The 2012 Elections
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The 2012 Elections Lawrence R. Jacobs Director, Center for the Study of Politics and Governance . Presidential Elections U.S. Senate Election in Minnesota Minnesota Legislative Elections The Changing Electorate. “Around the horn”. “Houston, we have a problem”.

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The 2012 Elections

Lawrence R. Jacobs

Director, Center for the Study of Politics and Governance


Around the horn

Presidential Elections

U.S. Senate Election in Minnesota

Minnesota Legislative Elections

The Changing Electorate

“Around the horn”


Presidential election gop presidential nomination

“Houston, we have a problem”

Presidential Election: GOP Presidential Nomination

3


GOP Nomination: Delay by Design

Sources: Josh Putnam, Frontloading HQ; Republican Party; data from polls of likely Republican primary voters conducted by CNN/​Time/​Opinion Research, NBC/​Marist and Quinnipiac University. Graphic Compiled by New York Times.


Who decides a small number
Who Decides? A small number

Sources: Turnout as a Percentage of Eligible Voters -- AP, NEP Exit Polls, Elections.GMU.Edu, CBS


Who are small number choosing gop candidates
Who are small number choosing GOP candidates?

White Evangelical Christians as Percentage of Eligible Voters in Republican Caucasus and Primaries

Sources: AP, NEP Exit Polls, Elections.GWU.edu. 2012 Exit Polls: IA, NH, SC, FL, NV. 2008 Exit Polls: AZ, MI, GA, MA, OH, OK, TN, AL, MS, IL, LA


Tea party storms gop primaries conservative mobilization
Tea Party Storms GOP Primaries: Conservative Mobilization

“Very conservative” political philosophy

Sources: 1992 & 2000 data are from the National Election Pool Presidential Primary Elections via ICPSR, 2012 data are from CNN.com:

"On most political matters do you consider yourself: (Very Liberal, Somewhat Liberal, Moderate, Somewhat Conservative, Very Conservative)"


Gop battle scars romney s
GOP Battle Scars Romney’s

Presidential Candidate Unfavorabilty Ratings, April of Election Year

Sources: NYT/CBS Poll (1992-1996), ABC/WP Poll (2000-2012)


2012 general election some pivots to follow
2012 General Election: Some Pivots to Follow


Gop helped obama but volatile
GOP helped Obama but volatile

Source: Real Clear Politics (4/1/2012)


2 views of how to win pres elections both matter
2 Views of How to Win Pres. Elections: Both Matter

Rove Strategy: Frame choice that plays to base -- turn out reliable & loyal voters

Most influential during nomination battle and among activists

Question: Who offers sharpest alternative?

Retrospective Voting: Win referendum -- “Are you better off now than you were 4 years ago?”

Most influential during general election and among undecided

Question: Which opposition candidate receives most anti-incumbent votes?


1 will voters punish obama for country heading off on wrong track
1. Will voters punish Obama for country heading off on wrong track?

Sources: National Election Pool General Election Exit Polls, 2004, & 2008; McClatchy-Marist Poll (3/22/12))


Obama will be judged on economy
Obama will be judged on economy track?

Percentage of Americans Ranking the Economy as Country’s Most Important Problem

Source: Gallup


Voters focused on economy not social issues
Voters focused on economy, track?not social issues

Source: “Which of the following matters more to you in deciding which presidential candidate to support - the candidate's views on economic issues or the candidate's views on social issues?” (registered voters only, CBS/NYT Poll (2/13/12)


A lot of voters looking for work
A lot of Voters Looking for work track?

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics


Is economy improving stagnating or declining
Is Economy Improving, track?Stagnating or Declining?

Source: Bureau of Economic Analysis


Strong though declining disapproval of obama s handling of economy
Strong (though declining) disapproval of Obama’s Handling of Economy

President Obama’s Job Approval on Economy

Source: Pollster.com


Economic performance drives approval
Economic Performance Drives Approval of Economy

Obama Approval Rating and Consumer Confidence Index

Source: Approval data are from Gallup polling; data on consumer attitudes are from Gallup's Economic Confidence Index



3 who turns out fading gop advantage so far
3. Who Turns Out? of EconomyFading GOP Advantage – so far

Percentage Extremely or Very Enthusiastic About Voting

“How enthusiastic are you about voting for president this year?”

