Download PDF * Late deciders: In 2008, 4 percent of voters did not decide which presidential candidate to support until Election Day – and they preferred Obama over McCain. We explore how late deciders have cast their vote since 1984.
* Demographic groups: In this issue, we examine how two dozen groups have voted in presidential elections going back to 1974. Some of the highlights:
* Starting in 1980, more women than men have voted for the Democratic presidential candidate. In recent years, women have made up a larger share of the electorate than men.
* Since 1984, married voters have supported the Republican candidate more than voters who are not married.
* Those who identify as independents have sided with the winning candidate in each of the past ten elections except in 1976 and 2004. In 2008, they were 29 percent of all voters.
* In 1972, union households voted narrowly for Richard Nixon, but these households have voted for Democratic candidates ever since. In 2008, they were about a quarter of the electorate.
* ID laws: Most polls show that large majorities of Americans support voter identification requirements. While Pennsylvania’s voter ID law won’t be enforced in this election, 64 percent of Pennsylvanians supported it in a recent Philadelphia Inquirer poll.