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Why did Bush win? Grose weighs in…

William Dalsen

President Bush won the recent election by making sizable gains in support from key demographic categories, according to a preliminary analysis by government professor Christian Grose. Grose presented his remarks at an informal meeting of the Government Club this past Tuesday.
Grose looked to exit polls to substantiate his point, and some of the results were somewhat surprising. Normally, voters who have little education or graduate degrees support the Democratic candidate handedly; but in the recent election, Kerry received only 50 percent of the vote from individuals with no high school education, while Bush received 49 percent, a 10 percent gain in support from the 2000 election. Bush also made important gains among women voters both nationally and in Wisconsin, increasing his support by 3 percent here and 5 percent nationwide.
Also surprising was the large increase in Bush support from the Latino population. While Kerry still won a majority of the Latino vote, with 53 percent, Bush still managed to have 44 percent of Latinos support him, a 9 percent gain from the 2000 election. Voters in different age groups also generally provided increased support for Bush. The only age group to support Kerry nationally was the 18-29 year-olds, and Bush made a 7 percent gain among voters aged 60 and over.
Some of the statistics were consistent with earlier elections. Generally, voters with lower incomes supported Kerry, while those with higher incomes supported Bush. Evangelicals and frequent churchgoers heavily supported Bush, while voters who infrequently or never attend church supported Kerry. Kerry received support from voters who identified the most important issue in the election has the Iraq war or the economy, while Bush received support from voters who identified moral issues or terrorism as their key concerns.
Nationally, the “red” and “blue” states did not change from 2000, with the sole exception of New Hampshire. The most recent election results will place 55 Republicans and 44 Democrats in the Senate-a gain of four seats for the Republicans-and 231 Republicans, 200 Democrats, and one Independent in the House-also a gain of four seats for the Republicans.