Presidential Race Maps Writing on the Wall

Hispanic, Asian Voter Registration Lags

Posted Nov 18, 2013 at 10:21 AM by Maurice Berger

According to Gallup, "U.S. Hispanics and Asians are much less likely to be registered to vote than whites or blacks. Whereas more than eight in 10 blacks and whites are registered, and therefore able to vote in elections, 60% of Asians and barely half of Hispanics are currently able to participate in the electoral process."

Huge Racial Divide In Treyvon Martin Case

Posted Jul 23, 2013 at 8:53 AM by Maurice Berger

A new poll by Washington Post-ABC News reports a significant racial divide in public attitudes on the Trayvon Martin case. By 86% to 9%, African-Americans disapprove of the verdict acquitting George Zimmerman; whites approve by 51% to 31%. Blacks, by 81% to 13%, favor federal civil rights charges against Zimmerman; whites are opposed, 59% to 27%.

Americans Dislike SCOTUS Voting Rights Decision

Posted Jul 08, 2013 at 9:36 AM by Maurice Berger

According to a new survey by ABC News-Washington Post, just 33% of Americans approve of the Supreme Court's ruling dismantling a key element of the Voting Rights Act. A majority, 51%, disapprove. Among African Americans, disapproval stands at 71%.

Election 2012: The Race Factor?

Posted Apr 17, 2013 at 9:04 AM by Maurice Berger

A new study by Harvard University factors race into the final popular vote tally of the 2008 and 2012 presidential elections and and concludes that "racial animus in the United States appears to have cost Obama roughly four percentage points of the national popular vote" in both races. 

Democrats More Racially Diverse

Posted Feb 15, 2013 at 10:35 AM by Maurice Berger

According to an analysis by Gallup, "Non-Hispanic whites accounted for 89% of Republican self-identifiers nationwide in 2012, while accounting for 70% of independents and 60% of Democrats. Over one-fifth of Democrats (22%) were black, while 16% of independents were Hispanic." Here is Gallup's chart:

Racial and Ethnic Composition of U.S., by Party ID, 2012

Is The GOP Running Out Of White Voters?

Posted Jan 02, 2013 at 6:51 AM by Maurice Berger

With the population of older white--and generally GOP-leaning--voters aging out and dying, is the Republican Party risking becoming a "regional party" if they don't increase support among Hispanic and other voters. GOP pollster Whit Ayres released a strategy memo saying that Republicans are, indeed, at risk in future elections:  "Mitt Romney won a landslide among white voters, defeating Barack Obama by 59 to 39 percent. In the process he won every large segment of white voters, often by double-digit margins: white men, white women, white Catholics, white Protestants, white old people, white young people. Yet that was not enough to craft a national majority. Republicans have run out of persuadable white voters. For the fifth time in the past six presidential elections, Republicans lost the popular vote. Trying to win a national election by gaining a larger and larger share of a smaller and smaller portion of the electorate is a losing political proposition."

GOP Faces Demographic Problem In The South

Posted Nov 27, 2012 at 8:44 AM by Maurice Berger

According to the Washington Post, the GOP is facing demographic challenges not just with Hispanic voters, but also the decline of white and the ascendency of black voters in the South: "The South [tells] a newer and more surprising story: The nation’s first black president finished more strongly in the region than any other Democratic nominee in three decades, underscoring a fresh challenge for Republicans who rely on Southern whites as their base of national support . . .

. . . Obama won Virginia and Florida and narrowly missed victory in North Carolina. But he also polled as well in Georgia as any Democrat since Jimmy Carter, grabbed 44 percent of the vote in deep-red South Carolina and just under that in Mississippi — despite doing no substantive campaigning in any of those states . . .

. . . Much of the post-election analysis has focused on the demographic crisis facing Republicans among Hispanic voters, particularly in Texas. But the results across other parts of the South, where Latinos remain a single-digit minority, point to separate trends among blacks and whites that may also have big implications for the GOP’s future."


The GOP Lost On Issues, Too

Posted Nov 13, 2012 at 8:48 AM by Maurice Berger

While much has been made of shifting demographics in this election cycle--and it is clear from exit polling that an uptick in African-American, Hispanic, and young voters and a decrease in white participation from 2008 made a big difference in the outcome--it is easy to forget that on the issues, the GOP lost as well. As NBC News' Mark Murray, reports: "For years, the GOP has branded itself as the party that supports low taxes (especially for the wealthy) and opposes abortion and gay marriage. But according to the exit polls from last week's presidential election, a combined 60% said that tax rates should increase either for everyone or for those making more than $250,000. Just 35% said the tax rates shouldn't increase for anyone."

Murray continues: "What's more, 59% said that abortion should be legal in all or most cases. And by a 49%-to-46% margin, voters said that their states should legally recognize same-sex marriage."

