After women, young voters and Latinos fled from the Republican Party in droves in 2012, some GOP leaders thought they had a chance to turn things around.
It made me wonder if women, young voters and Latinos did indeed feel from the Republican party, in droves or otherwise, in 2012. In order to determine whether these voters were leaving the Republican party, I decided to compare the 2012 vote totals for Mitt Romney and the Republicans in the House to 2008 and see if the numbers increased or decreased. I used 2008, because that was the last Presidential election.
Why 2008, instead of 2010? The House Republicans got 44,593,666 votes in their triumphant 2010 campaign. They got 58,284,884 in their less successful 2012 campaign. No matter how bad a party does, they always add in all demographics in mid-terms.
What about 2004? It’s true that Mitt Romney did get about 1 million less votes than George W. Bush, but John McCain got 2 million less votes. So those voters left the Republican Party in 2008. The LA Times didn’t state people left the Republican party in 2008 and really why would that be relevant this year?
I looked at exit polls and applied them to the 2008 and 2012 vote totals. Exit polls are inexact but they can provide rough totals. I had to massage the numbers a little to fit them in with the exact totals. Unfortunately, there were no national House exit polls in 2012, but I was able to estimate the vote totals using the Presidential exit poll. Congressional Democrats did about 2% less than Barack Obama, while congressional Republicans did about 1% better than Mitt Romney.
Both Romney and the House Republicans gained with the 18-29 group. Some of that was with the 18-21 group. Even if most of their gains were with this group, that’s a positive sign Republicans are gaining, not losing, with the youth vote.
Interestingly, both Mitt Romney and House Republicans lost votes with the 30-44 segment. Romney actually lost more votes with this age group than Obama did. House Democrats lost a lot more votes than House Republicans, however.
From looking at these numbers, we don’t see Latinos fleeing Republicans. Romney likely got a similar number of Latino votes and House Republicans likely saw a 21% jump. In fact, Republicans likely gained voters in each ethnic group. House Republicans likely grew their Black vote by 46%.
President Obama, and Democrats to a lesser extent, likely drew a lot of new Latinos to the polls, although they did dramatically worse with Whites. Some White Obama/Democratic supporters stayed home and others fled to the GOP.
It doesn’t appear that women, young voters and Latinos fled Republicans at all. Overall, Mitt Romney lost and House Republicans drew fewer votes than House Democrats. But considering where they cratered in 2008, they appear Republicans to have done a good job of picking up women and young voters, while Democrats struggled and lost these voters.
If there’s a trend here, it favors Republicans. If the GOP were to improve on 2012 the way they did on 2008, they’ll close the Presidential gap and win the House vote. Trende points out that the missing voters favor Republicans. If the GOP can get these people to the polls, they’ll outweigh any increases in the Latino or Asian/other vote.