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Thursday, November 10, 2011

2011 Election Analysis

These odd year elections are less popular than the even year elections, but it's still an election to place many state and local politicians into power, and an opportunity to vote on referendum votes. We learned in 2009 that young voter turnout drops while the elderly voter turnout stays steady, thus giving the Republicans an advantage.

The Democrats have improved in 2011. The Republicans were expected to have an upper hand with a higher elderly voter turnout and Obama's mediocre popularity. It didn't happen. Overall, the Democrats or Republicans won a few and lost a few state and local seats here and there, but neither party made a significant gain overall.

Perhaps the Democrats got greater young, minority, and women voter turnout this year, or more of the older voters are dying away. I haven't found analysis on these demographics yet, but the Democrats have improved in what was supposed to be the election year for the GOP.

However, there is more to celebrate as the far-right Republicans suffered significant losses. In two of the most watched referendum votes, the Democrats came out as the clear winner. In Ohio, voters strongly rejected a Republican referendum vote to severely restrict unions and workers' rights, and in Mississippi, voters strongly rejected an anti-abortion bill. In Arizona, Russell Pearce, Arizona’s most powerful legislator and the architect of its tough immigration law, was outed in a recall election last Tuesday.

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