Values and Voting

By no means do I plan to give a full report or analysis on the results of values or demographics of the 2012 election, I do want to share a few interesting observations that were made on Tuesday.

First, Gender Matters: Men went for Romney 52% to 45% for Obama. Women went to Obama 55% to 44% for Romney.

But if you go a little bit deeper, you can say that Marriage Matters: Married women went to Romney 53% to 46% for Obama. Non-Married women voted for Obama in an overwhelming majority with 67% versus 31% for Romney.

While in some senses this might just be a result of the youth demographic, the under 30 voters, which Obama won by 23%, there is something to be said about a difference in values for married versus single voters.

A final area of interest that I want to highlight is that Theological Convictions matter: White Roman Catholics voted for Romney 59% to 40%. Among White Evangelicals the numbers were even higher at 78% for Romney and 21% for Obama. Yet, among those who declare “no religious affiliation” Obama won 70% of the vote and 26% for Romney.

These are just a few of the observations that have emerged and certainly there is deeper analysis to be made, but they help to illustrate some of the areas of division between voters.

For political strategists, particularly in the Republican party, there are some major trends that can’t be overlooked if you are aiming to win elections (E.g.: This from the Washington Post). The challenge is how to broaden your voting base and express individual values that cross traditional demographic barriers. This is something that needs to be done and, if the values espoused truly are for the good of all, can be and needs to be done.

There is lots more that can be expressed on this but hopefully this will be a helpful starting point.

If you are looking for a full report on values and the election look for more from Brookings and the Public Religion Research Institute coming soon:

2012 Post-Election American Values Survey: Analyzing the Election and Looking ahead to the Budget Showdown