TUESDAY, OCTOBER 21, 2014 - This Day In History
Obama Will Win Mississippi, Louisiana, South Carolina and Georgia
Posted By zenprise - Friday, October 31st, 2008 at 6:04 AM
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Don’t believe me?  Well I come armed with data to support my claim, so keep an open mind.

 

My entire premise is based on very high turnout rates among black voters.  The Deep South boasts the largest concentrations of blacks in the country, so shifts in turnout can have a significant effect on election results.  The model I’ve built assumes that black voters participate at a rate of 90%, a dramatic increase to be sure, while white voter turnout only increases to about 65%.

 

To get started, let’s look at the demographics of the Deep South:

 

State Demographics

Black

White

Georgia (GA)

30%

70%

South Carolina (SC)

30%

70%

Louisiana (LA)

33%

67%

Mississippi (MS)

37%

63%

Alabama (AL)

27%

73%

 

Now let’s apply our voter turnout model to these numbers to see what the demographics of the voting population looks like.

 

Voting Demographics

Black

White

% of whites (absolute)
needed

for Obama victory

GA

37.24%

62.76%

12.76%

SC

37.37%

63.12%

12.63%

LA

41.71%

58.94%

8.29%

MS

45.65%

55.15%

4.35%

AL

33.87%

66.13%

16.13%

 

The third column is the percentage of white voters that Obama needs to get in order to win.  Let’s compare these numbers to John Kerry’s totals among white voters in 2004:

 

White Vote by State

Bush

Kerry

Kerry white vote %

GA

 1,885,540

 976,797

34%

SC

    924,054

 475,126

34%

LA

 1,083,724

 559,473

34%

MS

    660,216

 296,861

31%

AL

 1,160,513

 515,939

31%

 

So right off the bat, it’s clear that Obama needs far fewer white votes than Kerry.  Given some of the racial factors at play, that’s a good thing for Obama.  But how realistic is it for Obama to actually get the white vote percentages that he needs?  Luckily, the Democratic primaries were very competitive this year, so we have some good data on white support for Obama in the Deep South.

 

 

Kerry 2004
white vote %

% of
white
votes for
Kerry
that
Obama
needs
for
victory

State
primary
white
vote %
for
Obama

% White
support in
primary for
Obama (of
the total
voter
population)

% of
Clinton
(and
Edwards)
voters
needed
to
convince

GA

34%

37%

43%

15%

-10%

SC

34%

39%

25%

8%

18%

LA

34%

26%

30%

10%

-5%

MS

31%

17%

25%

8%

-11%

AL

31%

52%

28%

9%

34%

 

 

The columns here are a bit wordy, so let me explain my assumptions and calculations.  The first column is a repeat of the final column from the previous table.  The second column simply calculates the % of white voters that supported Kerry that Obama needs to win over.  The third column is Obama’s white vote percentages in the Democratic primary.

 

The fourth column is really important.  I assumed that the pool of white Democratic primary voters roughly maps to the white voters that supported Kerry in ’04.  Using that assumption, we can predict that Obama starts off with 15% of the white vote in Georgia, for example.  In other words, Obama would expect to get 43% of the 34% of white voters that Kerry got.  He only needs 11.49% (as a percentage of the total electorate) of the non-black vote to win, so he already projects to win the state. 

 

The final column represents this percentage as a percentage of the white votes cast for other candidates (Clinton and Edwards) in this year’s primary.  As you can see, Obama already has all the support he needs to win MS, LA and GA.  In South Carolina, Obama needs about 4.14% to win.  That works out to 16% of Clinton’s white voters.  In case it’s not clear, the reason for doing this is because it is unlikely that white support for Obama will come from the pool of white voters that supported George W. Bush.

 

There are basically two assumptions that this model is based on that can be challenged.  First and most obvious are the turnout assumptions.  The second is the assumption that the voters in the Democratic primaries map proportionatel to Kerry voters.  ( I guess one other assumption built into the model worth mentioning is that the state level demographics cited in the beginning are identical to the demographics of the voting age population of each state.  That could swing the numbers in either direction by a couple of points.)

 

In case you’re wondering, even if you’re conservative and assume a 75% turnout among blacks, Obama still needs less than 50% of Clinton supporters to shift to Obama in order for him to win LA, MS and GA.  South Carolina comes in at 33% and Alabama at about 52%.  

 

Even though (with the exception of Georgia) no polling outfit is giving Obama much of a chance in the South (nor for that matter is Obama actively campaigning there), I’m willing to go out on a limb and say that Obama will almost certainly win Mississippi, Louisiana * and Georgia, where the Bob Barr effect will also be at play. Obama has a good shot in South Carolina as well.  Alabama is the only long shot in the group.

 

Another important point is that this demographic tidal wave will probably take down Sen. Chambliss in Georgia, and Sen. Wicker in MS, assuming Obama voters vote for Dems in the down ballot races as well.

