Monday, December 17, 2018

The Only Way to Beat Bad Populism Is With Good Populism

David Leonhardt makes this argument--and correctly in my view--in his column today in the New York Times. And check out the chart below for some of the evidence for his argument.
"There is only one quality — beyond, of course, charisma — that Democrats should demand in their nominee. The Democrats need a candidate who can and will run as an economic populist.
They need a candidate who will organize the 2020 campaign around fighting for the little guy and gal. (And most of the potential Democratic nominees could do so.) It would be a campaign about Republican politicians and corporate lobbyists who are rigging the game, a campaign that promised good jobs, rising wages, decent health care, affordable education and an end to Trumpian corruption.
The country doesn’t only need this agenda. It wants this agenda. A mountain of evidence shows that populism — the real kind, not the faux Trump version — is the Democrats’ most effective political strategy. Yet that evidence often gets obscured by less important issues, like a candidate’s race, sex or precise spot on a traditional liberal-conservative spectrum......
Populism takes very different forms — from odious racism to sensible economics — but there is no other political style consistently succeeding in the Western world right now.
There is more than one form that a Democratic populist can take. Franklin Roosevelt, the most successful populist of the past century, was an aristocrat. Bill Clinton and Lyndon Johnson were hardscrabble Southerners. Barack Obama managed to do quite well with much of the white working class despite having one big obvious difference from them.
So the need to run a populist campaign in 2020 doesn’t point to any specific candidate....
[A]lmost every single one of the potential Democratic candidates could run a smart populist campaign. Take Beto O’Rourke. His record in the House was not especially populist. He cast a procedural vote for a trans-Pacific trade deal, for example. Yet his Texas Senate campaign captured the energy of the moment. In campaign ads, his top issues included: “Get big money out of politics” and “Jobs for Texans.”
We’re living in a populist era. The question is who figures out how to thrive in it. In 2016, it was Trump. It doesn’t need to be in 2020."
Exactly. And I would add that the approach Leonhardt recommends could put into play the basic components of the "equitable growth" agenda this country so desperately needs to move forward and leave reactionary populism behind for good.
As I conceive of it, the equitable growth approach has three broad components: (1) measures to directly improve economic outcomes for the working and middle classes; (2) measures to directly reduce the flow of excessive benefits to the wealthy; and (3) measures to increase societal investment in the jobs of the future.
Measures to directly improve economic outcomes should include the following. First, there is the provision of more and more widely-distributed educational opportunity. This provision is absolutely central to the life-chances and economic mobility of the working and middle classes. Making early childhood education available for all is part of this, as is more effective elementary and secondary education and much easier access to a college education.
Raising the quality and quantity of educational attainment helps individual workers but it does much more. Broad diffusion of knowledge and skills is a powerful countervailing force on rising inequality. And the role of rising societal skill levels in promoting economic growth is well-documented.
Policies to directly support wages are also important. A relatively high minimum wage, indexed to prices, fits in here, as do pro-work tax credits like the Earned Income Tax Credit and employee profit-sharing, share-ownership and representation. And, critically, the attainment and maintenance of full employment, including government as employer of last resort, will do a great deal to push wages up over the long-term.
Then there is the role of robust social insurance and social benefits. Besides the familiar old age programs of Social Security and Medicare, this includes the universal provision of health care, affordable child care, retirement savings accounts, paid sick and parental leave and paid vacation.
There is no question these measures would go a long way toward improving the lot of the working and middle classes in today's America. But an equitable growth approach entails going beyond directly helping the great middle to cutting the flow of excessive benefits to the wealthy.
One part of this is increasing taxes on the wealthy and on wealth. As Thomas Piketty argues, low marginal income tax rates on the wealthy encourage the pursuit of extreme incomes, while much higher marginal rates can be implemented without adverse effects on work effort and entrepreneurship.
