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November 08, 2006


Here's the exit poll data (ht to Chris Bowers).

Fascinating. Dems got the most and least educated, almost tied in the white vote, and 20% of conservatives voted for the Dems. Dems got those most concerned about the future and those not doing so well. Take a look.

The D's picked up governorships, but what happened down ballot? Did they flip any state houses or state senates? (Two important state races in Ohio went D, viz. that for attorney-general and that for secretary of state. (Here in Texas, the R's held on to just about everything at the state level: gov, lite gov, attorney-general, both houses of the Lege, etc. Sometimes I think that a lot of Texas is just Mississippi lite :-(

Mimikatz, see addendum.

The final result: 52-45, just like Gallup. Large enough to do what it did.

Andy Kohut on The news Hour: still overstating dems in the exit poll.

Was this more Democrats voting or more voters self-identifying as Democrats?

How much was turnout up overall?

Well, I should have read the NYT before posting my question: the D's flipped 9 chambers in the state legislatures, lost one (in the Montana house, the R's now have a one vote majority), and tied two (the R's increased (?) to a tie in the Montana and Oklahoma state houses). So an improvement that will, one hopes, have favorable consequences in the future (a bigger---and one hopes, better---candidate pool for higher offices, more influence on issues decided at the state level, etc).

TOTAL Democrat Republican
Democrat (38%) 93% 7%
Republican (36%) 8% 91%
Independent (26%) 57% 39%

R 34 D 34 other 27 was predicted by Pew, who suggested 47-43.

R 34 D 37 other 28 was predicted by Gallup, who suggested 51-44 (actual was 52-45)

I'm guessing that party ID is from exit polling, right?, not from voter registration rolls, since they have the cross-tabs for who they voted for (and is that who they voted for in house or senate or some amalgam)?

in any case I'd be interested to know how much of the Dem gain is really stay-home Dems going out to vote, and how much is the regular bunch of voters switching to Dems. (am I being obtuse about this or is it really not obvious which of those is the case)

We don't know because we don't have the totals. But if there was a 10-15% uptick in votes, and the numbers still matched the predicted, then my guess is that everyone showed up, but indies voted as predicted. I don't think Dems voted out of proportion to everyone else, and I don't think we get record proportions from just Dems.

this is CT:

TOTAL Lieberman Lamont Schlesinger
Democrat (38%) 33% 65% 2%
Republican (26%) 70% 8% 21%
Independent (36%) 54% 35% 10%

and this was CT registration:

Registered Voters:
671,656 D (34.2%)
449,727 R (22.9%)
844,433 unaffiliated and minor parties (43.0%)

so more partisans prolly showed on both sides than indies, but of the indies they voted D.

the numbers are from CNN exit poll, HOUSE NATIONAL.

If, here in Texas, the Dems were serious, it might be a good idea to field some challengers. Three ballot pages of uncontested judges doesn't make it seem like they are serious. Kenny Marchant (US-24th) was challenged by a former Liberitarian who approached the Dem party and was told go ahead and run as a Dem, but we aren't giving you any money. The guy got 25,000 votes, while Marchant made sure to be unseen and unheard, updating his web page twice since July -- once to remember 9-11, the other to express Foley outrage.

By 2008, the 50 state strategy should help in texas.

Step one should be finding someone to run against John "Yoo Roolz" Cornyn in '08.

so is Rumsfeld now impeachment-proof or what?

'pockets: .xls link re turnout. see also United States Elections Project from whence it came.

oh, sure, give me the raw data to figure it out myself. I thought that's what we paid you for

thanks demfromct, I'll take a look

'pockets, didn't you learn in grade school? Show your work.

I don't have the partisan vote.. that's in wikipedia here.

For 2002 it was R 49.6 D 45

so overall turnout was up 4.8% in the US over 2002.

in CT it was up 2.3%

in the key Senate states where we took new seats:
PA turnout up 1.9%
OH turnout up 1.7%
RI turnout DOWN .5%
VA turnout up 5.9%
MO turnout up 5.1%
MT turnout up 7.4%

I took 2002 as the last midterm, but it is not a fair comparison because not all of those states even had a Senate race that year, let alone a competitive one. I don't even know what the right comparison would be.

