A Final Look at the Election and the Electorate

  • This Extra Credit Assignment is worth up to twenty points.
  • This Extra Credit Assignment must be posted by 7:00 PM on Saturday November 15.

The New York Times has provided a fascinating look at the final polling numbers of the voters on November 4. Click here to take a good long look at this report. There are soooooo many comparisons.

In order to earn extra credit here you must do the following:

  1. Take a long look at all the numbers as they landed on 2008.
  2. Take a long look at the changes for those numbers from 1976.
  3. Choose five specific graphs (the ones you see as most significant)
  4. Identify the graph by topic (ie. Age, Race, Family Status)
  5. Identify the graph by percentage breakdown (totals for each)
  6. Then take your one graph and do a thorough evaluation of the numbers, the history of this segment of the electorate, and why you think the numbers posted as they did.
  7. Repeat this four more times – five separate segment evaluations.

It might be best if you looked at this post with a friend. That way you could compare thoughts and come to mutual conclusions. Make sure however, that your post is yours and in your own words. Good luck on this one…I think you’ll find it rather interesting.

Comments Off on A Final Look at the Election and the Electorate

Filed under X 08 ELECTION - News, X 09 ECON, X 09 GOV, X 09 SCI

0 Responses to A Final Look at the Election and the Electorate

  1. Joseph Kieft

    1. Black-13% – 91+ Obama
    2. Hispanic-9% – 36+ Obama
    3. Asian-2% – 27+ Obama
    4. White-74% – 12+ McCain
    With a lot of new voters having different ethnicities it really helped out Obama in this election. Black, Hispanic, Asian, and White voters under 30 all supported Obama, and the rest of White voters supported McCain. If McCain had won over different races votes this election would’ve been a lot closer then it actually ended up being. I think more races voted because they want to see the change, and because Obama is the better candidate. In past elections the races have been different. Blacks and Hispanics were found to vote more democratic, and Asians and Whites more towards republican.

    1. Not a high school Grad.- 4% – 28+ Obama
    2. High school Grad.- 20% -6+ Obama
    3. Some college Edu.- 28%- 2+ Obama
    4. Post Grad Edu. – 17% – 18+ Obama
    Senator Obama this election was close on some aspects but other won fully. In the past besides 1992 republicans seemed to have a better plan for education according to the graphs. From the 80’s it had a steady drop, and then started to climb back up. Democratic seem to be pretty steady with what the graphs have shown through out the years. Obama defiantly had an impact on the education aspect in this election.

    6 PTS EXTRA – Good insights Joe on the race issue. The education issue is not about Education per se but about the Education of the voters who voted for Obama and McCain.

  2. Jenny Larson

    Extra Credit

    Women voters: Overall women got the most percentage at 53%. Obama got the most percentage of women voters. McCain did not he got the least percentage of votes. Since 1980 most women have been democratic. Also since 1980 Republican women have been going down. Overall the percentage of Obama and McCain is 13%. Obama had great speeches and thats why Republican women went to democratic. Also Obama said things he will do so they probably believe him.

    Age: The ages between 18-29 voters were only 18%. It’s not that much because young people feel like they should not have to vote and they don’t care. Obama won most of young voters because they thought he was great. McCain was not so fortunate because he got less of their votes. Overall the percentage between Obama and McCain is 34%. McCain had a strong lead in 1984 but after that he went down hill.

    Race: Most black people voted than any other race. Most black people voted for Obama. A slight percentage voted for McCain. Black people have been Democratic since 1976. But this is the highest they have ever got for Democratic. Republican has always been low. The reason why Obama was high because they did it because he was black or even a great person who makes great speeches.

    Financial Situation: Our financial situation is worse today. The reason why is because we are in debt big time because of Bush. We have trouble trying to pay these things. Also it don’t help when thousands of people lost their jobs now. Obama got the majority of the votes because people believe he can get people jobs and help with the financial situation.

    Size of Locality: The population of the big,big,big cities has little percentage because we like what we have and they probalby did not like any president. The percentage was low at 11%. The difference between Obama and McCain is 42% in 2008. Obama got the most votes because they thought he was good. And they have been Democratic for a long time.

    18 PTS EXTRA CREDIT – Jenny – not bad. Really good insights on women and race and young people. And I think you are right on why people who thought that times were bad voted for Obama as well. I’m confused on your size of locality (and I think you are as well) But all n all well done. It was nice to see you come in afterschool and put in all that work.