 

So to all you Obama supporters in the heart of the old Confederacy, your vote really matters.  If you or someone you know thought you couldn’t paint your state blue this Tuesday, show them this article for motivation.

 

* The demographic breakdown is from 2005, before Hurricane Katrina.  Any changes in the size of the black population as a percentage of the total population of Louisiana would affect Obama’s chances of victory.



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Discussion:
[-] Nice Breakdown - Guest-Jeremy
Very nice breakdown of the demographics of these states. I hope that all the residents of those states see this article, and realize the importance of their vote. Together, we can take our nation back!!
[ Posted at 12:59 PM on 10/31/08 | Reply ]
[-] Exactly - zenprise
Voter apathy is really the only thing that could spoil Obama's chances. And after 8 years of Bush, we have no reason to be apathetic!!!
[ Posted at 3:12 PM on 10/31/08 | Reply ]

I hope you're right.. my projection map won't show these states, but they are based on tradional polls.

[ Posted at 2:16 PM on 10/31/08 | Reply ]
[-] i hope so too - zenprise
but you never know. I think these could be the surprises of the election.
[ Posted at 3:11 PM on 10/31/08 | Reply ]

I say MS and GA are the most likely of the four states as they have less than a 10 point spread in the tradtional polls.

Jason

[ Posted at 3:11 PM on 10/31/08 | Reply ]
I used the traditional polling model along with polling averages to see how Obama is doing. In short, he is overperforming in South Carolina and Georgia, and underperforming by a couple of points in Louisiana and Mississipi.

The model's what matters though.
[ Posted at 3:14 PM on 10/31/08 | Reply ]
lol...
[ Posted at 3:16 PM on 10/31/08 | Reply ]

Zenprise.. what to help me with the final projection map on Monday?

States that I'm not sure on are MT, ND, MO, IN.. and these four.

I don't know if you saw my post, but Ron Paul in on the MT ballot, which could help Obama.

The polls are usally out by 10:00 PT.

Thanks,

Jason

[ Posted at 3:33 PM on 10/31/08 | Reply ]
[-] sure - zenprise
MO, IN and NC are probably true tossups. FL is close behind. I think NV has an Obama lean because of the shift in the Hispanic vote from '04.

If you give 4% to Ron Paul in MT, then the state tilts by less than a point to McCain. ND is around the same, but not because of the Ron Paul effect.

The great thing is none of these states are necessary for victory. You could probably throw AZ in there as well as a tossup. McCain is worried enough about it to devote campaign resources.
[ Posted at 3:44 PM on 10/31/08 | Reply ]
[-] AZ isn't a tossup - zenprise
i think i got a bit carried away there. :) it's a lean McCain, like NV is a lean Obama.
[ Posted at 3:45 PM on 10/31/08 | Reply ]

I just sent a PM to you.. If you want you can let me know what you think of Monday's polls.

Thanks,

Jason

[ Posted at 3:51 PM on 10/31/08 | Reply ]

I just got this e-mail from the Obama campaign asking for a donation:

Jason --

I'm writing to report that we're seeing a surge of support in states we didn't expect to be close contests, including Georgia and North Dakota.

But the latest battleground is a major opportunity:

John McCain's home state of Arizona -- where we go on the air today.

 

Jason

[ Posted at 6:46 PM on 10/31/08 | Reply ]
[-] Compare to Kerry Voters - InfamousWitt
I think it's more relevant to compare Obama's take to Kerry's numbers. I don't know if Clinton's take really projects to Kerry.

I hope you're right though!
[ Posted at 6:56 PM on 10/31/08 | Reply ]
I just saw the early polling numbers in GA, and it looks like blacks account for 35% of the vote. If that number holds, it translates to about an 85% turnout. If Obama gets his proportional share of Kerry votes based on the primary, the state should be his.
[ Posted at 3:06 AM on 11/1/08 | Reply ]
[-] PA - Tesla

I think Obama should have another rally in PA.  Last 3 polls Obama +4, +5, +7

 

[ Posted at 2:38 PM on 11/1/08 | Reply ]
[-] AfroAm turnout will exceed 95% - Guest-jericho4119
People are already lining up for early voting across much of the South and that is giving us data on how the African American population is voting: these numbers are projecting out to close to 100% of the voting eligible population.

You might want to add Vivian Figures to you list of new Senators, as Jeff Sessions will be swept under by a tidal wave of voters. Remember - the "New South" has all of those auto plants from European and Japanese manufacturers and those workers - non-unionized as they are - will still be concerned about the economy and their new jobs to vote for change.
[ Posted at 4:13 PM on 11/1/08 | Reply ]

Thanks.. things are looking good!  Obama back up to an 8 point national lead and has regained ground in PA!  Also Biden will be In PA tomorrow (MON).  Arkansas a possible surprise state?

[ Posted at 11:45 PM on 11/2/08 | Reply ]

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