2016 Election

Polling and Analyses

Frederick Weil, LSU


Guide to this page

I'm putting most of the election articles on a Facebook page: Polit Soc. This will be easier for me than editing the html on this page, and it will let you click through to links that may otherwise be restricted. You can subscribe to it, "like" it, or "friend" it, and then you'll see new stories on your own Facebook newsfeed. (And if you know how to run Facebook pages, I'm always happy for advice on how to do it better!)

The present page will have mostly links to information sources (polling sites, news analysis sites, methods sites) and some links from past elections that are still informative.

(Note: Some of the sections have materials carried over from previous elections; and given how the web works, there could be dead links. If you find one, pls let me know!)

Students in my "Political Sociology" class: As you read this material, watch for 4 important factors:

  1. Which candidate do the different social groups support (age, gender, religion, race, region, party loyalists, etc., etc.)? Plus how big is each group?
  2. What percentage of each group actually votes: what's their turnout? How good is each campaign's "ground game" of getting out the vote?
  3. How do the different issues play? Which issue helps which candidate, which social groups respond to which issues, and how do the campaigns maneuver to bring "their" issues to the forefront?
  4. Are the polls giving us accurate readings of voter preferences and turnout? There are various factors that may distort their accuracy.

Final 2016 Exit Polls and Election Maps

Dramatic change in the New York Times' election model forecast as election night wore on. Indicates how surprising the results were to most political professionals.

  • General Election
    • CNN exit polls: here
    • Fox News exit polls: here

  • Primaries
    • CNN exit polls for the Primaries, state by state: here
    • The Lens maps of Louisiana Primaries voting: here. Some of the maps:

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Post-Election Analyses

Highlights from the Facebook page: Polit Soc.
(If some of them don't open from these links,
try the links on the Facebook page.)

  • Coming

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General Sources of Polling & Analysis

  • Election maps (Final maps won't be available till after the election. 2012 maps for now.)

  • RealClearPolitics - Links to current political news and analyses, plus polling horse race, nationally and in battleground states.

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Basic Press Sites

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Other Sites that Synthesize available polling
... and some of them try to predict the Electoral College Vote outcome

  • Electoral-vote.com - President, Senate, House Updated Daily
  • PredictWise - aggregates, analyzes, and creates predictions, by David M. Rothschild of Microsoft and Andrew S. Leonard.

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Problems & Debates about Polling Accuracy

  • FiveThirtyEight, August 25, 2014, Is The Polling Industry In Stasis Or In Crisis? Essay on polling accuracy by one of the top analysts, Nate Silver of FiveThirtyEight.
  • Pew, July 28, 2014, Q/A: What the New York Times' polling decision means. The New York Times and CBS News made big news in the polling world this weekend when they announced that they will begin using online survey panels from YouGov as part of their election coverage. YouGov, a U.K.-based research firm founded in 2000, uses such panels rather than traditional telephone surveys; the panel the Times and CBS are using has more than 100,000 members. The Times, citing concerns about the dearth of high-quality, non-partisan survey data, particularly at the state level, says it plans to include YouGov results as part of "a diverse suite of surveys employing diverse methodologies." While panels have long been used by market researchers, they're relatively new in the opinion-research field, and views on them are sharply divided. We asked Scott Keeter, the Pew Research Center's director of survey research, to explain the issues at stake and give us his preliminary thoughts.
  • NY Times, August 5, 2012, Political Pollsters Struggle to Get the Right Cell Number. Analysts are tweaking methods to better include the views of voters who only have cellphones: some hang up on those who also have landlines, others turn to the Internet. For all you polling geeks (like me) ...
  • Gallup, October 4, 2010, Understanding Gallup's Likely Voter Models. Since 1950, Gallup has used likely voter models to identify Americans who are most likely to vote in a coming election. These models involve asking poll respondents a series of questions about their interest in the coming election, their past voting behavior, and their current intention to vote in the election.
  • Pollster/Mark Blumenthal, 10-5-10, 'Likely' Voters: How Pollsters Define And Choose Them. We have seen the "likely voter" polling problem rear its head several times in recent weeks, but few examples have been as vivid as three national surveys released in the last 24 hours.
  • FiveThirtyEight - Nate Silver started his meta-analysis site in 2008. The New York Times now presents it.
    • October 14, 2010, Bypassed Cellphones: Biased Polls? On Wednesday, Pew Research issued a study suggesting that the failure to include cellphones in a survey sample — and most pollsters don’t include them — may bias the results against Democrats. Pew has addressed this subject a number of times before, and in their view, the problem seems to be worsening. Indeed, this is about what you might expect, since the fraction of voters who rely on cellphones is steadily increasing: about 25 percent of the adult population now has no landline phone installed at all. Clearly, this is a major problem in survey research — and one that, sooner or later, every polling firm is going to have to wrestle with. What isn’t as clear is how much of a problem it is right now. I have written about this in the past, and I encourage you to review those articles. But let me try and come at it from a couple of fresh directions.
    • October 4, 2010, The Uncanny Accuracy of Polling Averages*, Part IV: Are the Polls Getting Worse? There is another type of argument, however, that is potentially more troubling. It could be that, irrespective of the character of this political cycle, polling itself is in decline. This is a widely held view among political elites and many polling professionals — and quite a few of the readers of this blog, I might add.
    • October 3, 2010, The Uncanny Accuracy of Polling Averages*, Part III: This Time, It’s Different? In Part III, we take up one type of critique that I encounter frequently — that 2010 is an unusual political cycle, and that its idiosyncrasies may render the polling less accurate. While this is not an unreasonable hypothesis, we found it does not have any grounding in the evidence: the polls have done no worse in “unusual” political cycles like 1992, nor in “wave” years like 1994 and 2006, than in routine-seeming ones like 1996 and 1998.
    • September 30, 2010, The Uncanny Accuracy of Polling Averages*, Part II: What the Numbers Say. In Part II, I demonstrated, by contrast, that a simple average of polls has performed very well over the past six election cycles in determining the winner of the contest. For example, Senate and gubernatorial candidates who have trailed by 6 to 9 points in the polling average with a month to go until the election have won their races only about 10 percent of the time in recent years.
    • September 29, 2010, The Uncanny Accuracy of Polling Averages*, Part I: Why You Can’t Trust Your Gut. In Part I, I explored why our intuition may mislead us when it comes to forecasting the outcomes of elections — for a variety of reasons, we may tend to assume that there is more uncertainty in the forecast than there really is.

  • ABC/Gary Langer, The Numbers, A Run at the Latest Data from ABC's Poobah of Polling, Gary Langer

    • ABC/Gary Langer, August 30, 2010, This I Believe. It’s quickly mushroomed into the summer’s hottest data point: A boatload of Americans believe Barack Obama’s a Muslim. Except that, maybe, they don’t. Consider this instead: They’re just willing to say it. This not-so-subtle difference is useful in understanding public opinion and its measurement. Yet the punditry and pronouncements that have followed the Obama/Muslim numbers mainly have missed the point, falling instead into the trap of literalism. They say, so they believe. Not necessarily so. People in fact may voice an attitude not as an affirmed belief – a statement of perceived factual reality – but rather as what my colleagues and I have taken to calling “expressed belief” – a statement intended to send a message, not claim a known fact.

  • See the big section in our 2008 election page, here,

    • Some methodological statements from Gallup (their methods are typical of industry standards)

    • Debate on factors that may distort polling's accuracy

    • The "Bradley Effect" - do survey respondents lie about race?

