The Fix: Exit Polls

Chris Christie’s dominant performance, by the numbers

Chris Christie’s dominant performance, by the numbers

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) was overwhelmingly reelected to a second term Tuesday. Just how dominant was the governor’s performance in the Democratic state? A dive inside the numbers tells the story:

25: With almost all the votes counted, Christie’s share sits at just over 60 percent. To put that into perspective, it’s been 25 years since any Republican carried more than 50 percent of the vote statewide in New Jersey. (George H.W. Bush last did it in 1988.) Christie’s win was not quite as one-sided as Tom Kean’s 1985 landslide, but it will go down as the one of the most impressive wins by a Republican in Garden State history.

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Terry McAuliffe won, but why was the Virginia race so close? Here are 6 reasons.

Terry McAuliffe won, but why was the Virginia race so close? Here are 6 reasons.

Democrat Terry McAuliffe’s win over Republican Ken Cuccinelli in the Virginia governor’s race was predicted by virtually all public polls. But the narrowness of that victory was, largely, missed by polls. So, why was it so close, and what did the polls miss?

The network exit poll depicted how Virginia’s electorate on Tuesday was friendlier to Cuccinelli than most pre-election surveys. Cuccinelli performed better among Republicans and independents than expected, kept the race relatively close among women voters and performed well enough in the central and western parts of the state. (Be sure to check out the Post’s interactive graphic showing how Virginia groups voted)

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Why Democrats should be worried about the youth vote

Why Democrats should be worried about the youth vote

It may seem like Democrats should be pretty happy with young voters. After all, President Obama twice won at least 60 percent of voters between the age of 18 and 29 -- outpacing all other presidential candidates spanning the last three decades.

But a closer look reveals some troubling signs for the party. Young voter turnout is nothing like it was in the 1980s and early 1990s. And the stagnation has been driven by an across-the-board disinterest among several demographic groups. It's a potential problem for Democrats, because we're talking about a slice of the electorate which has sided with the party during the last six presidential elections.

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Why Obama won the 2012 election (in one chart)

The conservative polling group Resurgent Republic is out with a great new graphic this morning breaking down turnout among key demographic groups in the 2012 election.

The chart, better than about anything else we've seen, shows why President Obama won reelection so handily.

And in the face of what appeared to be a Democratic enthusiasm gap, no less.

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Can unions save the white working-class vote for Democrats?

Can unions save the white working-class vote for Democrats?

Voters in union households provided a big boost to President Obama in Ohio and Wisconsin, where key battles over public sector unions have been waged. Their strong support helped him staunch big losses elsewhere among white working-class voters.

Are the results in Ohio and Wisconsin a road map for Democrats to win back the white working-class vote across the country? The data suggest probably not. The union vote didn't make a difference among the white working-class nationally and union membership continues to erode.

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Why it's cool(er) to be liberal again

Why it's cool(er) to be liberal again

The L-word is quietly working its way back into the political lexicon.

The number of voters identifying themselves as "liberal" jumped three points on Election Day, from 22 percent in 2008 to 25 percent this year. That's the highest that number has been since at least 1976, according to exit polls.

The term "liberal" has long been somewhat of a pejorative in American politics -- or at least been less popular than the alternative.

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African Americans and Latinos spur gay marriage revolution

Last Tuesday's election was a watershed moment for the gay marriage movement. Voters in three states voted to legalize it -- something no state had done before -- and a fourth state voted against a proposed ban.

And if the movement catches on in other states, African Americans and Latinos will be a big reason why.

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Why Republicans position on immigration is a political loser in 1 chart

Why Republicans position on immigration is a political loser  in 1 chart

Widespread Hispanic support for Democrats on Tuesday, together with the inexorable shifts in demographics seem to be an impetus for a review of the strategic direction of the Republican Party. For immigration reform, the policy reevaluation appears to be happening in real time.

After all, the national exit poll showed voters still clearly on one side of the debate. By 65 to 28 percent, voters said most illegal immigrants working in the United States should be offered a chance to apply for legal status, rather than being deported.

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In Florida, Latinos tilt for Obama while seniors tilt for Romney

In Florida, Latinos tilt for Obama while seniors tilt for Romney

Early exit polls in Florida show the Latino vote is strong for President Obama, while seniors are giving Mitt Romney a boost.

According to the exit polls, Obama is winning the Latino vote 60 percent to 32 percent after carrying it 57 percent to 42 percent in 2008. AndLatinos are also a larger share of the vote 17 percent, as compared to 15 percent four years ago.

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Early exit polls show Obama-friendly electorate in Ohio

Early exit polls show Obama-friendly electorate in Ohio

The electorate that showed up to vote today in Ohio appears similar to the one that delivered the state to President Obama in 2008 if not slightly better for the incumbent.

Early exit polls show Obama with a strong favorable rating (55 percent) among those who have voted, while Romney is underwater (45 percent favorable versus 50 percent unfavorable).

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Exit polls: Fewer voters than 2008, but a broadly similar electorate

Exit polls: Fewer voters than 2008, but a broadly similar electorate

Early exit polls show the national electorate shaping up to be very similar to 2008, with a nearly identical share of non-white and young voters. Voters this year were also in-line ideologically with those from four years ago, although there may turn out to be fewer moderates.

By the end of the night there was no apparent narrowing on underlying partisan identification: in the early exits this year, Democrats outnumber Republicans by six percentage points.

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Wisconsin recall: 2010 all over again

So far, voters in the Wisconsin recall election have very similar ideological leanings to the 2010 electorate that first voted Gov. Scott Walker into office, according to preliminary exit polls. More than one in three voters identify as conservative while just north of two in 10 are liberals. Moderates continue to make up the biggest chunk of Wisconsin voters, accounting for over 40 percent of the electorate.

The 2010 midterm election marked a dramatic shift to the right from only two years before. Fully 37 percent of voters identified as conservatives, up from 31 percent in 2008.

Wisconsin recall: Should there be a recall at all?

Today’s Wisconsin recall is a very rare election - only 19 states even allow recall elections and just three sitting governors have faced a recall vote in all of U.S. history. That begs the question: When are recall elections appropriate?

Just about three in 10 said recall elections are appropriate for any reason, according to preliminary exit poll results. But the answer depends heavily on whether your party’s candidate is being dragged to the ballot box before their term is up. Republicans said by a near unanimous margin that recall elections are never appropriate or only appropriate in the case of official misconduct. But slight majority of Democratic voters said recall elections are appropriate “for any reason.”

What you might have missed in the Alabama, Mississippi exit polls

What you might have missed in the Alabama, Mississippi exit polls

The Fix loves exit polls. Like, a lot.

But, once primary day/night passes, the political world rapidly moves on to the next Tuesday, the next state that is, or so we say, really going to matter. And the poor exits poll get lost in the shuffle.

Not this time! Here are five observations from the exit polls Tuesday night that tell us something important about the race going forward. Want to sift through them on your own? The Washington Post polling unit has a terrific sortable interactive exit poll tool. It’s fun — and educational!

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Mississippi, Alabama primaries: Evangelicals, evangelicals everywhere

Mississippi, Alabama primaries: Evangelicals, evangelicals everywhere

Approximately eight in 10 voters in today’s Alabama and Mississippi presidential primaries identify themselves as evangelical Christians, according to preliminary exit polls, the highest percentage of evangelicals in any early voting state to date.

In Mississippi, 83 percent of the electorate describes themselves as evangelicals while in Alabama that number is 79 percent. These numbers are from early exit polling and could, of course, shift somewhat.

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