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Electoral College: Three moves toward Clinton

Today there were tons of new polls added to my tracking site. The new polling once again put Clinton vs Paul as the “best polled” candidate pair combination, once again swapping places with Clinton vs Bush to be the default displayed on election2016.abulsme.com. But in the end there were only three status changes on the five candidate pairs with the best polling. Today all three of these changes favor Clinton.

Clinton vs Bush

A new Gravis poll in Iowa increases Clinton’s lead once again to over 5%:

chart (20)

This in turn lowers Bush’s best case from losing to Clinton by 38 electoral votes, to losing by 50 electoral votes:

chart (21)

Iowa has been bouncing back and forth over the line between Weak Clinton and Strong Clinton though, so don’t be surprised for this to change again as new polling comes out.

Clinton vs Christie

A new PPP poll in New Hampshire shows Christie trailing Clinton by 15%. Before this poll, the worst Christie had done in New Hampshire against Clinton was being behind by 5%. So this certainly looks like a potential outlier:

chart (22)

On the flip side, the last polling for Clinton vs Christie in New Hampshire was way back in July, and Christie has been slipping in almost every poll he appears in. So this may also be indicative of a real movement. As usual, the only way to confirm will be with additional polls.

For the moment, with the poll average showing a 5.6% Clinton lead, I remove New Hampshire from the “possible” list for Christie, which moves his best case from losing to Clinton by 100 electoral votes, to losing by 108 electoral votes:

chart (23)

The last time Christie saw any state change categories in his direction vs Clinton was more than a year ago in February 2014. Christie’s general election prospects seem dimmer and dimmer as time goes on. Of course, although I won’t track the nomination races until there are actual delegates to count, if you look at polling for the Republican nomination, you’ll note that the trends look the same there, so Christie may not have to worry that much about his general election prospects.

Clinton vs Huckabee

The same PPP poll in New Hampshire mentioned above is only the second Clinton vs Huckabee poll conducted in New Hampshire, but it is enough to move the average to a greater than 5% Clinton lead:

chart (24)

And this moves Huckabee’s best case against Clinton from losing by 76 electoral votes, to losing by 86 electoral votes:

chart (25)

Comparison

Looking at the “best case” of each of the five “best polled” challengers to Clinton over time:

chart (26)

Since the 2014 elections, Paul is flat. Bush, Christie, Huckabee and Walker are all down. Which means that so far, NONE of these candidates have actually been expanding the list of states that are actually in contention. Now, some other metrics have shown some movement toward some of these candidates, but this is a critical one.  The Republicans can’t win without first making more currently blue states close.

Clinton vs Ryan, Clinton vs Rubio, and Clinton vs Cruz are the #6, #7 and #8 best polled candidate combinations. They are way behind the five above in polling quality by my metric, but feel free to take a look if any of those candidates are of interest… just interpret the results with caution.

Note: This post is an update based on the data on my 2016 Electoral College Analysis Site. All of the charts and graphs seen here are from that site. Graphs, charts and raw data can be found there for the race nationally and in each state for every candidate combination that has been polled at the state level. In addition, comparisons of the best polled candidate combinations both nationally and each in each state are available. All charts above are clickable to go to the current version of the detail page the chart is from, which may contain more up to date information than the snapshots on this page, which were current as of the time of this post.

100 Years of Context

With all the talk of demographic trends favoring the democrats I thought I would just pull some really long term past data and see what the trends look like.

The chart above is the Democratic percentage of the Republican/Democratic popular vote.  That is, it leaves out third parties, even though they were significant in some of these years.  And even though I generally prefer looking at the electoral college in Presidential elections, for this purpose popular vote seemed better.

The one thing that immediately stands out to me is actually not a trend toward Democrats, but a “dampening” effect.  The numbers were so much more volatile prior to 1976.

I’ll skip the big 1912 to 1924 swing because 1912 was an oddball election…  the Republicans actually came in third behind the Democrats and Progressives.

But looking further on for examples, we went from Calvin Coolidge (R) blowing out John Davis (D) in 1924 by a 65.2% to 34.8% margin, to Franklin Roosevelt (D) crushing Alfred Landon (R) by a 62.5% to 37.5% margin only 12 years later.  That is a LOT of people flipping from Republican to Democrat.  Now, admittedly, there was a little thing called the Great Depression that probably caused that swing.  But still, it is a HUGE number of people moving from one party to the other compared to what seems possible today.

A slightly more recent big swing…  In 1964 Johnson (D) beat Goldwater (R) 61.3% to 38.7%.  Only 8 years later in 1972, Nixon (R) beat McGovern (D) 61.8% to 38.2%.  Again, there was a major event, the Vietnam War, that could explain this, but this still represents a HUGE number of people switching parties.  Not just demographic trends, but people actively switching their support.