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The "Ground Game:" Turning out the Vote
Plus: Defense against Voter Fraud & Vote Suppression

  • NYT, August 25, 2010, Shaping Tea Party Passion Into Campaign Force, By KATE ZERNIKE. On a Saturday in August when most of the political class has escaped this city’s swelter, 50 Tea Party leaders have flown in from across the country to jam into a conference room in an office building on Pennsylvania Avenue, apparently unconcerned that the fancy address does not guarantee air-conditioning on weekends. They have come to learn how to take over the country, voter by voter. ...This is a three-day “boot camp” at FreedomWorks, the Washington advocacy group that has done more than any other organization to build the Tea Party movement. ...The goal is to turn local Tea Party groups into a standing get-out-the-vote operation in Congressional districts across the country.
  • WP 8/23/10. Primary turnout shows big GOP enthusiasm edge. By Aaron Blake.Three-quarters of the way through the 2010 primary season, the so-called "enthusiasm gap" appears to be playing out across the country with turnout in GOP contests exceeding previous highs and beating Democratic turnout by unprecedented margins in many targeted states.
Background on Karl Rove's successful "Ground Game"
that worked for George W. Bush ... until it didn't

    The Hamburger/Wallsten Explanation
    of the Rove/Bush Strategy

    • "One Party Country: The Republican Plan For Dominance in the 21st Century" at Amazon
    • A September 28, 2006 article in Harpers (here) tries to answer these questions:
      1. The G.O.P. still raises more money than the Democrats, but the Democrats are hardly short of cash. How significant is the G.O.P. advantage in terms of sheer dollars? Are they simply raising more money, or are they also doing a better job of spending it?
      2. How successful has the G.O.P. been in eating away at Democratic support among core constituencies like African Americans and Hispanics?
      3. You say that Republicans have surpassed the Democrats in mobilizing their voters on election day, in part by using databases such as Voter Vault, which allows party activists to track voters by personal hobbies, professional interests, and even by their favorite brand of soda. How does that bank of personal data translate into an advantage on election day? Are Democrats responding with similar programs of their own?
      4. Whatever structural advantages the Republicans have, hasn't the G.O.P. also sought to gain an electoral advantage by suppressing Democratic turnout? How significant are those efforts on the part of the G.O.P., and are we likely to see new and improved methods down the road?
      5. Republicans would no doubt argue that their policies and ideology are simply more popular with the public than Democratic policies. Do ideas still play a role in electoral success or is it all about money and organization?
    • Diane Rehm show, 27 July 2006, here
    • Fresh Air with Terry Gross, July 24, 2006, here
    • BuzzFlash, 08/28/2006, here
  • NYT, November 15, 2005. By Jim Rutenberg, Voter Profiles for Bloomberg Went Beyond Ethnic Labels. Throughout this year's mayoral campaign, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg's spending records included something called "voter list development." It looked ominous to Democrats - especially as Mr. Bloomberg poured millions into it. Lists like this usually include voters' personal data - the magazines they buy, the cars they drive, their political affiliations. But as the cost of compiling Mr. Bloomberg's list inched up toward $10 million, not even aides to President Bush, who perfected this sort of voter identification last year, could figure out where the money was going.
  • Los Angeles Times July 24, 2005. By Tom Hamburger and Peter Wallsten, Parties Are Tracking Your Habits. Though both Democrats and Republicans collect personal information, the GOP's mastery of data is changing the very nature of campaigning. COLUMBUS, Ohio — At first glance, Felicia Hill seems to fit the profile of a loyal Democrat: She is African American, married to a General Motors union worker and voted for Dukakis, Clinton and Gore in past presidential elections. But in the weeks before election day 2004, the suburban mother of two was deluged with telephone calls, invitations and specially targeted mailings urging her to support President Bush. The intense Republican courtship of Hill, 39, was no coincidence. A deeper look at her lifestyle and politics reveals a voter who might be persuaded to switch sides. Among the clues: she is a church member uneasy about abortion; she lives in a growing suburb and she sent her children to a private school. ...For the first time, she sees the GOP as a place where black women can be comfortable. "I saw people I could relate to," she said, describing conversations she had with Republican professional women during telephone outreach calls and at party events. ...Hill and millions of other would-be Bush backers in closely contested states were identified by a GOP database that culled information ranging from the political basics, like party registration, to the personal, such as the cars they drive, the drinks they buy, even the features they order on their phone lines. The "micro-targeting" effort was so effective that the party credited it with helping to secure Bush's reelection.
  • NYT, December 6, 2004. By Katharine Q. Seelye, How to Sell a Candidate to a Porsche-Driving, Leno-Loving Nascar Fan. After the 2000 presidential campaign, strategists for President Bush came to a startling realization: Democrats watch more television than Republicans. So by buying millions of dollars' worth of television advertising time, Republicans were spending their money on audiences that tended to vote Democratic. What to do? With the luxury of four years until the next election, the Bush team examined voters' television-viewing habits and cross-referenced them with surveys of voters' political and lifestyle preferences. This led to an unusual step for a presidential campaign: it cut the proportion of money that it put into broadcast television and diverted more to niche cable channels and radio, where it could more precisely reach its target audience.
  • NYT, November 19, 2004. By Adam Nagourney, Bush Campaign Manager Views the Electoral Divide. After two years of polling, market testing and up-close demographic scrutiny of American voters, the manager of President Bush's re-election campaign, Ken Mehlman, offered another way Thursday to view the divide between the American electorate. "If you drive a Volvo and you do yoga, you are pretty much a Democrat," Mr. Mehlman told an assembly of the nation's Republican governors here. "If you drive a Lincoln or a BMW and you own a gun, you're voting for George Bush." ...Rather than dispatching troops to knock on doors in neighborhoods known to be heavily Republican, Mr. Mehlman said, the Bush campaign studied consumer habits in trying to predict whom people would vote for in a presidential election. "We did what Visa did," Mr. Mehlman said. "We acquired a lot of consumer data. What magazine do you subscribe to? Do you own a gun? How often do the folks go to church? Where do you send your kids to school? Are you married? "Based on that, we were able to develop an exact kind of consumer model that corporate America does every day to predict how people vote - not based on where they live but how they live," he said. "That was critically important to our success."
  • Washington Post, November 7, 2004. By Dan Balz and Mike Allen, Four More Years Attributed to Rove's Strategy. Despite Moments of Doubt, Adviser's Planning Paid Off. Admired, disparaged, respected and feared, [Karl] Rove joins an elite cadre of political strategists who can claim two presidential victories. Bush's adviser can now look toward the goal he has pursued since he was an obscure direct-mail specialist in Texas: the creation of a durable Republican majority in Washington and across the country.
  • Washington Post, November 4, 2004. By John F. Harris, Victory Bears Out Emphasis on Values. GOP Tactics Aimed At Cultural Divide. ...The results appeared to validate several of the pet theories of [GOP campaign director Karl] Rove, including his belief that politics is as much science as art. Presidential stops in swing states, and the route of campaign bus trips, rarely included the largest cities. That was because Rove chose them scientifically, using three criteria that he explained to reporters in the waning days of the campaign. Rove said his targets were areas where Bush had underperformed in 2000, whether Republican or Democratic, and where the campaign's target for votes was higher than the number that showed up. Second were fast-growing exurban areas or Republican places where there were a large number of people who ought to register to vote and do not -- what Rove calls "a large gap between participation and potential." Third, he said, he paid attention to areas "that have a significant number of swing voters, and swing wildly from election to election."
  • NYT, November 4, 2004. By Elisabeth Bumiller, Turnout Effort and Kerry, Too, Were G.O.P.'s Keys to Victory. In the closing hours of President Bush's campaign for re-election, Karl Rove, his chief political adviser, was obsessed with turning out Republican votes. Late on Monday night, Mr. Rove stood in the cold at a rally in Albuquerque and pulled scraps of paper from his pocket covered with numbers that reassured him that his ground army was in full assault.
  • NYT, July 18, 2004. By Jim Rutenberg, Campaigns Use TV Preferences to Find Voters. When deciding where to run his television advertisements, President Bush is much more partial than Senator John Kerry to crime shows like "Cops," "Law & Order" and "JAG." Mr. Kerry leans more to lighter fare, like "Judge Judy," "The Ellen DeGeneres Show" and "Late Show with David Letterman." Those choices do not reflect either man's taste in television, but critical differences in the advertising strategies of their campaigns, which are spending more money for commercials than any other campaigns in presidential history. Crime shows appeal to the Bush campaign because of its interest in reaching out to Republican men who are attracted to such programming. By contrast, the Kerry campaign is more interested in concentrating on single women, who tend to be drawn to shows with softer themes.
  • NYT, April 7, 2004. By Joyce Purnick, Data Churners Try to Pinpoint Voters' Politics. There's this great story making the Washington political rounds about the Conservative Party in Britain. It is that fund-raisers in London found a strong correlation between Conservative Party donors and people who buy garden bulbs by mail. Far-fetched? Maybe not, because people who plant spring bulbs tend to be more suburban and rural than urban, more wealthy than poor and, with time to garden, older. Hence, a likely Conservative, right?
  • NYT, April 6, 2004. By Joyce Purnick, Foraging For Votes: One-Doorbell-One-Vote Tactic Re-emerges in Bush-Kerry Race. They call it the ground war. And as anticipated, it is back after a long hiatus, subtly changing politics as we know it. Or trying to. After decades of playing poor relation to television advertising, grass-roots politics has become a campaign star this year, as many political pros predicted it would be in the aftermath of the Bush-Gore face-off of 2000. And today it ranges from old-fashioned shoe leather to Web technology that can make a precinct captain of anyone with a computer.
  • Washington Post, November 10, 2002. In GOP Win, a Lesson in Money, Muscle, Planning. [Karl] Rove, [Rep. Tom] DeLay and others concluded that Republicans had lost the turnout battle in recent elections by focusing too much on paid advertising and too little on the ground war that Democratic allies such as the AFL-CIO do so well: getting potential voters to the polls. Beginning in early 2001, the party registered thousands of new Republican voters, particularly in fast-growing states. It invested heavily in a program, dubbed the "72-hour project," that would later help spur record turnout in key regions. The Republican National Committee spent millions of dollars honing a system to identify voters, down to specific households, and contact them repeatedly with phone calls, mail and visits from party activists.

