Thursday, September 24, 2020

Election Check-In: 538 and Economist Data

538 probability Biden victory: 77 percent

Economist probability Biden victory: 85 percent

538 probability Dem Senate: 62 percent

Economist probability Dem Senate: 67 percent
States Democrats favored to win (538): MI (currently +7 points in poll average), WI (+7), PA (+5), AZ (+4), FL (+2), NC (+1), OH (+1)
States Democrats favored to win (Economist): all as above except OH
States that are close but where Biden is not currently ahead (538): GA (-1), IA (-1), TX (-2)
Decent data for Team Blue I'd have to say.

Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Demographic Shifts and the 2020 Election: Are They Enough to Sink Trump?

Cook Political Report (CPR) and NBC News have put together a nice interactive that's worth taking a look at. The basic idea of the interactive is that the set the baseline turnout and (two party) voter support figures at the levels they estimate for the 2016 election and then provide sliders where you can move these turnout and party support levels up or down for the 2020 election and see what effect these changes have (the changes are apparently applied uniformly across states). They also provide a baseline scenario where turnout and party support levels remain constant and only the eligible distribution by demographic group changes in 2020.

This is actually quite similar to analyses done by the States of Change project, most recently in our 2018 report on America's Electoral Future: Demographic Shifts and the Future of the Trump Coalition. And we actually have a new report coming out in October, America’s Electoral Future: The Coming Generational Transformation, that incorporates generational change into our analysis, which the the CPR/NBC interactive does not touch.

There are significant similarities between the methodology we use and the estimation methods apparently used in this CPR/NBC analysis. But I think our approach and the underlying data we use is a bit more detailed--and our results, where comparable, seem a bit different. For instance, CPR/NBC note the significance of the decline of the white noncollege eligible voter population and rise of more liberal populations--fair enough--and claim this is enough, holding turnout/support from 2016 constant, to hand Trump a loss in 2020, flipping FL, MI, PA and WI. In our new report, as you will see when it comes out, our results are not as optimistic for the Democrats in this kind of baseline scenario (though once generation is incorporated, the picture changes quite a bit).

I'm not sure what drives this difference in the CPR/NBC results, but I do note that they use the exit poll data as an important data source for their estimation procedures, which I am dubious of. Perhaps this is why the Democrats' white noncollege deficit seems too high in their data, which could have an effect on their results. However, that's national data and they don't show their state level estimates so it's pretty hard to tell what's really going on here.

At any rate, an interesting entry in 2020 election data sweepstakes. Play around with it and see what you think, but keep in mind that their baseline is perhaps a bit too pro-Democratic. And look for our new report, coming out next month on the 19th!…/demographic-shifts-2016-could-be-…

See how changes in voter turnout and support could shift the outcome of the 2020 election.

Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Another Good Senate Forecast for the Democrats

Daily Kos, in association with Drew Linzer, has released their Senate forecast, which they will be updating through the election. Currently, the 538 forecast gives the Democrats a 60 percent chance of taking the Senate. The Daily Kos forecast is in the same ballpark. The most interesting chart in their forecast is shown below, but their whole forecast writeup is worth reading.

Image may contain: text that says 'STATE DEMOCRAT D AVG. NEW HAMPSHIRE REPUBLICAN Shaheen (1) MAINE R AVG. 53 DIFF. Messner FLIP? Gideon 35 ARIZONA 51 +18 Collins (I) Kelly 49 40 COLORADO +11 D FLIP McSally (1) 41 Hickenlooper 49 MICHIGAN +8 Peters Gardner (1) DFLIP 43 47 +6 NORTH CAROLINA Cunningham James DFLIP 45 42 +5 ALASKA Tillis (1) 41 Gross +4 42 SOUTH CAROLINA D FLIP Sullivan (1) Harrison 42 GEORGIA 46 0 Ossoff Graham (I) KANSAS 46 44 0 Perdue Bollier IOWA 43 46 -2 Marshall Greenfield 45 44 MONTANA -2 Ernst (1) Bullock 48 45 -4 Daines 49'

Monday, September 21, 2020

About Those Shy Trump Voters...

This keeps on coming up. But so far analysts have found precious little evidence that such shy Trump voters--those unlikely to tell an interviewer they support Trump and thus skewing the polls--exist in appreciable numbers. Now here's nice little study by Morning Consult that should put this one to rest--but probably won't because Democrats and paranoid and Republicans want to believe it.

"Despite trailing in most national public opinion polls, President Donald Trump regularly refers to a “silent majority” of Americans who he expects to vote for him on Election Day. But how many voters are reluctant to publicly share their opinion about the president?

Building on our 2015 and 2016 research, Morning Consult recently conducted a study of more than 2,400 likely voters to determine if the “shy Trump” voter phenomenon is affecting polling in the 2020 election. The study also examined whether social desirability bias is at play on a range of topics that have been particularly prevalent this year.

To conduct the study, all survey respondents answered a set of demographic questions online and then were randomly assigned to answer a brief, identical set of questions about politics and society either online or via a live telephone interview. By comparing these live telephone interviews with online responses, we were able to identify where social desirability bias was in effect.