Source: USA Today/Gallup (3/11/12)


Turning out the base a bipartisan challenge
Turning Out the Base: of EconomyA Bipartisan Challenge

Source: 1980-1988 (NYT/CBS Exit Poll); 1992 (Voter Research and Surveys Pool Exit Polls); 1996-2000 (Voter News Service Pool Exit Polls); 2004-2008 (National Election Pool Exit Polls)


4 popularity contest which contest
4. Popularity Contest? Which contest? of Economy

Source: Favorability ABC/WP (4/15/12); Job Performance ABC/WP Poll (4/8/12)


5 the fight for the slice
5. The Fight for the Slice of Economy

“Both sides only need to care about 8% to 12% of electorate”- John Weaver , GOP Strategist & McCain Advisor


Gop strategy keep it close among hostile voting groups
GOP Strategy: Keep it close among hostile voting groups of Economy

Republicans Net Advantage(Republican Vote minus Democratic Vote)

Sources: 1992 (Voter Research and Surveys Pool Exit Poll); 1996-2000 (Voter News Service Pool Exit Poll); 2004-2008 (National Election Pool Exit Poll)


Obama coalition weaker
Obama Coalition – Weaker of Economy

Obama’s Advantage in 2008 Exit Polls Compared to 2012 Registered Voters

Source: Pew Research Center (4/15/12) http://www.people-press.org/2012/04/17/section-1-general-election-preferences/


Elections klobuchar race
Elections: of EconomyKlobuchar Race?


Hint tough race
Hint: Tough Race of Economy

Senator Klobuchar’s Job Approval

Sources: (SurveyUSA Poll, 9/09): “Do you approve or disapprove of the job that Amy Klobuchar is doing as a Senator?” and (PPP Poll, 12/10, 6/11, 1/24): “Do you approve or disapprove of Senator Amy Klobuchar’s job performance?”



Elections mn legislative races
Elections: MN Legislative Races Majority (53-47)

  • Will potential Obama backlash or sharp choice nationalize state legislative contests?

  • Will hangover from shutdown and acrimony haunt GOP legislators or fade?


Not so much fun legislators check out
Not so much fun: Majority (53-47)Legislators Check Out

Retirements/Open Seats/Seats Lost to Redistricting in Minnesota House and Senate

House Retirements: Rep. Connie Doepke, Rep. Mark Buesgens, Rep. Denise Dittrich, Rep. John Kriesel, Rep. Keith Downey, Rep. Kurt Bills, Rep. Nora Slawik, Rep. Ron Shimanski, Rep. Marion Greene, Rep. Lyle Koenen, Rep. Larry Hosch, Rep. Kate Knuth, Rep. Torrey Westrom, Rep. Bobby Joe Champion, Rep. Brande Petersen, Rep. Bev Scalze, Rep. Mary Kiffmeyer, Rep. Bruce Anderson, Rep. Bill Hilty, Rep. Kent Eken, Rep. Mark Murdock, Rep. Pat Mazorol, Rep. Mindy Greiling, Rep. Mike LeMieur,Sen. Keith Langseth, Rep. Tom Tillberry, Rep. Carol McFarlane

Senate Retirements: Sen. Amy Koch, Sen. Al DeKruif, Sen. Chris Gerlach, Sen. Gen Olson, Sen. Linda Higgins, Sen. Doug Magnus, Sen. Geoff Michel, Sen. Gary Kubly, Sen. Mike Parry, Sen. Ken Kelash, Sen. Mary Jo McGuire, Sen. Mike Jungbauer, Sen. Claire Robling,  Sen. Gretchen Hoffman

Source: List Compiled by Rachel Stassen-Berger, Star Tribune


Gop initially blamed for government shutdown but old news
GOP initially blamed for government shutdown. But old news? Majority (53-47)

Source: MinnPost Poll; July 28, 2011


Legislature is highly unpopular but legislatures rarely popular
Legislature is highly unpopular. Majority (53-47)But legislatures rarely popular

Do you approve or disapprove of the job the State Legislature is doing? 

