Voting Behaviour in Presidential Elections

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  • Voting Behaviour in Presidential Elections
    • Age
      • Young voters tend to vote Democrat because they are seen as more liberal and radical so this appeals to the young generation's liberal instincts
        • 18-29 19% of population 60% for Obama
      • Older voters tend to vote Republican because they are the more conservative party and as people age they tend to become more conservative and appeals to traditional values of older Americans
        • Over 65s 16% of population 44% for Obama
    • Wealth and class
      • Traditionally the Democrats are the party of the working class and poorer members of society
        • Less than $30,000 Obama got 63% and $30,000-$40,000 Obama got 57%
      • Traditionally Republicans were seen as the party for the better off white middle class
        • $100,000 -$200,000 Romney got 54%
    • Policies
      • The economy was voted the most important in 2012 by 59% of voters
        • Should have helped Romney win but the voters seemed to have trust in Obama to get them out of the bad siuation
      • Healthcare was a major issue in 2012 with Obama's new healthcare changes and 18% put this as the most important in 2012
        • 75% put this as a number one voter for Obama
      • 15% put federal deficit as most important and 5% put foreign policy as most important
      • Candidates need to identify with main issues concerning voters and fine tune their policies to address those issues
    • Gender
      • Women tend to support the Democratic Party
        • 11% more women voted for Obama than Romney in 2012
        • They have more women friendly policies accepting abortion, more liberal towards divorce laws, more keen on encouraging women's rights
      • Men tend to support the Republican Party
        • 7% more men voted for Romney than Obama in 2012
        • Tend to be less pro abortion and against gun contro
    • Character
      • Personal characteristics
        • Trustworthy, upright, competent, knowledgeable
          • Romney made a series of gaffes in 2012 and damaged him in the eyes of some voters
      • Presentation skills
        • Good speeches, engage public, look good on TV
          • Reagan managed to win 49/50 states because he was able to appeal to the voters as a person and as a speaker
    • Race
      • Racial minorities tend to favour the Democrat Party
        • Hispanics are the biggest growing ethnic group (16%) in 2012 71% voted for Obama
        • White still account for 72% of the American population and tend to vote Republican with Romney getting 59% voting for Romney and 39% for Obama
        • In 2008 Obama got 93% of the black vote and only 6% for Republicans
        • Traditionally ethnic minorities tend to belong to the poorer sections of society and Democrats are more sympathetic to the poor
    • Religion
      • Protestants are 53% of the American people, 57% voted for Romney and 42% voted for Obama in 2012
      • Catholics are 25% if the American people. 50% voted for Obama and 48% voted for Romney in 2012
      • Jews are 2% of the American population, 69% voted for Obama and 30% voted for Romney in 2012
      • Evangelicals voted 78% for Romney and 21% for Obama in 2012
      • In recent years the Republican party has been favoured by religious people because it is more conservative like most religions, there is the religious right within the Republican party anyway and Protestants tend to be more white middle class anyway  but any religions like Jews or Catholics who are seen to be underdogs tend to vote Democrat
    • Population Density
      • Densely populated urban area tend to vote Democrat
        • Democrats win 60% of the vote in cities of over 1/2 million people
        • Tend to produce more working class and often a poorer population
      • Sparsely populated rural areas tend to vote Republican
        • More conservative in beliefs and outlook and often more religious so favour conservatism
    • Party Allegiance
      • Americans often identify themselves as being supporters of one party or another
        • In 2012 Obama got 92% of the Democratic vote and Romney got 93% of the Republican vote
      • It is more important to win the independent voters who can swing the election one way or the other
        • But 2012 was an exception because Romney won most of the independent voters but the Democrats were more committed to Obama that the Republicans were for Romney
    • Region
      • The North East tend to support the Democrats and in 2012 Obama won all of these states
        • Traditional working class, contains old traditional industries and has a more liberal outlook
      • The Deep South tends to support the Republicans and in 2012 Obama only won two of these states
        • And Mid West are more conservative and traditional and have a strong religious element
      • Since 1992 the West Coast has also tended to vote Democrat
        • Has more high tech industries and prosperity but it is also more liberal

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