Non-Voters Were the Majority in 2010, Says New Study

Cross-posted at Project Vote's blog, Voting Matters.

"It is fair to say that 2010 was the year of older, rich people." That's the conclusion of a new research memo from Project Vote, "An Analysis of Who Voted (and Who Didn’t Vote) in the 2010 Election," by Dr. Lorraine Minnite. It finds that wealthier voters and Americans over the age of 65 surged to the polls in 2010, and increased their support for the Republican party, while young voters and minority voters (who strongly favor Democrats) dropped off at higher rates than in 2006.

Two years ago, African-Americans, lower-income Americans, and young Americans all participated in the 2008 presidential election in decisive numbers, making it the most diverse electorate in history. In 2010, however, these historically underrepresented groups were underrepresented again, as they (in common with most Americans) largely stayed home. Non-voters were the majority in 2010, a fact that "throws cold water on any victor’s claims for a mandate."

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Early Exit Polls

Toplines I'm hearing (again, requisite grain of salt required!) -- Corzine 46/Christie 46/Daggett 7 percent in New Jersey (had Daggett not been on the ballot, 48 percent would have backed Christie/47 percent would have backed Corzine/4 percent would not have voted). McDonnell leads 55 percent to 45 percent over Deeds in Virginia

Toplines (with requisite grain of salt!) -- National Review's Jim Geraghty hears Corzine 47/Christie 47 in New Jersey; McDonnell 54.5/Deeds 45 in Virginia

We're still trying to track down some more background numbers, but some of the news nets are beginning to selectively release exit poll data.

  • Per CNN, voters in Virginia did not see their state's gubernatorial race as an opportunity to voice opposition to Barack Obama. A 55 percent majority of voters said that the President was not a factor in their vote, and an additional 18 percent indicated their vote in Virginia was one of support in the President. Just 24 percent of voters indicated that their vote was one of opposition to President Obama. The numbers out of New Jersey are not terribly different, with 60 percent saying that Barack Obama played no role in their gubernatorial vote, 19 percent saying that their vote was one in support of the President, and 20 percent saying that their vote was in opposition to President Obama.

    Concludes CNN, this is not a referendum on Barack Obama.

  • Chuck Todd reports that Barack Obama's approval rating among Virginia voters stands at 51 percent (just under the 52.6 percent of the vote he received in the state last November) and 57 percent in New Jersey (almost exactly the same as the 57.1 percent of the vote he earned in that state last November). In other words, exit polling indicates President Obama has not really lost supporters over the past year.

More as we hear it...

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Exit Poll Analysis Suggests Obama Victory Due to Surge in Youth and Minority Voting

The United States saw dramatic increases in voting from traditionally underrepresented groups, including minorities and young voters, according to a new analysis released this week by Project Vote. If borne out by systematic analysis of the voter rolls, this change in the electorate is evidence of the power of successful voter registration drives and an indication of the strong inclination of voters to participate in the process when candidates address their issues.

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Republicans Should Keep Running Against Big Government & Higher Taxes

That would be awesome.

View of Government

Should do more 51
Doing too much 43

Will your taxes go up if Obama wins?

Yes 71
No 27

Among voters making $200,000 or more

Obama 52
McCain 48

If this data from the exit polls doesn't scare the crap out of Republicans, I don't know what will. America has shifted toward the Democrats' view that government does have a proper role in making people's lives better and that responsible citizens should be ready and willing to pay for that. To a large degree, McCain didn't lose because he didn't get his message out, it's just he was running on an obsolete message. Welcome to the new America.

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Full National Exit Poll (I think)!

Am I nuts?  This looks like MSNBC's full national exit poll.  Is that legal?  if so, looks like 55-44 Obama.  Even with a pound of salt (say, a 7 point error to Democrats) we still win.

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