In addition to big swings, margins in general tended to be bigger.

From 1912 to 1984, 13 of 19 elections…  over 2/3 of the elections…  were won by margins greater than 10%.  The last time that happened was Reagan’s 1984 win over Mondale.  We have now gone 7 elections in a row where the elections were one by less than a 10% margin.

Of those 7 elections since Reagan, the margin was less than 3% three times.  From Woodrow Wilson in 1912 to Ronald Reagan in 1984, there were also only three elections…  out of 19 elections…  with a margin under 3%.  (That would be 1960, 1968 and 1976.)  Elections this close used to be really rare.  They aren’t the “norm” now, 1988, 1992, 1996, and 2008 were all won by more than 7%, but under 3% is certainly no longer rare.

Now what about that trend toward the Democrats?  Now, looking at the full 100 years, the oscillation between the parties and the reduction in volatility is the biggest thing you notice, but you could argue that the politics and issues and how the parties were aligned was dramatically different prior to the 1970s.  So, if you look selectively just at 1972 onward, you do see a trend toward the Democrats.

In the 70’s and 80’s you had big Republican wins and the only Democratic win was a squeaker.

In the 90’s and 00’s you had smaller Democratic wins, with the only Republican wins being a popular vote loss in 2000 which was won in the electoral college, and a narrow win in 2004.

If you change your starting point though, and look just since the 1990’s, the trend is (slightly) back toward the Republicans.  Obama’s two wins were by smaller margins than Clinton’s wins.

The demographic trends DO seem to be against the Republicans at the moment given how party preferences have been breaking down by ethnic group.  But…

The important thing to remember however is that parties change over time.  The Republicans of 2012 are nothing like the Republicans of 1988.  And the Republicans of 1988 didn’t look much like the Republicans of 1964.

How much any demographic trends affect future presidential races will depend a lot on the internal dynamics of both parties, and who they nominate, and if the parties start shifting around as they do periodically.  If the Republicans figure out how to embrace rather than alienate the non-white groups that are growing rapidly, then they will be able to blunt or reverse any demographic trends.

Or we could have a major event like the Great Depression or the Vietnam war that returns us to the days of huge landslides for whichever party is NOT blamed for the bad event, with huge swings between the parties in short periods of times.

We’ve been in a period of relatively close elections, with relatively little volatility between elections.  That seems to be unusual looking back at the last 100 years.  It could be the new “normal” that lasts another 50 years.  But it just as easily could be an anomaly, and we’ll return to “normal” soon.

As usual, past performance is not indicative of future results, but it is fun to look back at the longer term history for some context.

The Crack of Dawn

In the latest Curmudgeon’s Corner…

Sam and Ivan talk about:

  • Mornings
  • Election Results
  • Sanity/Fear Rally
  • Econ Update
  • Sam’s iPhone 4

Just click to listen now:

[wpaudio url=”http://www.abulsme.com/CurmudgeonsCorner/CC20101107.mp3″ text=”Recorded 7 Nov 2010″]

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Lo and Behold

In the latest Curmudgeon’s Corner…

Sam talks about:

  • Divided Government
  • Republican Agenda
  • Rand Paul
  • Thwarted Attacks

Just click to listen now:

[wpaudio url=”http://www.abulsme.com/CurmudgeonsCorner/CC20101105.mp3″ text=”Recorded 5 Nov 2010″]

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Local Bellevue WA Elections Again (Part III)

Well, I’m home.  Time to crank out the rest of these.

City of Bellevue Council Position No. 7

Three candidates.  Once again, son’t we have primaries to make it only two?  Bleh.  Lets see…  Mike Creighton:  Is he related to the guy on the Ports ballot?  Retired Insurance Salesman.  Served on the School Board and City Council, and was Mayor for awhile.  He is the incumbent, having been appointed to fill a vacant position.  Robertson: Has been on various planning commissions, including relating to light rail.  Low tax advocate.  Finley: Small business owner.  For neighborhoods and stuff.  Blank website.  (At least in Safari.)  Looking through stuff, I think I’m leaning toward Robertson.  So I will vote for JENNIFER ROBERTSON.

Bellevue School District No. 405 Director District No. 3

One candidate.  Chris Marks.  Sorry Chris, out of my objection to candidates with no opposition I will be writing myself in.  So I vote for SAMUEL MINTER.

Bellevue School District No. 405 Director District No. 5

Two candidates.  Mann: For parent, teacher and community involvement in school decisions.  Local standards and a lot of happy fluffy stuff.  All about accountability and accessibility.  Mills:  Has been on school board for eight years.  Says the schools are really good, but there is still work to be done.  His website was done by students, but isn’t as good as the one done by that other candidate’s kid.  Anyway, Mills didn’t have much to say about what he would actually do, what his principals were or whatnot.  Mann was pretty vague, but I liked the things she did say.  I will vote for PATTI MANN.

