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WPA 2012 Post Elect Analysis

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  • 1. Wilson Perkins Allen Opinion ResearchAnalysis of the 2012 Elections © WPA. All rights reserved. Neither this publication nor any part of it may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without the prior written permission of WPA.
  • 2. Presidential Results andAnalysis of Exit Poll Data Page 2
  • 3. Barack Obama won re-election with 332 Electoral Votes. President Obama carried 26 states.National Presidential Results Presidential Results Electoral Votes Romney Obama 206 332 Page 3
  • 4. Obama carried all of the swing states narrowly beating Romney in Ohio and Florida – two states that offer 47 Electoral Votes.National Presidential Results Presidential Results: Swing States Page 4
  • 5. White & Middle-Class Voters Page 5
  • 6. The number of white voters this cycle dropped by more than five million from four years ago. Ethnicity: Whites Number of Voters Republican Share of Vote (In Millions) 80%105.0 93.2 95.8 90.7 90.0 70% 75.0 60.0 60% 64.2 59% 61.5 60% 58% 45.0 Drop of 5.1 Million 55% Voters from 2008 30.0 51% 50% 15.0 0.0 2004 2006 2008 2010 2012 40% Presidential Elections Mid-Term House Elections 2004 2006 2008 2010 2012 Data: CNN Exit Polls Page 6
  • 7. The electorate in most swing states was less white than it was in 2008. Percent Change of White Voters in Swing States (2008 to 2012) NV -5% 2008: 69% 2012: 64% IN -4% 2008: 88% 2012: 84% FL -4% 2008: 71% 2012: 67% OH -4% 2008: 83% 2012: 79% CO -3% 2008: 81% 2012: 78% PA -3% 2008: 81% 2012: 78% WI -3% 2008: 89% 2012: 86%National -2% 2008: 74% 2012: 72% NC -2% 2008: 72% 2012: 70% NH -1% 2008: 94% 2012: 93% VA 0% 2008: 70% 2012: 70% IA 2008: 91% 2012: 93% 2% -10% -9% -8% -7% -6% -5% -4% -3% -2% -1% 0% 1% 2% 3% 4% 5% Source: CNN Exit Polls Page 7
  • 8. More than seven million middle class voters also did not show up at the polls. Income: $50,000 to <$100,000 Number of Voters Republican Share of Vote (In Millions) 100%60.0 90%50.0 46.6 80% 44.8 39.1 70%40.0 60% 55% 51% 53% 52%30.0 49% 50% 29.6 30.9 40%20.0 Drop of 7.5 Million Voters from 2008 30%10.0 20% 0.0 10% 2004 2006 2008 2010 2012 0% Presidential Elections Mid-Term House Elections 2004 2006 2008 2010 2012 Data: CNN Exit Polls Page 8
  • 9. Voters with an annual income between $50k and $100k were an even smaller percentage of the electorate in 2012 compared to 2008. Percent Change of Voters Earning $50K to $100K annually in Swing States (2008 to 2012) CO -7% 2008: 42% 2012: 35% FL -7% 2008: 38% 2012: 31% NV -7% 2008: 40% 2012: 33%National -5% 2008: 36% 2012: 31% VA -5% 2008: 35% 2012: 30% PA -3% 2008: 34% 2012: 31% NH -2% 2008: 38% 2012: 36% OH -2% 2008: 36% 2012: 34% WI -1% 2008: 39% 2012: 38% IA 0% 2008: 37% 2012: 37% -10% -5% 0% 5% 10% Source: CNN Exit Polls Page 9
  • 10. Mitt Romney was not able to overcome the perception that his policies would favor the rich, not the middle class. Middle class voters who didn’t like Obama likely stayed home because they did not see a benefit in voting for Romney. Vote by View of Candidate PoliciesDo Obama Policies Generally Favor: Do Romney Policies Generally Favor: Poor Rich 2% 10% Middle Poor Class 31% 34% Rich 53% Middle Class 44% Data: CNN Exit Polls Page 10
  • 11. Voters this year were much more optimistic about where our country is going than they were two years ago. The Republican economic message did not resonate with voters. Direction of the Country100%90%80%70% 61%60% 52%50%40% 46%30% 34%20%10% 0% 2010 2012 Right Direction Wrong Track Data: CNN Exit Polls Page 11
  • 12. Even on specific issues such as health care, Republicans were not able to build on the momentum that served them so well in 2010. The Health Care Law Should Be:100%90%80%70%60% 48% 49%50%40% 31%30% 26%20% 16% 18%10% 0% 2010 2012 Expanded Kept As Is Repealed Data: CNN Exit Polls Page 12
  • 13. Women Page 13
  • 14. Men supported Romney by a margin of seven points whereas Women voted for Obama by a margin of 11 points. Gender Gender and Marital Status100% 100%90% 90%80% 80% 38% 45% 46% 55% 70% 56%70% 67% 60% 2%60% 3% 1% 50%50% 1% 4% 40%40% 30% 60% 2%30% 53% 52%20% 44% 20% 40% 31% 10%10% 0% 0% Married men Married Unmarried Unmarried Male Female (29%) women men women (47%) (53%) (31%) (18%) (23%) Romney Other Obama Romney Other Obama Source: CNN Exit Poll Page 14
  • 15. Obama’s advantage among women is driven, in part, but his strong performance among Hispanic and African-American women. Romney won white women by 14 points. Female Ethnic Demographic Groups100%90%80% 42% 51% 55%70%60% 76% 2%50% 96% 1% Obama 1% Other40% Romney30% 56% 48% 1%20% 44%10% 23% 1% 0% 3% Overall Women White Women Hispanic Women African-American (53%) (38%) (6%) Women (8%) Source: CNN 2012 Exit Polls Page 15