Curtailing wealth through tax increases on the wealthy would, by definition, make a contribution toward reducing inequality by pushing down excess at the top of the income distribution. These measures would also have the highly desirable side effect of helping raise revenue for needed social programs and government investments to lift up the great middle of society (even if such taxes, by themselves, would not be sufficient to provide all the revenue needed).
There is also the issue of laws and incentives that encourage excessive and destabilizing wealth accumulation. A host of changes are needed here. Measures to combat these tendencies include ending “too big to fail” in the financial sector, enacting a financial transactions tax to discourage short-term, speculative investments and eliminating tax loopholes on performance pay and other forms of compensation that have allowed CEO pay to skyrocket.
Direct measures to lift up the middle and push down the top are clearly necessary and important parts of an equitable growth program. But they are not sufficient. Sustained healthy economic growth also depends on increased long-term societal investment in the infrastructure, research and sectoral innovation that will underpin the jobs of the future.
There are obviously a lot of moving parts here. But several things are clear. There has been a systematic tendency to underinvest in infrastructure, both its maintenance and expansion to suit the needs of modern postindustrial economies. This tendency has been particularly acute in the United States, where investment in infrastructure is now at historical lows, despite an immense backlog of deferred maintenance and mostly unfilled needs for new infrastructure.
This underinvestment reflects in large part unwarranted faith in the ability of the private sector to “go it alone” and drive growth purely on the basis of entrepreneurship and profit-seeking. This ignores, of course, the well-known economic problem of “public goods” that are useful and necessary for many economic actors but are available to all regardless of whether they have contributed anything to the availability of the public good (“free-riding”) and cannot be appropriated for the exclusive use of any profit-making firm. Infrastructure is a classic example of such a public good, as is some basic research.
In the absence of a robust supply of public goods, some firms will still make healthy profits and economic growth will still continue. But growth will be less than it otherwise would be and it will be tilted toward areas where large profits do not depend on public goods (think finance). Good for those firms that do make large profits, bad for the working and middle classes.
Worse, the problem goes beyond that indicated by the public goods framework. As economist Mariana Mazzucato points out, the role of the state is not just to supply public goods the private sector ignores but needs (though this is very important) but also to be an entrepreneurial agent investing in areas that are far off the private sector’s radar screen because of extreme uncertainty in economic returns. This is particularly the case with fundamental knowledge generation and very early investments in new technological sectors. Current theories of economic growth assign such innovation a key role in economic growth and it is the “entrepreneurial state” in Mazzucato’s phrase who can afford—and is willing--to bear the inherently immeasurable risks of such innovation.
This has been the case in the United States where pretty much all research underlying the internet and modern computing was funded and initially capitalized by the US state. For example, the immensely profitable Apple corporation’s signature products, like the iPhone and iPad, rest on fundamental innovations developed by government funding . This includes everything from the internet to GPS to touch screens to Siri voice recognition. In other words, no entrepreneurial state, no Apple.
More generally, a Brookings Institution study found that 18 of the 25 most important breakthroughs in computer technology in the seminal 1946-65 period were underwritten by the federal government . And it’s not just information technology where the role of the state has been critical: between 1971 and 2006, 77 out of the 88 most important innovations outside of computing/communications, as rated by R&D Magazine, were heavily dependent on government support, especially in their earliest developmental stages.
The role of the entrepreneurial state has been critical to growth in the past and there is no reason to think it will not be critical in the future. Progress in such emerging fields as biotechnology, nanotechnology and, of paramount importance, green technology will continue to depend on the entrepreneurial state being willing to provide support in areas where the private sector sees only unknowable risks. And without such progress economic growth--and the consequent ability to raise living standards--will fall well short of potential.
It's a big program and getting rid of Trump is just the first step. But it's what we need.