  3. RACHEL STEWART 3rd hr


    66% of voters, age 18-29, voted Obama, 32% voted McCain.
    32% of voters, age 30-44, voted Obama, 56% voted McCain.
    49% of voters, age 45-59, voted Obama, 49% voted McCain.
    47% of voters, age 60+, voted Obama, 51% voted McCain.
    I guess it’s not a surprise that Obama won the votes of the younger voters. He is relatively young himself and I think he appealed to voters that he would bring a new approach to running this country if elected. I’ve heard it said he will “shake things up”, for example. Even with McCain’s history and experience in politics he only won the votes of the voters age 60+. So, not only did Obama win the votes of the younger voters, but the middle-aged voters as well.

    Why do you think he won on the middle aged voters? Shake up here to?

    95% of African American voters voted Obama, 4% voted McCain.
    67% of Hispanic voters voted Obama, 31% voted McCain.
    62% of Asian voters voted Obama, 35% voted McCain.
    43% of White voters voted Obama, 55% voted McCain.
    Obama won almost all of the African American voters over, which is also, not surprising. I think it was very important for the African Americans in this country to see a Black man be elected for President. Now the African American community is able to fully appreciate the equal opportunities in this country and know that it is possible for anyone to be elected President, no matter what their race is.

    Family Status:
    65% of unmarried voters voted Obama, 33% voted McCain.
    53% of voters with children voted Obama, 45% voted McCain.
    70% of gay, lesbian or bisexual voters voted Obama, 27% voted McCain.
    47% of Married voters voted Obama, 52% voted McCain.
    I think the most interesting break down in this segment is the results of the voters with children. I think part of the reason they voted Obama was because of Obama’s financial funding plan for college education. The voters with children know the costs of higher education, and with Obama’s plan, that cost could go down $4,000.

    78% of all REAL vampires voted for Obama. Most however were in the Western time zones due to unsettling sleeping habits.
    87% of all gay, lesbian, and bisexual vampires voted for Obama. They did not see his lack of support for gay vampire marriage as a problem since they don’t value the institution much themselves. However, they must like the idea of cohabitational civil union rights which McCain did not support.
    95% of all old white vampires (Twilighters and REAL) voted for John McCain. Apparently they identified with his bright white skin color.
    99.5% of all Twilight Vampires voted for Sarah Palin for President, because they can’t read ballots and they like rainy places like Alaska and Forks.
    100% of all REAL VAMPIRES drink human blood.
    100% of all REAL VAMPIRES burn to death in sunlight
    I think the most interesting breakdown here is that Real vampires seem to understand the complexities of the American political system and the realities of their undead status while Twilight vampires just like to run around in the rain and look into their car rear view mirror to see if they’ve wiped all of the squirrel blood off of their mouth.

    63% of voters that were not high school graduates voted Obama, 21% voted McCain.
    52% of high school graduate voters voted Obama, 46% McCain.
    51% of voters with some college education voted Obama, 47% voted McCain.
    50% of college graduate voters voted Obama, 48% voted McCain.
    58% of post-graduate educated voters voted Obama, 40% voted McCain.
    Again, Obama’s higher education plan has been very appealing to parents with children and students as well. The cost for higher education in this country is ridiculous and the response for Obama’s plan to help minimize at least some of this cost is huge! Now we just need to make sure he sticks to this promise!

    78% of Jewish voters voted Obama, 21% voted McCain.
    54% of Catholic voters voted Obama, 45% voted McCain.
    45% of Protestant voters voted Obama, 54% voted McCain.
    45% of voters who attend services at least once a week voted Obama, 55% voted McCain.
    41% of voters who are born-again or Evangelical Christians voted Obama, 57% voted McCain.
    34% of White Protestant voters voted Obama, 65% voted McCain.
    The results of this segment we the most interesting to me. I was very surprised that Obama won the votes of the majority of Catholic voters. Leading up to the election, there were many arguments over whether Catholic voters should vote Obama, mainly because he is Pro-Choice. Many leaders of the Catholic Church encouraged Catholic voters not to vote Obama, but apparently they did not listen to them, Obama’s position on other issues were apparently more important than his position on abortion to the Catholic voters.

    *** The source of this information is based on the availability of exit POLL data. Not everyone takes those exit polls!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    18 PTS EXTRA This paranoia of exit polls coming from a Twilighter is troubling. Since exit polling on vampires that you noted above as accurate it is funny to see that your problems with the political data would produce so much anxiety. As for your insights. Lets take a look. I think you nailed the young people thing – and the cost of higher education. I also think that you are correct in your interpretation of the family with kids (education again may play a role). The Education of the voter sampling is not about the issue but about THEIR own education. And I appreciate your Catholic insight and the abortion issue.

