Shifting Voter Support, 2008 to 2012

Which voters’ Presidential preferences changed from 2008 to 2012? That straightforward question is central to making sense of yesterday’s election outcome—and yet it is a deceptively hard question.

For example, consider the results from this year’s exit polls. They indicate that Hispanic voters backed President Obama by a margin of 71 to 27, up from his 67 to 31 victory in 2008. But how much of that shift is due to the changing composition of the Latino electorate, and how much stems from preference changes among Latinos who voted in both elections? [cont.]

Daniel Hopkins, Georgetown (The Monkey Cage)