The mainstream media and pundits are pinning the blame for Democrats’ historic losses in the midterm elections on young voters and minorities.
While journalists and talking-heads are entitled to their own opinions, they are not entitled to their own facts. Fact is, comparing 2010 to 2008 is like comparing apples and oranges. Turnout is always higher for a presidential election than for midterm elections.
In a midterm election, turnout is lower for all groups. This salient point was noted parenthetically by the Washington Post’s Dan Balz:
The percentage of the electorate is used as a measure because turnout is always smaller in congressional elections than in presidential elections, for all groups.
Exit polls show that turnout among young voters, African Americans and Latinos was virtually unchanged from the last midterm election.
The Center for Information & Research on Civic Learning and Engagement reports that youth turnout was 20.4 percent, compared to 23 percent in 2006.
The Pew Hispanic Center reports that Latinos represented 8 percent of all voters, again, unchanged from 2006.
African American voters represented 10 percent of the electorate, virtually unchanged from 2006. Blacks gave 90 percent of their votes to Democrats.
The Census Bureau reported that more than 96 million people, including 9,937,000 million African Americans, voted in the 2006 midterm election. The black share of the electorate was roughly 10 percent.
The blame for Democrats’ “shellacking” rightly falls on Democrats who didn’t listen to the American people. They forgot that they work for us and their contracts can be terminated at will every two or six years.
If Democrats want to pin their losses on someone other than themselves, then blame white women, seniors and independents. According to CNN exit polls, Democratic candidates received only 37 percent of the white vote.
Seniors and independents kicked Democrats to the curb. The Associated Press reported:
Exit polls of voters in the congressional elections show the damage Democrats must repair - 56 percent of independents and 59 percent of seniors voted for Republican House candidates, with each delivering decisive margins of roughly 20 percentage points for the GOP.
The bottom line: The demographic makeup of the electorate was unchanged from 2006, the last midterm election.
Facts are stubborn things.