Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Election Updates

Yesterday we gave you some simple guidelines for analyzing turnout, and today we're going to cover who turned out to vote.

To do that, we used the exit polls from 2006 and 2010 to compare the demographic data on who turned out as a share of the electorate, compared to that share in 2006.

Women made up 53% of this year’s electorate, up two points from 2006. The youth vote (ages 18-29) dropped one point from 2006, coming it at 11% this year. There was no change among the share of African-American, Latino, or Asian voters, and in fact, what's most notable is the relative stability among all demographics between the two midterms.

However, there was a substantial partisan shift among white voters. In 2006, 47% of white voters cast their ballots for Democrats (51% voted Republican), but in 2010 only 38% voted Democrat (with 60% voting Republican).

And while you consider those numbers, we'll leave you with a few noteworthy results:
  • South Carolina and Oklahoma both elected their first female governors, Nikki Haley—who is also the country's first female Indian-American governor—and Mary Fallin, respectively.
  • In California, Meg Whitman spent $150 million of her own money on her campaign, but Jerry Brown pulled out the win, becoming the nation’s oldest governor at age 72.
  • Nevada elected its first Latino governor, Brian Sandoval.
And for some interesting ballot initiatives:
  • In Denver, an initiative to track space aliens was rejected by 85% of voters.
  • Rhode Island voters decided to keep the state's official name: the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations.
  • California voters rejected Proposition 19 which would have legalized marijuana.
More updates to come!


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