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A Tour of the 2004 Exit Poll: What It Says and What It Doesn't (Continued)

Today we continue our tour of the 2004 exit poll. (See yesterday's post for the beginning of the tour and few relevant technical notes.)

3. Whites by Gender. Democrats' falloff among whites appears to have been concentrated almost entirely among white women, rather than white men. This year, Bush carried white men by 25 points (62-37), only a point more than his 24 point margin in 2000 (60-36). In contrast, he carried white women by 11 points (55-44), a big improvement over the single point (49-48) by which he carried this group in 2000.

4. Education. Democrats’ slippage by education group was concentrated entirely among the non-college educated. Kerry split the college-educated as a whole evenly with Bush, just as Gore did in 2000, and actually carried those with a postgraduate education by 11 (55-44).

But, where Gore lost the non-college educated as a whole by just 2 (49-47), Kerry lost them by 6 (53-47), including an 8 point deficit among those with some college (up from a 6 point disadvantage in 2000) and a 5 point deficit among those with just a high school degree (up from just a single point disadvantage in 2000). Most startlingly, Kerry only carried high school dropouts by one point (50-49), while Gore had carried the same group by 20 points.

Given that Bush's increased margin came entirely from the non-college educated and given the increase in Bush's margin among white voters, we would expect that Bush's performance among white working class voters must have improved substantially. This cannot be estimated directly from the NEP poll because they haven't yet released that level of detail on their data. However, the Institute for America's Future and Democracy Corps conducted an extensive (2000 interviews) post-election survey and they found Bush winning white working class voters by about 24 points. The compares to a 19 point margin in Democracy Corps' 2000 post-election survey and a 17 point margin in the 2000 VNS exit poll.

Arguably, that's the story of the election right there. An additional wrinkle on the white working class vote is that this falloff was likely concentrated among white working class women, not men, judging from the figures cited above on Bush's big gains among white women, but no change among white men (however, this is an inference from the pattern of the data; no direct evidence on white class women vs. men is available from the NEP or DCorps surveys).

5. Income. It is fascinating to note that Kerry actually improved over Gore among income groups under $30,000: 63-36 vs. 57-37 among those with less than $15,000 and 57-42 vs. 54-41 among those between $15,000-$30,000. He did about the same as Gore among the $30,000-$50,000 group (50-49 vs. 49-48). But he lost considerable ground among those over $50,000, losing 56-43 vs. 51-46 among the 50-75K group; 55-45 vs. 52-45 among the 75-100K group and 58-41 vs. 54-43 among those over 100K.

6. Marriage. The "marriage gap" grew slightly in 2004. This was because, while Kerry's margin among unmarried voters stayed about the same as Gore's in 2000 (58-40 vs. 57-38), Bush's margin among married voters expanded from 9 to 15 points (57-42 vs. 53-44). This increased the marriage gap, depending on how you measure it, from 13-14 points in 2000 to about 17 points this year.

But Bush's margin among those who are married and have children expanded more modestly, from 56-41 in 2000 to 59-40 this year.

Data available from DCorps' post-election survey make it possible to compare white married voters by gender with their counterparts in 2000. This comparison shows Bush's margin among white married men staying about the same across elections and actually shrinking a bit among white unmarried men. But among white married women, his margin increases from 9 to 18 points and, among white unmarried women, he actually achieves a tie, compared to a 15 deficit in 2000.

7. Age. Kerry did very well with young voters this year, winning them 54-45, compared to a narrow 48-46 margin for Gore in 2000. On the other hand, Kerry lost seniors by 52-47, while Gore won them by 50-47.

A few more words on the youth vote. This marks the fourth straight presidential election where Democrats have won the youth vote. It is also, of those four elections, the one where youth's Democratic support was most out-of-line with the rest of population. In 2000, youth were only 2 points more Democratic than all voters; in 1996, they were 11 points more Democratic than all voters; and in 1992, they were 4 points more Democratic than all voters. But in this election, youth were 12 points more Democratic than all voters (+9 Democratic among youth vs. -3 among all voters).

