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LJWorld.com weblogs Statehouse Live

Kansas voters run contrary to national trends in presidential election, except with independents

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Exit polls showed that Kansas voters by and large were out of the step with the national electorate during the presidential election, except in one area — independent voters.

Here is an analysis of the election by Bob Beatty, a political science professor at Washburn University.

"Since 1968 Kansas has gone for the Republican nominee for President, and 2012 was no different. By a wide 22 point margin (60%-38%), Mitt Romney defeated President Barack Obama in the Sunflower state, an increase of eight points over John McCain’s vote share in 2008. Nationally, Obama defeated Romney by 2.8% (50.6%-47.8%). Beyond the election results, presidential election years also offer an opportunity – by using exit poll data – to analyze any similarities and differences between group preferences in Kansas versus national group preferences. On whole, 2012 produced more differences than similarities.

"First, on election day, 48% of Kansas voters identified themselves as Republicans, the second highest percentage of Republicans voting (as a % of state voters) in any state except for Wyoming. 27% identified as Democrats and 24% as members of no party. Nationally, the numbers were 38% Democrat, 32% Republican, and 29% independent. One similarity is that nationally independent voters went for Romney 50% – 45% and in Kansas they went for Romney 51% - 43%.

"Looking at the numbers in terms of race, nationally, white voters made up 72% of all voters, and they went for Romney by 20 points (59%-39%), while in Kansas they were 87% of all voters and went for Romney by 31 points (64%-33%). White men went for Romney by 27 points nationally (62%-35%), but in Kansas 74% of all white men voted for Romney, giving him a 50 point advantage over Obama (74%-24%).

"One of the reasons that Obama was able to win a second term was the support he received from women, winning that group of voters nationally by 11 points, 55%-44%. In Kansas, however, Romney won the female vote by 4 points, 51%-47%, and won the male vote by a whopping 40 points, 69%-29%. Nationally Romney won men by much less, 7 points, 52%-45%. An interesting subset of the female vote that has received a lot of attention is unmarried women. In this category Kansas lies a bit closer to the national numbers, with Obama winning by a 19 point advantage in Kansas, 58%-39%. Nationally, he won unmarried women by 36 points, 67%-31%. Romney won married men by 22 points nationwide but by 46 points in Kansas.

"One very large divergence between Kansas and the nation in terms of the Obama vote lies in the different age categories. Across ages Romney significantly outperformed Obama in Kansas compared to the President’s national numbers. Among younger voters, aged 18-29, Romney won by 17 points, 54%-41%, while nationally Obama won those voters by a 23 point margin, 60%-37%; Among voters aged 30-44, in Kansas Romney won by 20 points (59%-39%) while nationally Obama won by 7 points (52%-45%); Among voters aged 45-64, in Kansas Romney won by a massive 27 points, while nationally he won that group by a much smaller 4 points; Among voters aged 65 and older, Romney won in Kansas by 22 points and won nationally by 12 points.

"Finally, in what should not be a big surprise given the actual results, the Kansas exit polls showed that the majority of voters here did not think too kindly of the president, while nationally, the opposite is true. In Kansas 60% of voters had an unfavorable opinion of President Obama while 39% had a favorable opinion, a 21 point negative margin. Nationally, 53% of voters thought of the president favorably while 46% thought of him unfavorably, a 7 point positive margin."

Comments

bigtoe 2 years ago

Come on all you left wing pinkos tell me again how you're all going to get together and get rid of Brownback and Kobach in the next election. Bwa, Ha, Ha, Ha That's right, nothng but crickets!

akuna 2 years ago

It has happened in the past. Once Kansans start to feel the real effects of Brownback's policies, they'll vote a Democrat back into the governors office. The modern Republican tax and social control experiments have failed in the past and will fail again. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_...

parrothead8 2 years ago

Kansas represents less than 1% of the national population. What happens in Kansas stays in Kansas.

08Champs 2 years ago

And no response/rebuttal from bigtoe? Just crickets.....

gccs14r 2 years ago

I guess all those decades of defunding education coupled with fearmongering are having the desired effect--the Kansas electorate now cheerfully votes against its own interests. If I were a major employer here, I'd be looking for somewhere else to set up shop.

tomatogrower 2 years ago

I know a woman on SS disability who voted for Romney and even signed a petition to secede. I asked what kind of job was she going to get if the SS checks stopped coming. She was clueless.

akuna 2 years ago

Therein lies the rub. Most people don't know what kind of assistance they get from the Federal Government. Its like that guy who played Coach. He once said, "I've been on welfare and food stamps...did anyone help me? No."

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/05/29/video-craig-t-nelson-s-gl_n_209024.html

08Champs 2 years ago

I'm no left wing pinko - but you are tireless in your attack of anyone without your worldview. It serves what purpose? It's only a Democracy if everyone votes like you? I believe Brownback is going to cause some serious problems with the budget in Kansas, and that has little to do with him being a Repbulican - it has to do with his inability to perform math. The idea that business owners should be exempt from paying taxes on their income, while someone receiving a W2 for 50 years gets no such break, is ludicrous. How about no taxes, no deductions? Then they can pay the full/.correct amount of their business income on their personal tax return. Somehow I don't see that happening....

mrtierney 2 years ago

Do you have any idea what its like to live in the land of idiots...let me tell you it sucks. The people that run for office are a joke and don't deserve the money they get.

Gareth Skarka 2 years ago

Can't argue with data -- Kansas slides even further into demographic irrelevance.

thinkagain 2 years ago

The article below address the GOP's need to reevaluate their strategey. One thing is true, while they might be able to win now, their current base is dying off in one way or another.

http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2012/11/26/the-gop-faces-years-in-the-wilderness-after-2012-election-losses.html

blindrabbit 2 years ago

Gareth: Totally agree with your comment about Kansas' slide to irrelevance! To support the concept, I did a little investigation in terms of the State of Kansas' representation in the U.S. House of Representatives over the years. As you know the U.S. House is made up of 435 members (as fixed by law) and preportioned by state population and adjusted by the census count every 10 years. Kansas at one time (back in the late 19th century) had 8 representatives, and that number has continued to decline through the 20th and into the 21st centuries. Don't known the exact time, but I remenber (1960's) when Kansas had 6 members, this further declined into the 1980's when the Kansas count dropped to 5 members. Following the 2010 (most recent) census, the Kansas count dropped to 4. This is true even though the Kansas population grew (albeit a a slow rate), and was considerably below the national % increase. As it is now, each of the 435 members of the House represent approximately 711,000 persons,, a total U.S. population of 308,000,000+. With Kansas' population of 2,863,813, you can see Kansas is close to it's true representation based on the 2010 census count. The real trend to irrelevance will come in the next census or two (2020 or 2030) when Kansas will likely loose another House member as the Kansas population grows slowly but the population of the country grows at a faster rate.

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