Group Support and Group Shifts

11/18/2008 01:37 pm ET | Updated May 25, 2011

ShiftChart.pngHere is another way to consider the structure and change in group support for candidates in 2008.   The horizontal axis shows the group's vote margin in 2004 (Kerry minus Bush). The vertical axis shows how much the margin CHANGED between 2004 and 2008. The general upward movement of almost all points shows how widespread Democratic gains were, with only three groups moving down (below zero on the vertical axis.) 

The colors show 2008 winners. Groups to the left of the vertical reference line at zero that are blue switched winner from 2004 to 2008. All red groups also voted Republican in 2004, but most reduced the Republican margin.

Biggest Dem gains: Income over $200k, first time voters, Latinos, high school education only and age 18-29.  The only three decreasing Dem groups were small towns and late deciders (though the late deciders still gave a majority to Obama.) And gays dropped their Dem support the most, by over 10 points though still favored Obama by a substantial margin. Fair warning that with only 4% of the national exit poll identifying themselves as gay/lesbian/bisexual/transgendered the sampling error here is pretty large.

While the labels are hard to read, a careful look replays some study. Click on the graph for a large size version.