2012 presidential election voting data by state was obtained from this source.

States were analyzed according to income ratio of top 5% to bottom 20% using this data.

Regressing the ratio (top 5%/bottom fifth) vs. fraction voting for Obama did not uncover a significant correlation:

Regression Analysis: 5%/bot fifth versus Obama

The regression equation is
5%/bot fifth = 10.5 + 3.11 Obama

Predictor    Coef  SE Coef     T      P
Constant   10.496    1.507 6.97 0.000
Obama       3.111    2.992  1.04  0.304

S = 2.50077   R-Sq = 2.2%   R-Sq(adj) = 0.2%

Based on this one cannot conclude that Obama's election results were correlated with income inequality. (NS also regressing vs % voting for Romney) How does this compare to state's racial demographics?

State racial demographic data was obtained from the 2000 census; extracting the ratio of those identifying as "non-hispanic/latino white" to total population (% white).

Using this data, regressed fraction voting for Obama vs % white by state:

Regression Analysis: Obama_1 versus % white

The regression equation is
Obama_1 = 0.740 - 0.334 % white

Predictor      Coef  SE Coef      T      P
Constant    0.73967  0.07075  10.45  0.000
% white    -0.33382  0.09241  -3.61  0.001

S = 0.106100   R-Sq = 21.0%   R-Sq(adj) = 19.4%

In terms of state populations, there was a significant negative correlation between % voting for Obama and % white. A similar opposite) positive correlation was found for % voting for Romney (not shown).






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1 Comment so far

  1. Ed on November 19, 2012 11:05 am

    Nicely done. I think an interesting follow up would be if percent white predicts how whites vote (my understanding is that you were using percent white to predict the overall state vote). For example, the south is solidly republican yet has a high % of non-whites. This is because whites vote as a block, as non-whites do in other areas. Does demographics predict the white voter preferences? I propose such data would be a very strong predictor for middle class and working class voters (Who are most impacted by public school degradation, public good destruction) but not upper income voters who are immune from negative diversity effects.


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