Commentary Magazine



The morning after an election is always a field day for data hounds. The exit polls provide part of the fodder for the politically addicted. Using the House national exit polls, some interesting details emerge. The GOP eradicated the gender gap, splitting the female vote 48 to 49 percent. Among various age groups, Obama carried only the 18-29 bracket, but they were only 11 percent of the electorate. Obama carried the undereducated (no high school) and the overeducated (post-graduate) but no other group defined by education level.

Independents went for the GOP by a huge margin of 55 to 39 percent. The GOP carried 77 percent of the evangelical vote. Those who voted disapprove of Obama’s handling of his job by a 54 to 45 percent margin. Thirty-seven percent said their House vote was a vote against Obama, the same percentage said Obama wasn’t a factor, and 24 percent said it was meant to express support for Obama. By a narrow 39 to 37 percent margin, those who voted favor an extension of the Bush tax cuts for all Americans, not just those making less than $250,000. Obama carried big and small cities (the so-called urban vote), while the GOP took the suburbs, small towns, and rural areas.

In sum, the Democrats carried blacks, city dwellers, young voters, uneducated and super-educated people, and the less well-off. That is enough to win in Chicago but not in the country as a whole.