In this election, youth were about 17 percent of voters. That's the same as the exit poll figure for 2000. Does this mean youth turnout didn't go up? Not at all. Even assuming the exit poll figures are correct (and personally I prefer the Census voter supplement data for looking at the demographic composition of the voting pool and assessing turnout trends), they merely mean youth turnout didn't go up any more than other groups in the electorate. In other words, youth turnout went up, but probably only 3-4 points, about the national average.

8. Religion and religious observance. Perhaps no feature of the 2004 election has received more attention than the allegedly central role of evangelical Christians and their high turnout in Bush's victory.

But the evidence that evangelicals were so very, very important (as opposed to merely important, which seems reasonable) is shockingly thin. Perhaps the main piece of evidence for this claim is that 23 percent of voters in the NEP exit poll were white "born-again or evangelical" Christians, who supported George Bush, 78-21.

That is indeed impressive. Trouble is, we have no idea how that compares to 2000, since the exit polls didn't ask the same question last time. Instead they asked a very different question about being part of the "religious right", which categorized 14 percent of voters as part of the white religious right. Clearly, to conclude from these two different questions that evangelical turnout increased from 14 to 23 percent from 2000 to 2004 is inappropriate.

Thomas Edsall in The Washington Post today nicely summarizes the correct way to look at these data:

Exit polls do not permit a direct comparison of how many evangelical and born-again Americans voted in 2000 and 2004 because the way pollsters identified these voters changed. Four years ago voters leaving polls were asked: "Do you consider yourself part of the conservative Christian political movement, also known as the religious right?" In 2004, the question was changed to: "Would you describe yourself as a born-again or evangelical Christian?"

Fourteen percent answered "yes" in 2000 and 23 percent did so in 2004, but polling specialists said the 2004 wording virtually assures more affirmative answers.

Admirably clear. OK, on to the next piece of evidence. This is the finding that 22 percent of voters--more than any other issue--said "moral values" were the most important to their vote and these voters supported Bush 80-18.

Again, pretty impressive. But again, we have no idea how this compares to 2000, when voters were not given a "moral values" or any other "values" choice but instead a list of actual issues (taxes, world affairs, Medicare/prescription drugs, health care, economy/jobs, education and social security). As Gary Langer, ABC News Polling Director points out:

[T]he exit poll...asked voters what was the most important issue in their decision: taxes, education, Iraq, terrorism, economy/jobs, moral values or health care. Six of these are concrete, specific issues. The seventh, moral values, is not, and its presence on the list produced a misleading result.

How do we know? Pre-election polls consistently found that voters were most concerned about three issues: Iraq, the economy and terrorism. When telephone surveys asked an open-ended issues question (impossible on an exit poll), answers that could sensibly be categorized as moral values were in the low single digits. In the exit poll, they drew 22 percent.

OK, next. The exit poll asks a question on the frequency of religious service attendance. And this question does show those who say they attend services more than weekly increasing slightly from 14 to 16 percent. On the other hand, the poll also shows those who say they attend weekly decreasing slightly from 28 to 26 percent, so the most observant segment of voters, those who attend services weekly or more, remained steady at 42 percent of voters. This hardly seems consistent with a wave of evangelical turnout.

Moreover, as Alan Abramowitz points out:

[B]etween 2000 and 2004, President Bush's largest gains occurred among less religious voters, not among more religious voters. Among those attending services more than weekly and those attending every week, support for Bush rose by 1 percent, from 63 percent in 2000 to 64 percent in 2004. However, among those attending services a few times a month, support for Bush rose by 4 points, from 46 percent to 50 percent, among those attending only a few times a year, support for Bush rose by 3 points, from 42 percent to 45 percent, and among those never attending services, support for Bush rose by 4 points, from 32 percent to 36 percent.

