Mike Berman’s Washington Watch

October 26, 2012 11:55 AM

Who Will Come

Voting has begun in 29 of the 50 States.

Keep in mind that the efficacy of likely voter samples is dependent on the “likely voter” model that each poll uses in determining which respondents to be treated as likely voters.

Gallup’s analysis of likely voter information collected since October 1st suggests a 2012 electorate that looks a lot like 2008. (2008 data is based on the final pre-2008 Gallup survey.)

However, one demographic that appears to be different is self-identification as a Republican, Democrat or Independent.

  Democrat Republican Independent
2012 35% 36% 29%
2008 39 29 31

  Democrat/Lean Democrat Republican/Lean Republican
2012 46% 49%
2008 54 42

When identifying “likely voters,” the NBC/WSJ survey looks at three pieces of data. The survey uses a ten-point scale reflecting interest in the election, voting history, and the age of the respondent.

Using only the ten-point scale, on which a score of 10 or 9 is treated as sufficient interest in the election to make a person likely to vote, here is a look at potential voter interest in 2012, 2008 and 2004 at roughly the same time in the election season.

The interest of men and women generally is about where it was in 2008 and relatively close to 2004. However, there are substantial differences in a number of other categories.

Romney voters show roughly the same level of interest as did McCain and Bush voters in the two previous elections. However, the interest of Obama voters in 2012 is running 18 points behind Obama voters in 2008 and 14 points below Kerry voters in 2004.

The interest of those 65 years of age and older is running just about exactly where it was running in 2008 and 2004. However, among 18-34 year olds interest is running 23 points behind 2008 and 14 points behind 2004.

The other substantial disparity is found among Hispanics whose interest is running 20 points behind 2008.

Percentage scoring a 9 or 10 on the question of their interest in the election

10/20/2012 Registered Voters Obama Voters Romney Voters Men Women 18-34 yrs 65+ yrs Hispanics
  77 73 84 76 77 60 88 68
10/5/2008   Obama Voters McCain Voters          
  79 91 85 79 78 83 89 88
10/18/2004   Kerry Voters Bush Voters          
  82 87 84 83 81 74 89  

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