Public Hospital District No. 1 Commissioner District No. 2

I don’t even know what this office is.  But there is only one candidate, Carolyn V. Parnell.  She may be great.  But she shouldn’t be unopposed.  I will write myself in.  My vote goes to SAMUEL MINTER.

Public Hospital District No. 1 Commissioner District No. 4

First of all, this appears to be about the administration of a hospital and other facilities in Renton.  Don’t know why these are elected positions, even if it is the regional public hospital.  It just seems strange.  OK, two candidates.  Miller:  Incumbent.  He’s a VP at a bank.  Degree in business.  Bunch of endorsements.  Heide:  He is a Doctor.  Founded a Stroke Center.  Running on a change platform to clean up problems he sees.  I think on balance I like what I see ftom Heide.  I will vote for AARON HEIDE.

OK.  That is it.  Time to fold it all up, shove it in the envelope, and since it is too late to mail it, head to the collection center at a local mall and drop it off in the big mailbox looking thing.

King County Washington Primary Election

So, it is time for another local election.  The ballot came a few weeks ago, but of course I didn’t look at it and didn’t look at it.  So here I am on the day the ballots need to return, having not yet looked at anything at all, and not knowing anything about any of the races at all.  Yum.

So it is lunch time at work, and I’ll be skipping the eating thing in favor of quickly figuring out how I am going to vote.  Unlike previous times, I think I won’t do one post per race, but rather will just summarize everything in this one post.  I probably also do not have time to give a few thoughts on each candidate as I have done in the past.  We shall see, but I need to do this quickly rather than at the length I usually do.

This is a primary, so I believe the top two in each race will be back on another ballot in November.

Anyway…  first race.

King County Executive:  There are eight candidates.  Larry Phillips, Fred Jarrett, Stan Lippmann, Alan Lobdell, Susan Hutchison, Dow Constantine, Ross Hunter and “Goodspaceguy”.  That last one is immediately intriguing.  Anyway, time to spend a few minutes reading about each of them.  I will probably just read each of their statements, I doubt I’ll have time for more….  OK.  There are a couple wackadoodles here.  And honestly just from their blurbs I don’t really like any of them.  I guess if I have to choose…  Fred Jarrett.  I like that he is a previous party switcher (R->D) and that he is from the Eastside.  I think I saw him at some events back in 2008 too and he seemed decent enough.  Looks like he has a few prominent endorsements and has a history as a moderate.  (Yeah, I ended up clicking through to a few additional websites besides his statement.)  Anyway, he will do.

Metropolitan King County Council District No. 9: Three candidates…  Mark Greene, Beverly Harison Tonda, Reagan Dunn.  Ehh…  I guess I’ll go for the incumbent, Reagan Dunn.  I don’t see anything really bad there, and the two others did not impress me much.

Court of Appeals Division No. 1, District No. 1, Judge Position No. 3: First, I continue to not like the idea of elected judges.  Anyway, two candidates.  Robert D. Kelly and Anne L. Ellington.  I’ll go with Ellington.  Better experience, and the other guy said he would pray he would make good decisions.  

Port of Seattle Commissioner Position No. 3:  3 candidates.  Rob Holland, David Doud, Al Yuen.  I like Holland for the previous port experience.  Doud turned me off by mostly talking about how to use properties rather than directly talking about the port.  I just didn’t see anything compelling in Yuen.

Port of Seattle Commissioner Position No. 4:  4 candidates.  Juan Paraiso, Max Vekich, Tom Albro, Robert Walker.  Robert Walker gets my vote.  I clicked through to his website and like his humor and his outside perspective.  He won’t win of course, but I think a fresh outsider perspective like that would be good in almost any position.

Now wait one more thing…  Brandy’s mom told her a week or so ago that a woman from where she works…  in the Philadelphia area…  heard her family was out here, and asked her to tell us that we should vote for Ross Hunter.  It seems that the woman’s girlfriend is Hunter’s sister.  Or something like that.  I intentionally did my decisions above without looking up the email from Brandy mentioning what her mom said, so I wouldn’t know who that was.  As it is I picked someone else.  I did just now give Hunter a second look.  He doesn’t look too bad.  And the Seattle times actually endorsed BOTH the person I picked and Hunter.  (Article is here.)  If I remember properly when I looked through these guys a few minutes back, Hunter was also on my short list, although as I said I didn’t really *like* any of them that much from what I read.  Anyway, I’ll stick to my original vote, although Hunter doesn’t look bad.  Doesn’t sound like either of them will win of course.

OK, I guess that’s it.  Time to fill out the bubbles.  I’ll drop the ballot off in the designated place after work.