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Just Who Are The "Likely Voters" Anyway?

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einsteins stein Donating Member (398 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-22-03 03:14 AM
Original message
Just Who Are The "Likely Voters" Anyway?
I ran across an interesting webpage today, here:
http://www.fec.gov/pages/2000turnout/reg&to00.htm

The page lists the voter registration and turnout, state by state, for the 2000 election. The chart is dowloadable in Excel, so I did, the ran a few formulas and found some interesting info.

How many times have you heard that Republicans are more likely to vote than Dems, and that when a poll targets "likely voters," then the results normaqlly favor Repukes?

I'm here to tell you it aint the truth!

In the 2000 election, the states that went to Bush averaged a higher percentage of registered voters amongst the VAP (Voting Aged Population)--77.7% for the Red states, 74.3% for the Blue.

But, the Red states had lower voter turnout than Blue.

In Red states 64.3% of registered voters turned out. That's just 49.9% of the VAP.

On the other hand, in the Blue states, 70.8% of registered voters turned out, or 52.6% of the VAP, for a total of 51

Itseems that Repukes are more likely to register and stay home, but Dems are more likely to register and vote. Another angle on this is that when voter turnout is high, Dems win.

Any way you cut it, it seems that serious voters tend to be Democrats.

Just thought you might like to know that we keep democracy alive in the US. Aint it cool? :-)
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ayeshahaqqiqa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-22-03 05:10 AM
Response to Original message
1. Voting is the most important thing to do
On Election Day 1992, I was involved in a traffic accident and broke my foot in three places. I refused to go to the emergency room until I drove 20+ miles the other way to vote. They kindly brought a ballot out to me and I cast it for Bill Clinton. I tell this story to people so they know how serious I think voting is.
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izzie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-22-03 07:45 AM
Response to Reply #1
2. I am with you on this.
Even the money does not count if the voters wish one person in.
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einsteins stein Donating Member (398 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-22-03 10:34 AM
Response to Reply #1
3. I bet, if we looked up "Likely Voter" in the Dictionary
it would say, See: "ayeshahaqqiqa" :-)
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Jeff in Cincinnati Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-22-03 11:11 AM
Response to Original message
4. Can't take the statistics at state level
You're looking at a combination of Republican and Democratic voters. In my Ward, for example, the average turnout was in the mid-50's in the last election. The problem is that among Republicans, the turnout was in the mid-60's and for the Democrats it was in the low 40's. The same holds true when looking at statewide numbers.

The eternal problem for Democrats is that our core consituencies are also the people least likely to vote. That's why grassroots organizing and GOTV are critical to Democratic success in 2004.
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einsteins stein Donating Member (398 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-22-03 11:22 AM
Response to Reply #4
5. I understand that its a combination
But its a combination in either a Red state or a Blue, and Blue states have higherturnout, and higher turnout elects Dems--which is why they are called "Blue" states :-)

Look, I know this isn't completely scientific, but it is inspiring, which is why I posted it.

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Jeff in Cincinnati Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-22-03 12:25 PM
Response to Reply #5
9. Look at the states Bush won...
By and large we're talking some of the poorest states in the country -- and poor folks are notoriously irregular voters. The god-awful turnout in the Red States reflects the core Democratic consituency not turning out.

The core of your point -- that higher turnout helps Democrats -- is entirely valid. But the idea that Republicans turn out in lower numbers than Democrats is not only not true, but also a dangerous placebo for Democrats who assume that GOTV isn't important because our voters will turn out without being prodded.

For Democrats, GOTV wins elections.
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uptohere Donating Member (603 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-22-03 12:02 PM
Response to Original message
6. if I understand your figures...
...it simply proves that democratic voters do not vote at all. Quite naturally they realize that its futile so they stay home. In states where they can make a difference they are gotten out and vote thereby making them blue states.

No surprizes here.
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einsteins stein Donating Member (398 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-22-03 12:16 PM
Response to Reply #6
7. Try milk with your cheerios...
it is so much better than pissing on them :-)

I mean, wholly freaking smoke! How on earth did you get that message from those figures?

Is "uptohere" what you feel about Dems, or just life ingeneral?
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NewYorkerfromMass Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-22-03 12:20 PM
Response to Reply #7
8. uptohere's right.
and it shatters the "Pensacola voters turned around and went home" myth re: Gore winning FLorida before polls closed.
The GOP does everything they can to keep us at home or worse: KEEP US FROM VOTING.
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einsteins stein Donating Member (398 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-22-03 12:27 PM
Response to Reply #8
11. OK, if that was what was being said, I apologize
because it's true, Repukes will do anything to keep Dems from voting, possibly even from registering. Uptohere, I'm sorry!

But, I reject the idea that Dems are lazy voters. Frightened, in some parts of the country, but not lazy.