Sources: (KSTP/SurveyUSA Poll 6/11 and 2/12)


Still gop gets lower marks
Still, GOP gets lower marks Majority (53-47)

Do you approve or disapprove of the job the DFL/Republican members of the legislature are doing?

Source: PPP Poll (1/27/12)


And dayton receives higher scores
And, Dayton receives higher scores Majority (53-47)

Governor Dayton Approval

Sources: (Star Tribune Poll 5/11 and 11/11): ” Do you approve or disapprove of the way Mark Dayton is handling his job as governor?”

(KSTP/SurveyUSA Poll 6/11 and 2/12) : “Do you approve or disapprove of the job Mark Dayton is doing as Governor?”

(PPP Poll 1/12): “Do you approve or disapprove of Governor  Mark Dayton’s job performance?”



Will etch a sketch win romney latino voters
Will Etch A Sketch Win Romney Latino Voters? Majority (53-47)

Source: Public Policy Polling, Feb 14, 2012: "If the candidates for President this year were Democrat Barack Obama and Republican Mitt Romney, who would you vote for?"


Something to keep in mind the changing electorate
Something to keep in mind: Majority (53-47)The Changing Electorate

Source: Pew Research Center, 2008

Projected changes in population:


Declining white electorate
Declining White Electorate Majority (53-47)


Changing electorate rising minority vote
Changing Electorate – Majority (53-47)Rising Minority Vote

Source: http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2011/10/25/us/politics/approval-of-congress-drops-to-single-digits.html?ref=politics


Changing democratic coalition more minority next generation voters
Changing Democratic Coalition – Majority (53-47)More Minority & Next Generation Voters

Source: (Pew Research Center 11/11) http://www.people-press.org/2011/11/03/the-generation-gap-and-the-2012-election-3/11-3-11-27/


Caveats 1 hispanic conservatism
Caveats (1): Hispanic Conservatism Majority (53-47)

Keep or Repeal Health Care Reform?

Source: Quinnipiac University Poll, Feb. 23, 2012: Do you think Congress should try to repeal the health care law, or should they let it stand?


Caveats 2 impacts of economic downturn
Caveats (2): Impacts of Economic Downturn Majority (53-47)

Depress turnout below 2008 levels

Moderate demographic changes – slow immigration & birthrate



Taller hurdles
Taller Hurdles Majority (53-47)

  • Problems remain or worsen –

    • Long term budget deficits… and the ticking sequestration bomb

    • Rising health costs/declining access

    • Workforce challenges

  • Political Compromise may be less likely

  • Retirement of moderates -- Sen. Snowe, Nelson, Conrad

  • GOP Tea Party Phobia – Bennett & now Hatch & Lugar

    2014 worriers – Collins, Graham

  • New replacements implacable foes of compromise/pragmatism


Center for the study of politics and governance
Center for the Study of Majority (53-47)Politics and Governance

  • Forums: Policy Makers, Candidates, Experts

  • Policy Fellows – leadership development that draws best emerging talent from public, private, and non-profits

  • Smart Politics Blog – “Truly high-end” (Chuck Todd)

  • Practical reforms – Govt redesign, redistricting, election administration

  • Election Administration – Doug Chapin


Vikings keep em
Vikings: Majority (53-47)Keep’em

How important is it to you that the Vikings Stay in Minnesota?

Source: (Star Tribune Poll 11/11) http://www.startribune.com/politics/133240568.html


60 or more oppose public funding but majorities support range of options
60% or more oppose “public funding” but majorities support range of options

Source: “I’m going to read you a list of the public funding options being considered to help pay for a new Vikings stadium. If a stadium is to be built, please tell me whether you support or oppose each of the following.” (Star Tribune Poll 11/11)


Democratic headwinds declining obama approval
Democratic Headwinds: support range of optionsDeclining Obama Approval

Source: Gallup (3/25/2012)


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