Bottom line: the President made gains across the board among voters, regardless of their degree of religious commitment but he made his largest gains among less religious voters.

None of this seems consistent with the idea that evangelical turnout and intense support from the most religious Americans put Bush over the top in 2004.

On to religion itself, independent of level of observance. The NEP exit poll shows that Protestants supported Bush by 19 points (59-40), compared to 14 points in 2000 (56-42). Among Catholics, there was an even larger swing in Bush's favor, going from a 50-47 Democratic advantage in 2000 to a 52-47 Republican advantage this year.

Unfortunately, we don't know how white Catholics' preferences changed this year, because NEP has not released the data. In 2000, Bush carried white Catholics by 7 points (52-45). It seems reasonable to assume that Bush carried this group by a significantly wider margin this year.

In addition, while Jews are a small proportion of voters (3 percent of voters this year) their margin for the Democrats shrank from 60 points in 2000 (79-19) to 49 points (74-25) this year.

On the other hand, among those who profess some other religion besides Christianity or Judaism, Democrats' margin of support rose from 34 points in 2000 to 51 points this year. And among those who say they have no religion, Democrats' margin of support rose from 31 to 36 points across the two elections.

OK. I'm running out of gas, so I'm going to have to stop right here. But there's much more to be covered and I hope to continue our tour soon. Ih the meantime, what we've covered so far should provide some food for thought.

Comments

Andrew Sullivan over at andrewsullivan.com makes a fantastic point:
If you add up the people from earlier elections who said they were voting on abortion or family values, two things that both seem to fall under the broader heading "moral values," they took up nearly 50% (!) of the vote. When you think about, that makes sense: 1996 and 2000 both represented elections during a time of peace and prosperity--who's concerned about the economy? Plus, Clinton certainly got out the family values vote both for and against himself. It looks like values may have taken a hit in this election. How ironic.

I have to admit that I feel more confused now than I did last week about what actually happened in this election.

But I think the Democratic Party can figure it out if they go and talk to the winners: the Bush voters. To do this, a radical approach (for Democrats) will be required.

First, assume that Bush voters made an informed choice - based on the sources of information they trusted. Then figure out how we gain access to these same trusted sources, in order to reach Bush voters with our message (when we have one).

Second, assume that Bush voters made an intelligent choice. Examine the process they used to weigh the pros and cons of each candidate, and then figure out way to influence this process so it moves our way.

The 4 pm exit poll data was way off, consistently under reporting the final Bush totals. Raw Story has a chart showing the 4pm numbers versus the final numbers and an
analysis by a retired MIT math professor showing that the odds of this gain happening as pure chance is 1 in 50,000. The link is http://www.bluelemur.com/index.php?p=405 which Could you folks please comment on why the afternoon exit polls were so far off the mark? This issue is not going to go away quietly. NEP is maintaining that this was a routine problem that they corrected by adjusting the weighting factors. Other respected polling professionals, such as Mystery Pollster ( Mark Blumenthal) can't recall another instance where the numbers were consistently so skewed.
I am no poll geek, but I suspect that re-weighting two defective samples ( 1st pass and 4pm ) to correct for significant skewing would make the almost final numbers that you guys are dissecting a lot less reliable. Before you do any more analysis of the exit polls, could you please address the afternoon exit polling discrepancies and tell us lay people why it is or is not something we should be concerned about.

I would appreciate it if you would address the following strange result from the NEP exit poll when you return to your "tour" tomorrow...

According to the exit poll results, the failure of millions of Gore voters to go to the polls in 2004 accounted for the entire margin of President Bush's popular vote victory and then some, as follows:

90 percent of Gore voters voted for Kerry and 91 percent of Bush 2000 voters voted for Bush in 2004; Kerry defeated Bush by 50 percent among those who voted for "other" in 2000 (more than 1.5 million votes); and Kerry captured a healthy 9 percent majority of voters who did not vote in 2000. Therefore, had Bush and Gore voters turned out in equal numbers this time around Kerry would have easily won the popular vote and most likely the presidency.