There was clear evidence that voters are hesitant to express their opinions on discrimination, protests and personal finances during a live telephone interview."…

Image may contain: text that says 'If the 2020 presidential election were held today, for whom would you vote? Online Joe Biden Donald Trump Phone 55% 45% M MORNING CONSULT 56% Source: Morning Consult 44% Study conducted Sept 10-14 2020, among 1,698 respondents online and 1244 espondents by live telephone,'

Sunday, September 20, 2020

Is the Latino Vote Firming Up for Biden?

There's been a spate of articles recently talking about Biden's "Latino voter problem". .And I certainly don't mean to downplay that it's a legitimate concern. Still there are signs in the most recent polling that Biden's Latino support may be firming up.

For example, looking at the just-released NBC/Wall Street Journal poll (+8 Biden overall), which included a Hispanic voter oversample. This high quality poll has:

Biden +36 among Hispanics.

That compares to the States of Change estimate for the 2016 election:

Clinton +37 among Hispanics

It's also worth noting that this poll had Biden at +85 among black voters, which compares favorably to Clinton's +79 among this demographic in 2016.

CBS also released a couple of polls in FL and TX, two Latino-heavy states. In Florida, they found:

Biden +20 among Hispanics

That compares to the States of Change estimate for FL in the 2016 election:

Clinton +15 among Hispanics

Similarly, in TX, Biden leads by 31 points among Hispanics compared to Clinton's 29 point lead among that demographic in the state in 2016.

Again, if you averaged Hispanic samples nationally and in states like FL in the last several months the picture would not be as positive for Biden. But I would not be surprised if going forward he continues to show support among Latinos that is more like this poll and like 2016.…/trump-biden-opinion-poll-florida…/…/biden-holds-sizable-lead-over-tru……/poli…/biden-hispanic-voters/index.html…/does-joe-biden-have-l…/616394/

The Democratic nominee has a Latino-voter problem.

Saturday, September 19, 2020

Biden's White Noncollege Gains, State by State

As noted, the key to Biden's dominance of the race so far, and Trump's inability to dislodge him, has been Biden's ability to cut into Trump's 2016 margins among white noncollege voters, the demographic Trump was depending on to get himself re-elected.

Morning Consult recently released data from a variety of swing states that, among other things, break down the race in each state by white college/noncollege. Here is Biden's current performance among white noncollege voters in the consensus top six swing states (MI, PA, WI, AZ, FL, NC) with Biden's margin improvement relative to Clinton 2016 in parentheses, as estimated by the States of Change project .

Michigan -6 (+15)
Pennsylvania -13 (+19)
Wisconsin 0 (19)
Arizona -7 (+18)
Florida -21 (+13)
North Carolina -33 (+17)

Pretty impressive eh? It's very interesting that improvements are large not just in the key Rustbelt states but also in the key Sunbelt states. It continues to amaze me that this isn't a bigger part of the narrative around the election when the data are so damn clear.

Four years after President Trump won white voters by 15 points, he now holds a 5-point lead over Democratic nominee Joe Biden with the group.

Will the Impending Struggle Over the Next Supreme Court Justice Help Biden or Trump?

To be honest, it's hard to game out exactly how this is going to go down but, as always, the data we currently have are a helpful guide. As Harry Enten points out, while the he polling data could change over time, right now it looks the situation could well help Biden more than Trump.

"A new Marquette University Law School poll paints the landscape well. Nationally, it finds that 59% of Biden voters say that appointing the next Supreme Court justice is very important to their vote. Compare that with only 51% of Trump voters.

This finding matches what we saw in a CNN/SSRS poll last month. In that poll, 78% of Biden backers told pollsters that nominating the next justice was extremely or very important to their vote. That compared with 64% of Trump supporters. (It was 47% Biden supporters and 32% Trump supporters who said it was extremely important.)

Compare these numbers to what we saw heading into the 2016 election. The final CNN/ORC poll in that cycle showed that 58% of Trump supporters said that nominating the next Supreme Court justice was extremely important to their vote, while only 46% of Hillary Clinton voters said the same. In the 2016 exit poll, Trump beat Clinton by a 15 point margin among those who put Supreme Court appointments as the most important factor to their vote.

In other words, it seems, at least initially, that unlike in 2016, a Supreme Court nominating fight could be more of a motivating factor for Democrats than Republicans....

New York Times and Siena College polled voters this week in Arizona, Maine and North Carolina about their views of the presidential candidates and the Supreme Court.

Biden was more trusted to pick a nominee in the average of all three states by a 53% to 41% margin. That was actually larger than his average lead against Trump in the horserace of 50% to 41% in the three states.

This phenomenon of Biden getting slightly more favorable numbers on who should pick the next Supreme Court nominee than in the horserace matches what a recent Fox News national poll found.

But perhaps more interesting is what the New York Times found among persuadable voters (i.e. those who said they could change their mind or were not backing either Biden or Trump). They preferred Biden to pick the next nominee by a 49% to 31% margin.

And among those voters who might not vote (i.e. those who said were less than very likely to cast a ballot), Biden led Trump by a 52% to 23% margin on who would be better at picking the next Supreme Court justice."

The death of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has the ability to upend the 2020 presidential election. But while most analysis suggests President Donald Trump was helped by the opportunity to appoint a new justice in the 2016 election, polling this time around suggests something different m...