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  1. #1
    Senior Member ptgatsby's Avatar
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    Default Voting demographics (2008 Presidential)

    I was looking into the demographics the election and two things popped out - women and younger people voting for Obama. I'm curious what reasons people have for it. I've listed a few of the ones that I can think of (and I apologize if anyone feels offended by any of them!) For reference, here is an overview: National Exit Polls - Election Center 2008 - Elections & Politics from CNN.com


    1) Women voted predominantly for Obama, more so than men.

    - Is it because of women tend to vote more liberal/nanny state?
    -- Maybe because of higher empathy ratings? More negative emotions towards social issues? Both?

    - Could it be because of the candidates themselves? Obama being more attractive in general, perhaps, or younger? Or maybe McCain having a dubious history with women - women who know about his divorce would likely be swayed away from him?

    - Could it be the higher hierarchal nature of men? Our tendency towards more republican/right wing approaches? Issues like war and other "macho" items could move a portion of males towards the republican side.

    - Or are men more stubborn and unwilling to change/identify real differences, holding onto older values/hierarchies/familiarities? Holds onto the cynical view?

    - Perhaps women are more willing to accept change, or more willing to hope for the change to come? Or more susceptible to the message of change/less critical of the plan itself?


    2) The younger you are, the more likely you were to vote for Obama

    - Is it that younger people tend to be more liberal?
    - More open to change?
    - More reactive and impulsive (to messages)?
    - Associate better with younger "inexperienced" candidates than with older "out of touch" candidates?
    - Less critical of the message and more willing to accept it at face value?
    - Value the action message more than stability message? ie: "we can do it" empowerment?
    - Values the more down to earth candidate, in terms of money and status? Respects education more than experience, a preference coming from their own bias (younger being educated, the old being experienced)?



    Yes, there is some overlap in some of them, but those are the points that I was going through in my mind when I saw it. I'm moderately comfortable with which ones I think have the largest influence, but I'd love to see why other people think these two trends are pronounced.

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    Senior Member Lateralus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ptgatsby View Post
    I was looking into the demographics the election and two things popped out - women and younger people voting for Obama. I'm curious what reasons people have for it. I've listed a few of the ones that I can think of (and I apologize if anyone feels offended by any of them!) For reference, here is an overview: National Exit Polls - Election Center 2008 - Elections & Politics from CNN.com
    This is always the case. Democrats get more younger and female voters. Republicans get more older and male voters.
    "We grow up thinking that beliefs are something to be proud of, but they're really nothing but opinions one refuses to reconsider. Beliefs are easy. The stronger your beliefs are, the less open you are to growth and wisdom, because "strength of belief" is only the intensity with which you resist questioning yourself. As soon as you are proud of a belief, as soon as you think it adds something to who you are, then you've made it a part of your ego."

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    lots of potential reasons.

    Lat's note is correct.

    Younger voters also typically are looking for something to believe in as part of their life's mission -- it's a teenage mentality I experienced, I see in my own children, and I just see in the culture. A candidate who is a mover and shaker, promising change from the establishment, and possessing idealism is very appealing to the younger crowds.

    Gen X and Gen Y are also far more moderate/liberal, less conservative. I'm also thinking the heavy religious influence from the Christian right really doesn't much help the Republicans nowadays with religious voters; diversity and change and "go with the flow" is more and more in. They also found the idea of Obama's presidency far more "exciting" in terms of what might happen, versus a McCain presidency where probably things would look very much the same as the past.

    Conservative women with strong religious beliefs identified with Sarah Palin and thought she was wonderful; other women I think, though, were turned off by her. Women do naturally gravitate more towards family and people issues, and much of their lives have already been geared to consider not just practical family but almost emotional family needs, caring for kids and elderly parents, and whatever else. I think Obama's message was far more evocative to women.
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    Plumage and Moult proteanmix's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ptgatsby View Post
    I was looking into the demographics the election and two things popped out - women and younger people voting for Obama. I'm curious what reasons people have for it. I've listed a few of the ones that I can think of (and I apologize if anyone feels offended by any of them!) For reference, here is an overview: National Exit Polls - Election Center 2008 - Elections & Politics from CNN.com


    1) Women voted predominantly for Obama, more so than men.

    - Is it because of women tend to vote more liberal/nanny state? I do
    -- Maybe because of higher empathy ratings? More negative emotions towards social issues? Both?

    - Could it be because of the candidates themselves? Obama being more attractive in general, perhaps, or younger? Or maybe McCain having a dubious history with women - women who know about his divorce would likely be swayed away from him?

    - Could it be the higher hierarchal nature of men? Our tendency towards more republican/right wing approaches? Issues like war and other "macho" items could move a portion of males towards the republican side.

    - Or are men more stubborn and unwilling to change/identify real differences, holding onto older values/hierarchies/familiarities? Holds onto the cynical view?

    - Perhaps women are more willing to accept change, or more willing to hope for the change to come? Or more susceptible to the message of change/less critical of the plan itself?
    I had some strange political email correspondence with a libertarian a little while ago.

