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The Myth of the Exurban Voter - maybe helpful?

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wildflower Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-28-05 02:37 PM
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The Myth of the Exurban Voter - maybe helpful?
I ran into this article from December and thought this article could be helpful. What do you think?

The Myth of the Exurban Voter

By Ruy Teixeira, The Center for American Progress and The Century Foundation. Posted December 23, 2004.

Exurbs have been getting a lot of attention in analyses of the 2004 election. According to some observers, Republican domination of these areas was the key to Bush's re-election victory and, because of the phenomenal level of mobilization in these fast-growing areas, Republicans should continue to out-point the demographically stagnant Democrats in the future.

A careful look at the data suggests to me that there is a great deal less than meets the eye to this thesis. I have already pointed out how exurban counties made only a modest contribution to Bush's net gain in votes in 2004 and how Republican domination of exurban counties is nothing new and was, in fact, more pronounced under Reagan than it is now.

An interesting angle I haven't covered yet is how mobilization in exurban counties stacked up to mobilization in other types of counties. In post-election analyses, mobilization and turnout in counties has generally been measured simply by comparing the vote in 2004 to the vote in 2000. The higher the percent increase in votes cast, the more mobilization has taken place, is the general assumption.

But this assumption is not warranted it leaves out an important variable that affects the number of votes cast: population growth. The more population grows, the more votes should be cast, even if there is no change at all in the level of mobilization; more possible voters equals more votes, all else remaining the same. Therefore, if we are interested in the extent to which mobilization changed between the 2000 and 2004 elections, we need to measure the change in votes cast relative to the growth of the population between 2000 and 2004.

<...>

much more - includes some stats and mentions Ohio - at

http://www.alternet.org/election04/20834/
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