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Study: One-Word Election Responses Range From ‘Elated’ To ‘Scared’

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Reflecting a slim margin of popular vote victory, a survey reflects people's very polarized one-word responses to the outcome of the 2012 election. (Photo by David McNew/Getty Images)

Reflecting a slim margin of popular vote victory, a survey reflects people’s very polarized one-word responses to the outcome of the 2012 election. (Photo by David McNew/Getty Images)

SEATTLE (CBS SEATTLE) – Reflecting the narrow vote margin between candidates, voters had immediate mixed reactions that ranged from “elated” to “sad” to “scared.”

Voters had a mixed reaction to the outcome of the 2012 presidential election in the hours immediately following Barack Obama’s victory. As a whole, 44 percent of voters overall said they were happy with the outcome, while 43 percent said they were unhappy, according to a Pew Research Center report based on survey data collected by Google Consumer Surveys among a sample of internet users.

Voters were asked for a single word that described their reaction to Obama’s victory.

Obama voters said they were “relieved” and “happy.” A substantial number of Obama voters also mentioned words like “great,” “elated,” “yes” and “good.”

Romney voters generally said they were “disappointed” or “sad” about the election outcome. Romney voters also used the words “disgusted,” “sick,” “horrified” and “scared,” to describe their reaction to Obama’s victory.

The reaction to the election is divided along partisan lines. Fully 90 percent of Obama voters are happy that their candidate won while 88 percent of Romney voters express unhappiness.

In total, 41 percent of those surveyed – including both voters and nonvoters – said they were happy that Obama was reelected president; 37 percent were unhappy and 22 percent were neither. A majority of nonvoters (55 percent) said they were neither happy nor unhappy with the election outcome, while 29 percent said they were happy and 16 percent said they were unhappy.

The Google Consumer Surveys method has the ability to capture reactions from a broadly representative, though non-probability, sample of internet users in a relatively short period of time. Internet users are sampled by selecting a stratified sample of people visiting the websites of a diverse group of more than 80 publishers that allow Google to ask one or two questions of visitors to their site.

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