Regardless, lets just look at the bright side for a moment, ok?

When we vote, we win. That is awesome. We are the real majority. Regardless of what the polls say, the voters say something different!

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uptohere Donating Member (603 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-22-03 01:17 PM
Response to Reply #11
16. where did I say that they were lazy ?
Our friends in the media take great pains to tell us all what to expect and then we see that very often exactly that has happened. Self fulfilling prophesy ? Manipulation ? Just clever political analysts ?

Whatever.

If you believe that your state will clearly be shining red on election night, where is the incentive ? If its a chore to get over to vote because it involves public transportation that you can ill afford, time off work, extra arrangements for child care all for something that you are assured is hopeless... do you blame them ?

For the states that are believed to be shining blue on election night or are up in the air, the party will place its efforts into seeing that the vote is gotten out to insure that the blue goes blue and in the hopes of winning a blue lightbulb.

Laziness is not the issue which is why I did not use that adjective.
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uptohere Donating Member (603 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-22-03 12:28 PM
Response to Reply #7
12. clearly many dems do vote or those states would glow red
but for the people who require an excuse to vote as opposed to seeing it as their civic duty, the desire to go out only to see the state always go the other way causes them to question the need. I vote because I should and as an irritant to the 95% of my neighbors who vote the other way.

This is not a new concept and its well understood by the major parties who have spend considerably more time and effort every year studying this than you or I ever will in our lives. They understand that wars consists of many battles and they pick these battles with care given that they only have so many resources at their disposal.

I would love if citizens were required to appear at the polls (they could choose to vote or not) but I don't see that happening.
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Feanorcurufinwe Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-22-03 12:25 PM
Response to Original message
10. Likely voters
Pollsters generally identify registered voters by asking a respondent if he or she is enrolled to vote. That is only an estimate, because some people tend to say that they are registered even if they aren't.

Finding the elusive, smaller group of "likely" voters is tougher. It takes an additional series of questions that attempt to gauge people's interest in and knowledge of the election, their commitment to their candidate and whether they have voted in the past. Based on the answers to these inquiries, participants are graded as "likely" or "not likely" to vote.

Pollsters will often check the demographics of their "likely voter" samples against exit polling statistics from past elections, to see if they are correctly representing the shares of men and women, whites and blacks and young and older people who have traditionally turned out. Some may even verify whether the people in their sample are registered.
Polling Not an Exact Science
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Capn Sunshine Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-22-03 12:28 PM
Response to Original message
13. This is Why Deans campaign is different
Edited on Mon Sep-22-03 12:31 PM by Capn Sunshine
We are drawing from the pool that has been long ignored, ever since the "swing voter" was deified as the decisive factor of electoral politics.

Our support base is made up of NON LIKELY voters. Off the radar folks. We average three registrations per meeting. These folks are pissed off, and the blatant evil and hubris of the Bush administration has pushed them over the edge. They don't show up on the pollster radar. They haven't voted in ten years because they feel no one is there to articulate how they feel. They aren't "left wingers" either; many are salt of the earth, blue collar ex-republicans , conservative dems, and greens and just previously disaffected non-registrants never voted ever.

At least 40% of our group is made up of these good folk, and the awesome power of their numbers is so overwhelming that "swing voters" are a thing of the past. Get used to it folks, we don't have to dilute our ideas or pander to republican lite inclined; we can OVERWHELM THEM WITH DEMOGRAPHICS.

It is the strength of these numbers that is changing electoral politics.Forever. That, and our funding model which has the capacity to banish -or at least provide counterbalance to -- corporate donor influence.

So swing away all of you that think we have to be as vanilla as possible to appeal to the swingers. The vote will reveal if this theory is correct. But how can it not be when it's right in front of our faces?

It is this potential that has Rove & Co, AND some corporate string pullers in the Dem party quaking in their boots.

Because its all about YOU.
YOU can change this country, YOU can take it back .

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einsteins stein Donating Member (398 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-22-03 12:52 PM
Response to Reply #13
14. It IS about YOU
like those lines from the old Doors song, 5 to 1:

The old get old
And the young get stronger
May take a week
And it may take longer
They got the guns
But we got the numbers
Gonna win, yeah
We're takin' over


We do have the numbers, and no voting machine hack can change that. We just need to get folks registered, and escort them to the polls. It's not a feel good marathon, its serious business. At least as serious as the civil rights movement. We need to get committed, quickly.
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Capn Sunshine Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-22-03 12:58 PM
Response to Reply #14
15. So come to a meetup and get active.
7 pm Oct 1, Wednesday
http://www.meetup.com
for a locale near you.

This thing is growing because people are sick of the electoral bullshit, and Dean was the first to tap into this and articulate it.

His stump speech say it best " I'm not here to change things , That's up to YOU"

YOU.
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