Sunday, December 16, 2018

New Democrats Redux?

Paul Starr had an interesting column on the American Prospect site arguing that it would be inaccurate to say the Democrats are just being pulled to the left. Here are the critical data points:
"[I]in 2019...the Progressive Caucus will rise to 96, while the Blue Dogs will number only 24. By that measure, the House Democrats have moved sharply to the left....
The picture looks different, however, if we compare the Progressive Caucus with the centrist New Democrat Coalition in the House and focus specifically on the new members who won districts previously held by Republicans....
So far, by my count, 24 of the new members who flipped seats have joined the New Democrats, while only 11 have joined the Progressive Caucus (including four who joined both groups). Altogether, with 89 members, the New Democrats will be only slightly smaller than the Progressive Caucus."
Interesting. Of course we could debate about what exactly this really means. My guess is that the median member of the New Democrat Coalition today is considerably to the left of the median member of this caucus 15 years ago. So the party as a whole can still be moving to the left even with a large New Democrat caucus. But I don't know enough about the distribution of views among House members to really say for sure that this is the case.
Still, food for thought, especially for the Abolish ICE/as-left-as-I-wanna-be crowd.
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PROSPECT.ORG
The 2018 election showed two separate and contrary developments.

Friday, December 14, 2018

What Really Happened in Georgia in 2018?

Catalist has released their detailed data on the Georgian gubernatorial election and there are many findings of interest.
"In 2018, Abrams lost Georgia by only 1 point, outperforming Hillary Clinton by almost 4 percentage points, but falling just short of victory. How did the Abrams campaign get so close to winning a state that just a few years ago observers had thought was lost to Democrats for the foreseeable future?....
* Converting groups of voters to support her who had previously voted for third-party candidates in 2016
* Mobilizing a growing Democratic-leaning coalition of young people, voters of color, and suburban voters to match or come close to Presidential levels of voter turnout in a midterm year.
* Growing her support among groups that swung towards Democrats in 2016: women voters, and white voters who live the areas surrounding Atlanta."
Other interesting findings:
* Vote share increases relative to the 2014 midterm were particularly striking among young voters. 18-29 year olds were 8 percent of voters in 2014 but 13 percent this year.
* The biggest margin shifts toward the Democrats compared to the 2016 Presidential were among whites under 45: an 11 point shift among 18-29 year old whites and a 12 point shift among 30-44 year old whites.
* Black vote share was actually higher in this election than in the 2016 Presidential and also higher than in the last midterm.
* The shift toward the Democrats was actually larger among white noncollege voters (+6) than among white college voters (+1). Unfortunately, Abrams still lost white noncollege voters by 57 points, despite this shift.
* Abrams carried urban voters by 65 points, suburban voters by 16 points, but lost rural voters by 44 points.
Note: Catalist does not attempt to estimate any effects due to voter suppression activities, so that is not included in their analysis.
About this website
MEDIUM.COM
Note: this post is the first in a series of state-specific posts analyzing the 2018 election using the Catalist voter registration…

Thursday, December 13, 2018

What's Really Going on with Income Inequality?

Let's face it, different studies really disagree on the magnitude of change in income and income inequality. Everyone quotes Piketty and Saez but even Piketty and Saez (+Zucman) report different results at different times using different methodologies. So how to separate the signal from the noise?
Wisdom starts with understanding the different datasets, methodologies and adjustments the different studies make. My old friend Stephen Rose does an admirable job summarizing these differences in a new publication from the Urban Institute. His conclusion on what these studies in aggregate are telling us:
"Researchers’ estimates of income inequality differ significantly because they use different units of analysis, definitions of income, adjustments for family size, capital income measures (if any), and adjustments for inflation. And some studies provide estimates of both post- and pretax incomes.
The results from at least four studies were compared for three measures of income change: change in median incomes, share of growth captured by the top 10 percent, and the changing income share of the top 1 percent. In all cases, Piketty and Saez (2003) were the outlier, showing the most increased inequality. And in all three measures of income change, Piketty, Saez, and Zucman (2018) found much less growth in income inequality than Piketty and Saez (2003).
This brief does a meta-analysis of different findings to estimate a “consensus” level of change. Applying Canberra Expert Group (2001, 2011) recommendations, I find that:
* instead of stagnating, real median incomes grew by just over 40 percent (1 percent a year) from 1979 to 2014;
* the top 10 percent of the income ladder captured 45 percent of income growth from 1979 to 2014; and
* the share of the top 1 percent grew 3.5 percentage points.
All studies find that income inequality rose after 1979, but common perceptions that all income gain went to the top 10 percent and middle class incomes stagnated (or even declined) are wrong."
I also recommend Timothy Taylor's writeup of Rose's study on the Conversable Economist.
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CONVERSABLEECONOMIST.BLOGSPOT.COM
Studies of income inequality use different measures of income, and unsurprisingly, reach some different results. Steven J. Rose lays out som...