    He basically said to me women need to wise up and stop voting on social issues, because they're not real issues which is laughable to me. I also remember Metamorphosis's thread a few weeks ago about why you support Obama. I thought it was interesting that he qualified it with "it can't be for these reasons." A lot of black people I know voted for Obama because he was black. I don't see how you can say to that's no reason to vote for him.

    I see a McDonald's campaign on the subway and buses that says "Any reason is every reason." I guess it doesn't so much matter why in this instance as long as you do. Having to qualify why I decided to vote the way I did as if some reasons are more legitimate than others (which I admit they can be) is like saying what I've decided I value doesn't hold water to some people. I reject that message.

    Quote Originally Posted by ptgatsby View Post
    2) The younger you are, the more likely you were to vote for Obama

    - Is it that younger people tend to be more liberal?
    - More open to change?
    - More reactive and impulsive (to messages)?
    - Associate better with younger "inexperienced" candidates than with older "out of touch" candidates?
    - Less critical of the message and more willing to accept it at face value?
    - Value the action message more than stability message? ie: "we can do it" empowerment?
    - Values the more down to earth candidate, in terms of money and status? Respects education more than experience, a preference coming from their own bias (younger being educated, the old being experienced)?

    Yes, there is some overlap in some of them, but those are the points that I was going through in my mind when I saw it. I'm moderately comfortable with which ones I think have the largest influence, but I'd love to see why other people think these two trends are pronounced.
    My workplace is mostly female and over the course of this year I'd hear conversations about the war on terrorism and most recently the recession but mostly it was about health care, education, child care (lotsa pregnatoids round here!), abortion, immigration, more domestic policy related issues.

    My workplace may be a bit skewed because virtually everyone holds at least a bachelors degree, significant portion of people have a master's degrees and professional degrees. Higher education tends to skew democrat. I work at a non-profit which tends to attract more women.

    Age: Even though I'm a registered independent, the Republican party seems like they live in a pineapple under the sea. I can't see how they can be at all understanding on my position as a young, black female. They completely lack relevancy to me. When I talk with my white female coworkers about race and party affiliation they've echoed similar sentiments although the focus is slightly different. I have a hard time understanding how if you belong to any minority group in the US (racial, ethnic, sexual, whatever) you think the republican party has your best interests at heart.

    I know what it's like to need a chance and someone to give you a break to prove what you're capable of. I strongly identified with that during this campaign, allowing someone the chance to see what they can do. I keep comparing things to my job but I see how stodgy and complacent the lifers here are and I keep giving myself these daily reminders, don't become like that. I've gotten some very important breaks in my life that enabled me to reach higher than my peers when I was in high school. I guess it tracked me in some ways and that was something that struck a chord with me.

    It's funny you mention the "macho" themes because we were just talking on Monday about how sometimes the whole republican campaign came off as unnecessarily fearmongering.

    So yeah, a lot of what you mentioned are things that put my decision making process on a certain course. I would very much like to see a viable third party candidate and maybe that will happen someday. My first election was the 2000 election and I knew nothing. I think I made a higher than average attempt to know what local and national issues are important to me and align myself with candidates who's policies fit my criteria.
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    Order Now! pure_mercury's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by proteanmix View Post
    I had some strange political email correspondence with a libertarian a little while ago.

    He basically said to me women need to wise up and stop voting on social issues, because they're not real issues which is laughable to me. I also remember Metamorphosis's thread a few weeks ago about why you support Obama. I thought it was interesting that he qualified it with "it can't be for these reasons." A lot of black people I know voted for Obama because he was black. I don't see how you can say to that's no reason to vote for him.
    That's a pretty bad reason to vote for him. If it's the ONLY reason, then it's a racist reason, to boot.
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    Quote Originally Posted by pure_mercury View Post
    That's a pretty bad reason to vote for him. If it's the ONLY reason, then it's a racist reason, to boot.
    Somehow I think we've been over this somewhere before...
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    Quote Originally Posted by Orangey View Post
    Somehow I think we've been over this somewhere before...
    Yes, we have. And yet, people still keep saying it. . .
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    Senior Member ptgatsby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pure_mercury View Post
    That's a pretty bad reason to vote for him. If it's the ONLY reason, then it's a racist reason, to boot.
    I'm not sure saying "I voted for him because he's black" can't also be taken as "he shares more history with me and will understand my issues better than the alternative".

    That seems like a reasonable reason to do it, overall, and expands well into "I voted for her because she's a woman" or "I voted for him because he's younger" or "I voted for him because he's not super-rich".

    At one level I agree with you, and yet at the same time, it's not unreasonable to vote for someone that would better represent you because of commonality.

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    Quote Originally Posted by pure_mercury View Post
    Yes, we have. And yet, people still keep saying it. . .
    Yep, here it is http://www.typologycentral.com/forum...an-thread.html. Though I don't know if the matter was ever settled one way or the other...
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