A Decline In White Voters Helped Obama Win

Posted Nov 12, 2012 at 9:16 AM by Maurice Berger

In "The Case of the Missing White Voters, Sean Trende writes: "For Republicans, that despair now comes from an electorate that seems to have undergone a sea change. In the 2008 final exit polls (unavailable online), the electorate was 75 percent white, 12.2 percent African-American, 8.4 percent Latino, with 4.5 percent distributed to other ethnicities. We’ll have to wait for this year’s absolute final exit polls to come in to know the exact estimate of the composition this time, but right now it appears to be pegged at about 72 percent white, 13 percent black, 10 percent Latino and 5 percent 'other.'” PollTrack points out that a +3% drop off of such a large Demographic was very significant in this election, representing one of the most important factors in Obama's victory.

Exit Polls: African American Vote . . .

Posted Nov 06, 2012 at 6:30 PM by Maurice Berger

. . . is exactly the same proportion of the electorate as it was in 2008: 13%. This is definitely positive news for camp Obama, especially given the 1% bump of Hispanic voters, who have gone from 9% in 2008 to 10% (not to mention the overall increase in support from 2008 for Obama from this demographic).

Has Obama's Gay Marriage Stand Swung Voters in Maryland?

Posted May 28, 2012 at 9:09 AM by Maurice Berger

President Obama's recent support of same-sex marriage appears to have swung voters in Maryland, where a marriage referendum will appear on the ballot this fall: a new survey in the state by Public Policy Polling reports a significant increase in support for same-sex marriage among African American voters following President Obama's historic announcement two weeks ago. The referendum to keep the state's new law legalizing same-sex marriage appears headed for victory,  with support now at 57% (compared to 37% against), a 12 point shift from a similar survey in early March.

Will The Presendent's Endorsement of Gay Marriage Change African American Sentiment?

Posted May 22, 2012 at 9:04 AM by Maurice Berger

One significant political question in the wake of the President's endorsement of same-sex marriage is whether this support will translate into a shift in African American public opinion on the subject. A new survey by Public Policy Polling in North Carolina reports that the answer may be yes. The poll finds "a noticeable shift" in the attitudes of African Americans toward rights for gay couples in the wake of President Obama's announcement last week that he supports gay marriage. PPP continues: "our final poll before the primary last week found only 20% of black voters in the state favoring gay marriage, with 63% opposed. Now 27% express support for gay marriage with 59% opposed, for an overall 11 point shift on the margin."

African American, Hispanic Voter Registration Down Sharply

Posted May 09, 2012 at 8:58 AM by Maurice Berger

In a development that could complicate President Obama's reelection effort, "the number of black and Hispanic registered voters has fallen sharply since 2008, posing a serious challenge to the Obama campaign in an election that could turn on the participation of minority voters," according to a story in the Washington Post. The Post continues: "Voter rolls typically shrink in non-presidential election years, but this is the first time in nearly four decades that the number of registered Hispanics has dropped significantly."

The Demographics Of The President's Approval Numbers

Posted Apr 17, 2012 at 8:31 AM by Maurice Berger

Gallup has a fascinating demographic snapshot of the president's approval rating, now at 47%. Significantly, he holds a solid majority from his own party (84%), and does extremely well with African American (88%) and Hispanic voters (61%). The demographic breakdown also suggest a few red flags for the President's reelection effort: only 36% of white voters approve of his performance, he polls no better than 38% with voters over the age of 65%, and--perhaps most significantly--his standing among independents hovers at 40%. The good news for the administration: approval numbers do not always reflect voter sentiment in a general election. Obama's fares much better with independents, for example, when pitted against his likely GOP challenger, Mitt Romney. Stay tuned.



African-American Unemployment As High As In Great Depression

Posted Jun 21, 2011 at 1:36 AM by Maurice Berger

Cbs News reports that "while unemployment among the general population is about 9.1 percent, it's at 16.2 percent African Americans, and a bit higher still for African American males . . . historically, the unemployment rate for African Americans has always been higher than the national average. However, now it's at Depression-era levels. The most recent figures show African American joblessness at 16.2 percent. For black males, it's at 17.5 percent; And for black teens, it's nearly 41 percent."

Election 2009: Did Obama's Base Hold?

Posted Nov 05, 2009 at 12:26 AM by Maurice Berger

Another problem for the Democrats in Tuesday's election: parts of the Obama coalition--responsible for his easy victory last year--did not hold. As MSNBC notes: "Obama’s Base Is No Longer Fired Up And Ready To Go . . . According to the exit polls, just 10% of the voters in Virginia were under the age of 30, down from 21% last year. What’s more, McDonnell won 18-29 year olds, 54%-44%. Also in Virginia yesterday, African Americans made up 16% of the vote, down from 20% last year. And then there’s this: 51% of yesterday’s voters in Virginia said they voted for McCain, while just 43% said they voted for Obama. Folks, Obama won this state last year by a nearly 53%-46% margin."

