter

An issue has popped up a couple of times in the comments section of my 2012 Voter Turnout post so I wanted to be clear about a few things. First, I am most definitely NOT saying John McCain would have won in 2008 had the White voter turned out at 2004 levels. 2008 was Barack Obama’s year and all the votes mentioned in my write up simply would have made the Presidential race marginally closer and likely only flipping Indiana and North Carolina. I was space constrained (this was originally considered for print publication) so I knew my discussion of vote differentials in 2008 could easily be misconstrued that I was implying John McCain would have flipped many or all of those states mentioned. He would not have.

The thrust of my write up addresses demographic assumptions for 2012 and I use those vote differentials to show just how close many states were and how many votes are missing from one segment of the population (White Voters). Those voters are not evenly distributed across all 50 states just as they are not concentrated in the enumerated Battleground states. It is simply an illustration that small changes in registration (which are occurring), increases in enthusiasm (which is showing up in polls) and turnout (which remains to be seen) could have big impacts with the largest segment of voters (White voters). And when you see the vote differentials and how many voters we already know are missing, suddenly the gap between Obama’s 2008 win and today’s contest gets a lot closer.

Ohio is a perfect example. The aggregate vote totals between the two major parties in the two most recent Presidential contest is strikingly similar:

2004: 5,600,929 votes cast
2008: 5,607,879 votes cast

Per CNN elections website:
2004 Bush (2,859,764) — 51%
Kerry (2,741,165) — 49%

2008 Obama (2,933,388) — 52%
McCain (2,674,491) — 47%

In 2004 non-Whites made up 15% of the Ohio vote and in 2008 non-Whites made up 17% of the Ohio vote. But if the aggregate vote totals are the same, that means 2% of White voters in Ohio who voted in 2004 did not vote in 2008. If the White vote in 2004 totaled 4,760,790 (85% of the aggregate) and 2% stayed home, that’s 95,216 voters who are overwhelmingly likely Republican voters. Barack Obama’s entire margin was 258,897. Give 80% of the stay at home vote to Republicans (76,172) and you’re ~30% closer to flipping the state before you flip one 2008 Obama supporter. For discussion purposes, those figures all assume a static White population in Ohio which is true for neither Whites or non-Whites.

When you see President Obama campaigning in states he won by 14% in 2008 like Wisconsin, giving great evidence that as much as 10+ percent of his 2008 vote has flipped, in Ohio alone if Romney flips ~6% of Obama voters when combined with the missing White vote he erases Obama’s entire lead. This is before factoring in a potential for both increased White population, registration and turnout between 2004 and 2012 — the keys to any election day. Democrats rightly counter this also fails to incorporate increases in non-White population, registration and turnout since 2008. All true but Whites still make up 80+% of Ohio voting population so its a demographic where smaller percentage changes have meaningfully greater impact and the enthusiasm argument (i.e. actually showing up at the polls) overwhelmingly favors Republicans based on all polling up through today.

Demographics Watch: The Middle Class

We used to have a  drinking game where any time in a speech Obama would say “millionaires and billionaires” in reference to who Mitt Romney was looking out for you would have to drink.  We had to stop this game at the advice of our doctors who were concerned about our livers. Despite the repeated and excessive attempts to smear Romney it appears the only person who believes this is the President himself. Poltico took a look at the Gallup data Charlie Cook helpfully broke down for us and broke out the Presidential preference by income levels:

Mitt Romney has a lead over President Obama among middle income voters, a new survey finds:

  • Among lower income voters, Obama leads by a 15 point margin, besting Romney 53 percent to 38 percent.
  • Gallup finds that among voters with a household income of $36,000 to $89,999, Romney leads Obama 49 percent to 45 percent.
  • Among upper income voters who report a household income of $90,000 or more, Romney leads 49 to 45.

When the electorate is cut along racial lines Romney leads among whites but trails by large margins among non-whites:

  • Among white lower-income voters, Romney leads 50 to 40 percent.
  • Among middle income ($39-$89.9K), Romney leads 56 percent to 37 percent.
  • Among upper income whites, Romney leads 54 to 40.

Romney runs into difficulty though among minority groups:

  • Obama beats Romney among lower-income nonwhites 80 percent to 12 percent.
  • Among middle income Obama has a 55 point lead.
  • Among upper income nonwhite voters Obama has a 52 point lead.

Despite questionable wording in the Politico piece, quite possible the most important takeaway is from Independents:

  • Among registered independents who make between $36,000 and $89,999, Romney has an 8 point advantage, leading 48 percent to 40 percent.

So basically among those “millionaires and billionaires” or at least anyone making six-figures, Presidential preference is split along racial lines with minorities disproportionately preferring Obama.  And the middle class prefers Romney by 3 percentage points and middle class Independents prefer Romney by 8 percentage points.

Update: The Daily Beast’s Michael Medved takes a look at who really fights for the middle class:

When Democrats promise to defend the middle class, they don’t seem eager to defend middle-class values. Instead, they emphasize programs designed to keep middle-class numbers high by making sure that fewer people get rich—or stay poor. A family earning $250,000 a year and with, say, five children may well consider itself middle class, but in President Obama’s oft-expressed view, that family counts among “the millionaires and billionaires” who need to pay more to the government.