National microtargeting drove youth vote, not Prop. 30

Nov. 10, 2012

By Chris Reed

I have interviewed Tony Quinn for my old radio shows several times and acknowledge he knows way more about California politics than I do. But he is flatly, simply wrong when he writes the following about what brought people to the polls Nov. 6:

“The good news for Republicans is that they are no longer a dying party.  The bad news is that they are dead, and the final dagger into the corpse was the huge turnout of young voters on Tuesday – the exit polls show that 18 to 29 years olds made up 28 percent of the 2012 electorate.  This turnout was vastly different than the Field poll and other analysts anticipated, and it was driven by Proposition 30.”

The higher-than-expected youth vote was a national phenomenon not specific to California. Tony talks about turnout not being what Field anticipated. Nationally, Gallup didn’t have Barack Obama up one single day in the entire last month of its daily tracking poll. Why? It assumed, as did most of us, that the heavy youth turnout of 2008 couldn’t be repeated.

Instead, as The New York Times and others have reported repeatedly over the past year, the Obama camp’s use of behavorial scientists combined with an immense database on tens of millions of voters allowed the campaign to target email and social media pitches to individuals who needed encouragement to make it to the polls.

Sorry, Tony, but you’re just wrong.

More on microtargeting here.

Still more here.

“In politics, the era of big data has arrived.”


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  1. Rex the Wonder Dog!
    Rex the Wonder Dog! 10 November, 2012, 11:12

    Prop 30 may have played a very small role in CA b/c of the CC/CSU and UC cuts, but as a % I bet less than 5% was b/c of Prop 30.

    Reply this comment
  2. Rex the Wonder Dog!
    Rex the Wonder Dog! 10 November, 2012, 11:13

    Large Bay Area counties had 3-1 margins for Prop 30, that is what passed it, it was 2-1 in LA co, by 30% of the votes.

    Reply this comment
  3. Richard deSousa
    Richard deSousa 10 November, 2012, 12:09

    If there is any good news about the youth vote is as they grow older, wiser, and more worldly cynical, they will become more conservative. I speak from my own experiences as I once was liberal and a Democrat. The trials and tribulations of life changes them as it did me. But whether this will save the country from turning liberal and progressive like the western Europeans will remain to be seen.

    Reply this comment
  4. Hondo
    Hondo 10 November, 2012, 14:12

    I’ll say it again, as I did before the election. Romney ran the worst campaign in history. He allowed himself to get bitch slapped all summer long and didn’t really start running adds untill late september in Ohio and Florida. Obama started his trash campaign in late june and didn’t stop till the polls closed.
    Obama was very beatable if you showed up. Romney ran on country club issues and ethics. ‘The deficit is bad’ was the extent of his campaign.
    I remember Hannity trashing Obama for apearing on the Stewart comedy show and Letterman and not facing questions from the press. I’d guess that the Obama polling showed that the Stewart and Letterman shows WERE WHERE THE YOUNG VOTERS WERE.
    You’d have to wonder if Romney threw this election.

    Reply this comment
  5. SeeSaw
    SeeSaw 10 November, 2012, 18:23

    I think one thing that turned for Prop. 30, was the people of CA that care about CA and its people waking up and learning about the millions being poured into the anti-prop 30 and pro. prop. 32 campaigns by the Mungers and their other ilk. The eleven million dollars from AZ was another nail in the coffin for the anit-prop 30 crowd. I hope the money launderers from the east are criminally charged.

    Prop. 30 was an issue only for CA–there were many issues in the other states that were more important to those folks–like Gay marriage and marijuana legalization, which were probably more youth driven than our issue.

    John and Ken, I hope you are reading this, and I hope you are choking on that fried Crow by now! I hope you had Tim Conway Jr. to dinner too.

    Reply this comment
  6. Queeg
    Queeg 10 November, 2012, 21:55

    Repubs got whacked due to no street work in colleges, minority neighborhoods and social media.

    Repubs never get their hands dirty!

    Rich candidates rule in primaries…..daff and no empathy will little people.

    Reply this comment
  7. Rex the Wonder Dog!
    Rex the Wonder Dog! 11 November, 2012, 00:16

    I think one thing that turned for Prop. 30, was the people of CA that care about CA
    NO, what turned 30 aroubnd was $75 MILLION of trougher money. Seesaw, you crack me up 🙂

    Reply this comment
  8. Sean Morham
    Sean Morham 11 November, 2012, 05:39

    Retired “public servants” will be food.

    Reply this comment
  9. econprof
    econprof 11 November, 2012, 06:54

    Today’s young people get indoctrinated in four years of college (or five or six), and come out far more liberal than they were when they entered. Obama’s pushing of college for everyone is part of the effort to “fundamentally transform America” is working, and is cementing their grip on America’s minds. Colleges no longer teach all sides of issues, conservatives are shouted down and intimidated, and political correctness reigns.

    Reply this comment
  10. SeeSaw
    SeeSaw 11 November, 2012, 09:53

    The “trougher” money was collective money, from many middle class citzens and workers, Rex. The other money was from very wealthy individuals and super pacs, like the secret non-profit group from AZ. The Mungers alone put in 80+ million to fight Prop. 30 and Pass Prop. 32. Get a clue Rex–you are on the wrong side.

    And for the rest, stop referring to the Governor as, “senile”–he’s “senile” alright–senile as a fox.

    I will wait while the State AG prepares criminal charges against those that laundered their money through that non-profit in AZ.

    Reply this comment
  11. SeeSaw
    SeeSaw 11 November, 2012, 09:58

    Its not called, “Education” for nothing, econprof. If you want to be a strict conservative, go to a strictly conservative school, where you will be sure to get only one side–and there are plenty.

    Reply this comment

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