Demographics of GOP voters shows Palin's challenge

Sarah Palin in Savannah, Georgia, Dec 1, 2008 ...Image via Wikipedia
Nate Silver, NY Times:

Sarah Palin, the former Alaska governor, is among the more natural populist politicians of our time, frequently critiquing elites in the press, the Democratic Party, and the Republican establishment. It is one of the reasons — along with her working-class background and the sense of authenticity that she can often convey — that she is so popular with some voters.

One potential problem for Ms. Palin, however, is that plenty of well-to-do and well-educated voters — those whom we might think of as belonging to the elite — will be participating in the Republican primaries.

Three recent surveys of Republican primary voters suggest significant divides in support for Ms. Palin based on the educational attainment of the voter. A poll released this morning by Marist College show Ms. Palin as the first choice of 17 percent of Republicans who have not graduated from college, giving her a slight lead among that group. But her support is just 7 percent among Republican college graduates, which placed her fifth behind Mitt Romney, Mike Huckabee, Newt Gingirch and Chris Christie.


Nevertheless, all else being equal, a candidate would usually prefer to do better among higher-status voters, because they vote more reliably in Presidential primaries. According to exit polls in 2008, for instance, the fraction of Republican primary voters who make at least $50,000 per year was 75 percent in New Hampshire, 74 percent in Nevada and Texas, 72 percent in California and South Carolina, and 71 percent in Florida. It was somewhat lower, between 62 and 68 percent, in three key Midwestern states — Iowa, Michigan and Ohio — in which Ms. Palin will probably have to perform well to have a realistic shot at winning the nomination.
Among this groups of voters Romney does best. But when all of them are mushed together it is a very tight race right now, and Palin will probably inspire a bigger turnout of the demographic that favor her. In other words she is going to be getting the votes of many who have not voted in Republican primaries in the past.

The question should she win the nomination will be whether those "elites" will turnout to vote for her or against Obama in a general election. I think there will be a lot of votes against Obama in 2012,
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