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Which Congressional Candidates Got Their Votes Out Yesterday?

by: lowkell

Wed Nov 03, 2010 at 14:14:45 PM EDT

This graph shows the dropoff from 2008 votes, by congressional district, for John McCain and Barack Obama and the 2010 votes for Republican and Democratic congressional candidates, respectively. For instance, John McCain received 164,874 votes in the 5th CD in 2008 and Robert Hurt received 119,243
votes in 2010, which means there was a 28% dropoff.  For comparison, also in the 5th CD, Barack Obama received 157,362 votes in 2008, while Tom Perriello received 110,568 votes in 2010, for a 30% dropoff. Now, let's rank the candidates from lowest to highest dropoff, as a way to measure how effectively they got out their votes yesterday compared to the vote for president in 2008. Also, keep in mind that Republicans were more energized this year than in 2008, but obviously that's not the only factor at work here, given Rick Boucher's and Tom Perriello's excellent GOTV numbers.

1. Rick Boucher: -20%
2. Frank Wolf: -27%
3. Robert Hurt: -28%
4. Randy Forbes: -29%
4. Keith Fimian: -29%
6. Tom Perriello: -30%
6. Rob Wittman: -30%
8. Bob Goodlatte: -31%
9. Eric Cantor: -33%
10. Scott Rigell: -36%
11. Chuck Smith: -38%
12. Morgan Griffith: -40%
13. Gerry Connolly: -47%
14. Bobby Scott: -50%
14. Jim Moran: -50%
16. Glenn Nye: -51%
17. Rick Waugh: -55%
18. Wynne LeGrow: -59%
18. Krystal Ball: -59%
20. Jeff Barnett: -65%

lowkell :: Which Congressional Candidates Got Their Votes Out Yesterday?
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An imperfect measurement of GOTV (0.00 / 0)
Undoubtedly many Boucher voters voted for McCain in 2008; Boucher's number is so low because he outperformed Obama.

Agreed, it's imperfect. (0.00 / 0)
I never claimed it was perfect.  Still, I think it's interesting.  What about you?

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[ Parent ]
I think its *very* interesting. (0.00 / 0)
I think it shows a lot how effective Obama was getting infrequent voters to the polls. If you adjust Boucher (and even Perriello) for how many McCain voters supported them, then the top half is all red, the bottom half all blue. That explains Virginia, and the rest of the country, pretty succinctly.

[ Parent ]
Exactly. (0.00 / 0)
I thought crunching these #s might show something interesting, and I wasn't disappointed.

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[ Parent ]
Thank you... (0.00 / 0)
...for presenting this.  This election cycle is going to have a lot of opinions offered for why things did/did not happen, but as in most years little concrete data.  This graph gets all sides a step closer to seeing not just what happened, but perhaps why it happened.

[ Parent ]
Whoa! (0.00 / 0)
If this is true, how in the world did Boucher lose in the 9th?

Because Barack Obama got creamed there (0.00 / 0)
in 2008.  

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[ Parent ]
Why did Boucher lose? (0.00 / 0)
Because the Republican Party successfully played the race card to convince people who had voted for Rick for 28 years to vote against him to "Stop Obama". True, Obama got creamed here in the Ninth in 2008, but once he got elected, he then became a scary black man set out to change America!

[ Parent ]
Similar exercise (0.00 / 0)
I completed a similar examination of voter turnout in the 5th district by locality.  I based my comparison on Perriello 2008 v. Perriello 2010 because Tom outperformed Pres. Obama in the 5th district in 2008. Overall turnout dropoff was 31%. It seems Tom fared very well in turnout dropoff in the cities of Danville and Charlottesville.  The counties of Albermarle, Appomattox, Buckingham, Charlotte, Cumberland, Halifax, Nelson and Pittsylvania also did very well getting their vote out with turnout drop off of 29% or less.  However, turnout dropoff was 33% to 49% in 8 localities. For Tom to have won the election, turnout dropoff would have had to been 25% or less across the board, which no locality achieved. I don't believe that we did a good job  making the connection that the US Chamber of Commerce had lobbied congress and gotten tax breaks for the companies who shipped our jobs overseas.  We couldn't get folks to understand the connection that trade agreements like NAFTA, which the Chamber have supported, are the reason the economic backbone of the 5th has disappeared.  Perhaps if we could have, we could have gotten to that 25% dropoff and won.


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