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Analyses of Turnout

  • United States Elections Project - Michael P. McDonald at George Mason University: includes information and analysis of turnout.
    • Voter turnout rates presented here show that the much-lamented decline in voter participation is an artifact of poor measurement. Previously, turnout rates were calculated by dividing the number of votes by what is called the "voting-age population" which consists of everyone age 18 and older residing in the United States (the yellow line to the right). This includes persons ineligible to vote, mainly non-citizens and ineligible felons, and excludes overseas eligible voters. When turnout rates are calculated for those eligible to vote, a new picture of turnout emerges, which exhibits no decline since 1972 (the green line to the right).

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Pre-Election Articles

Highlights from the Facebook page: Polit Soc.
(If some of them don't open from these links,
try the links on the Facebook page.)

The following articles from the 2016 Primaries and post-Convention periods are on the Facebook page from before the semester starts. You should read them on the Facebook page, where the links will work.

  • August 26. The story behind Trump's apparent softening of his views on immigration, deportation, and the Wall. "A new Pew Research Center poll finds Americans broadly rejecting much of Donald Trump's views on immigration, findings that come as Trump is striking a markedly different tone on the issue as his poll numbers are depressed and he is attempting to make inroads with minority voters." Poll finds rejection of many of Trump's views on immigration. Support for a wall between the United States and Mexico has slipped in the past year. washingtonpost.com|By Katie Zezima
  • August 26. A short item on the ground game: registering voters and getting them to the polls. The Republicans are making gains in several of the swing states. This is news because the Trump campaign has been said to be so disorganized on the nuts & bolts. However, the article also notes that the Republicans usually register voters earlier in the election cycle, and the Democrats later, so we'll see how this plays out till election day. In the Race for Registered Voters, Republicans Are Gaining. Republicans have narrowed the Democrats' lead in registered voters in several swing states, especially in North Carolina and Florida. nytimes.com|By Adam Pearce
  • August 26. Interesting analysis of the potential Trump vote by sociologist Andrew Cherlin. He argues that the key factor is upward or downward mobility: it's not just working class status, but if you feel threatened with decline. He cites "reference group" theory to explain this, which is often used in explaining social movements. The Downwardly Mobile for Trump. The Republican nominee's message resonates with people who are doing fine, but are worried about the future. nytimes.com|By Andrew J. Cherlin
  • August 22. Trump's new staff seems to be taking a good cop/bad cop approach: Bannon is doubling down on the tough approach, and Conway is pressing for at least moderate optics. Under pressure from sinking polls, Trump needs to appeal to moderate Republicans without driving away his core voters. Who are the swing voters he needs to appeal to? Largely white suburban women, who are economic conservatives and social moderates. They are cross pressured, and he needs to not drive them away, or at least peel off enough of them to swing the swing states. Donald Trump, Shifting Immigration Tone, Stresses a 'Fair' Approach. The comments from Mr. Trump follow months of vows to build a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border and deport immigrants who have entered the country illegally. nytimes.com|By Alan Rappeport and Maggie Haberman
  • August 19. More detail on Trump's "negative coattails." GOP Congressional candidates, especially those in close races, are in a quandry. Do they separate themselves from an unpopular Presidential candidate but risk losing his core voters? The GOP could easily lose the Senate. Their hold on the House is probably still safe - they have a 30-seat margin, and redistricting has protected many of their seats - but their margin could be greatly eroded. There are still 3 months, but time is growing short. Republicans Worry a Falling Donald Trump Tide Will Lower All Boats. Party officials and strategists fear that Mr. Trump is in such danger that even their best-prepared candidates will not be able to withstand the impact. NYTIMES.COM|BY JONATHAN MARTIN
  • August 18. This is a major development if it sticks. White men's support for Trump is softening. He was depending on winning this demographic group by very large margins to win the election, especially since he has alienated so many other demographic groups. Yet Trump is running behind Romney's 2012 margins, and Romney lost the election. It's hard to tell from the article if the softening support is due to college-educated white men, or if it is also happening among working class white men. The article says Trump is damaging himself with white men, due to his provocative statements, just as he has with other groups - though the article doesn't seem to give evidence that that's the reason. But if that is the cause, then Trump's current staff shake-up could make matters even worse for him, because he seems to be doubling down on his provocative strategy, and his new campaign manager, Steve Bannon (google him), is, if anything, even more provocative than Trump. Donald Trump's Crucial Pillar of Support, White Men, Shows Weakness. It appears that after a stream of provocations, insults and reckless remarks, Mr. Trump has damaged himself with the one demographic that stands as a bulwark to a… NYTIMES.COM|BY JEREMY W. PETERS
  • August 17. Years of redistricting has produced mostly safe seats in the House of Representatives. Thus, even if Trump is an unpopular presidential candidate, many GOP House members can distance themselves from him and keep their seats. Senate seats cannot be redistricted, and thus, more Senators may be vulnerable to Trump's "negative coattails." How House Republicans May Survive Donald Trump. With down-ballot candidates seeking to distance themselves from their party's nominee, the Republican majority in the House is looking safe. NYTIMES.COM|BY JOHN HARWOOD
  • August 17. The "ground game" is beginning in earnest. The mechanics of today's Presidential elections requires large-scale preparation & analysis. Trump's seat-of-the-pants campaign evidently doesn't include this. Btw, the day after this story appeared, Trump shook up his campaign staff for the second time in 2 months. Early Voting Limits Donald Trump's Time to Turn Campaign Around. Trump advisers say there are nearly three months to counter Hillary Clinton's vast operation and get Mr. Trump on message. But voting starts in less than six weeks. NYTIMES.COM|BY PATRICK HEALY
  • August 15. A new USA TODAY/Rock the Vote Poll "shows Clinton trouncing Trump 56%-20% among those under 35, though she has failed so far to generate the levels of enthusiasm Sanders did — and the high turn-out that can signal — among Millennials." Interestingly, Clinton does better among young men than young women. As has often been observed in this election year, there may be generational differences among women, since older women more often feel that Clinton's candidacy is a breakthrough than younger women do. Millennials are now the largest generation, but younger people generally turn out to vote at lower levels than older voters, so it remains to be seen how these factors will balance each other out. Young voters flee Donald Trump in what may be historic trouncing, poll shows. Clinton is consolidating the support, if not the enthusiasm, of Bernie's backers. USATODAY.COM
  • August 15. Nate Cohn observes that no candidate in modern history has overcome a polling deficit as big as Trump faces against Clinton at this stage. Her lead indicates that her post-Convention bounce is durable, and it is due to her success in uniting the Democrats - over 90%. Trump has not united the Republicans - he has less than 70% of Republican support - and in fact, Clinton is now trying to poach traditional GOP voters. This is a classic post-primary pivot: she has covered her (left) flank and is now competing for the center. The State of the Clinton-Trump Race: Is It Over? Donald Trump can still win, but it's becoming more unlikely by the day, and the possibility of a landslide victory for Hillary Clinton is greater. NYTIMES.COM|BY NATE COHN
  • August 15. The other side of the coin of Clinton's big lead in the polls against Trump so far. Liberals worry that if Clinton achieves a landslide victory by appealing to the center, she will have no mandate to press for reforms. The Clinton camp pushes back that if she has coattails that bring more Democratic legislators into Congress, a big win will produce more chance of passing reform legislation that if she campaigns from the left and has a narrow victory. Hillary Clinton's Edge in a Donald Trump-Centric Race Has Liberals Wary. A strategy of courting Republicans and focusing closely on Mr. Trump, they say, may impede Mrs. Clinton's ability to claim a policy mandate if elected. NYTIMES.COM|BY MATT FLEGENHEIMER
