Wednesday, February 06, 2008

The Mizzou Factor

To expand a bit on what Rob posted below, as well as my incredibly politically-savvy comment to his post... [wink, wink]

I continue to be shocked at how few pundits seem to do any real analysis/homework on the state of Missouri. They spout out terms like "bellwether" and "battleground". They regurgitate the same old "they've voted with the winner in 666 out of the last 667 Presidential elections" (or whatever the heck it is). But, few seem to mention the obvious and recurring phenomenon of late reporting by the St. Louis districts. It happens every time, and I'm confidently guessing it happened again last night.

The Republican (in this case Clinton) nearly always starts with a double-digit edge in early Missouri returns. The gap tends to narrow as the counting continues, particularly after Kansas City comes in. And, finally, when the St. Louis vote is counted/reported, the victor (in this case Obama) emerges. It is nearly impossible to overstate the diversity of this state. The early-reporting cracker vote went to Clinton and Huckabee. The later-reporting urban, left-leaning vote went to Obama and McCain. (I write this based on living through previous elections in my former home in the St. Louis area, not based on any specific poll data from yesterday--and certainly not any analysis I saw on TV last night.)

I think Missouri once again serves as a microcosm of the USA in this case: Obama is overcoming double-digit deficits in polls across the country, and my sincerest hope is that he will emerge victorious before this primary is finished.

2 comments:

Jake said...

That makes tons of sense to me, but here's my question. We keep hearing that the black vote favors Obama. No big surprise. However, the other running theme I'm hearing from pollsters is that Clinton does best among the poorest voters (<50k/yr), while Obama does best among the richer voters. I'm not conflating black with poor and white with rich, especially not in Mizzuruh. I'm curious how the urban pro-Obama vote interacts with income.

haahnster said...

I don't have immediate access to demographically detailed polling data. However, there are several categories to consider conflating, or not conflating.

St. Louis is a metro area of 2.8 million, of which approx. 2.1 or 2.2 million are in MO (with the balance across the river in IL). The city itself is only 350K of that. However, that 350K is slightly > 50% African-American, and only 2% Hispanic.

The city had a median household income of < $30K as of the 2000 Census. Even with inflation, it's hard to imagine that even approaches $50K today.

At the same time, > 40% were between 18 & 44 (so, 26 to 52 now), while some of the 25% under 18 have now reached the voting age. So, how did the youth factor play? Another consideration.

It's an interesting point, between race, gender, age, class, etc. which trumps what...