Green Room

How many tea-party supporters voted for Obama?

posted at 1:05 pm on November 10, 2012 by

A footnote from the national exit poll that I missed earlier this week. Note to the 11 percent: You’re doing it wrong.

Reuters/Ipsos conducted its own exit poll, based on a massive sample of 40,000 people, and got basically the same result — 12 percent of those who “identify strongly” with the tea party pulled the lever for four more years.

One other detail from the Reuters poll, possibly related, possibly not:

Voters who switched from Republican John McCain in 2008 to Obama in 2012 said their choice was based on which candidate “cares about people like me.” That suggests the Obama campaign may have been successful in painting Romney, a wealthy businessman, as out of touch with average voters, particularly after his leaked remarks about the “47 percent” he said he would not “worry about.”

That squares with Sean Trende’s theory that lots of working-class white voters who were otherwise gettable ended up staying home due to alienation from Romney. A few of them may have been so alienated that they turned out but voted for O. Could help explain the wayward tea partiers here.

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