  • August 13. An early conclusion. A pattern is emerging in election analyses so far this year: 1. Minorities are pretty maxed out pro-Democratic, but their demographic growth is gradual. Also, many are concentrated in safe Democratic states. Thus, their "swing" impact is limited. 2. Working class white men, formerly a staple of the Democratic coalition are more and more Republican. However, those still in unions are still pro-Democratic. 3. Highly educated whites, men and women, are more and more reliably Democratic. 4. Suburban white voters, especially educated women, are swing voters, and a lot depends on them. Paradoxically, they are not so much attracted to Clinton, the first major party woman candidate, as they are repelled by Trump. Thus, with white working class men and minorities somewhat balancing out each others' votes, the election may well be won or lost with educated white suburban women - and Clinton is ahead for now.
  • August 13. Sophisticated analysis of some of the key state-by-swing-state races. Part of the issue is that minorities are already pretty maxed out for the Democrats, so smaller shifts among whites can swing a lot. For instance, Cohn argues that we shouldn't overestimate the importance of Latinos in Florida: "Hispanics will make up roughly 15 percent of voters in Florida. That's not nothing. But even big shifts among 15 percent of the electorate can be swamped by little shifts among the remaining 85 percent. It's just math." Similarly with the black vote in the deep South: "A state like Mississippi is an example of the limits of the black vote. It's the No. 1 state in black percentage of the population, but the vast majority of whites vote Republican, and so African-Americans and Democrats are overmatched." By contrast, much smaller shifts in the Pennsylvania or Ohio suburbs could flip a swing state. Do Donald Trump and Republicans Need the Hispanic Vote? Yes, Florida is a crucial state, but there are more than enough whites to put a Republican candidate like Mr. Trump over the top. nytimes.com|By Nate Cohn and Toni Monkovic
  • August 13. Another (see my July 27 post) good discussion of the impact of unions on politics - and their declining influence in America. Argues that working class voters are susceptible to authoritarian appeals like Trump's, but that unions act against this and pull its members toward non-authoritarian alternatives. The election result depends heavily on competition for this constituency - not just winning it, but by what margin. The Decline of Unions and the Rise of Trump. White working-class men didn't necessarily have to support him. nytimes.com|By Neil Gross
  • August 12. More American voters than ever say they are not religious, making the religiously unaffiliated the nation's biggest voting bloc by faith for the first time in a presidential election year... The growth of the non-religious -- about 54 percent of whom are Democrats or lean Democratic, compared with 23 percent at least leaning Republican -- could provide a political counterweight to white evangelical Protestants, a historically powerful voting bloc for Republicans. The non-religious are now the country's largest religious voting bloc American voters are losing their religion. washingtonpost.com|By Christopher Ingraham
  • August 12. Analysis argues that partisan polarization has "exploded" over the past 20 years, since Newt Gingrich's 1994 "contract with America." "From the 1870s until roughly 1990, partisanship was low and roughly constant," but increased after that. Based on an analysis of speeches in the Congressional Record. However divided you think our politics are, this chart shows that it's actually way worse A new study tracks an "explosion" of polarized speech in the past 20 years. washingtonpost.com|By Christopher Ingraham
  • August 12. Interesting analysis showing that racial attitudes among whites influence their support for Trump more than they influenced support for Republican candidates in past elections - with the partial exception of Buchanan voters in 1996. Trump is the first modern Republican to win the nomination based on racial prejudice Trump took the Republican Party's implicit racial appeals and made them explicit. washingtonpost.com
  • August 12. Interesting analysis shows that in recent elections, the economy influences white voters, but not minority voters. That is, the Republicans have so alienated minorities that they hardly vote their pocketbook. After 2012, the GOP vowed to do a better job appealling to minorities, but that doesn't seem to be happening in 2016. A racially diverse America could make the economy less important to elections How "it's the economy, stupid' became "it's race, stupid." washingtonpost.com
  • August 12. Does Trump support have a ceiling? This is what the battle for swing voters in the suburbs is about. After the conventions, candidates usually have to pivot from more ideological appeals to core voters in the primaries to more centrist appeals to swing voters in the general election. Article discusses mostly the Philadelphia suburbs in the key state of Pennsylvania, where the election may be won or lost. Donald Trump's Missteps Risk Putting a Ceiling Over His Support in Swing States Though candidates usually take more moderate positions in the general election, Mr. Trump continues to alienate certain groups, leaving him stagnant in the polls. nytimes.com|By Patrick Healy
  • August 10. Here's the other side of the gender gap. As Trump is gaining support from white working class men, he is starting to lose substantial support from Republican women. This battle will be fought out in the suburbs - the "soccer moms" are traditionally cross-pressured, supporting the GOP for economic reasons & the Dems for social reasons. Trump is making those social reasons much more pressing for GOP women. Donald Trump's Support Among Republican Women Starts to Slide. Many women are abandoning decades of party loyalty, calling Mr. Trump emotionally unfit for the presidency and a menace to national security. nytimes.com|By Michael Barbaro and Amy Chozick.
  • August 8 at 8:22pm. Argues that Clinton's post-convention bounce might be a long-term gain. 1. She united the Democrats and attracted some independents. 2. Trump did not unite the Republicans and repelled many independents. 3. Clinton improved her favorability ratings (mostly among Sanders supporters, thus unifying the party); Trump did not. The new Post-ABC poll shows just how badly Donald Trump blew his convention. Republicans who opposed Trump in the primary became "less" likely to back him in…. washingtonpost.com|By Philip Bump.
  • August 8 at 8:04pm. Really remarkable turn of events. Having been out-voted by working class whites in the primaries, some Republican think tankers are proposing reorienting the GOP to include even more of the old New Deal Democratic coalition. The GOP absorbed the former Southern Democrats who left the party after the Civil Rights Act. Now the think tankers want to absorb working class white voters who favor government social services like social security and health care. Where will the budget-balancing Wall Street types go now? To the Democrats? Are they already going there? Bloomberg, Buffett, anyone? . They Want Trump to Make the G.O.P. a Workers' Party. Conservative thinkers have felt emboldened to press their party to reshape its canon to more directly benefit the workers it has often taken for granted. nytimes.com|By Jackie Calmes.
  • August 8 at 7:54pm. Another analysis that characterizes Trump as authoritarian. That may or may not be, but my problem with the analysis is the way "authoritarianism" is measured - by views on child rearing. You can see the issue in the chart that shows that black Protestants are the most "authoritarian" group. But many of the grass-roots mentors I work with - who are in no way authoritarian - feel that their kids need discipline because they have too little structure in their lives. By contrast, rich parents feel their kids are too scheduled and need some creative freedom. Jumping from this to political "authoritarianism" is, well, a leap. The Eternal Return of Unenlightened Despotism. Can Trump's embrace of an explicitly authoritarian strategy take him all the way to the White House?. nytimes.com|By Thomas B. Edsall.
  • August 8 at 7:45pm. This article argues that Trump did not create a new constituency, or "broaden the party," but rather benfited from a realignment of white working class men that was already underway. Trump Seems More the Result of a Shift Among White Men Than the Cause of It. The data suggest that the big electoral move among this group had already started by the 2012 election, predating Mr. Trump. nytimes.com|By Lynn Vavreck.
