Wednesday, November 5, 2014

The Ugly Morning After

A brutal, brutal night for the Democrats last night.  The polls badly underestimated what was effectively a GOP wave.

While Brown didn't get swept up in the wave, virtually every other close race is being won by Republicans. Consider:
  • Republicans are winning the vast majority of toss-ups in the races for governor and for Senate — including Cory Gardner in Colorado, Thom Tillis in North Carolina, David Perdue in Georgia and Pat Roberts in Kansas. In fact, New Hampshire is basically the one toss-up the GOPhasn't won.
  • Former RNC chairman Ed Gillespie, who virtually nobody gave a chance to come anywhere close in the Virginia Senate race, is currently within half a point of Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.).
  • Republican Larry Hogan is currently leading the Maryland governor's race — a race he wasn't supposed to — by nine points with just more than half of precincts reporting.
  • Another Democrat who was supposed to win easily, Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin, currently leads by less than two points against a completely unheralded opponent whose name not even The Fix knew before tonight.
  • Longtime Rep. Louise Slaughter (D-N.Y.), whose race was rated as safe by virtually all handicappers, is tied at 50 percent with 99 percent of precincts reporting.
  • Another incumbent in a supposedly safe district in Maryland, freshman Rep. John Delaney (D-Md.), currently trails Republican Dan Bongino by two points with 57 percent of precincts reporting.
  • Targets the GOP has long targeted, like Reps. Nick Rahall (D-W.Va.), Tim Bishop (D-N.Y.) and John Barrow (D-Ga.), have finally lost.

Final tally:  GOP needed 6 seats to retake the Senate and got 8, plus likely two more when Alaska finally comes in and Louisiana's runoff is settled, for what will probably be a ten-seat pickup.

The reason?  Turnout failed miserably, according to the exit polls.  Dems won women 53-46%, but lost men 55-42%.  The electorate for 2014 was a whopping 75% white, and Dems lost white voters by 20 points.

Two-thirds of voters in 2014 over 45, 75% were 40 or older.  Millennials stayed home.

Black voters showed up, they made up 12% of the electorate, and went 89% for Dems.  But Latino voters stayed home.  They made up only 8% total of the electorate, and a third of them voted for the GOP.

Dems lost white women by 12 points.  They lost white men by 30 points.

That's your ballgame.  Turnout nationally was lower than 2010.  

The demographic mix of young, minority and women voters that twice helped elect Obama to the White House never was going to be as robust in a midterm election Yet the fall-off from the level of support the president enjoyed just two years ago was a major factor in the Democratic loss of the Senate.

Even when compared to the last midterm election in 2010, the American electorate Tuesday was older, exit polls show.

Those 65 and older represented a quarter of the national electorate, up from 21 percent four years earlier. Democrats sought to turn out younger voters, but that didn't happen nationally. The share of those 29 and younger was identical to 2010. The proportion of the electorate represented by Hispanics–8 percent–was identical to 2010. Turnout among black voters increased by a percentage point to 12 percent this year, and Asian voters increased by a single point as well, to 3 percent.

Republicans did even better than they did four years ago.  We stayed home like chumps.  That's your answer.


Martin Pollard said...

Go to sites like Crooks & Liars and see all of the "professional lefties" and members of the "progressive unicorn brigade" (thank you, PCTC blog) piling on the Democrats like they've been doing for years. "DINO" and "spineless Democrats" are flying like mortar rounds, and some are actually hoping that Republicans f**k things up so that there will be some sort of "revolution"! I'm staying completely out of it, but I just feel like screaming at the top of my lungs at these delusional idiots.

Yastreblyansky said...

Something weird in those CNN numbers: that they add up to 100%. They apparently didn't allow you to be both Latino and Black or Latino and White. I suspect that's why the Latino numbers look so pathetically small, because of the respondents that chose White instead.

Horace Boothroyd III said...

Milt Shook is great, we would do well to print up his postmortem and send it around to the hysterical ninnies and show them how it's done.

The same grave dancing is going on at the Daily Kos, my favorite source for horrified fascination. The unicorn ranchers gave the election results a couple minutes of deep thought before rubbing analyses that blamed the disaster on everybody but themselves and prescribed massively increased doses of what ever they had been griping about previously as the certain cure for what ails the Democrats.

Which leads to a huge gripe of my own that has been heating up to a boil: they talk about the Democrats as a classic Other, and generally an Other who is weak and contemptible. Screw that, sez I, the Democrats are you and me and Zandar and Scopedog and everyone else who is dedicated to the cause. Different people have more or less power, have more or less influence, but we really are all in this together. The sparkleponie brigade keeps demanding this and that benefit before it will deign to lift a finger and help, which is a bad idea on general principles and looks especially bad when you consider that we have only a limited supply of burgers and tossing one to the fringe group of fake radical wannabee kingmakers will likely alienate another group - more devoted and more deserving - on the hope that it might lead to a net higher vote tally. On such calculations do coalitions win and lose.

On a closing note, this analysis applies perfectly well to the Naderite spoiler campaign of 2000. Your typical gooserock will squeal "we didn't throw the election and what about those 300K Democrats who voted for Bush?" If you put it that way, Al Gore's mistake was that he did not run far enough to the right. Had he done so, the Naderites were lost anyway but he would have picked up a couple hundred thousand Republican and Democratic votes there on the boundary where party affiliations become imprecise.

So I find it bitterly amusing to hear alleged hard leftists (can you hear me chuckle at their pretenses?) sneering that the neoliberal Third Way New Democrats are not running far enough to the right.

Horace Boothroyd III said...

What I see in the numbers is that the under 30 crowd turns out at 12% for the midterms and 19% for the presidentials, way down from their 29% of the population but remarkably consistent in their pattern. We would like to get those numbers up, but we also need to plan around them until we get the problem fixed.

The weird thing is that going back to 2004 the 30-60 cohort is slowly bleeding participation with the 60+ cohort taking up the slack. This I do not understand, nor do I see anyone giving it serious discussion.

Lurker111 said...

Sorry, Zandar. The Stupid have won. :(

:( :( :( :( :(

Lurker111 said...

What upsets me is that, with so much ammunition given to the Dems by the GOPers, how could the Dems not put together a better ad campaign?

Also, I'm wondering if, instead of targeting ads at specific candidates, it might not work better to show how the Republican Party has morphed from a legitimate governing party (from, say, the FORD administration) into a caricature of itself today? In other words, campaign against the Republican Party, not the individual candidate. Paint with a broad brush. At the least, you might get few GOP candidates to repudiate some of the things their party stands for.


Crap crap crap crap crap.

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