Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Cardin's and O'Malley's Slightly Different Supporters

(Cross-posted at Maryland Politics Watch)

O'Malley and Cardin both swept to victory this past Tuesday. However, the exit polls indicate that they had some important differences in their bases related to the race and ethnic backgrounds of the candidates. While 84% of African-American voters voted for O'Malley, only 74% supported Cardin who was opposed by African-American Michael Steele. (One reader has suggested that the exit polls overstate black support for Steele; anyone else have thoughts or evidence on that question?)

On the other hand, while 48% of white voters supported Cardin, only 45% supported O'Malley. Some may suspect that Cardin's extra white votes came from white racists. On the contrary, it appears that Cardin gained extra support from Jewish voters, his ethnic base, just as Steele did better than African Americans usually do among black voters. Cardin won 84% of the Jewish vote, 10% more than received by O'Malley--Jews composed about 7% of the electorate.

Jewish voters are generally more liberal on racial issues than other white voters, so it seems unlikely that the higher support for Cardin was part of some sort of racial backlash. Indeed, Jewish Democrats probably played a large role in assuring that Ike Leggett, who is black, defeated Steve Silverman, who is Jewish, in the crucial Democratic primary for Montgomery County Executive. Leggett did quite well in many of the more heavily Jewish neighborhoods in the Democratic primary.


Blogger Thomas Nephew said...

Seems to me like something's missing.

Cardin's margin was quite a bit bigger than O'Malley's: 9.6% (54.0-44.4) vs 6.1% (52.5-46.4). So 1.5% more MD voters (=54.0-52.5) voted for Cardin than for O'Malley.

Yet the Jewish vote couldn't account for more than 1% of that (+10% of 7%= +0.7%) -- and O'Malley's outperformance of Cardin in the larger black population swamps it (-10% of ...~29%= -3%). Generously (since his margin among non-Jewish white voters must have been lower than 3%), Cardin's higher white voter share gets him back to even: +3% of about ...64.5% white or 59.5% white-nonhisp. in MD is ~+2%, +1-3+2=0.

Together, the three groups seem to leave Cardin tied with O'Malley, yet he outperformed O'Malley by 1.5%. So some other group also helped Cardin quite a bit more than O'Malley. By elimination, I guess it's Hispanics and/or Asian-Americans (5.4, 4.6%)?

Since all of the above is already a guess based on late night "back of the envelope" arithmetic and a bunch of assumptions, I won't venture a guess as to why that would be.

11/16/2006 12:29:00 AM  
Blogger michaelraia said...

I don't do math - it hurts my head, but part of the disparity you're seeing Thomas could result from the fact that the Governor's race drew roughly 7,000 additional votes than that Senate race.

Additionally, of the 1,643,324 votes cast in the Senate contest, 25,405 went to third-party candidate Kevin Zeese. In the Governor's race, only 17,755 of 1,650,206 votes were cast for the two third-party candidates.

11/16/2006 09:41:00 AM  
Blogger Terry in Silver Spring said...

I don't understand how 7000 people could have decided just not to check a box in one of the races. You're already in the polling place, all checked in and standing at the machine. Are you THAT ambivalent about the Senate race or that torn between Cardin and Steele that you just don't make a choice in that race?

11/16/2006 10:03:00 AM  
Blogger howie said...

How about there are some of the 7000 voters who are SO bigoted that they couldn't vote for Steele or Cardin? Or that some of them are liberal African Americans who couldn't bring themselves to vote against Steele although they disagree with him on most issues? Or that...

OK, let's just blame Diebold again.

11/16/2006 12:13:00 PM  
Blogger Thomas Nephew said...

Michael, good point; I just assumed everybody voted on both races to keep my head from hurting; it means that 1.5% is a little too high, I should have looked at raw numbers...947174(C)-923991(O'M)= 23183; /1650206(max votes cast)=1.4% more voters for Cardin, still. But also, the 7000 extra gubernatorial votes actually make Cardin's higher vote total even more impressive. Another implicit assumption I made (for lack of better information) was that race/ethnic turnout share mirrors population share (eg, the 29% figure is a 2004 Census figure, for those who didn't follow or mouseover the link). That's where (at least) one problem with my quick and dirty analysis might be; if black turnout share doesn't amount to their share of the population or Jewish turnout is higher, there's less of a mystery.

Terry, like Howie says, you might be that ambivalent if you lean GOP and can't bring yourself to Cardin because of his party -- but you also can't bring yourself to vote for Steele because of his skin color. I hadn't thought of the liberal African-American scenario. But even if that's all 7000 of them, that's less than .5% of the vote -- and it doesn't explain how Cardin got more votes than O'Malley.

11/16/2006 12:37:00 PM  
Blogger Terry in Silver Spring said...

I bet you all are right. Cardin would be too liberal for some people (all though he isn't all THAT liberal) and Steele would be too African-American.

That's just sad.

On another subject, will having Hoyer be the Majority Leader do anything for our humble State?

11/16/2006 01:11:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I did a quick analysis of the Cardin/Steele African American vote by using four randomly selected precincts from each state senate district in Prince George’s County and cross referencing them to 2000 census data.

The results were:

Precincts 90% & up African-American: Cardin 82.5, Steele 16.5
Precincts 70%-90% African-American: Cardin 80.0, Steele 19.0
Precincts 50%-70% African-American: Cardin 77.5, Steele 21.0
Precincts 25%-50% African-American: Cardin 70.5, Steele 28.0
Precincts 0%-25% African-American: Cardin 62.0, Steele 36.5

These results indicate that the CNN consortium exit poll overstated African American support for Steele. Steele only received 24% of the entire vote in Prince George’s County (Cardin received 75%). If Steele also received 25% of African American vote (according to the CNN poll) then there would be little discrepancy between predominantly white and predominantly African American precincts.

Prince George’s is also the County where Steele would be expected to get a higher share of the African American vote than elsewhere in the state since it is his home county, he has extensive personal contacts in Prince George’s and he received the endorsement of a number of prominent African American officials.

The O’Malley/Ehrlich sampled precinct results were more in line with the exit poll but still somewhat different:

Precincts 90% & up African-American: O’Malley 90.5, Ehrlich 9.0
Precincts 70%-90% African-American: O’Malley 85.5, Ehrlich 14.0
Precincts 50%-70% African-American: O’Malley 80.5, Ehrlich 18.5
Precincts 25%-50% African-American: O’Malley 72.5, Ehrlich 27.0
Precincts 0%-25% African-American: O’Malley 61.0, Ehrlich 38.5

Overall, O’Malley carried Prince George’s 78.5-21%. The CNN exit poll showed Ehrlich getting around 15% of the African American vote statewide.

11/18/2006 10:12:00 PM  

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