  • 16. Over the past five presidential elections, Democrats have held a double- digit lead among women in every year except 2004. Female Voting Habits100%90%80%70%60% 56% 55% 54% 54% 51%50% 38% 48%40% 43% 43% 44%30%20% 8%10% 3% 1% 1% 1% 0% 1996 2000 2004 2008 2012 Republican Other Democrat Source: CNN Exit Polls 1996-2012 Page 16
  • 17. Democrats benefitted from Republican missteps that alienated voters – particularly women and those concerned about women’s issues.Wrong Tone• High-profile Republican candidates chose their words poorly, and their sound bytes were easy fodder for opponents, late night comedians, and commentators.• The inability to keep their foots out of their mouths fueled the narrative that contributed to the Democrats’ advantage.Examples• Mitt Romney’s “Binders Full of Women,” Todd Akin’s “Legitimate Rape,” and Richard Mourdock’s comments about pregnancies resulting from rape.• These positions were used against these candidates, but were also used to drag other Republicans into a debate on women’s issues – a realm where Democrats have the advantage. Page 17
  • 18. African-American Voters Page 18
  • 19. President Obama’s strong advantage among African-Americans played a significant role in his victory. 2012 Presidential Ballot Among Major Ethnic Groups100%90%80% 39% 51%70% 71%60% 2% 93%50% Obama 1% Other40% Romney30% 59% 1% 48%20% 26%10% 1% 6% 0% Overall Whites African-Americans Hispanics (72%) (13%) (10%) Source: CNN Exit Polls 2012 Page 19
  • 20. Barack Obama is a driving force for black voters who turned out again this year like they did in 2008. It is unlikely that they will continue to turn out at such a high rate without Barack Obama on the ballot. Ethnicity: Black Number of Voters Republican Share of Vote (In Millions) 40%30.0 Increase of 3.1+ Million25.0 Voters from 2004 30%20.0 16.8 16.415.0 13.3 20%10.0 11% 10% 9.2 7.8 9% 5.0 10% 6% 4% 0.0 2004 2006 2008 2010 2012 0% Presidential Elections Mid-Term House Elections 2004 2006 2008 2010 2012 Data: CNN Exit Polls Page 20
  • 21. Obama had more than 2.7 times as many field offices as Romney, allowing his team to more effectively target and turn out voters which helped him increase in key constituency groups such as African-American and Hispanic voters.Obama Field Offices Romney Field Offices (786) (284) Field Offices in Ohio (131 vs. 40) Source: http://themonkeycage.org/blog/2012/11/06/mapping-romney-and-obama-field-offices/ Page 21
  • 22. Latino Voters Page 22
  • 23. Latino voters have continued to become a bigger factor in elections. Ethnicity: Latino Number of Voters Republican Share of Vote (In Millions) 100%30.0 90%25.0 80% Increase of 1.0 Million Voters from 2008 70%20.0 60%15.0 12.6 50% 44% 11.6 9.7 38% 40%10.0 30% 31% 30% 27% 5.0 6.2 6.7 20% 0.0 10% 2004 2006 2008 2010 2012 0% Presidential Elections Mid-Term House Elections 2004 2006 2008 2010 2012 Data: CNN Exit Polls Page 23
  • 24. Over the past five Presidential elections, Republicans have not won more than 44% of the Hispanic vote and have seen their share of the Hispanic vote decrease since 2004. Since 1996, Hispanic share of the overall vote has doubled. Total Hispanic Share of Vote and Republican Share of Hispanic Vote Presidential Election Years50% 44%45%40% 35%35% 31%30% 26%25% 21%20%15% 9% 10%10% 7% 8% 5%5%0% 1996 2000 2004 2008 2012 Hispanic Share of Vote Republican Share Source: CNN Exit Polls 1996-2012 Page 24
  • 25. Even in midterm elections, Republicans are not winning the Latino vote. Total Hispanic Share of Vote and Republican Share of Hispanic Vote Midterm Election Years100%90%80%70%60%50% 38%40% 35% 30%30%20% 8% 8%10% 5% 0% 1998 2006 2010 Hispanic Share of Vote Republican Share Source: Exit Polls 1996-2012 *Exit Polls were not available in 2002 Page 25
  • 26. A WPA Statewide survey of likely Hispanic Voters in Texas found that many associated theRepublican Party with being wealthy, and not part of the middle class. This perception islikely a driving factor behind diminished Republican performance among these voters. Source: WPA Statewide Poll of Likely Hispanic Voters in Texas Page 26
  • 27. Republican’s issues among Hispanic voters is not just immigration policy. Republicans problems are much more widespread and need to be addressed in future elections. Key Issues Among HispanicsDifference of Republican Party and Democratic Party Key Issues Among Hispanics Makes Effort to Win Hispanics -52% Protecting Womens Rights -45%Understands Needs/Concerns of Hispanics -43% Shares Values of Social Issues -42% Supports Legal Immigration -34% Cares About Helping Middle Class -33% Improving Education -32% Anti-Immigration 34% Cares About Helping Rich People 44% -70% -50% -30% -10% 10% 30% 50% 70% Data: Resurgent Republic Poll Page 27
  • 28. Post-Election Page 28
