Iowa 47-52 44-54 - 2
Nevada 45-51 43-55 - 4
New Hampshire 47-52 45-54 - 2
North Carolina 51-48 49-50 - 2
Only in Colorado was there real slippage for Obama beyond his slippage in national polling percentages from 53% to 50% or 51%.
Those of us who thought the Obama campaign was falling short of its goals in turning out early voters seem to have been proven wrong. Or at least they got enough out to prevent sufficient slippage to deprive him of these key electoral votes.
What about the states which became target states later in the campaign? Here the results look like:
Michigan 46-52 41-57 - 5
Minnesota 47-51 44-54 - 3
Pennsylvania 47-52 44-54 - 2
Wisconsin 47-52 42-56 - 4
These states came into play, but did not produce enough weakening of Obama margins to place any of their 56 electoral votes into the Romney column.
The overall story seems to be that fundamentals drove some numbers in this election, reducing Obama’s popular vote margin from 53%-46% to 50%-49% or 51%-48%–but only or almost only in the states that didn’t matter. If you aggregate the results from the Republican states that weren’t seriously contested (AL, AK, AZ, AR, GA, ID, IN, KS, KY, LA, MS, MO, MT, NE, ND, OK, SC, TN, TX, UT, WV, WY) and the Democratic states that weren’t seriously contested (CA, CT, DE, DC, HI, IL, ME, MD, MA, NJ, NM, NY, OR, RI, VT, WA), based on current AP results as of 1:30am Eastern or, when 90% of precincts weren’t reported, exit polls (which after the more educated massage this year were pretty closely on target: another story), and weight the 2012 results by the number of congressional districts (a reasonable proxy for population and, at this stage in the returns, for voter turnout), and compare them to the actual vote totals in those states (AK and HI reporting no 2012 election returns and exit polls, and so omitted for now) you get the following:
R states 58-40 55- 43 - 3
D states 40-58 38-62 - 4
In other words, fundamentals if they had been evenly applied in all states would have drive Obama’s percentages down by 3% or 4%, enough possibly to deprive him of a majority, and enough to deprive him of pluralities quite possibly in Florida, Ohio, Virginia, Colorado and perhaps enough of the other target states to give Romney an electoral vote majority. The trend apparent in the national polls toward Romney gains over previous elections among affluent voters was real, but it was either suppressed or offset in target states by stickiness to Obama. And so in the target states mechanics—organization, turnout efforts, early voting, etc.—trumped fundamentals and Obama won.
And demographics? The Hispanic turnout is not increasing as rapidly as in some projections. But it wasn’t good news for Romney. In Florida the exit poll showed him carrying Cuban-Americans by only 50%-47% and losing non-Cuban Hispanics by 68%-32%. AP showed lost Osceola and Orange Counties—DisneyWorld areas with large numbers of Puerto Ricans by larger margins than John McCain. By way of contrast, Republican Governor Rick Scott in Florida narrowly carried Hispanics in 2010. In Colorado he lost Hispanics 74%-25%–worse than McCain 2008—and in Nevada by 69%-24% (although it showed him carrying Asians there 49%-42%, puzzling to me since I think many are heavily Democratic Filipinos: more to learn on this).
So I was wrong. I take some pleasure in finding I have been wrong, because it’s an opportunity to learn more. As I prowl through the 2012 election statistics I will have an opportunity to learn much more about America and where we are today. A nation dissatisfied with the results of a Democratic president, Democratic Senate and Republican House has decided to return a Democratic president, Democratic Senate and Republican House. Lots to learn for all of us.