  • July 31 at 12:22pm. Interesting analysis of the electoral map from shortly after the party conventions. Trump has an uphill battle, but he's been successfully disruptive since the start. Electoral Map Gives Donald Trump Few Places to Go. The Republican candidate intends to focus on three or four states his campaign believes he must sweep, but his path to election looks ever narrower. nytimes.com|By Alexander Burns and Maggie Haberman.
  • July 28 at 4:28pm. More on internal divisions within the parties, mainly about the Democrats this time. Their resounding conclusion: it's been worse! . Democrats' Divisions Linger, but Parties Have Seen Far Worse. Supporters of Bernie Sanders may be slow to embrace Hillary Clinton, but Republicans and Democrats have seen divisions that were deeper and that festered longer. nytimes.com|By Adam Nagourney.
  • July 27 at 3:36pm. One of the oldest findings in political sociology, going back to Lipset's "Political Man" (1960) and earlier, is that organization magnifies demography. Thus, church-goers are more attached to their party than others who simply share their denomination. And union members are more attached to their party than non-unionized working class voters. The question this year is whether unions & their constituents are crossing paths: the AFL-CIO still strongly backs Clinton, the Democrat, but many working class voters are backing Trump. This could be the major battleground this year .. if the Democrats really make a play for their traditional base. A.F.L.-C.I.O. Leader Says Donald Trump Won't Sway Working Class. Richard L. Trumka, the labor federation's president, said in an interview that Mr. Trump's appeals would sound hollow to union members, although he was bracing…. nytimes.com|By Maggie Haberman.
  • July 27 at 3:16pm. More on the demographic pattern we've been seeing for some time now: Hillary Clinton and other Democrats are having trouble attracting working class white voters, especially men, a group that was once a core Democratic constituency. The One Demographic That Is Hurting Hillary Clinton. White voters without a college degree, particularly men, strongly favor Donald Trump. And that's still a large voting bloc. nytimes.com|By Nate Cohn.
  • July 23 at 4:58pm. Now that the party conventions are formalizing their nominations, news analyses are asking whether America is experiencing one of its periodic party realignments, or if the changes are just temporary. 1 of 3: Has Trump transformed the GOP? . Donald Trump's Journey: From Crashing a Party to Controlling Its Future. It is hard to imagine the Republican Party returning anytime soon to being the party of free trade, democracy building and at least modest immigration reform. nytimes.com|By Adam Nagourney and Alexander Burns.
  • July 23 at 4:58pm. Now that the party conventions are formalizing their nominations, news analyses are asking whether America is experiencing one of its periodic party realignments, or if the changes are just temporary. 2 of 3: How splintered is the GOP? . A party that doesn't recognize itself convenes in Cleveland. With Trump as its nominee, the GOP finds itself in an alternate reality. washingtonpost.com|By Dan Balz.
  • July 23 at 4:57pm. Now that the party conventions are formalizing their nominations, news analyses are asking whether America is experiencing one of its periodic party realignments, or if the changes are just temporary. 3 of 3: With the end of Obama's term, do the Democrats really have a unifying issue(s)? . Democrats, Looking Past Obama, Are a Party Without a Cause. Without the president's unifying presence, or the singular focus on health care, Democrats are searching for a next great project they can agree on. Infrastructure?. nytimes.com|By Jonathan Martin.
  • July 21 at 7:48am. Interesting analysis argues that there have been figures like Trump before, but they have been contained. But the forces that contained them have been weakened. "Mr. Trump echoes ideas that have been raised here, from time to time, and soundly defeated. In the past, a stronger two-party system, bolstered by muscular labor unions and business confederations, had quashed figures like Mr. Trump with ease." . Donald Trump May Break the Mold, but He Fits a Pattern, Too. Rather than being a singular phenomenon, Mr. Trump looks more like the political equivalent of a comet that crosses American presidential campaigns every few…. nytimes.com|By Alexander Burns.
  • July 19 at 7:31pm. Several websites have election forecasting pages, which are generally updated as new polls and information come in. Here is the NY Times forecasting page. They say that Clinton has a 76% chance of winning the November election. They also say, stay tuned! . Who Will Be President?. The Upshot's presidential forecast, updated daily. nytimes.com|By Josh Katz.
  • July 19 at 12:10am. Recycling Nixon, of all people .. It's Donald Trump's Convention. But the Inspiration? Nixon. On the opening night of the Republican National Convention, Donald J. Trump was conspicuously trying to conjure somebody else: Richard M. Nixon. nytimes.com|By Michael Barbaro and Alexander Burns.
  • July 11 at 2:06pm. 3 Major reports show racial bias in police use of force against African Americans. Third: . Surprising New Evidence Shows Bias in Police Use of Force but Not in Shootings. Contradicting conventional wisdom: When it comes to the most lethal form of force, a study finds no racial bias. nytimes.com|By Quoctrung Bui and Amanda Cox.
  • July 11 at 2:05pm. 3 Major reports show racial bias in police use of force against African Americans. Second: . A Multi-Level Bayesian Analysis of Racial Bias in Police Shootings at the County-Level in the.. A geographically-resolved, multi-level Bayesian model is used to analyze the data presented in the U.S. Police-Shooting Database (USPSD) in order to investigate the extent of racial bias in the shooting of American civilians by police officers in recent years. In contrast to previous work that relie.. journals.plos.org.
  • July 11 at 2:05pm. 3 Major reports show racial bias in police use of force against African Americans. First: . Study Supports Suspicion That Police Are More Likely to Use Force on Blacks. A report by the Center for Policing Equity comes at a time of increased tension over shooting episodes. nytimes.com|By Timothy Williams.
  • July 7. More on the demographics are destiny question. This time, Florida. The Biggest Danger for Donald Trump: Florida. The G.O.P. might not be able to withstand the state's Hispanic growth any longer as polls show he's not making gains with white voters. nytimes.com|By Nate Cohn.
  • July 1. On the decline of the manufacturing sector in America since the 1940s and whether Trump can do anything about that. Donald Trump's Economic Nostalgia. Opposing trade deals is disconnected from the decades-long direction of the United States economy. nytimes.com|By Neil Irwin.
  • June 26. 3 Analyses on the parallels between Brexit and populism in the current American elections - 3. 'Brexit' Revolt Casts a Shadow Over Hillary Clinton's Cautious Path. Mrs. Clinton offers messages about stability that are similar to the ones put forth by the defeated "Remain" campaign in Britain's referendum on leaving the European Union. nytimes.com|By Patrick Healy.
  • June 26. 3 Analyses on the parallels between Brexit and populism in the current American elections - 2. Is 'Brexit' the Precursor to a Donald Trump Presidency? Not So Fast. Some impulses that drove the vote to leave the European Union are at play in the presidential race, but the differences are just as stark. nytimes.com|By Jonathan Martin and Alexander Burns.
  • June 26. 3 Analyses on the parallels between Brexit and populism in the current American elections - 1. Populist Anger Upends Politics on Both Sides of the Atlantic. Britain's vote to leave the European Union brings into focus the power of disaffected voters to force change on a reluctant establishment. nytimes.com|By Jim Yardley.
  • June 26. Review of two books that argue that the Democrats are losing working class support because they are ignoring the interests of their historic constituency. 'Listen, Liberal' and 'The Limousine Liberal'. Two new books address the disconnect between the lives of liberal elites and the people they supposedly serve. nytimes.com|By Beverly Gage.
  • June 10. Wonderful graphic by the great Amanda Cox, showing party support by turnout by race/ethnicity .. then further broken down by education, sex, age, and state. And then, an amazing animation showing the effects of political polarization from 2004 to 2012. Cox is really a national treasure! Search for some of her other graphics at the NYT. The Voting Habits of Americans Like You. The electorate is increasingly divided by race, education, gender and generation, and these fissures could grow even wider in 2016. nytimes.com|By Nate Cohn and Amanda Cox. Another of my favorites by Amanda Cox is her graphic of political generations. http://www.nytimes.com/../how-the-year-you-were-born.. How Birth Year Influences Political Views. People's political views are particularly shaped by events they experience between 14 and 24. nytimes.com|By Amanda Cox.
