Inside the Numbers
We thought you might be interested in this brief look at some of the crosstabs from the CNN exit poll of Tuesday’s elections. In one sense, it is easy to be lulled by the closeness of the race in percentage terms, 51-48%. But the fact is that Democrats not only lost by nearly 4 million votes, Democrats lost despite turning out our base in numbers not seen in decades.
One particular area of concern is the votes of those with household incomes between $50,000 and $75,000. Kerry lost this group — the heart of the middle class — by a striking 55-44% margin. As recently as 1996, Democrats carried this income class. Now they vote nearly identically to voters in households with incomes between $150,000 and $200,000.
Even voters who live in households with incomes between $30,000 and $50,000 barely went for Kerry, 51-48%. Kerry’s only solid wins were among the poor and the very poor. Some of this can be explained by the huge turnout among evangelical voters who supported Bush by a margin of better than three to one. However, culture and values voters aside, it seems that what the Democrats and Kerry are offering to middle income voters is not compelling enough to win their votes.
2004 Presidential Cross-tabs (CNN Exit Poll of 13,531 voters)
- 21% of the electorate defined themselves as liberal, 45% moderate, and 33% conservative. Kerry won among moderates 55-44%, but because conservatives outnumber liberals by 57%, Bush was able to win.
- Bush defeated Kerry 61-38% among white male voters. Bush also won white female voters 54-45%.
- Bush won 42% of the Latino vote, compared to 35% in 2000. Bush also improved slightly among black voters (+2%).
- Bush won the senior vote 51-48%, a 4-point improvement over 2000. The only age cohort captured by Kerry were those between the ages of 18-29 (54-44%).
- Middle class voters in households with incomes between $50,000 and $75,000 voted overwhelmingly for Bush (55-44%).
- Those with incomes $50,000 and $75,000 voted the same as those with incomes over $75,000 (55-44%).
- Kerry won among households with less than $50,000 in income (56-43%), but only won by 3 points among voters with household incomes between $30,000 and $50,000.
- Kerry won union households 60-39%.
- Kerry beat Bush 50-49% among voters without a high school degree and 55-43% among voters with an advanced degree, but lost every other education demographic.
- Bush won the Protestant vote (58-41%) and the Catholic vote (51-48%). Kerry won among the Jews (76-24%), other (74-23%) and none (68-30%).
- Married voters went for Bush 56-43% (58-41% if married with kids) and unmarried voters went to Kerry 59-40%.
- Gun owners voted 61-37% for Bush. That is the same percentage of the gun vote that Bush received in 2000. Kerry improved by 1-point over Gore.
- By 55-41% voters believe abortion should be mostly or always legal.
- 26% of voters support legalized gay marriage, 35% support civil unions, and 36% support no legal recognition. Bush won the support of those in favor of civil unions, by a 51-48% margin.
- Bush won suburban voters 51-48%. Kerry won urban voters 56-43% and lost rural voters 56-43%.
Selected Senate Races (CNN exit polls):
- Jim DeMint defeated Inez Tenenbaum 70-28% among white voters.
- DeMint won voters with household incomes of between $50,000 and $75,000 by a 58-40% margin.
- Tenenbaum won self-described moderate voters 56-41% but lost 80-19% among the 38% of voters who call themselves conservative.
- Tom Coburn defeated Brad Carson 59-35% among white voters.
- Coburn won every cohort of voter from $30,000 in household income on up.
- Burr beat Bowles 69-30% among white voters.
- Bowles lost among all voter groups that attended or graduated from college.
- Burr won 61-38% among voters with between $50,000 and $75,000 in income.
- Bowles won 55-43% among moderates but lost 78-21% among the 40% of North Carolinians who call themselves conservative.
Contact: Matt Bennett (202) 775-3768 x212