  4. Well I chose the black race to talk about, because I
    think it had the biggest impact on this election. I
    think that the reason is that it was the first black
    man running for president and that the black people
    wanted a change in their politicians.

    Another one I
    chose is the Jewish Religion. I chose this one
    because it had a 57% diference and 78% voted for
    Obama and the 21% voted for McCain which i think is
    pretty good because the jews make up a pretty big
    population like 5.8 million in America. Which is a
    descent amount.

    Then there is the Democratic party I
    also chose this one because this also had a big a
    impact on the election becasue the democrats are
    more likely to vote for there own party to win
    because its in there nature to help out people who
    are on there team in this case it was Obama.

    Theni chose the 500,000 or plus because a place with
    500,000 voters there is going to make an impact on
    this election as well because 72% voted Obama and
    the other 28% voted McCain which with 72% of
    500,000 is alot of votes for Obama.

    Last but not least I chose the 18-29 year old voters on this
    campaign becuase there the newest to vote and for
    the most part they’re just starting to get involved
    in voting. The charts are showing that they are
    voting more and more every year and so to get to
    the point 66% voted for Obama and 32% voted McCain..

    10 PTS EXTRA – Some pretty good insights Ryan. Young people, blacks, big cities, and democrats probably made up a majority of Obama’s voting constituency. So I think you hit the right ones. There’s too many spelling errors in here to give you full credit when all you have to do is spell check it through word to get it right. So, we’ll compromise ten points. That’s good – a little more effort could’ve been better.

  5. Morse 2


    Age 18-29 years:
    The younger generation was a huge part in this election. Looking at this in 1984 young voters were clearly republican. The numbers were 60% republican and 40% democratic, and since that period of time democratic canidates have been taking more and more votes under the age of 29. This is by far the biggest difference in numbers though. There is a 34% difference with people under the age of 29 going for the democratic candidate. The final was Democrats 66 and republicans 32. I think the numbers came out this way because younger generations are looking for change. We are fresh and seen what the past has been like, and we want a bright and hopeful future so change is good!!

    In the year 1992 Asians were very supportive of the republican canidates by 25% and again as the years have gone by they have become more and more supportive of the democratic party. Even though they are only 2% when the majority of them are voting democratic there is a much larger chance for the candidate to get that area of race. In the election it was 62% for Obama and 35% McCain a 27% difference. This is not absolutely huge but within 2% it is actually quite the advantage for the democratic candidate.

    Some college education:
    The people in this categorie are the majority of voters in an education stand point they stand at 31%. In the year 1980 the majority of these people voted republican with a 20% lead over democrats. It was a large win for the republic candidate.Then in 1992 people with some college education took a drastic swing in the choosing of the candidate. The support of the republic candidate dropped to the low 35% from its earlier 60% and the democratic canidate had taken it from them. Now it has come to be fair game, anybody can take it. But democrats now took it by a very small number 50 to 48. This is because democratic candidates really make it clear that education is something they are looking at to hlep and that is what we want.

    Same today in Financial status:
    These people make up 34% of us. In 1992 it was dead on, both candidates took an even share of the voters but as the years passed people became more supportive of republican candidates.Then in 2000 republicans took the votes by a landslide. It was a clear win. Then once again in 2004 there was a tie for the votes. Now in the recent 2008 election republicans took 53 over democrats 45 i really think this is because republicans have been in office for so long and peoples financial status has stayed the same so they do not see the need for change as much a people with worse financial situations do.

    Suburgbs stand for almost half of the percentage of voters. In 1980 those who lived in the suburbs voted for the republican candidate with a 20% leading gap. But that did not last long when in 1992 they voted Democratic but only with a tiny lead. From there on it became a close battle. This year the democratic candidate took it but only by 2%, democrats 50% over republicans 48%. I think once again this is based on the need for change, and with a democrat in office it is more likely to see the changes we need happening.

    10 PTS EXTRA – Molly some good insights although I am surprised you didn’t mention McCain or Obama one time. While the earlier numbers would’ve been attributed to Repub or Dem candidates – you have a real impact by the particular individuals here. I would’ve liked to hear your thoughts. Secondly – you have a zillion spelling errors. That’s not like you Spell check – it will cost you half your points here. But the insights are solid through all of the issues.

