The Fine Points of Close Elections

In analyzing Romney’s Ohio win on Super Tuesday, I was struck by the nature of how the vote broke down along income lines. It seems those with income below $100,000 favored Santorum over Romney, while Romney had a big enough edge in those with income over$100,000 to offset all the other voters.

If you can get past the absurd dilemma of the logic, file it away for a moment and imagine how a smaller group of wealthy voters could turn out in sufficient numbers to influence of the overwhelming majority of the Republican Party?

That question moved into and took over my conscious thought for these last 20 hours or so. I have a theory that began with Rachel Maddow’s report, showing the income demographics of the vote http://on.msnbc.com/AA0Nlp (specifically the result data found between 5m:19s and 6m:29s in the clip). My conclusion, though not completely at odds with Rachael, is a little different. Here’s my theory:

There are not enough supporters in the category of those making more than $100,000, for Romney to win, if those making less turn out to vote in equal percentages. Let me explain:

  • If 70% of voters in Ohio make less than $100,000 and the rest make more,
  • And if both groups turn our to vote at a rate of 20%
  • And if 6% more of those with incomes under $100,000 vote for Santorum
  • Then, Santorum beats Romney by 1.2%

So, my conclusion is that, in addition to making a case for those with incomes over $100k, Romney had to also suppress the turnout of those making less than $100k. In a close election, selective suppression will be critical to Republican success. I also think the attacks on women’s healthcare are intentionally designed to discourage those making less than $100k, more so than those making more $100k.

In short, I think all of the social issues, along with what we’ll see in the way of direct suppression of likely Democratic voters by mandating ID, is the heart of the Republican strategy. Countering this tactic, in all its forms, needs to be the center of the GOTV and Voter Registration efforts for the General election.

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About jackdetate

Married, 2 children, retired, enjoying unstructured time: "And then he drank a dew From a convenient grass, And then hopped sidewise to the wall To let a beetle pass." ~ Emily Dickinson
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