  • June 9. Discussion of turnout begins in earnest. Conventional wisdom, mostly based on exit polls, is that Republicans can no longer win with white voters only. But what if the exit polls aren't accurate? Analyses based on census & voter rolls suggests that older, less educated whites might continue to turn out to vote at high enough rates that Trump still has a chance to win without minority voters if he attracts more older working class white voters from the Democrats. There Are More White Voters Than People Think. That's Good News for Trump. Better data about the 2012 election suggests the electorate is not as diverse as previously thought. This has implications for November. nytimes.com|By Nate Cohn.
  • June 8. 3 more about race vs economics of Trump support: 3. Poor whites really are in despair, and thus, they tend to support Trump .. even though most Trump supporters are far from poor. The incredible crushing despair of the white working class. Why white people got so angry. washingtonpost.com|By Christopher Ingraham.
  • June 8. 3 more about race vs economics of Trump support: 2. As the headline says, "Two new studies find racial anxiety is the biggest driver of support for Trump" . Two new studies find racial anxiety is the biggest driver of support for Trump. Economic worries may play a smaller role than previously thought. washingtonpost.com|By Christopher Ingraham.
  • June 8. 3 more about race vs economics of Trump support: 1. Most Trump supporters are NOT poor whites, but they FEEL economically threatened. What we mean when we say Donald Trump's supporters are 'struggling'. The data on his supporters' incomes don't tell the whole story. washingtonpost.com|By Max Gabriel Ehrenfreund.
  • May 25. Eduardo Porter argues that globalization produces winner and losers. The winners are the one percent and the middle classes who benefit from cheap goods. The losers are those whose wages stagnate and are afraid their job will be sent offshore or outsourced. The losers turn to politicians like Trump or the far right in Europe. This is a very old analysis, but Porter makes it clearly. We've Seen the Trump Phenomenon Before. Discontent bred of globalization and economic devastation has precedent in history. Such dynamics preceded both world wars. nytimes.com|By Eduardo Porter.
  • May 24. Interesting, very clear graphic and story about the far right in European politics over the last 20 years or so. How Far Is Europe Swinging to the Right?. Right-wing parties have been achieving electoral success in a growing number of nations. nytimes.com|By Gregor Aisch, Adam Pearce and Bryant Rousseau. The graphic accompanies an article about the narrow loss by the far right for Austria's presidency last weekend. http://www.nytimes.com/../austria-presidential-election. Austrian Far-Right Candidate Norbert Hofer Narrowly Loses Presidential Vote. nytimes.com|By Alison Smale.
  • May 22. Donald Trump claims to speak for the working class. Interesting column in the Washington Post by my old college roommate, EJ Dionne, about whether he really does. Fighting phony 'populism'. The media shows interest in personality politics but not policies that would benefit the populace. washingtonpost.com|By E.J. Dionne, Jr.
  • May 22. Princeton Historian, Sean Wilentz, describes the parallels between the GOP's current tensions and party disintegrations in American history, going back to 1800. Interestingly, most of them combine a nostalgia for a "great" past with anxiety about immigration. If Trump Breaks Up the G.O.P., It Won't Be a First. It's rare, but major parties have fallen apart before, with friction over immigrants a common culprit. nytimes.com|By Sean Wilentz.
  • May 19. NYT/CBS poll: Could be the Republican voters are closer to Trump than the Republican elites are: GOP voters are moving to him. Democratic voters can't stand Trump, but GOP voters can't stand Clinton. The election promises to be very ugly and negative. Republicans Want Their Party to Unify Behind Donald Trump, Poll Shows. Even with the desire for unity, a New York Times/CBS News poll shows extraordinarily high levels of unpopularity for both Mr. Trump and Hillary Clinton. nytimes.com|By Jonathan Martin and Dalia Sussman.
  • May 18. Trump's scrambling of the issues is disruptive and could further party realignment. He continues recent GOP bigotry, but adds trade protectionism, opposition to the big banks, and support for entitlements (social security) & a minimum wage, which are anathema to traditional pro-market Republicans and could be as far to the left of Clinton as Sanders is. He could put Rust Belt states into play that have been safely Democratic since the 1980s. But his formula is not new - the European far right has been using it since the post-WWII period. But if this were Europe, he would be a third/fourth party - but given US election laws that promote 2 parties, he is scrambling political alignments. Donald Trump Borrows From Bernie Sanders's Playbook to Woo Democrats. The presumptive Republican nominee has been attacking Hillary Clinton from the left on the minimum wage, taxes, national security and her ties to Wall Street. nytimes.com|By Ashley Parker and Jonathan Martin.
  • May 18. The far right in Europe and America - "We struggle to explain the rise of the far right in its various guises. Immigration .. the refugee crisis .. the euro crisis .. high unemployment .. chaos in the Arab world .. terrorist attacks in Europe .. globalization, the loss of middle-class jobs, the rise of inequality and anxiety over the European social model .. anger toward ruling elites and mainstream institutions. Sound familiar? Yes, this is a trans-Atlantic phenomenon." . Austria's Election Is a Warning to the West. For the first time since the defeat of Nazism, a Western European country might elect a far-right head of state. nytimes.com|By Sylvie Kauffmann.
  • May 8. Will the Republican party splinter over Trump? Article analyzes the tensions building within the party between the elites and the base and asks whether the party will split or will simply be transformed. Republican Party Unravels Over Donald Trump's Takeover. The Republican Party's crisis over Donald J. Trump reflects years of fraying ties between party elites and voters. nytimes.com|By Patrick Healy and Jonathan Martin.
  • May 4. Very good analysis of the Clinton-Trump match-up in the polls over the last year, as it becomes virtually certain that they will be the nominees. You can see the trends broken down by age, race, gender, education, etc, etc. At the moment, Clinton is ahead & rising, tho that's soft at this stage. Donald Trump starts the general election behind Hillary Clinton by a mile. A spectacularly well-timed CNN polling shows Trump's down 13. washingtonpost.com|By Philip Bump.
  • May 4. There are also a bunch of hyothetical election maps being published. The NYT has a good one. It shows that Clinton would win if current polling holds steady, or even if Trump gains 5 points in every state. But if Trump gained 10 points in every state, then he would win. The Electoral Map Looks Challenging for Trump. Current polls show an uphill battle for Donald Trump should he and Hillary Clinton face off in the general election. nytimes.com|By Wilson Andrews, Josh Katz and Alicia Parlapiano.
  • May 4. Analyses are pouring in, now that Trump is the only remaining GOP candidate: Nate Cohn discusses the statistical probabilities of Trump's victory and how he and others missed what may have been a "black swan" event. What I Got Wrong About Donald Trump. Was the Trump phenomenon impossible to foresee, or did we miss important clues along the way? A look back at a strange primary season. nytimes.com|By Nate Cohn.
  • May 4. Analyses are pouring in, now that Trump is the only remaining GOP candidate: Ross Douthat describes the defeat of Bush moderation and true-believer conservatism. The Defeat of True Conservatism. With his victory over Ted Cruz in Indiana, Trump has beaten a second theory of the future of the G.O.P. nytimes.com|By Ross Douthat.
  • May 4. Analyses are pouring in, now that Trump is the only remaining GOP candidate: Thomas Friedman calls Trump the result of GOP obstructionism & polarization. He hopes that Trump fails, and in so doing, clears away the polarization and makes room for moderate right & moderate left parties. Trump and the Lord's Work. To get the nation's politics unstuck, the intransigent version of the Republican Party had to be destroyed. nytimes.com|By Thomas L. Friedman.
  • May 3. The outlook from shortly before the general election begins. Yes, It's Early, but Donald Trump Would Have Uphill Battle Against Hillary Clinton. This is when early general-election polls start to become meaningful, and Donald J. Trump trails Hillary Clinton by around 10 percentage points. nytimes.com|By Nate Cohn.
  • April 26. Several articles about globalization, inequality, & politics: a new paper shows that industrial job loss correlates with political polarization, district by district. White workers have moved to the right, nonwhite workers have moved to the left. Where Jobs Are Squeezed by Chinese Trade, Voters Seek Extremes. Research suggests that globalization and related job losses since the turn of the century have contributed heavily to the nation's bitter political divide. nytimes.com|By Nelson D. Schwartz and Quoctrung Bui.