  6. Vanessa Decker-Smith 2


    1. Family Status: I thought that this section was interesting when i looked at the Gay, Lesbian, or Bisexual graph. It just caught my eye when i said that unmarried women were 12% more likely to vote for Obama then unmarried men. Also when i seen that young children were 9 points more likely to vote for Obama that the fathers. I also thought it was kinda cool seeing that Obama was 70 and McCain was 27.

    Vanessa young children don’t vote.

    2. Education: Not a High School Graduate?? I thought that this was wrong when i first seen it. It is unreal to think about that many people not graduating from high school. It was interesting when they said that whites without a college degree were 7 points more likely to vote for McCain and whites with a college degree. I guess thats why Obama was more efficient that McCain was. It also tells me that women with a college degree were 9 points more likely to vote for Obama then men with college degrees. There were 63 Obama and 35 McCain. Also i thought that High School graduate was only 20%. There was also 52 for Obama and 46 for McCain. Obama wins again.

    3. Race: This was a given to me i think. I think that anyone should have known about this with the race. Most blacks are going to vote for Obama like it happened and most whites would have voted for McCain. Its said that most black, Hispanic, and Asian voters were all for Obama, and it says that only whites mostly backed up McCain. I just thought that if you didn’t know this is how you were going to be this way you are not sure what is going on.

    4. Age: I thought that it was funny that voters 60 and up voted for mostly McCain. There was 47 for Obama and 51 for McCain. This is the first competition i would say that McCain has beat Obama. Obama usually takes the lead in about everyone. Also if McCain gets the older voters that means that Obama gets the 60 and under, Obama usually gets the youngest voters. I thought that was interesting cause i would of thought that both McCain and Obama would have been about equal.


    10 PTS EXTRA CREDIT – Some good insights Vanessa. The 60 and older crowd and the race breakdowns are good. I got a little confused on the education one and on the first…I’m not sure if you quite understood the polling. Pretty good – although you should be doing ALL the extra credit you can. Also the assignment called for five not four.

  7. Tyler Darnell

    The five graphs I see most significant are Age (people between 18-29 years of age), financial situation (people whose financial situation had worsened over the last presidency) and (people whose financial situation has gotten better over the last presidency and Religion (Jewish) and (White Protestant). 18% of people in the united states are between the ages of 18 and 29. 66% of these people voted for Barack Obama. This is very significant because it shows that young people overwhelmingly support Obama. Compared to in 1976 when the percentages were much closer.

    People whose financial situation worsened over the Bush presidency also overwhelmingly voted for Obama. This is easily explained because they do not want more of the same things happening to them during the next presidency. People whose financial situation is better today because of the Bush strategies voted more for John McCain because they liked what occurred during the past eight years.

    Religion also played a big role in this election. The Jewish community overwhelmingly supported Obama while white Protestants supported McCain. In my opinion this is very strange. I do not see the ties Obama has with the Jewish community. It may be because he wants to meet with foreign leaders which will help protect Israel. White Protestants we all knew would support John McCain because these people are old and support the old ways that John McCain is continually supporting.

    I believe the most important graph is the one that shows young voters. There have been record turnouts in young voters in this election and because of this they can easily swing the election. In past years the percentages were much closer but young people realizing that they need change in this voted overwhelmingly for Barack Obama.

    12 PTS EXTRA – Tyler the assignment called for five – not four. But what you have is interesting. Your insight to young people is natural and your look at McCain and Obama in financial status is well said. The Jewish thing – comes from the fact that most American Jews are liberal in their political thinking – with most everything but Israel. They obviously felt comfortable enough with Obama and Israel to support the rest of his liberal agenda.

  8. Amanda 3rd hour

    **Extra Credit**

    age 18-29
    66% voted for Obama and only 32% voted for McCain.

    In 1976 the young voters only voted a few percentages higher for the Democratic candidate Carter. Then in 1980 young voters voted Republican for Reagan. From 1992 to 2008 the graph shows an increase for young voters voting Democrat. This year I think the numbers posted as they did because of the huge mainstream mass media coverage of Obama. Young voters wanted a change and wanted to vote for a younger candidate.

    Amanda what do you mean by mass media coverage?

    Age 60 and older
    51% voted for McCain and 47% voted for Obama

    For the older age group the percentage voting Republican was about the same back in 1976. However, in 1992, more voters in this age group voted for the Democrat candidate, Bill Clinton. I think the numbers posted as they did because this age group trusted McCain for his military service and experience leadership.

    Good point

    Black Voters
    95% have voted for Obama and 4% voted McCain

    The black population voted overwhelmingly for Obama. Traditionally blacks vote Democrat. From 1976 to 2008 the percentage voting Democrat has gradually increased and those blacks voting Republican have been decreasing. This year the numbers posted as they did because Obama is African American.