  • 29. Even after the election the Democrats are winning the message battle on the Fiscal Cliff. Handling of Fiscal Cliff100%90%80% 46% 54%70%60% Disapprove50% 7% No Opinion40% Approve 22%30% 47%20%10% 24% 0% President Obama Speaker Boehner Data: Washington Post/ABC Poll, December 5-9, 2012 Page 29
  • 30. Voters indicate they would blame Republicans if an agreement isn’t reached on theFiscal Cliff, which could cause issues for Republicans going forward into 2014. Who is to Blame if Agreement Isn’t Reached President Obama 27% Republicans in Congress 53% No Opinion 6% Neither 2% Both Equally 12% Data: Washington Post/Pew Poll, November 29 – December 2, 2012 Page 30
  • 31. Major Democratic political figures all have net positive images while Republicans have net negative images. Images Among Key Political Figures Bill Clinton 36% Hillary Clinton 30% Barack Obama 15%The Democratic Party 9% David Petraeus 8% Joe Biden 1% Paul Ryan -4% Susan Rice -4% Mitt Romney -9% John Boehner -10%The Republican Party -15% -30% -20% -10% 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% Data: NBC News/Wall Street Journal, December 6-9, 2012 Page 31
  • 32. ConclusionsRepublicans Lost the Messaging Battle• Romney was not able to convince voters that he would be able to help the middle class. In fact, voters were more optimistic about the direction of the country than they were in 2008.• Huge gaffs on women’s issues handed this issue to the Democrats who capitalized on it against Republicans in general.• Republicans are losing among Latino voters in every major issue.• All of these problems kept voters in key Republican constituencies from actually voting. Page 32
  • 33. Going ForwardA Cohesive Message Is Needed• Even after the election Republicans, specifically Speaker Boehner, are losing the message battle.• If Republicans want to compete going forward they need to put together a cohesive and consistent message.• Additionally, they need to stop alienating key groups of voters, such as women and Latinos. Page 33
  • 34. For Republicans Page 34
  • 35. Republican Demise?Reports of Republican Demise are Overstated• Political pundits were convinced that the Republican Party was dying and that the elections of 2006 and 2008 signified a new wilderness period of permanent minority status for Republicans.• Yet in 2010 the GOP won a historic victory in the House and swept Governor’s mansions and state legislatures across the country. • There is a majority coalition for Republicans out there. • A second Obama term is not the end of either the Party or the country. Page 35
  • 36. Draw DistinctionsImportance of Drawing Distinctions• The entire Republican message, from the perspective of the average voter, consisted of “He has done a bad job. How about us?”• Drawing distinctions won’t help all the time. • We will often be in an environment where we are on the wrong side of public opinion (i.e. Iraq in 2006).• Yet, if the Republican Party doesn’t take a stand on important issues we will end up in a post-New Deal permanent minority. Page 36
  • 37. Nominating an OutsiderWe Need Real Washington Outsiders• John McCain had spent so long in the Senate that he was seen as part of the problem.• Romney’s stint as Governor was both so far in the past and so well ignored by his campaign he might has well have come from Washington.• Neither could offer a credible alternative to federal action.• “No” is not a majority position in this country. • Saying “No” to Washington is a majority position on many issues.• Only a Governor seems to be able to talk about the importance of both localism and federalism as an alternative to federal action. Page 37
  • 38. Vetting CandidatesVetting Candidates• Conservative organizations attacking incumbents from the right can be a hindrance to the conservative movement if they do not do the important leg-work to identify and vet a replacement candidate for the race in question.• Over the last few elections, the GOP has lost several high-profile races largely because an allegedly “more conservative” candidate defeated an incumbent or the early frontrunner in the primary and then failed to gain traction with the general electorate. Page 38
  • 39. Moving ForwardMoving Forward• Local and national Republicans need to identify and vet a conservative with a realistic chance of winning the general election before moving against incumbents (like Dick Lugar) or candidates with a strong natural base of support (like Mike Castle in Delaware).• Perfect examples of this practice in action include: • Senator Mike Lee (UT) – unseated three-term Senator Robert Bennett. • Senator-Elect Ted Cruz (TX) – defeated well-known and heavily backed Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst in the GOP Primary. Page 39
  • 40. Contact Page 40
  • 41. For additional information about this data, please feel free to contact: Chris Wilson Partner and CEO 202.470.6300 CWilson@WPAResearch.com