  • April 26. Several articles about globalization, inequality, & politics: Nafta didn't affect American workers that much, but China's emergence as a manufacturing powerhouse did. Cheap imports benefited American consumers broadly, but cost industrial workers sharply. American policy may be to blame: Germany followed different policies & experienced less job loss. On Trade, Angry Voters Have a Point. Recent studies suggest that the disruptions from freer trade, an issue in the current presidential campaign, are more persistent than once thought. nytimes.com|By Eduardo Porter.
  • April 26. Several articles about globalization, inequality, & politics: The world is becoming MORE equal, but within countries, inequality is rising. The growing inequality is producing political eruptions. A Global Boom, but Only for Some. Globalization improved the lot of hundreds of millions of people in the developing world, but not — as its promoters promised — the living standards of most American workers. nytimes.com|By Eduardo Porter.
  • April 26. This is a trend that has been discussed for many years - it's pretty much baked into the common wisdom by now - and it's continuing. The GOP is increasingly the party of whites, but the white share of the vote is shrinking. The coming Republican demographic disaster, in 1 stunning chart. Demographics = destiny. washingtonpost.com|By Chris Cillizza.
  • April 19. A generation gap among African American voters was hightlighted at the Black Lives Matter protests at Bill Clinton's April 7 speech in Philadelphia. Article discusses this split. On Crime Bill and the Clintons, Young Blacks Clash With Parents. Young African-Americans are challenging Clinton-era policies on crime, diverging from their elders who enthusiastically support Hillary Clinton and the former president. nytimes.com|By Farah Stockman.
  • April 3. Important article argues that Trump will do less damage to the GOP than you might think, even if he leads it to another landslide loss. The reason is that, since the GOP has so much trouble winning Presidential elections anyway, they have already gone over to a strategy of winning off-year Congressional and State & local elections, governing locally and obstructing nationally. They're already against government, so why not obstruct? . Why Trump Can't Break the G.O.P. Republicans have turned presidential defeat into political power in Congress and elsewhere. nytimes.com|By Jacob S. Hacker and Paul Pierson.
  • March 31. Article is either amusing or scary, depending how you feel about Trump! It shows that he has been very consistent for a very long time. He's thought about it & still says the same things after 25 years. Between Playboy's Pages, a Peek at How a Future Donald Trump Would Campaign. In a 1990 interview, the mogul detailed a grievance-filled agenda and a denunciation of weak leadership, remarks strikingly similar to his 2016 campaign message. nytimes.com|By Michael Barbaro.
  • March 30. Tom Edsall's continuing analysis of the Trump vote. He documents the contempt that traditional Republicans and Trump voters have for each other. Who Are the Angriest Republicans?. Is it the furious Trump-supporting white working class or the contemptuous mandarin elite that mocks its former allies? Hard to say. nytimes.com|By Thomas B. Edsall.
  • March 29. Good analysis & predictions for the second half of the primary season for the Democrats, arguing that Sanders continues to have a tough road ahead, despite some recent wins. Bernie Sanders Faces Tougher Terrain After a Big Week. Hillary Clinton's delegate advantage seems likelier to grow over the rest of the contests than to shrink. nytimes.com|By Nate Cohn.
  • March 29. This article is being cited a lot by other press analysts - pretty important piece. How the G.O.P. Elite Lost Its Voters to Donald Trump. The party establishment abandoned its most faithful voters, blue-collar workers who faced economic pain while donors, lawmakers and lobbyists prospered. nytimes.com|By Nicholas Confessore.
  • March 27. More on working-class Trump voters in the industrial North. This time, Catholic working-class voters. Donald Trump's Secret Weapon: Blue-State Voters. He is showing surprising strength among blue-state Republicans. nytimes.com|By Nate Cohn.
  • March 24. Interesting analysis of young voters. Lasting Damage for G.O.P.? Young Voters Reject Donald Trump. Research shows that political beliefs tend to be set in youth, which means Republicans could face long-term harm from a Trump nomination. nytimes.com|By Toni Monkovic.
  • March 23. The Washington Post tested with a poll the question whether Trump supporters are more motivated by economic or racial anxiety. Both matter & have independent effects, but racial anxiety is a stronger predictor. Economic and racial anxiety: Two separate forces driving support for Donald Trump. Our recent polling shows that economic anxiety and racial anxiety are independently…. washingtonpost.com|By Max Gabriel Ehrenfreund.
  • March 22. Among Democratic primary voters, Sanders is doing better among working class whites, while Clinton is doing better among African Americans. In recent history, Democratic challengers from the left have been based in upper middle class white support, but Sanders may be following a different path. Interesting analysis of the possible reasons in this article. Why Sanders Trails Clinton Among Minority Voters. One reason for Bernie Sanders's gap among African-Americans is that they have more favorable impressions of the economy. nytimes.com|By Noam Scheiber.
  • March 21. An analysis of election demographics. How much Trump would have to exceed Romney in key states, if everything else stays the same. Note: everything else never stays the same! smile emoticon:) . Donald Trump will (almost certainly) never be elected president. Here's why. A new look at the demographics suggests there simply may not be enough working…. washingtonpost.com|By The Plum Line.
  • March 20. Here's the conservative Establishment (the National Review) blaming the white working class for Trump. Their problem: they're a bunch of lazy bums & addicts. They should get jobs. Pretty remarkable article. Chaos in the Family, Chaos in the State: The White Working Class's Dysfunction. The American white working class is suffering, but what it needs is real opportunity -- not Donald Trump. nationalreview.com. And one of his National Review colleagues blames the troubles of the white working class on moral decline. I'm not sure if they also blame it on Obama (I got these articles through links). http://www.nationalreview.com/../working-class-whites.. Working-Class Whites Have Moral Responsibilities -- In Defense of Kevin…. nationalreview.com.
  • March 20. A century and more ago, Americans were losing their family farms, and their protest produced Populism and then a party realignment. Over the past decades, America has hemorrhaged factory jobs, while neither major political party has made it a central concern. Now the political insurgencies have erupted - Trump and to a lesser extent, Sanders - and it remains to be seen how it will play out. Carrier Workers See Costs, Not Benefits, of Global Trade. As factory jobs move abroad, the divide between the political and economic elite and the rest of Americans widens, placing the two groups at odds. nytimes.com|By Nelson D. Schwartz.
  • March 19. From the Wonkblog (really): "The data deliver a clear message: Economic distress in many parts of the country is driving voters toward Donald Trump." . Death predicts whether people vote for Donald Trump. In every state except Massachusetts, the counties with high rates of white mortality were the same counties that turned out to vote for Trump. washingtonpost.com|By Jeff Guo.
  • March 18. Todd Gitlin, a leader of the New Left of the 1960s and now sociologist at Columbia, describes how violence was unleashed in the 1960s, how Trump is unleashing it now, and how it will be hard to stop if it starts. No one will be able to stop the political violence Donald Trump is unleashing. Can our politics contain the rage?. washingtonpost.com.
  • March 16. Thomas Edsall's new column asks what would happen if African Americans followed the example of white working class voters and revolted against their own party. Trump voters believe the GOP hasn't done enough for them. What if black voters felt that Democratic leaders hadn't done enough for them & made a similar revolt within the Democratic party some time in the future? Lots of social science findings cited in the article. Will the Democrats Ever Face an African-American Revolt?. The party hasn't done much lately for its most loyal supporters. nytimes.com|By Thomas B. Edsall.
  • March 16. Interesting analysis of what Rubio's withdrawl means for the future of the GOP from a centrist Republican perspective. Goodbye, Bushism. When Republican voters rejected Marco Rubio, what they were rejecting was the political synthesis of George W. Bush. nytimes.com|By Ross Douthat.