    White voters
    55% voted for McCain and 43% voted for Obama

    The graph shows that from 1976 to 2008 white voters voted Republican. The graph shows some ups and downs in the Republican percentage. These ups and downs correlate into this group looking more at the issues and where a candidate stands than on race.

    54% voted for McCain and 45% voted for Obama

    The voting percentages were similar back in 1976. In 1980 there was a peak for the Republican Reagan. The numbers poster as they did because this group has more traditional values.

    14 PTS EXTRA Amanda come on a couple of these evals beg for further explanation. White people vote issues but black people don’t? That’s a bit odd. Black people vote issues overwhelmingly democrat since the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Black people’s issues tend to Democratic party issues. This election was no different than past for black votes despite having a black candidate – doesn’t that mean that black voters must vote democrat not black? Do Hispanics or Asians vote issues or race? Your insights on religion and age are well taken. Could use a bit more detail on your evaluations of the numbers. All n all well done.

  9. Kelly L. 2nd hour

    After reading the directions, I’m really confused. I hope I’m doing this right…*holds breath*

    60 and older

    How could anyone be surprised by this? Still, it is interesting to note that this was the only age group McCain won. It makes sense that older people will vote for the older candidate, and younger people will vote for the younger candidate. In past elections it has been said that there should be an age limit at when you cannot vote, because your senile and whoever is elected wont affect you. This is not the case this time, as the older retired groups are losing their retirement money and are not happy about it. Yet, one would think that this would lead to a more democratic look, but strangely this was not evident in this race. I don’t know what to make of that.

    Not a high school graduate

    Those not yet graduating, while a small portion of the vote, are key to any candidate wanting re-election. These students are looking for loans, trying to get money, and a for the first time truly experiencing the economy at it’s worst. In 4 years these students will be almost finished with college, or looking for stable jobs. Those that went to college in particular will be grateful for who they voted for, and will likely vote for them again. Having college educated workers on the campaign trail is also very desirable.

    Population more than 500,000
    Size of Locality

    Here’s a big division. We know states such as New York and California vote Democratic nearly every election. While Texas votes Republican most of the time, it’s really the only state with several of these 50k locations. The rest are really toss ups from time to time. Why people in big cities vote democratic is as obvious as counting the number of construction cranes in a big city. They want change. City dwellers are naturally radical and want change in politics and in economics, and by that I mean money. Out in the country, it’s slower, and perhaps out there people don’t realize how bad things are getting.

    Worse today
    Financial situation

    In the Financial Situation group, the patterns are very obvious. The basic idea in an election is to go with who will support you the most. People getting hit hard by the credit crunch and are losing their homes want drastic change now(and are trying to hold out until Obama gets into office). Obama has offered that more than McCain, and McCain is seen as a corporations first, people second politician. The same pattern that has gone on for nearly every election where people that are worse off vote for the party opposite of which the one currently in power, happened yet again this year. At least we know people are voting smart right?


    At this point I’m running out of things to write about because I don’t what to repeat myself. I didn’t want to go into the politics category (because it’s all biased) but I’ll find something to say.
    The key to any election is to get the independents, those that wont go “I’ll vote [insert party here] till I die!”, because they form the majority. When a candidate goes and makes up their campaign, they look to appeal to the independents, because they already have their party on the bandwagon, and they don’t stand a chance getting the other party. Usually whoever wins the independents wins the popular vote, but they can still lose in the electoral college.

    And now my super extra special review!


    Democrats voted democratic and republicans voted republicans. Surprisingly the republicans had a lower defect rate than the democrats. I wonder why the numbers where not +95%….maybe they just wanted to go against the crowd.
    In other news: Pie tastes bad. Police and Scientists are baffled.

    18 PTS EXTRA CREDIT – What percentage of Police say pie tastes bad. They seem to like pie by all accounts. And onto your post. This was a bit better done than the last one. Lets talk about some of these choices. Age – obvious and you stated so. I think you’re a little confused on the sizes – it’s not states it’s cities and then you settle to the cities. So I’m a little confused. As for independents this entire election was about wooing independents and you captured that. I am surprised as well about the defection rate of dems – could’ve been race could’ve been Hillary. I thought that Palin was defecting her share of Republicans but it looks like they came home to vote. However what this does not indicate is the large number of people who consider themselves independent but always vote republican. They defected I’m sure. Well done.

  10. Mr Wood


  11. RACHEL STEWART 3rd hr


    now i know you are insane.