Sunday, April 01, 2012

Slicing and Dicing Demographics

Political scientists love to analyze voting behavior and ideological identification. Most literate adults have at least a glimmering of general trends of segments of the population when it comes to voting. As a nation we can fairly easily be divided into thirds. One third Democrats, one third Republicans and one third unaffiliated.

Grab a chunk of the nation and those thirds skew considerably. Look at the northeast metroplex and you'll get the Republican chunk dropping into the low twenty percent range. Pick the north central heartland and you'll find Democrats in shorter supply.

You can break up other demographic characteristics. An obvious one is youth goes liberal and mature adults trend conservative. Economic class shows low-income seeking governmental help and hence liberal while successful suburban class voters will lean conservative. Low education level are attracted to simplistic us-vs-them solutions and don't construct a detailed big-picture analysis of priorities. They embrace Democrats.

Minorities? Nothing less subtle than African-American voting behavior where nearly 90% indicate a preference for Democrats. Latinos trend about two-to-one, but are generally low turnout and can be swayed by candidates which support their concerns. Fertile ground for future campaigns.

Naturally a lot of the demographic factors overlap. Minorities populate lower economic class and lower economic class usually means less education.

Given all that, this survey shows some interesting relationships even if it wouldn't be very meaningful in predicting an election.

What You Drive and How You Vote

Some observations on those top five lists:

Although Republicans are supposed to be rich plutocrats, two of the top five vehicles are pick-up trucks. That sounds pretty blue-collar and working class.

Although Democrats are supposed to be poor and struggling, two of their top five vehicles are very new hybrids. That sounds like a lot of disposable income to me.

Although Reps are supposed to be oppressors, they look like they would be the fun folks to hang out with. Pick me up in the Mustang rag-top and let's go to the beach.

Frankly I don't want to go cruising in a Leaf.

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