I suppose, if I could have any data at my disposal, I'd like to see, for each race, and separately for voters who cast a Democratic or Republican ballot this time, the distributions of how often each individual voted in the last x years. I'd want to subtract the R from the D curve and see what's left -- if turnout was key then the difference should be high among rare voters and taper off among frequent voters. By seeing how far to the right along that curve you need to slide to account for the margin of victory you'd get a pretty good sense of how important new voters were race-by-race.

short answer: turnout seems complicated, and nationalized summaries should be suspect.

p.s. those numbers are derived from the excel file you linked.

the election cycle:

Senate Seats

Republicans (20) Previous %
Wayne Allard (CO) 51%
Thad Cochran (MS) 71%
Susan Collins (ME) 49%
Larry Craig (ID) 57%
Pete V. Dominici (NM) 65%
Michael Enzi (WY) 54%
Phil Gramm (TX) 55%
Chuck Hagel (NE) 56%
Jesse Helms (NC) 53%
Tim Hutchinson (AR) 53%
James M. Inhofe (OK) 57%
Mitch McConnell (KY) 55%
Pat Roberts (KS) 62%
Jeff Sessions (AL) 52%
Bob Smith (NH) 49%
Gordon H. Smith (OR) 50%
Ted Stevens (AK) 77%
Fred D. Thompson (TN) 61%
Strom Thurmond (SC)* 53%
John W. Warner (VA) 52%

*will not seek re-election in 2002

Democrats (14) Previous %
Max Baucus (MT) 50%
Joseph R. Biden Jr. (DE) 60%
Jean Carnahan (GA) appointed
Max Cleland (GA) 49%
Richard J. Durbin (IL) 56%
Tom Harkin (IA) 52%
Timothy P. Johnson (SD) 51%
John F. Kerry (MA) 52%
Mary L. Landrieu (LA) 50%
Carl Levin (MI) 58%
Jack Reed (RI) 63%
John D. Rockefeller IV (WV) 77%
Robert G. Torricelli (NJ) 53%
Paul Wellstone (MN) 50%

here's what I got:

Dem Rep
2006 42,699,280 36,951,300
2002 35,271,874 38,877,444

21% -5%

sorry, not sure what I'm looking at.

22:07 comment: Percentages don't tell us much about turnout do they?

22:09 comment: where did those numbers come from? I see US turnout of 226.4 million from the excel file (or am I reading this thing wrong --

aha! I am reading this thing completely wrong.

Sorry, was taking the voting age population, somehow thought that was turnout. My mistake.

Now I'm doing (VEP-rate-2006 * VEP-2006) / (VEP-rate-2002 * VEP-2002). Is that kosher?

US: turnout up 4.8%
CT: turnout up 7.5%
MO: turnout up 13.2%
MT: turnout up 14.7%
OH: turnout up 17.7%
PA: turnout up 12.8%
RI: turnout up 20.5%
VA: turnout up 59.5% -- is that possible?!?! 45% VEP rate this year vs 29% VEP rate in 2002.

from gallup:

Vote by Party ID

A major factor in the Democratic Party's strength this election was the solid support for its candidates among political independents. According to Gallup's final pre-election poll, a 55% majority of independents (who comprise 27% of the "likely voter" pool) planned to vote for the Democratic candidate in their district, while only 38% planned to support the Republican. This represents a change from the last midterm election four years ago, when independents were more closely divided in their preferences: 46% voted Democratic and 43% voted Republican.

Republicans and Democrats were nearly unanimous this year in saying they would vote for their own party's candidate for president. The rate was 95% among Democrats and 93% among Republicans, similar to the pattern seen in 2002.

Hey, it is like where they say in real estate, what matters is location, location, location.

Here it was IRAQ, IRAQ, IRAQ. Forget all the number distributions. That is interesting but really immaterial to the recent events.

Or more particularly, if the Democrats go about business as usual, and don't present concrete easily understood goals and plans, and work hard for them both in Washington, and in the media, then they will be perceived as "democrats as usual" and continue to be marginalized.


To that last point about the D's going about ``business as usual'', agreed. Raising the minimum wage would be one concrete step that would get attention---Nancy Pelosi has already said that she intends to put forward a bill to do that. Another would be a tax bill with a modest cut for middle income households, together with a cancellation of the Bush tax cuts for upper income households. Fixing the Medicare prescription drug benefit would be a third. Indeed, trying to extend Medicare to everyone, tho' it would certainly be vetoed and not overridden, would be a good thing to try---it would not only put a marker down, but also make it easier to actually pass such a thing a few years on, if there is a D in the White House. (Medicare for everyone might not be the best solution for universal coverage, but it is familiar to most, and hence more political doable than some allegedly better alternative with little hope of commanding public assent.)

Paul you are totally correct.

That would impress me, and most of the country.

On something like general Medicare, I would offer one suggestion, that it would kick in when excessive costs (income/worth weighted)occur.
BUT it would have to be rationed. We can't spend all our money on transplants for 60 plus people in poor health, and let children's preventive care slide. We have to learn in this present and future Technological Medical Miracle Society, that everyone can't have everything. So I say put the money where you get the most bang for the buck.
Now if everyone wants a Billionaire's Health Plan and the People/Congress votes for it, then fine. Even then, there is just not enough money in the Treasury, but we could try and see what happens.

Of course private health insurance could make the differences for people able to pay for multiple transplants at 80 years old. But this would be above and beyond the public plan.

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