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Understanding the Yellow Vests in France and Their Rage at Macron

Why are people in France so annoyed at a fuel tax? Short answer: because it's about way more than the fuel tax. Most analyses of the Yellow Vest movement have done a poor job explaining this, but I recommend these three excellent articles:
1. Sylvain Cypel on the New York Review of Books blog:
"Taxation has often been the primary catalyst for social revolt in the history of modern France, and this time is no exception—although, in this case, its significance is far more ambiguous. As Gérard Noiriel, the esteemed historian of French social struggle, has noted, this rejection of the fuel tax has united two dissimilar groups: those who “reject the tax” in a general sense and those who specifically “reject the injustice of the tax.” What made this coalition possible was both Macron’s actions and his way of imposing them, which has shaped public opinion dramatically. On the one hand, in 2017 he abolished the “wealth tax” known as the ISF, which was levied on only the top 0.9 percent of French society, and even lowered taxes on France’s richest companies and richest individuals. On the other hand, he has rejected every increase, no matter how small, of the minimum wage, and he has practically frozen retirement benefits (nearly half of retirees live on less than €1200 per month, or $1,360, and one quarter of those on less than €800, or about $900), as well as social security benefits. At protests and road blockades, these two themes—frozen wages and diminished retirement benefits—have recurred again and again.
Macron seems to be reaping what he has sown. He coasted to electoral victory thanks to the breakdown of the institutions that had mediated the people’s relationship with government. The first collapse had been that of the traditional political parties of left and right; after thirty-five years of nearly continuous economic crisis, they still hadn’t found a long-lasting solution. The crisis had been most evident in the unemployment rate, which had held steady between 8 percent and 11 percent for three decades, while income inequality had only worsened....
“At the same time”—a favorite phrase of Macron’s—what’s happening in France is inevitably linked to a growing phenomenon across Europe: the rise of movements that discount both institutions—the European Union as much as national governments—and the social and economic policies that have been in force for the last few decades. This phenomenon is already visible in Germany and Austria, Scandinavia and the Netherlands, Italy and the United Kingdom, and is intertwined with the advent of political parties in the former Eastern Bloc that are championing authoritarian democracies. But there is a fundamental difference between the Yellow Vests and these European populist parties: the near-total lack of identitarian or xenophobic slogans in the new French movement. There are no placards calling for a “France for Frenchmen,” no cries against an “Islamic invasion” at their protests. Given that Marine Le Pen’s Rassemblement National (formerly the Front National) appears to be the most heavily represented political party within the purportedly apolitical Yellow Vests, there have been surprisingly few cases of racist statements against immigrants.
At this point, the concessions Macron’s government has granted to placate the Yellow Vests’ demands—a six-month moratorium on fuel-tax hikes, followed by its outright cancellation—seem too little, too late. “Doesn’t anybody up there get that we’re all on anxiety meds because we’re that miserable?” asked one protester. “We’re not asking for the moon, we just want to have decent lives.” The overwhelming majority of the Yellow Vests want, at a minimum, to bolster their purchasing power, to improve low wages, and increase retirement pensions and unemployment benefits."
2. Thomas Piketty on his Le Monde blog:
"The crisis of the ‘yellow vests’ raises a key issue both in France and in Europe, namely that of fiscal justice. Since his election, Emmanuel Macron has spent considerable time in explaining to the country that the « premiers de cordée », i.e. the leading fortunes and industrialists, should be treated with care; the top priority was to grant tax cuts to the wealthiest, and as a start, the wealth tax abolished. All this was done at top speed, in a spirit of invincibility and without the slightest qualm of conscience. Even Nicolas Sarkozy had been wiser in 2007 with his ‘tax shield’ which he did nevertheless have to cancel in 2012. Inevitably all those who do not consider themselves to be ‘leading lights’ have felt abandoned and humiliated by the Macron discourse, and this is how we now find ourselves in the present situation. The current leadership has committed a series of factual, historical and political errors which it is urgent and possible to correct today.