African Americans Say Race Relations No Better With Obama

Posted Jun 29, 2009 at 2:09 AM by Maurice Berger

A majority of African Americans believe that race relations have not improved with the election of President Obama, according to a new CNN/Essence/Opinion Research Corporation poll: "African-Americans really like President Obama, but more and more feel that race relations have not gotten better since he took office, a new national poll found. 96% of African-Americans approve of how Obama is handling his presidency . . . During the 2008 election, 38 percent of blacks surveyed thought racial discrimination was a serious problem. In the new survey, 55 percent of blacks surveyed believed it was a serious problem, which is about the same level as it was in 2000."

Sotomayor Enjoys Broad Support Within Obama Coalition

Posted Jun 05, 2009 at 1:54 AM by Maurice Berger

The very coalition that assured and strengthened Obama's win last November is now standing strongly behind the president's nominee for the US Supreme Court, Sonia Sotomayor: Boosted by large black, Hispanic and Jewish majorities, American voters approve--55% to 25%--President Obama's nomination of Judge Sonia Sotomayor to the U.S. Supreme Court, according to a new Quinnipiac poll. Back in November, African-American support for Obama was well over 90%, Jewish support was just under 80%, and Hispanic support near the 70% mark.

Black Voters Twice As Confident As Whites About Country's Future

Posted Dec 08, 2008 at 5:39 AM by Maurice Berger

The election of Barack Obama as the nation's first black president has had one immediate effect on the attitudes of African-American voters according to a new Rasmussen Reports survey: "38% of black voters believe the nation is heading in the right direction, while just 16% of white voters agree. Rasmussen Reports national telephone surveys found that 53% of black voters say America is headed down the wrong track, along with 77% of white voters." this represents an increase in black voter's optimism from pre-election numbers, one that can be ascribed to Obama's historic victory: "During the week prior to Election Day, just 10% of black voters said America was heading in the right direction . . . confidence about the nation’s future bounced among black voters the week after Election Day, when 40% said the nation was moving in the right direction . . .  just 19% of whites agreed at that time."

Black Democrats As Conservative as Republicans On Some Moral Issues, Like Homosexuality and Stem Cell Research

Posted Dec 04, 2008 at 1:18 AM by Maurice Berger

According to CQ Politics, while black voters in California overwhelmingly supported Democrat Barack Obama for president, their views on homosexuality were far more closely allied with Republicans: "When Californians voted for Proposition 8, providing for a state-wide ban on same sex marriage, exit polls showed that 7 out of 10 black voters supported the measure. Gallup has followed this up with an analysis of its polling data from May 2006, May 2007 and May 2008 showing that on this issue, black Democrats are as conservative as Republicans. Thirty-one percent of black Democrats said that homosexual relations are morally acceptable compared to 61 percent of non-black Democrats and 55 percent of Democrats overall. That number put them more in line with Republicans among whom only 30 percent found such relations morally acceptable." African-American Democrats were also closer to Republicans than non-black Democrats on a number of other so-called moral issues, including stem cell research and sex outside of marriage but does NOT carry over into abortion and the death penalty, issues on which black voters are far more liberal than most Republicans.

Why Obama Won: Building A Powerful Coalition

Posted Nov 10, 2008 at 2:14 AM by Maurice Berger

When it comes to the issue of how "race" played out on Election Day, one thing is certain: if the outcome was determined only by white people, John McCain would be president, by a landslide. Indeed, Obama garnered just 43% of the white vote to McCain's 57%, a 14% deficit that was only marginally better than Kerry or Gore's total and about the same as Bill Clinton. The Democrat was able to count on four groups for his impressive victory. Preeminently, the intensity and unprecedented numbers of African-American voters made the difference for Obama, especially in the closest fought states, such as Indiana, North Carolina, Virginia, and Ohio. This support was almost singlehandedly responsible for the Democrat's ability to pick off the true-red states of NC and IN. The black vote also deepened and widened Obama's victories in scores of Kerry-blue states, from New York to California. Hispanic voters represented another important asset: Obama led McCain among Hispanics 67% to 30%, a 10% increase in Democrat support from 2004. in his home state, McCain trailed Obama among Hispanics 61% to 36%, making that race surprisingly close. The Hispanic vote was crucial to Obama in the southwest, handing him easy victories in Nevada, Colorado, and New Mexico. And in Florida, where Cuban-Americans have traditionally tilted the Hispanic vote towards Republicans in virtually every presidential cycle, Obama won 57% to 42%. Another religious minority also played a key role in several states: Jewish-Americans, who gave the Democrat nearly 80% of their vote. (Jews are one of the demographic groups most loyal to the Democratic Party.) The Jewish vote in South Florida was crucial to handing the Republican leaning state to Obama. (Another state where the Jewish vote made a big difference: Ohio). Finally, through amazing outreach to the 18 to 29-year old demographic, the Obama campaign was able to boost the turnout of younger voters by more than 3 million, enough to hand the Democrat such razor close states as North Carolina and Indiana. Together, these four groups represented not only a winning coalition, but a shift in the power-base of the national electorate, allowing racial and religious minorities and young people to make a profound difference in the outcome of Election 2008.