But, as we know, that did not happen. Instead, according to the exit poll, nearly all of Bush's 2000 voters voted last week (43% of 116 million 2004 voters voted for Bush in 2000 = 49.9 million voters--only about 600,000 short of Bush's 2000 total) whereas about 8 million of Gore's voters stayed away from the polls (37% of 116 million 2004 voters voted for Gore = 42.9 million voters). Stated differently, 1 percent of Bush's 2000 voters failed to return to the polls this year compared with 15 percent of Gore's voters.

Any thoughts on what this tells us about the poll or about the voters?

I find it hard to care about these numbers. Economy, terrorism, and the War in Iraq were the big three issues and except for the economy majorities picked Bush, yet his track record on the war and terrorism is plain and it's not pretty. Moral values is the surprise issue and voters emphasizing this issue picked Bush by a huge margin, yet he's the most immoral President since Richard Nixon. This election was a referendum on fantasy vs. reality. Fantasy won. Exit pollsters should ask, "Do words count more than deeds?" or "Who's the better hero, Superman or Benjamin Franklin?"

Note, I canvassed neighborhoods door-to-door and "moral values" started popping up around the first week in October. Before that "abortion" was the write-in answer when none of the other 8 issues-- economy, terrorism, healthcare, etc-- was the respondent's most important issue.

philophers v. technocrats: appealing to loess educated voters.

there will now be a great deal of discussion about moving right or left. but i think the real division in our party is about something different: cool technocrats v. hot philosophers (ideologues).

and, as explained below, i think that this disticntion is part of the reason less-educated white voters (as well as some hispanics) are drifting away.

It is possible to be a centrist 'ideologue,' so don't confuse 'ideologue' with left. For instance, one can feel a burning moral passion about reducing the deficit, even tho that is a more-or-less a centrist position.

ideologues and philosophers tend to have the "vision thing." technocrats, on the other hand, tend to rely on "competence."

both philosophers and technocrats criticize the results of the opposition, but they do so with a slightly different emphasis. technocrats tend to focus more heavily on the empirical data (for example, such-and-such # of jobs lost); while philosophers tend to discuss failures in the opposition's theories (for instance, by attacking "trickle down economics").

Ideologues tend to talk in sharp moral absolutes; technocrats tend to want to manage problems. (Clinton introduced a sense of morality in the '92 campaign by talking about helping people who "play by the rules;" this appealed to people's sense that, not only did they want to vote their self-interest, but it was moral for them them to do so since they were rule-abiding, i.e., morally good and worthy.)

technocrats make good advisers and cabinet secretaries. philosophers tend to be elected prez.

not to kick him while he is down, but john Kerry's comment about (i paraphrase) 'we need to reduce terrorism back to the level of a mere manageable nuisance, like illicit drugs and prostitution, so that it no longer dominates our lives' was technocratic (whatever the merits of the comment might be).

when Kerry made this comment, many dems defended Kerry because Brent Scowcroft had said much the same thing. But, Scowcroft was not running for prez and was a mere adviser. People look for a different quality of rhetoric from a one who would be prez.

BTW, by contrast, consider an incident that took place almost 6 years ago. After the incident in which an African-American gentleman in Texas(a Mr. Byrd, I believe) was lynched by being dragged to death behind a truck, people like John Kerry didn't say 'we need to reduce these racist crimes to the level of a mere manageable nuisance like illicit drugs and prostitution so that it no longer dominates African-Americans' lives.' Rather, there was an expression of outrage and an expression of the need to eliminate the underlying problem of racism which was often identified by the word 'evil.'

so, liberals are capable of being non-technocratic in certain circumstances.