  • March 13. Political scientist Pippa Norris notes that authoritarian populism is rising in many Western democracies, not just Trump in America. She argues that this is a backlash against cultural change, namely "post-materialism," a theory that emerged in the 1970s. Tho the correlations are clear, I'm somewhat skeptical of this old theory. It's not just Trump. Authoritarian populism is rising across the West. Here's why. Almost half -- 44 percent -- of U.S. non-college graduates approve of having a strong leader unchecked by elections and Congress. washingtonpost.com.
  • March 13. Is economic insecurity or bigotry more important in the Trump vote? 2 current analyses. 2nd one says it's mainly bigotry: "[Trump voters] feel dislocated economically and socially alike. Struggling in the post-recession economy and drawn to traditional authority, they're attracted to a populist outsider who offers strong anti-establishment credentials, protection against competing groups and a potent stance against the current social and political climate." . The Roots of Trumpismo: Populism and Pushback. What is support for Donald Trump all about?. abcnews.go.com|By ABC News.
  • March 13. Is economic insecurity or bigotry more important in the Trump vote? 2 current analyses. 1st one says it's mainly economic insecurity: "Trump counties are places where white identity mixes with long-simmering economic dysfunctions. ..[these counties] have largely missed the generation-long transition of the United States away from manufacturing and into a diverse, information-driven economy deeply intertwined with the rest of the world." . The Geography of Trumpism. A look at the counties that have a high level of support for Donald Trump shows the factors that predict his popularity. nytimes.com|By Neil Irwin and Josh Katz.
  • March 10. Tom Edsall is one of the smartest social/political analysts out there. Here's his take on the situation at present. Donald Trump, the Winning Wild Card. Trump has ripped open the Republican party, but his success so far is the natural result of the primary process, not a corruption of it. nytimes.com|By Thomas B. Edsall.
  • March 10. Good analysis of Tuesday's primaries in Michigan, Mississippi, etc. Primary Night Takeaways: Hillary Clinton Is Shaken and Donald Trump Roars Back. Tuesday's elections could have brought clarity to the race, but they only seemed to confirm that both parties will probably settle their nominations by battling for…. nytimes.com|By Alexander Burns.
  • March 10. How Sanders cut into Clinton's lead in Michigan, and what it means going forward. Interestingly, his gains came among the Obama coalition of minorities and young people. Still to be determined whether that will be enough for him, whether Clinton will adjust her appeal to counter it, or what. Three clear lessons from Sanders's big Michigan upset. The Democratic Party should be listening more to his supporters. washingtonpost.com.
  • March 10. Nice detailed maps of the primaries, ongoing, shows counties within states for each party. Detailed Maps of Where Trump, Cruz, Clinton and Sanders Have Won. A county-by-county look at where the presidential candidates have the strongest support. nytimes.com.
  • March 10. EJ's analysis of the Michigan primary: voter revolt in both parties. Michigan voters revolt against the party establishments. The political crisis is especially acute in the GOP. washingtonpost.com|By E.J. Dionne, Jr.
  • March 6. Interesting historical analysis of the tensions within the Republican party that threaten to break it up. This is how the GOP imploded: The real story behind the conservative crack-up, and the creation.. Donald Trump used right-wing rhetoric to steal the conservative base. But this crack-up has been a long time coming. salon.com|By Heather Cox Richardson.
  • March 6. Mr. Trump's appeal to blue-collar voters, mostly whites, is driving his popularity in Michigan, where he has a polling lead ahead of the Republican primary on Tuesday. And these same voters, who historically supported Democrats, are at the core of his strategy for winning the general election and turning Democratic-leaning Rust Belt states back into the red column. Michigan Primary Puts Donald Trump's Rust Belt Strategy to a Test. Mr. Trump, who attracts blue-collar voters by promising a 35 percent tariff, has pledged to be the Republican presidential candidate who brings industrial states back into the…. nytimes.com|By Trip Gabriel.
  • March 6. Very good election maps for the Louisiana primaries. Live elections results for the Louisiana presidential primary - The Lens. Follow live election results for the Louisiana presidential primary, including a map of precinct-by-precinct votes across the entire state. elections.thelensnola.org.
  • March 6. Interesting article reports on social scientists who are trying to update the old theory of authoritarianism & apply it to political polarization in America, the growing split within the Republican Party, and of course, Trump. The new work emphasizes threat "triggers" over personality traits, but downplays the importance of economic pressures. I've done work in this field & find that this analysis has several further problems typical of "authoritarianism" research: not only the lack of attention to economic factors, but also that the mainstream parties are not effectively competing for this constituency, as well as several methodological issues (scales, correlations, etc). See what you think. The rise of American authoritarianism. A niche group of political scientists may have uncovered what's driving Donald Trump's ascent. What they found has implications that go well beyond 2016. vox.com|By Amanda Taub.
  • March 5. Trump supporters are angry at the GOP elites, but they will also be hard for any Democrat to attract in the general election, as this quote illustrates (I suspect the sentiment is not only held by Limbaugh fans): 'Kathy, from Sun City, Ariz., told Mr. Limbaugh she was "absolutely livid by the Romney speech. He's condescending," she said, adding that he sounded like a "Democrat the whole time."' . Rank and File Republicans Tell Party Elites: We're Sticking With Donald Trump. The appeal from Mitt Romney and the furious reaction to it captured the essence of the party's schism. nytimes.com|By Michael Barbaro, Ashley Parker and Jonathan Martin.
  • March 2. My old college roommate EJ Dionne's analysis of the GOP Establishment's quandry over Trump after the Super Tuesday primaries. Trump traps the GOP. Most Republicans don't back him, but the party lacks the unity to support anyone else. washingtonpost.com|By E.J. Dionne, Jr.
  • March 2. Washington Post excellent summary of NY Times summary of Democrats' strategy against Trump. Core point: Dems have to take white working class worries seriously & Trump's critique of party elites on both sides. That is, Trump & Sanders have much in common on their economic critique. Democrats are taking the Trump threat very, very seriously. They're right. Inside the Democrats' battle plan against the Donald. washingtonpost.com|By The Plum Line.
  • March 2. Edsall's analysis of Trump support: working & middle class conservatives feel betrayed by their party, especially for economic reasons, & are supporting an insurgent. Edsall believes Trump will betray them as well, if only through incompetence. Why Trump Now?. What made it all come together for the Republican presidential frontrunner in 2016. nytimes.com|By Thomas B. Edsall.
  • March 1. If it's Clinton vs. Trump in the general election .. "Hillary has built a large tanker ship, and she's about to confront Somali pirates." .. "The tactics the Clintons have used for years to take down opponents may fall short in a contest between the blunt and unpredictable Mr. Trump and the cautious and scripted Mrs. Clinton: a matchup that operatives on both sides predicted would be an epic, ugly clash between two vastly disparate politicians.". Inside the Clinton Team's Plan to Defeat Donald Trump. Prominent Democrats supporting Hillary Clinton are starting to consider a question many had thought they would never ask: How do we defeat Mr. Trump in a general election?. nytimes.com|By Amy Chozick and Patrick Healy.
  • February 25. EJ's analysis of how & why Trump is reshuffling the existing party & ideological lines. This is how Donald Trump is winning. More should learn from Trump's appeal to the disaffected. washingtonpost.com|By E.J. Dionne, Jr.
  • January 10. Risks for the Republicans as this unusual primary season begins. For Republicans, Mounting Fears of Lasting Split. In an election campaign with a different, angry feel, the party's establishment is facing a people's coup. nytimes.com|By Patrick Healy and Jonathan .

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Final 2012 Exit Polls and Election Maps

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The Big New York Times Exit Poll Chart for 2012

The Big New York Times Exit Poll Chart for 2010

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2008 Exit Polls

The Big New York Times Exit Poll Chart for 2008

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