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Sunday, November 07, 2004

 Why Poli Sci is right, and the pundits are wrong

Mark Penn argues that the election was won and lost, not primarily by who turned out the base, but who best appealed to moderate voters.

Two key groups -- Hispanics and married white women -- voted more strongly for Bush and are the reason he edged out Kerry. The hype of this election, that it would be about a huge new youth turnout, or that it was all about the religious right, was not borne out by the numbers: In 2000, Bush received 35% of the Hispanic vote and 49% of the women's vote. In 2004, the numbers rose to 44% and 55%, respectively. Given those numbers, it seems quite plausible that the Hispanic and women's vote decided this election.

This is exactly the outcome predicted by most mainstream models of voter behavior in the field of political science. Whoever appeals best to their base, while relevant, is not as critical as appealing to the median voter.


Blogger Matt said...

Saw your conclusion from the statistics and I hope you are joking. Women may have decided the election, but it is very doubtful that it was decided by Hispanics, and even less likely by women Hispanics. Higher percentages of Hispanics are situated in the southern states where they have voting blocs. The only ones of these states that were close were Florida, NM and NV. Although FL wasn't really that close. You have to look at the #'s that vote, while Hispanics are a large minority, they don't vote in high percentages. The increase may have decided NM, or NV, but I doubt FL. And Bush didn't need NM or NV, so unless they decided FL I think youre incorrect. You should never draw generalizations from statistics, they tend to be misleading.

3:59 PM  

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