Another problem with technocrats, is that technocrats tend to defend their positions as "mainstream," i.e., endorsed by the experts. However, one thing that motivates voters to get out and vote is a sense that the "mainstream" (the establishment of experts) has things wrong or has not done enough.

For example, remember mike dukakis defending his prisoner furlough program (which had released Willie Horton) on the grounds that most other states had similar programs? That presumes that people were satisfied with the status quo in terms of law enforcement & crim justice. in fact, at the time, most felt that mainstream crim justice was too lax and wanted to change course; most wanted to get tougher.

so, the technocratic defense -- that this is the way it is usually done -- is unsatisfactory to those who don't like the way things are usually done.

generally, i think, the lower the education level of a voter, the more the voter finds stark condemnation of "evil" appealing. these are the voters dems are losing (at least, according to exit polling discussed at length in the main post here at emergingdeomocraticmajority.com).

also, in wartime (which most Americans feel we are in) people tend more towards casting issues in stark moralistic terms.

also, many of those voters who do, themselves, understand nuance and complexity nevertheless feel reassured by a leader's ability to cast matters in simplified absolute terms: they realize that simplifications are easier for others (their fellow countrymen) to rally around and that rallying around a leader is important in a crisis. in other words, even voters with subtle perceptions enjoy having a leader who can distill the subtleties to a simple emotional rallying cry: it represents good leadership.


for these reasons and others, i prefer ideologues (philosophers; visionaries) as Dem prez candidates. i also think this is a distinct issue separate form left v. right.

what do you think?

Another interesting stat that I found just from looking at CNN's breakdown of the election. Of the swing states, everywhere Kerry won 53% or more of the female vote, he won the state.

I don't think the Democrats lost because of values, I think they lost because they lost women.

Nick

The Democratic party should fund a media campaign of TV ads saying something like this...

"On November 2, the country made its choice. We in the Democratic Party respect and honor that choice.

The Republican party, however, now controls the White House and both houses of Congress.

The Republicans promised they reform Social Security without raising taxes, cutting benfits of increasing the national debt.

They promised you they would increase your access to quality health care, without increasing the costs to you or to businesses.

They promised you they would stop your jobs from being shipped overseas.

They promised you they would increase the number of good, manufacturing jobs in this country.

And they promised you they would win the war on terror, and would bring Democracy and freedom to Iraq.

It's time to hold the Republican Party and President Bush accountable for their promises.

The Democratic party believes it has better ideas on providing affordable, quality health care to all Americans, prescription drugs for our seniors, strengthening and improving social security, winning the war on terror, and democratizing Iraq.

But, we will also will be your eyes and ears in Washington, D.C.. We will hold Presdent Bush the Republican Congress' feet to the fire, and demand that they deliver on their promises to you.

You deserve nothing less.

After all, that's what you voted for."
********************

By doing this, Democrats would be setting expectations for the GOP impossibly high.

When the GOP inevitably fails to meet these goals, the Democrats will be there to stand on the aide of the voters and step in to fix the mess.

E-mail me with your thoughts. (I shut down my blog).

Question: Is it possible to determine from the data how the breakdown of "morality voters" correlates to the regular churchgoers? I'm curious if this was the singular push for the morality-based voting, or if there was in individual, non-church-based drive to vote on those issues.

Just a comment on comparative patterns among age groups, such as the decrease in Dem support among Seniors comparing Gore to Kerry. What we need to understand is that in many respects these are not the same people, as every election produces a generational change in an age group. The Seniors who voted in 2000 began their political life in the late FDR years -- the Truman years, In 2004 Seniors essentially came to age in the Eisenhower era, and the early Kennedy years. (If you are in your mid-60's today, your first Presidential bote was probably in the Kennedy-Nixon election of 1960. )

We should follow that by comprehending that the Seniors of 2006 and 2008 will be the Majority Nixon Voters of 1968. While of course this generation of Seniors includes Civil Rights workers and aging Hippies -- they are not the majority in the cohort.

