Here is one giant reason why and how Barack Obama won Indiana — new voters. 13% of voters this year were first time voters participating in their first election. Among this group, Obama beat McCain 67% to 32%. This very lopsided number resulted in Obama beating McCain in Indiana by a total of 125,671 among new voters. Obama won Indiana by just 26,012 votes. His advantage for newly registered voters was enormous.
There were 525,314 total newly registered voters in Indiana this election and 67.8% of those voted. This turnout percentage was higher than the overall turnout percentage of 60.8% (for voting age population, not registered voters). For registered voters, the turnout was 63.4%. Clearly, newly registered voters were more interested and voted in a higher percentage than already registered voters.
What does this prove? Most importantly, it proves that a far superior ground game driven by a superior registration drive can — and will — work, resulting in Indiana voting for a Democratic presidential candidate for the first time since 1964. Obviously, there were many other reasons why Obama won Indiana, but this is one very significant reason why.
2008 marked the first election in a number of years that any political party or candidate made truly serious efforts to grow the electorate — and these efforts paid off in a big way for the President-elect. Future candidates, from any political party, better spend considerable time and effort on these newly registered voters and make serious efforts to increase the electorate with like-minded voters if they want success in the future.
This certainly goes for the business community, too!
Note: You can also find our updated Election Report here.
"Vote Not to Re-elect!": This well stated bumper sticker I saw on a car yesterday summed up the feelings of many voters. People are clearly sick and tired of who we currently have in office, at all levels and of all parties. Incumbents in toss-up or lean districts are vulnerable. Incumbents in safe seats may escape with a victory, but it will unlikely be with the ridiculous margins to which they’ve grown accustomed.
As of today, the Secretary of State is reporting there are 524,405 newly registered voters since the 2006 general election. This is over a half-million people in a state with very little population growth. That means that nearly 12% of voters are newly registered. This is a voting bloc that simply did not exist two years ago, yet it now makes up a significant percentage of voters.
The next question for voters will be something like this, “Do you think a legislator who has served for 34 years needs to go?” The qualifications for those challengers may not be an issue or on the minds of voters, but voters will "Vote Not to Re-elect" in large numbers this year.