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Voting. The Election of 2008 and 2010. Office Hours. When Today- 11-2 Monday 10-2 And by appointment Doyle 226B. Learning Outcomes I. Evaluate how people develop political opinions and how this impacts their political behavior.

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The Election of 2008 and 2010

Office Hours

  • When

    • Today- 11-2

    • Monday 10-2

    • And by appointment

  • Doyle 226B

Learning Outcomes I

  • Evaluate how people develop political opinions and how this impacts their political behavior.

  • Evaluate and interpret the importance of partisanship in shaping political opinion and vote choice

  • Identify and describe the formal and informal institutions involved in the electoral process


  • Exam 1 Study Guide

  • Exam 1 is Feb 12th

The Revised Michigan Model

What it Looks Like

Social Characteristics

  • Many cross-cutting factors

  • Help shape our Party ID

  • Are at the top of the funnel

A Long Term Factor

Party ID


  • Long Term Factor

  • Best Predictor of Voting

  • Influences other short-term factors

2008 Vote by Party ID

Ideology Doesn’t Rock

What about Independents

  • Pure Independents vs. Leaners

  • Independents go for Obama

A Long Term Factor

SES and Group Factors

Group Voting

  • What makes a group important?

  • The Democrats think more in group terms

Four Groups that Made a difference in 2008

  • African Americans

  • Latinos

  • Young Voters

  • Highly educated voters

Race and ethnicity

African American vote in 2008

  • Compared to 2004

    • Higher Turnout

    • More Democratic

  • Why African Americans Were Important

Hispanic Voters

  • The Fastest growing and largest ethnicity

  • Increasingly Democratic since 2000

  • Key in CO, FL, NM

Race and Vote in 2008

A Long Term Factor


Young Voters in 2008

  • 2-1 For Obama

  • Why

  • What about other Age Groups

Age and Vote 2008

SES Long Term Factor


Education in 2008

  • A curvilinear relationship

  • Obama Does well with both ends of the education spectrum

Education and Vote


Identification vs. Behavior

  • Being a member of a Religion is not an accurate predictor of vote choice

  • Religious activity is a much better predictor

Church Attendance and Vote

Who you are

  • Jewish voters

  • Catholics

Vote By Religion- 2008


Gender and Marriage

  • The Gender Gap

  • Why?

Gender in 2008


  • Married People vote Republican

  • Singles vote Democratic

Marital Status

Decline of Security Moms

Short Term Factors

Issues, Candidates & Image

Candidate Evaluations vs. Issues

Short Term Factor 1


Issue voting is difficult

  • We don’t trust or understand policy

  • Conditions for issue voting

The Reality of Issue Voting

  • We are clueless

  • Projection

  • Adoption

  • Too many issues

Most Important Issues

The Big One

Economic issues

The Economy

  • The events of 9/14

Retrospective Analysis

  • Looking back at the economy

  • Easier to do if there is an incumbent

Prospective Analysis




Other issues in 2008

The War in Iraq

  • No longer the salient Issue of the election

  • Good news from Iraq did not change people’s minds

  • Obama could claim opposition from day 1


Health Care

  • Not as important as you might think (9% most important problem)

Energy Policy

  • One of the reasons McCain goes with Palin

  • Never panned out as an issue

  • Cheap oil throughout the fall




  • No One cared

  • Neither candidate had anything to gain by raising the issue

Short Term Factor

Candidate Evaluations

Candidate Image

  • Try to create your own

  • Use issues to your advantage

  • Don’t Let the Media create one for you

Hope and Change

  • A message that worked

  • It meant everything and nothing at the same time

Hope as a message


McCain- Old and Out of Touch

Party image

Party Image

  • Impacts our views of the candidate

  • Very important for prospective voting

  • McCain has a terrible party image

The Republican Brand

The Third Term

McCain Vs. Bush

  • In the best position of any Republican to run against Bush

  • In reality no way to distance himself from Bush

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