At Redstate, CNN commentator and major Republican party figure Erick Erickson is lecturing Republican donors on how, according to Erickson, they got ripped off by Republican consultants, and they should instead listen to him. He breaks down the numbers, with a dollop of arrogant condescension:
To understand Gravity, you rich donors need a basic primer. You may think you know this stuff, but I bet you really don’t. Let me break it down for you.
Of the 100% of Americans who exist, about 66% are eligible to vote. These are all rough estimates.
40% are actually registered to vote.
25% of the total American population will probably, actually go vote.
Therefore, a candidate needs 13% of the population to win.
But, and this is a big but, of the 25% of the population that can and does vote, 9% will vote straight Democrat usually and 8% will vote straight Republican.
That leaves 8% left.
2% of that 8% of people will be single issue voters. Of that 2%, most of the single issue voters will tilt slightly to the GOP on issues of guns or abortion, but there are also single issue pro-choice voters, single issue anti-gun voters, single issue gay rights voters, etc.
That all leaves 6% of the population. In other words, to win an election, a candidate must really get 4% of the population to support him because that is the majority of the undecided 6%. A Republican must get a bit more, but then can draw from single issue voters a bit more than Democrats.
Those percentages are the foundation of the data. But the data is more complicated than that. [Emphasis gleefully added]
There’s evidence that the GOP’s pollsters and targeting people were delusional and/or dumb. Looks like Erickson is even dumber. The US population is estimated to be 311 million. Look at his calculations:
|Erickson’s Numbers||Actual Results|
|Percentage of American Population to Vote||25%||40%|
|Total Vote, Erickson Figures vs Actual as of 11-26-2012||78 million||127 million|
|Percentage of Americans Whose Votes Are Needed to Win vs Obama’s Percentage for 3-4 point win||13%||21%|
|Winning vote, Erickson Figures vs Actual as of 11-26-2012||40 million||65 million|
Erickson brought up voting eligible population and percentage of the VEP registered to vote. He’s pretty close in his estimate of the VEP. Could the subsequent estimates have been intended as percentages of the VEP and not total population? Sure, but that would make his estimates even more inaccurate, as the raw numbers would be calculated as a percentage of 220 million instead of 311 million.
The best part of this is Erickson telling donors “you may think you know this stuff, but I bet you really don’t.” I hope those conservative donors memorize his lessons.