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America's Drastic Demographic Changes: November 2004 & May 2006.

Since 2004, the demographics of the American electorate have changed more dramatically than in any point in our nation's history.

Yes, over the course of 18 months, we've seen the following changes (.pdf):

1. There are 13% more Democrats and 4% more Republicans today than in 2004.

Because, after all, Howard Dean and Nancy Pelosi are such great sales(wo)men for their party. And we know that the Democratic Party's ratings have not fallen at all in recent months.

2. There are 9% more atheists/agnostics than in 2004.

Dang. Score one for the secular humanists. I don't know how those guys did it, but they successfully turned off 25-30 million Americans from religion in just 18 months. And here I thought God was alive and well in America. Stupid me.

3. Shockingly, there was a previously-unnoticed baby boom that happened between 18-34 years ago.

Apparently, young people today are more excited about voting than they have ever been, ever. Way to be engaged in the civic process, young people! Rad!

Additionally, in 2004, 24% of voters were 60 and older. Today, 14% are 65 and older. I guess the lack of medical advancements and rising death rate took the lives of a lot more grandparents than anyone realized over the past year and a half.


4. 17% of Americans now make under $20,000 dollars per year, as opposed to 8% in 2004.

Darn, that economy, bringing everyone down. If only more people had jobs, and were earning more, than they did in November 2004. Oh well, maybe someday the economy won't be so awful.

5. 6% less Americans live in rural areas today than did in November of 2004.

Because, as we know, over the past 18 months, there has been a mass exodus of folks, ~15 million souls, from the podunk boondocks to the glorious, vibrant cities, such as New York, Philadelphia, Chicago, and Los Angeles!

6. Since November of 2004, 8% fewer Americans are now white, 5% more Americans are now Latino.

Who knew that so many white folks were moving to other countries, dying at abnormally high rates, and not having any kids at all between 18 and 19.5 years ago, to the tune of 20-25 million lost white people, in just 18 months?

Meanwhile, who knew that we now have ~15 million more American citizens of Hispanic origin than we did in November 2004?

7. Apparently-- and completely unbeknownst to anyone-- the divorce rate spiked over the past 18 months. In November of 2004, 26% more American voters were married than not married. Today, the gap is only 19%.

Not only are ~9 million more Americans not married, ~12 million additional Americans who were married just 18 months ago are now not married.

Bummer for marriage fans.

8. On election day in 2004, 100% of voters were registered to vote. Today, it's 82%. And we know how all those unregistered voters during primary seasons get registered and flock to the polls to vote in mid-term Congressional elections.

9. Over the course of just 18 months, 3% more Americans are high school dropouts and 6% less Americans graduated from college.

Major bummer. I guess education has gone down the tubes in the past 18 months, as well.

This is all shocking stuff, people.

And, if you believe all of that, or even just some of it, that the American electorate really has changed so drastically in just a year and a half, I have some oceanfront property in North Dakota and a 33% presidential approval rating I want to sell you.

After all, we know that:

1. The Democratic Party's ratings are nearly as terrible as the GOP's ratings, even under demographically-challenged polls. While the Democrats' kamikaze-style politics have worked in harming the GOP, their own ratings have-- not surprisingly-- also plummeted.

2. Next, we know that religion is doing just fine in America. If tens of millions of Americans were suddenly disillusioned by religion, I think we'd know about it.

3. Moreover, where is the evidence of young people being engaged in politics at truly unprecedented levels? If anything, 2004 was a blip in the overall trend toward apathy and nonparticipation, and even then, young voters still only made up 17% of the electorate. Eighteen months ago, unfounded fears of an impending military draft drove up youth voter turnout. Today, not so much. If the Democrats/media are counting on a youth tsunami at the polls in 2006, they are in for major disappointment.

While the Medicare Prescription Drug benefit is controversial, and indeed reviled by many conservatives, elderly Americans (who are living longer than ever) seem to like it just fine. Why would elderly folks, who vote religiously (usually for Republicans), not vote this time around? It makes no sense.

4. The economy is rocking, more people do have jobs than in November 2004 and people are earning more money at those jobs. The Associated Press wants us to believe that the percentage of Americans making under 15K per year has gone up from 8% to 12% over the past 18 months, while those making 50-75K has gone down from 23% to 15%, those making 75K to 100K has gone down from 14% to 9%, and those making 100K or more has gone down from 18% to 13%.

Give me a break.

5. We also know that rural/urban/suburban migration is relatively stable, yet, if anything, Americans are moving out of the cities.

6. We know that white people didn't suddenly begin dying, moving away to Canada, or not having kids 18-19.5 years ago, over the past eighteen months. We may very well have more Latinos than we did 18 months ago, but we didn't add almost 1 million per month in that time. Those that we did add are typically not voters.

7. Marriage is doing just fine. The divorce rate did not spike. Sure, young people are waiting longer to get married, but that was already happening eighteen months ago. Over the course of a year and a half, the numbers should not have changed more than a fraction of a percentage point.

8. Sure, some people who are not registered to vote in May do get their act together and register before November. Some states even have same-day registration. But when almost 1/5 of the respondents in a survey are not registered voters, that means the numbers could very well be off by nearly 20%. For the most part, if you aren't registered by now, you won't be registered in the fall. Even if you are registered to vote by election day, the odds of of you voting in a mid-term election are slim, at best.

9. In the course of 18 months, it is nearly impossible for nearly 10 million more Americans to drop out. It's also unfathomable for nearly 20 million college graduates to die or move away over the course of a year and a half.

Bottom line, there have not been any drastic demographic shifts in the American electorate over the past 18 months, thus drastic shifts in survey respondent demographics delegitimize polls. They are just plain bunk. Bunk.

In short, these polls, no matter how much they reflect the genuine discontent in the country (and such discontent does indeed exist), are complete and utter rubbish. Start adjusting the demographics to their proper levels, and you'll start seeing President Bush's approval ratings within striking distance-- still below, but in striking distance-- of where they were in November of 2004.

Much more on this phenomenon at Ankle Biting Pundits blog.

UPDATE: More on the latest rigged poll.

Posted by Will Franklin · 9 May 2006 01:23 PM


Are you saying there are lies, damned lies, and statistics??

Posted by: Ken McCracken at May 9, 2006 04:49 PM

Any poll that doesn't use relevant demographic numbers is worse than worthless. It eventually creates a self-fulfilling prophesy, a bandwagon effect, and people start wanting to be with the in crowd.

Posted by: Will Franklin at May 9, 2006 05:16 PM

whew, scared me!

Posted by: christian at May 10, 2006 09:02 AM

People claim that they are dissatisfied with the economy and Congress because they are disenchanted with Bush. If Bush is even partially responsible for anything, it cannot be good. No Child Left Behind is bad. The economy is bad. War=bad. If Bush cured cancer, world hunger, and got Isreal and Palestine to hug one another, the cure for cancer would make drug companies money, the food we served the world would have too much salt, and the embrace would have forgotten Iran.

So under sample middle-class, oversample minorities, and play demographic games. And wonder why your polls showing Kerry ahead in Ohio and winning the election were invalid. The problem is not the polls, it is that the MSM and the Democrats are believing them, despite these flaws.

Posted by: Justin B at May 10, 2006 03:22 PM