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Understanding the 2008 Presidential Election

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The first of a number of post election analysis lectures I will give.

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Understanding the 2008 Presidential Election

  1. 1. THE 2008 ELECTION W H AT H A P P E N E D A N D W H Y M AT T K L I N K NOVEMBER 12 www.cerrell.com 1
  2. 2. FRAMING T H E ELECTION F I R S T E L E C T I O N S I N C E 1 9 5 2 T H AT N E I T H E R T H E P R E S I D E N T N O R I N C U M B E N T W A S A C A N D I D AT E L E A D I N G C A N D I D AT E S W E R E B O T H U . S . S E N AT O R S T H E F I R S T E L E C T I O N S I N C E 1 9 6 0 T H AT A S I T T I N G S E N AT O R WA S E L E C T E D P R E S I D E N T ( J F K ) B O T H M A J O R P A R T Y C A N D I D AT E S W E R E B O R N O U T S I D E O F T H E C O N T I N E N TA L U N I T E D S TAT E S O B A M A - H O N O L U L U, H AWA I I M C C A I N - PA N A M A C A N A L Z O N E H A D M c C A I N B E E N E L E C T E D, H E W O U L D H AV E B E E N T H E O L D E S T U . S . P R E S I D E N T TO H O L D O F F I C E 2
  3. 3. E L E C T I O N P R E D I C TO R S M I S S O U R I B E L LW E T H E R : S i n c e 1 9 0 4 , t h e s t a t e h a s v o t e d f o r the eventual winner in all but one election HALLOWEEN MASKS: The candidate whose face has outsold his opponent’s has won since the concept was introduced WA S H I N G TO N R E D S K I N S : B e t w e e n 1 9 4 4 a n d 2 0 0 0 , t h e outcome of the last home game before Election Day presaged the winner • If the team won, the incumbent par ty’s candidate would win • If the team lost, the opponent would win (pattern broken in 2004) • November 3, 2008: Pittsbur gh 23, Washington 6 (Home) 3
  4. 4. GENERAL ELECTION THE NUMBERS N AT I O N A L R E S U LT S : OB AMA 52.6% MCC AIN 46.1% (OB AMA +6.5) 65,431,955 57,434,084 E L E C TO R A L C O L L E G E : M C C A I N / PA L I N 1 6 2 OB AMA/BIDEN 365 (Missouri still unknown) 4
  5. 5. GENERAL ELECTION THE CONGRESS 2006 2008 HOUSE: 226(D) 195(R) 256(D) 175(R) (-20) 2006 2008 49-49-2 57(D) (+6) 40(R) (-6) S E N AT E : ALASKA- BEGICH (47%) STEVENS (48%) G E O R G I A - M A RT I N ( 4 6 % ) CHAMBLISS (50%) -- RUNOFF M I N N E S O TA - F R A N K E N ( 4 2 % ) COLEMAN (42%) -- RECOUNT 5
  6. 6. A L O O K AT T H E E L E C TO R A L M A P 1996 C L I N TO N / G O R E 3 7 9 DOLE/KEMP 159 6
  7. 7. A L O O K AT T H E E L E C TO R A L M A P 2000 GORE/LIEBERMAN 267 BUSH/CHENEY 271 7
  8. 8. A L O O K AT T H E E L E C TO R A L M A P 2004 K E R RY / E D W A R D S 2 5 2 BUSH/CHENEY 286 8
  9. 9. A L O O K AT T H E E L E C TO R A L M A P 2008 OBAMA/BIDEN 365 M c C A I N / PA L I N 1 6 2 9
  10. 10. A L O O K AT T H E E L E C TO R A L M A P 2 0 0 8 M A P N OT I N M c C A I N ’ S FAV O R M U S T- W I N S TAT E S ( 3 o f 4 ) • O h i o, Pe n n s y l v a n i a , F l o r i d a & I n d i a n a (McCain lost all) D E M O C R AT I C P I C K - U P S • Virginia, Nor th Carolina, Colorado, Nevada, Indiana, New Hampshire 10
  11. 11. FRAMING THE GENERAL ELECTION E X T R E M E LY U N P O P U L A R P R E S I D E N T A N D CONGRESS 2006 2008 CHANGE CONGRESS: 30% 12% -18% 52% 26% -26% PRESIDENT: SOURCE GALLUP - I T ’ S T H E E C O N O M Y, S T U P I D WA R I N I R A Q - 11