In the first instance, Macron attempted to justify the abolition of the wealth tax by stating that this tax was instrumental in wealth leaving France. The problem is that this statement is totally unfounded from a factual point of view. Since 1990 we have witnessed a spectacular and continuous rise in the number of estates and amounts of wealth declared to the wealth tax. This development has taken place in all bands of the wealth tax, in particular in the highest bands, where the number and amount of financial assets has risen even faster than the holdings in real estate, which in turn have risen more rapidly than the GDP and the total payroll. The falls in the stock exchange in 2001 and 2008 meant a temporary calm in this evolution but, as soon as the crises ended, the long-term trends picked up again....
The government’s second mistake is historical: they are in the wrong time-period. It is undeniable that the United States and the United Kingdom launched a process of dismantling fiscal progressivity in the 1980s and that this movement was partly followed in Europe in the 1990s and at the beginning of the years 2000 – for example with the suspension of the wealth tax in Germany and Sweden (and as a bonus that of the inheritance tax in the latter case).
But are we really so sure that these policies produced the effects expected? Since the crisis in 2008, and even more so since Trump, Brexit and the explosion of the xenophobe vote all over Europe, there is a better appreciation of the dangers posed by the rise in inequality and the sense of abandonment in the working classes, so that many now understand the need for a new social regulation of capitalism. In these conditions, adding a further measure in favour of the richest in 2018 was not really very clever. If Macron wants to be the president of the 2020s and not the 1990s, he is going to have to adapt quickly."
3. Francesco Saraceno on his blog, Sparse Thoughts of a Gloomy European Economist:
"Will Macron’s announcement appease the uprising that inflames France? Most probably not, because they suffer from an original sin, a contradiction that the President is unwilling (or incapable) of seeing. The yellow vest protest originates from the gas price increase, that affected rural households and farmers in particular? But the malaise has much deeper roots, that are widespread. The French economy feels, after ten years, the full weight of a crisis that has hit very hard the middle and lower classes: Unemployment that fell too slowly (costing re-election to François Hollande ; austerity that, although less marked than in the peripheral eurozone countries, has reduced the perimeter and coverage of public services and of the welfare system, while increasing the tax burden; and, finally, the reduction of family allocations and welfare in general, which particularly affected the most disadvantaged categories. All of this led to what Julia Cagé, on French daily Le Monde, called “the purchasing power crisis”, that simmered for a long time, before exploding in the past weeks.
Emmanuel Macron has an enormous responsibility for the bursting of the crisis. True, the increase in the tax burden for the middle class is mainly due to François Hollande (under the impulse of an ambitious undersecretary, and then minister of the economy, named … Emmanuel Macron). One might even argue that the budget law for 2019 reverses the trend as that the reduction of some taxes (in particular the elimination of the housing tax for the majority of households, and the flat tax on capital income) has more than offset the reduction in social benefits.
What explains then the fact that the discontent emerges, so violently, just now? The explanation is simple: it is to be found in the approach that the French President pursued since he beginning of his mandate. Like Donald Trump, with whom he disagrees on almost everything, Emmanuel Macron believes in the so-called “trickle down” theory: shifting the tax burden away from the rich is the best strategy to revive growth, because these people are more productive than the average, and invest the extra income in innovative activities. The fruits of higher growth would then percolate to everyone, even those who were initially penalized by the tax reform. From the beginning of his mandate, Macron’s choice to give France a pro-business image was clear, leading to a drastic reduction of taxes on the richest, and making the taxation, for the upper part of the distribution, fundamentally regressive.....
The problem is, as an increasing body of evidence shows, that trickle down does not work. Favoring the richest does not increase productive investment (it rather tends to boost non-produced asset prices and unproductive consumption), and the impact on growth is both negligible and not shared; these days’ demonstrations stand to prove it. History cannot be rewritten, but the attempt to twist the tax system in favor of the ecological transition would probably have been met with much more enthusiasm, in a country like France where environmental awareness is high, where it not accompanied by the sentiment of increasing social injustice that Macron’s economic policies have deepened."
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NYBOOKS.COM
The concessions Macron’s government has granted to placate the Yellow Vests’ demands—a six-month moratorium on fuel-tax hikes, followed by its outright cancellation—seem too little, too late. “Doesn’t anybody up there get that we’re all on anxiety meds because we’re that miserable?.....

