Making sense of the 2012 presidential election

In making sense of the 2012 elections, U-M political scientists came to the same conclusion about what led to President Obama’s victory: race and gender affected which candidate voters chose.

Donald Kinder, Vincent Hutchings and Michael Traugott

From left: Donald Kinder, Vincent Hutchings and Michael Traugott. Photo by Eva Menezes.

Less than 24 hours after most ballots were counted – except for Florida – Vincent Hutchings, Donald Kinder and Michael Traugott offered their election analysis during a Wednesday panel at the U-M Institute for Social Research.

Most national polls accurately predicted a close U.S. presidential race. However, until the final few weeks before the elections, it was unclear how race and gender would affect the outcome. Exit polls showed several results that could impact future elections, especially for the Republican Party, the experts said. Continue reading