  12. 12. FRAMING THE GENERAL ELECTION M c C A I N / PA L I N McCAIN’S PERCEIVED STRENGTHS: • Experienced, international issues, terrorism, capable commander in chief • Energize the base McCAIN’S PERCEIVED WEAKNESSES: • Distr usted by Republican base (Palin Selection) • Not strong on economic issues 12
  13. 13. FRAMING THE GENERAL ELECTION M c C A I N / PA L I N HOW McC AIN MUST POSITION OB AMA • Make Obama unsafe • Highlight inexperience and lack of legislative record • Po r t r ay a s u l t r a - l i b e r a l , t a x - a n d - s p e n d D e m o c r a t • If all else fails, stress the need for a divided government • . . . bu t : GALLUP - 57% to 38% of voter s want divided government...but 53% to 41% want a democrat in Congress 13
  14. 14. FRAMING THE GENERAL ELECTION M c C A I N / PA L I N 14
  15. 15. FRAMING THE GENERAL ELECTION M c C A I N / PA L I N 15
  16. 16. FRAMING THE GENERAL ELECTION OBAMA/BIDEN OBAMA’S PERCEIVED STRENGTHS: • D o m e s t i c i s s u e s , e m p a t h y, a b i l i t y t o b r i n g a b o u t change OBAMA’S PERCEIVED WEAKNESSES: • Experience • Foreign policy & national secur ity (Biden Selection) 16
  17. 17. FRAMING THE GENERAL ELECTION OBAMA/BIDEN HOW OB AMA MUST POSITION MCC AIN • McCain Presidency = 4 more year s of Bush • Change ver sus status quo 17
  18. 18. FRAMING THE GENERAL ELECTION OBAMA/BIDEN 18
  19. 19. FRAMING THE GENERAL ELECTION OBAMA/BIDEN 19
  20. 20. FRAMING THE GENERAL ELECTION OBAMA/BIDEN 20
  21. 21. E L E C T I O N A N A LY S I S THE ECONOMIC GAME-CHANGER • John McCain leads post-convention c e a s e s o n S e p t e m b e r 1 7 t h - A lead he would never regain • McCain suspends campaign/threatens debate cancellation on September 26th • McCain unable to win in debates • Obama aver ages +9-point among RVs over McCain from October to Election Day 21
  22. 22. E L E C T I O N A N A LY S I S 22
  23. 23. E L E C T I O N A N A LY S I S MONEY IS THE M OT H E R ’ S M I L K O F P O L I T I C S • Obama raises $700MM • 1.7MM contributors • 93% less than $100 • Small doors and on-line presence • The end of public financing of presidential campaigns? 23
  24. 24. E L E C T I O N A N A LY S I S E M P O W E R I N G O R D I N A RY P E O P L E O B A M A U N D E R S TA N D S S O C I A L M E D I A • 130MM people vote on Election Day (highest total ever) • A b i l i t y t o i d e n t i f y, e d u c a t e a n d a c t i v a t e o n - l i n e • Mobile updates+ social networ ks • Obama was/is EVERYWHERE “In a connected world, power shift to those able to connect ” 24
  25. 25. E L E C T I O N A N A LY S I S T H E PA L I N FAC TO R A good choice or not? • McCain/Palin - Alaska Governor a vir tual unknow at time of announcement (51% never heard of her o n 0 8 / 0 3 U S A T O D AY ) • Dayton, OH announcement day after Democratic Convention ends • Motivates Republican base • Palin out-draws McCain on campaign stops • Po p u l a r w i t h H i l l a r y s u p p o r t e r s ? • Gibson/Couric inter views • Ability to reach independents and swing voter s 25
  26. 26. E L E C T I O N A N A LY S I S WHERE DO WE GO F R O M H E R E D O E S 2 0 0 8 S I G N I F Y A N D E L E C TO R A L R E - ALIGNMENT? WILL OBAMA MAKE GOOD AND TRANSCEND PA RT I S A N P O L I T I C S ? W I L L YO U N G , I N F R E Q U E N T A N D M I N O R I T Y VOT E R S R E M A I N E N G AG E D I N T H E P RO C E S S ? C A N O B A M A P O S S I B LY L I V E U P T O H I S C A M PA I G N P RO M I S E S ? 26
  27. 27. T H A N K YO U M AT T K L I N K NOVEMBER 12 www.cerrell.com 27

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