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Matt Bennett, Vice President for Public Affairs
202.775.3768 x212

Press Release


Inside the Numbers

A Closer Look at the 2004 Election Results

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)

Selected Senate Races (CNN exit polls):

South Carolina


North Carolina

Contact: Matt Bennett (202) 775-3768 x212

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