While people do change their political identity during their lifetimes -- for instance some Hippies did join the Jesus Movements of the 70's -- we need to keep in mind that as a generational cohort moves through life, it may well have different voting behavior at a particular age than the generation before it. To have cast a 1948 vote for Truman means at a minimum you would be about 77 today.

Curious, that I should be reading about a strange lack of correlation between voter registration and voting in Florida in the French press, rather than in the US press -- although MSNBC obviously had something about it. If you can't read French, Baker and Calhoun counties have a huge number of registered Dems and had a huge number of votes for Bush.

http://www.lemonde.fr/web/article/0,1-0@2-3208,36-386347,0.html

"Le cas le plus sérieux concerne les comtés de Floride qui sont passés massivement dans le camp républicain. Les votes y étaient uniquement électroniques, sans trace papier. Selon les chiffres officiels, une chute notable des votes démocrates a été notée dans une trentaine de districts. Le comté de Baker, où 69 % des électeurs sont inscrits comme démocrates, a voté à 77 % pour le président Bush. Le comté de Calhoun, à 82 % démocrate, a voté républicain à 62 %... M. Bush a remporté l'Etat avec 381 000 voix d'avance. 'Mais les irrégularités sont suffisamment nombreuses pour justifier une enquête, a expliqué John Conyers lundi sur MSNBC. Nous n'appelons pas à une nouvelle élection. Notre candidat a reconnu sa défaite. Mais il s'agit de rassurer les Américains sur le fait que leurs votes sont appréhendés correctement.'"

The Presidential exit polls don't entirely reflect what happened down ballot. Maybe you should ask Evan Bayh how he carried his red state of IN by 60% when Bush also got about 60% and GOP Mitch Daniels beat the Dem Governor. I know why the governor lost. The economy sucks so the budget sucks and the voters took it out on the Gov. Daniels ran as an unknown optimist and diguised his big corporation agenda.

Of course, the GOP did not help themselves against Bayh by running a black candidate. That is enough to ensure rejection by all the racist Republicans in the southern part of the state.

It's true that the question posed in the 2000 poll, "Are you a member of the (white) Religious Right", is rather different from the question posed in the 2004 poll, "Are you a (white) Evangelical, Born again". One might imagine that the second category captures a much broader, less narrowly conservative bunch, which would account for the dramatic increase in representation from 14 to 23 percent.

But that is severely undercut by the observation that Bush's yield on the 23 percent white envangelicals in the 2004 election went UP from his yield among the self-identified Christian Right in 2000. In 2000, 79% of the Christian Right went to Bush. In 2004, 83% of the Evangelical/Born again crowd went to Bush.

How plausible is it that we are really talking about two dramatically different populations here?

Oops, in fact the White Evangelicals/Born agains supported Bush only by 78%, not 83% as I had just said. But the point remains: the voting behavior of the so-called "White Evangelicals" of 2004 is exactly the same as that of the "Christian Right" of 2000 -- how plausible is it that the underlying populations are dramatically different in dispositions?

I'd also like to say that while it may not have increased Bushius' margin with the white evangelicals, it helped prevent a greater slide than would otherwise occur when this adminsitration showed how poorly it could govern, a.k.a. lack of stewardship.

According to Gallup (see url) Church attendance overall dropped from 2000 to 2003 (couldn't find the updated numbers), so maintaining their percentage of the electorate actually represents an increase in turnout.

The number of Americans who attend church at least once a week dropped from 35% to 32% and the number of self described "born-again" or "evangelical" Christians decreased from 45% to 42%.

The reason that many of us remain convinced, despite polling data, that gay marriage won the election for Bush is that his record is so horrible on every tangible issue. Also, the evangelical crowd turnout was enormous in Ohio, so far as I know, which was the state that mattered most.

