Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity

Will progressives stay home? (Part two)

I want to supplement my earlier post on turnout models with some shrewd observations by others.

Scott Keeter, the director of Survey Research for the Pew Research Center, who kindly provided the chart I used comparing registered and likely voters, wrote an excellent essay for Pew recently called "The Party of Non-Voters" that I ran across after I put up my post. It's worth reading the whole thing, but it's striking the extent to which those who now look less likely to vote (at least according to the polls) are more progressive than those most likely to cast ballots. For example:

Fewer nonvoters than voters describe their own political philosophy as conservative (31% for nonvoters, 46% for voters).

And while 52% of nonvoters express a preference for a bigger government providing more services, most likely voters (61%) prefer a smaller government providing fewer services.

Nonvoters are slightly less supportive of the decision to go to war in Afghanistan, with 47% calling it the right decision compared with 58% among likely voters.

A somewhat larger difference exists on gun control: most nonvoters (57%) say it is more important to control gun ownership; by contrast, most voters (55%) say it is more important to protect the rights of gun owners.

And it's been brought to my attention that Ed Kilgore, who writes smart analysis at The Democratic Strategist, was one of the very first people to discuss the idea of two electorates, one for presidential elections, the other for midterm elections.

In July, he wrote about "the very different demographic composition of midterm versus presidential electorates, which is especially important this year, given the high correlation of the 2008 vote with age (at least among white voters), and the heavy shift towards older voters in midterms." He added: "As I like to say, this means that Democrats were in trouble for the midterms the very day after the 2008 elections. That doesn't mean everything that happened since doesn't matter, by any means, but it does suggest pessimism about 2010 and a corresponding optimism about 2012, when the 2008 turnout patterns are likely to reemerge or even intensify."

An interesting warning about reading too much from the results tomorrow, whatever they are, into 2012.

By E.J. Dionne  | November 1, 2010; 5:14 PM ET
Categories:  Dionne  | Tags:  E.J. Dionne  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Will Harvard grads win in the year of anti-elitism?
Next: My memo to errybody: vote!

Comments

Mr Dionne,

there is NO "silver lining" for the DIMocRATS on 11/02/10. instead it will be a BLOODBATH & a time of wailing, whining & whimpering for the DIMocRATS, "progressives" & LEFTISTS.

face it, the DIMocRATS are finished & the last gasp of your party is on the first Tuesday in NOV 2012, when the DIMocRAT candidate for POTUS (i still don't think that BHO can win the DIMocRAT primary - my guess is HILLERY.) is HUMILIATED & we TEA PARTIERS (you know those "nobodies", trailer park trash, hillbillies & "stupid, stupid people" that Princess Pelosi, the FORMER Speaker of the House, talks about.) get "our pound of flesh" from the ELITISTS, who thought that we "rural people from flyover country" are "beneath them socially" & intellectually.
(FYI, we are plenty smart enough to DUMP every DIMocRAT extremist, repeal "obamacare" & restore our nation to a CONSTITUTIONAL REPUBLIC.)

the DIMocRATS are FINISHED in 2012, as a major party.

just my opinion. = i do not & cannot speak for our county's TEA PARTY group, absent a vote of the membership on each issue.

yours, TN46
coordinator, CCTPP

Posted by: texasnative46 | November 1, 2010 5:55 PM | Report abuse

This is the best you could come up with the night before the mid-term elections?

This Congress has a 10% approval rating for doing harm not simply being mediocre.

Posted by: 2012frank | November 1, 2010 6:15 PM | Report abuse

This is the best you could come up with the night before the mid-term elections?

This Congress has a 10% approval rating for doing harm not simply being mediocre.

Posted by: 2012frank | November 1, 2010 6:16 PM | Report abuse

This is the best you could come up with the night before the mid-term elections?

This Congress has a 10% approval rating for doing harm not simply being mediocre.

Posted by: 2012frank | November 1, 2010 6:17 PM | Report abuse

TO: texasnative46 who wrote:
“there is NO "silver lining" for the DIMocRATS on 11/02/10. instead it will be a BLOODBATH & a time of wailing, whining & whimpering for the DIMocRATS, "progressives" & LEFTISTS…”
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

Yada, yada, yada.

You can bet we’ll be out there voting too.

Whoever gets the most votes wins (not who has the biggest mouth).


Posted by: lindalovejones | November 1, 2010 7:47 PM | Report abuse

As it's said, the only poll that matters is the one on November 2. By this time tomorrow, we'll be coming to an understanding of the results.

Posted by: bjameswi | November 1, 2010 7:49 PM | Report abuse

Oh, and btw: I am a progressive, and I will NOT be staying home.

Posted by: bjameswi | November 1, 2010 7:50 PM | Report abuse

Do you clever Tea-Baggers, who thought you were creating something novel and wonderful, realize as of yet that you have been absorbed into the Republican Party? Do you understand that this was the plan from the start? Most americans who still retain an ability for independent thought long ago knew that it was the Republicans who've nearly ruined us and so they re-invented themselves and abused you fools in the process.

Posted by: mot2win | November 1, 2010 7:57 PM | Report abuse

I think the Dems need Howard Dean back. These Chicago boys have dropped the ball.

Posted by: newbridge | November 1, 2010 9:20 PM | Report abuse

The President will be re-elected in 2012. Just isn't any opposition that cares about our country (and its people) yesterday, today and tomorrow.

Posted by: CTaylor42 | November 2, 2010 6:26 AM | Report abuse

I'm bookmarking these references, so I can easily pull them up later...

Shrewd analysis indeed. We need more of this and less of the other. The electorate needs to be more strategic in its decisions, meaning it needs better informational intelligence. This analysis is a good start in filling that gap!

Posted by: eddieinschool | November 2, 2010 6:50 AM | Report abuse

I hate to point it out, but non-voters don't count: they are irrelevant!

Posted by: AMviennaVA | November 2, 2010 7:52 AM | Report abuse

texasnative46 is proof that the Texas educational system is a miserable failure.

Posted by: Observer691 | November 2, 2010 9:43 AM | Report abuse

This Progressive voted on the FIRST DAY of Early Voting!

Posted by: ddoiron1 | November 2, 2010 9:56 AM | Report abuse

Thank you, texasnative, for that succinct, penetrating critique of Mr. Dionne's analysis. I wait breathlessly for you to favor us with more brilliant pearls of drugstore-cowboy wisdom. No doubt you'll win us over in droves. In the mean time, you can spread the message to the folks in Bastrop, West, Plainview, Big Spring, Idalou, Comanche, Rising Star, Goldthwaite, Granbury, Claiburne, Waxahachie, Italy, Mexia, Kosse, Conroe, Lufkin, Nacogdoches, Carthage, Marshall, Longview, Corpus Christi, Sanderson, Big Lake, Ozona, Pecos, Monahans, Kerrville and all other points east, west, north and south that if they really, really, really want to secede--we'll just go ahead and sign off on it. And Sam Houston be damned. I'm sure that Mexico will be happy to re-claim the ground.

Posted by: arnnmann1 | November 2, 2010 5:58 PM | Report abuse

Post a Comment

We encourage users to analyze, comment on and even challenge washingtonpost.com's articles, blogs, reviews and multimedia features.

User reviews and comments that include profanity or personal attacks or other inappropriate comments or material will be removed from the site. Additionally, entries that are unsigned or contain "signatures" by someone other than the actual author will be removed. Finally, we will take steps to block users who violate any of our posting standards, terms of use or privacy policies or any other policies governing this site. Please review the full rules governing commentaries and discussions.




characters remaining

 
 
RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2010 The Washington Post Company