Collective voting
Posted by aogTuesday, 05 February 2008 at 15:18 TrackBack Ping URL

I thought the chart in this post was very interesting. Basically, it graphs the absolute number of votes for President for Democratic and Republican Party candidates from 1980 to 2004. The interesting part is that the GOP vote totals go up and down massively, while the Democratic Party vote is almost straight line. You can’t see where Mondale, Perot, or Clinton had any effect. The conclusion drawn by the author is that there are no “swing voters”, only “contingent voters”, and effectively all of the latter are on the political right. People who vote for the Democratic Party candiate just vote, without regard to issues or candidates. The GOP side has to provide a basis for enthusiasm to win. I suppose it shouldn’t be a surprise that the political faction that favors collectivism and machine politics votes mechanistically. It would be interesting to see if this holds up for Clinton — I have little doubt that Obama will get the votes.

Comments — Formatting by Textile
Ali Choudhury Wednesday, 06 February 2008 at 05:05

1992 and 1996 are obscured by Perot’s votes. I doubt those would have gone to the Democrats if he hadn’t run.

Fixed typo, deleted discussion of typo.

Annoying Old Guy Wednesday, 06 February 2008 at 08:08

I don’t see that. 1992 and 1996 are right on the trend line, and there’s no sudden surge in 2000 to represent the returning Perot voters.

erp Wednesday, 06 February 2008 at 08:33

Democrats vote the party line like good little mind-numbed robots.

Patrick H Friday, 08 February 2008 at 15:47

There is no great rise in R voters in 2000, but I still think the Perot effect is important UNLESS you believe they wouldn’t have voted had Perot not run. I don’t think this graph is enough to prove that and I think they would have voted had he not run. I’d like to see the off year congressional election totals to better understand the trend. The Dems were destroyed in ‘94, but was that due to R turnout or Dem apathy?

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