Bob Herbert reminded us in yesterday's Times, that nearly 70% of Bush supporters in a recent survey "believe the US has come up with "clear evidence that Saddam Hussein was working closely with with Al-Qaeda." Kevin Drum pointed out last night that 47% of the country thinks the economy is "good" or "excellent", and about 88% of them voted for Bush.

I look at any group of Bush supporters and see either lunacy, ignorance, or hate. The 70% mentioned above have been brainwashed. The 47% are nuts (or happily wealthy). And the many who voted on gay marriage are voting on hate.

Bush doesn't win this election without a media that's either lazy, scared, or Fox News. We know that. But we have to look back many months for the top flaw in the exit polls.

Most of us here would have voted for anyone over Bush. When I think of the Democratic candidates, I would have easily voted for all of them but Sharpton and Kucinich over Bush, and in the end, I probably would have voted for the unlikely victor of the Sharpton/Kucinich death match. People like me make up about 40% of the country.

I have to imagine that 40% of the country goes the other way. They don't see the deceit and the failure; they only see the abortions, the gays, and the entitlements. Many of them are racist, many of them religiously homophobic, and many pray to the god of the free market.

The Democrats do nothing to get these people, and they also do nothing to get the rest of us excited about those issues. Instead, they hide from themselves and just remind the 40% of how bad Bush is, even though we already know.

I believe you would see in the raw exit data is that the correlation between candidate support and agreeing with him on the issues goes beyond reason. I believe that Kerry is better than Bush on every single issue, and I can come up with a strong argument on any of them. I remain unconvinced that Bush supporters can do the same, but I bet that 80% of them support Bush on every issue. I think the economy is in the tank, but 80% of Bush voters think is "good" or "excellent". If you go down the line, I bet it's the same across the board.

The facts are on our side. But if you ask the people in red America which party is the party of Big Business, they'll say the Democrats. If you ask the people in red America which party is poisoning our streams, they'll say the Democrats. I'd love to see the state-by-state poll results to this question: "Which party recently gerrymandered the districting in Texas to make sure that the other party did not get fair representation?"

Of the people whose primary characteristic in choosing a candidate was his honesty, 2/3 picked W. To me, that's like picking Kobe over Shaq on height.

Bush won this election on distraction and distortion. Gay marriage represents both of these, and this is why it is being viewed by many as the issue that was the big winner for the Republicans. It allowed them to say that gay marriage, rather than terrorism, global warming, or a failed economy, was the biggest problem facing America. It distracted from the failures and the lies. It allowed the Republicans to gain in the Senate despite having candidates pushing a national sales tax, skipping debates, and making ludicrous claims. It allowed them to win on moral issues despite a regime of secrecy, lies, and senseless death.

Republicans win elections by scaring people into thinking there way of life will be threatened by issues that don't affect them. Sure, voting for Bush will keep me unemployed, but at least those my kids won't be gay.

These are the values that blind Republicans, along with rumors of a liberal media and a fair and balanced Fox News. Whether gay marriage won Bush the election we may never know for sure. But Karl Rove's goal was to unify and increase the base, and I see nothing in the exit polls to make me gay marriage wasn't responsible for his success.

Dear Ruy:

What do you think of the NEP exit poll claiming that 44% of Hispanics voted for Bush?

I had a piece on Sunday on VDARE.com arguing that looked implausible because it was being driven by Bush winning a purported 59% share of Hispanics in Texas, even though in the real world, Kerry seemed to win the heavily Hispanic counties.

I've got another VDARE.com article coming out shortly on another anomaly in the exit poll.

Can we rely on the "exit poll" numbers?? Weren't they discredited??

I do not understand how Kerry could have improved vs. Gore among the under-$30,000 income crowd, while doing much worse than Gore among the white working class (some college and below) and doing at least somewhat worse than Gore among blacks and Hispanics. Given the close correlation of all these attributes, it seems to me that something doesn't add up here. Would love to get an answer.