I’ve been thinking about the polls that have Obama winning by anything between 1 and 13% tomorrow. Frankly, as many of you know, I don’t believe them. So I started to look at a few things. Namely, I looked at the %s in the polls by which Obama leads and I looked at the historic turnout rates for them. I then turned to the groups that have the lowest historic turnout.
Frankly, even if they increase their turnouts by the same amount they did between 2000 and 2004, I don’t see how he can win.
We’ll start off with the Youth voters. Those 18-25. The same group that was supposed to carry Kerry. Well, they increased turnout from 36% in 2000 to 47% in 2004. Youth voters currently are rooting for Obama 53% vs McCain’s 44% (http://voices.washingtonpost.com/thefix/2008/10/parsingthetracking_poll.html).
So let’s say 58% of them actually vote. Well, that drops Obama’s youth voters to 30.7% and McCain’s to just under 25.5%
That’s a change from a 9% lead by Obama to a mere 5.2%.
How about Hispanics? Well, according to what I could find (http://www.miamiherald.com/news/politics/AP/story/754458-p2.html), Obama leads by 31%. I couldn’t find the actual numbers so I’ll just give the best possible case (I like to look on the bright side): That’s 60% for Obama and 29% for McCain. With a historical turnout pretty much unchanged in the last 2 elections of about 47%, that changes Obama’s 31 pt lead to a mere 15% lead in the Best Possible Case.
And Blacks? Same source as for the Hispanics states that Obama leads by 94%. Again, the Best possible case gives him 97% vs McCain’s 3%. But historical turnout? Only 60% Well, it’s Obama. Let’s be nice and give him a 75% total turnout among Blacks. That’s still heavily in Obama’s favour, but changes from 94% to 70%.
But what does this mean in voters?
Well, it means that for every 1,000 polled voters in each of these categories, the polls expect Obama to win by
Youth 90 voters. Historical turnout, plus the same change as from 2000 to 2004 give Obama a win of only 52 youth voters of every 1,000
Among Hispanics, the expection is an Obama win of 310 voters. With historical turnout: Merely 150.
And with Blacks: only 700 instead of 940.
But what does this mean for the actual election?
Well, Let’s look at what percentage of total registered voters each group makes up:
Total of all eligible voters (http://www.census.gov/Press-Release/www/releases/archives/factsforfeaturesspecialeditions/010725.html): 72% of population. That’s a guesstimated 216 million registered voters. And 122,267,553 votes actually got cast in 2004 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/U.S.presidentialelection,_2004 (yeah, yeah, it’s Wikipedia).
Supposedly 44 million are registered.Guessing that 58% of them actually vote, that’s a lead of 7,834,640 (for Obama)- 6,507,600 (McCain). Giving Obama 1,327,040 more voters nationally than McCain in this group.
They make up merely 9% of the registered voters for 17,301,600 total voters nationwide. With only a 47% historical turnout, that leaves Obama with a mere 2,521,133 voters more than McCain (assuming best possible numbers for Obama).
Well, apparently there are only 14 million registered Black voters. A surprisingly low number, honestly. So if an incredible 75% of them actually vote, that’s 10,500,000 black voters. With Obama possessing an expected 97% of those votes, that’s a 9,870,000 vote lead among Blacks.
Those 3 groups (obviously there’s some overlap from the youth, but we’ll give Obama the benefits of assuming there isn’t) give Obama a 13,718,173 vote lead over McCain among these groups. This is opposed to the 3,960,000 (youth) + 5,363,496 (Hispanic) + 13,160,000 (Black) voters that is being assumed he’ll get. A big difference 13.7 million and 22.5 million.
A 9 million vote difference the lead Obama is expected to have from the youth and minority votes throws this decidedly to McCain. Decidedly.