DonkeyRising has some interesting analysis of this year’s exit polls:
Working class women voted for Bush:
the Institute for America’s Future and Democracy Corps conducted an extensive (2000 interviews) post-election survey and they found Bush winning white working class voters by about 24 points. The compares to a 19 point margin in Democracy Corps’ 2000 post-election survey and a 17 point margin in the 2000 VNS exit poll.
Arguably, that’s the story of the election right there. An additional wrinkle on the white working class vote is that this falloff was likely concentrated among white working class women, not men, judging from the figures cited above on Bush’s big gains among white women, but no change among white men (however, this is an inference from the pattern of the data; no direct evidence on white class women vs. men is available from the NEP or DCorps surveys).
Some data which suggests that Republicans didn’t do as well with Hispanic voters as previously reported:
However, there is some dispute about whether the compression of the Democratic margin was as severe as indicated by this poll. An exit poll of Hispanics only by the William C. Velásquez Institute of San Antonio, which sampled 54 counties in the 14 states with the largest number of Latino registered voters, had 68 percent voting for Kerry and only 31 percent voting for Bush.
Bush’s largest gains were among the “less religious” rather than the “more religious” voters:
More importantly, between 2000 and 2004, President Bush’s largest gains occurred among less religious voters, not among more religious voters. Among those attending services more than weekly and those attending every week, support for Bush rose by 1 percent, from 63 percent in 2000 to 64 percent in 2004. However, among those attending services a few times a month, support for Bush rose by 4 points, from 46 percent to 50 percent, among those attending only a few times a year, support for Bush rose by 3 points, from 42 percent to 45 percent, and among those never attending services, support for Bush rose by 4 points, from 32 percent to 36 percent.
Bottom line: the President made gains across the board among voters, regardless of their degree of religious commitment but he made his largest gains among less religious voters.
Gay marriage didn’t help Bush that much:
The president consistently ran a few percentage points ahead of his showing in 2000, but he did not improve on his 2000 performance any more in states with gay marriage referenda than in other states.
And some interesting comments on voter turnout:
there are several reasons why it is highly unlikely that voter turnout in the United States will match the turnout levels of the 1960s any time in the near future. First, we have added 18-20 year-olds to the electorate and, even with an increase in turnout this year, the rate of turnout of this age group is far lower than that of those 21 and older. Second, the U.S. population today includes a much larger proportion of non-citizens who are ineligble to vote. During the 1960s, only about 2 percent of the voting age population consisted of non-citizens. Today, that figure is approximately 9 percent. When 2004 turnout is calculated as a proportion of the voting age citizen population, in fact, it was somewhere between 58 and 60 percent. But that is not what the Times and other media outlets have been reporting. The level of voter turnout in the 2004 election was very impressive compared with that of recent presidential elections, but as a proportion of the voting age population it was not nearly as high as that of the 1960s.