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Yes, White Working Class Voters Can, In Fact, Be Reached by Democrats

That's been a long time theme of my writing--both in terms of feasibility and necessity--and some new exit poll data collected by Ron Brownstein provides more support for this thesis. It's long been apparent that Democrats generally have a better shot at reaching young and/or female white working class voters than older male ones. But Brownstein's data add another factor to partitioning the white noncollege population that really shows how accessible parts of that population are.
That factor is whether a voter is an evangelical Christian. The data strongly suggest white noncollege voters who are not evangelicals are way more accessible to Democratic appeals than those who are. That could be very important in 2020, as Democrats consider what strategy to pursue and what candidate to put forward to beat Trump.
"Democrats....ran particularly well this year among white working-class women who are not evangelicals, a group that also displayed substantial disenchantment in the exit poll with Trump's performance. Those women could be a key constituency for Democrats in 2020 in pivotal Rust Belt states such as Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania, where relatively fewer blue-collar whites are also evangelical Christians.
Nationwide, nearly three-fifths of blue-collar white women who are not evangelicals voted Democratic in last month's House races, while an equal number said they disapproved of Trump's performance in office, the analysis of exit poll results found. That was well over double the Democratic share of the vote among non-college white women who are evangelical Christians. And while Republicans last month still carried a majority among working-class white men who are not evangelicals, Democrats attracted about twice as much support from them as they did among the equivalent men who are evangelicals.....
While some Democrats have come to view white working-class voters as largely a lost cause for the party in the Trump era, other party strategists, including some affiliated with organized labor, have privately argued that the large number of staunchly conservative evangelical Christians in the group has overstated Democratic weakness among them.
Strategists in this camp argue it would be a mistake for the party to downplay outreach to white working-class voters who are not evangelicals, especially the women in that group....
Many of the party's potential 2020 contenders appear better suited to energizing its new base than recapturing working-class whites: Sens. Kamala Harris, Elizabeth Warren, Cory Booker and Texas Senate candidate Beto O'Rourke might all fit into that category. By contrast, former Vice President Joe Biden, Ohio Sen. Sherrod Brown and centrists such as former Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe and outgoing Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper might be better positioned to reassure working-class white voters than to mobilize the base.
Similarly, the choice on how the party positions on racially tinged issues, such as immigration and police reform, will also likely be influenced by this debate. If Democrats believe they can recapture meaningful numbers of blue-collar whites from Trump they may hesitate about alienating them with vanguard liberal positions on social issues — such as abolishing ICE — in the hope of energizing younger and non-white voters.....
Although changes in survey methodology may partly explain the difference, the 2018 exit polls showed that among both working-class white men and women who are not evangelicals, Democratic House candidates won a measurably higher share of the vote than Hillary Clinton did in the 2016 presidential race. In the heavily blue-collar Rust Belt states that tipped the 2016 election to Trump — particularly Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania — even small improvements might be enough to tilt the result the other way."
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CNN.COM
Cracks have emerged in Donald Trump's hold on his core constituency of white working class voters, new data from the 2018 election reveal.

Sunday, December 9, 2018

10 Things We Now Know About the 2018 Election

It's taken awhile for the picture to come into focus, but with generally finalized election returns, more data availability and accumulated analysis, we can now delineate the main features of the 2018 blue wave with some confidence. Here are 10 things we now know about the election..
1. Besides netting an impressive 40 seat gain in the House, the Democrats had an extraordinarily high margin in the House popular vote. The latest figure is almost 9 points--8.6 to be precise. Amazing. This is the greatest margin on record for a minority party contesting a Congressional election. As Harry Enten of CNN put it, this wasn't a blue wave--it was a blue tsunami.
2. Overall turnout was through the roof. The latest figure is 50.1 percent, the highest midterm turnout since 1914. That means turnout was up a mind-blowing 13 points over the last midterm in 2014.
3. The Catalist data make it clear that this historic turnout increase was driven heavily by younger voters, those under 40. These voters are predominantly members of the Millennial generation, with smaller groups of post-Millennials and the younger segment of Generation X. Precise figures are not yet available but we can be confident the turnout of these younger voters went up significantly more than 13 points.
4. Younger voters also drove improved Democratic performance in this election, relative to the 2016 Presidential election. Whether looking at 18-24 year olds, 25-29 year olds or 30-39 year olds, their margins for Democratic House candidates were all well over 30 points. These margins were improvements of 15-19 points over the 2016 Presidential.
5. The greatest margin increases for the Democrats among young voters occurred among white voters. This includes a massive 25 point swing toward the Democrats among white 18-29 year olds. In a development of great potential significance, Democrats appear to have carried all white voters under 45 in this election.
6. Both unmarried women and unmarried men played key roles in this high turnout election, much more so than their married counterparts. Unmarried voters were also primarily responsible for the Democrats' improved margins over the 2016 Presidential election.
7. Nonwhite turnout was way up in this election--significantly more than 13 points--including among blacks, Hispanics and Asian/other race voters. The same was true of white college voters. White noncollege turnout apparently lagged far behind.
8. Relative to 2016, the greatest shifts in margin toward the Democrats were among white college graduates, especially women, and Asian/other race voters. White noncollege voters had a smaller, but still significant, shift toward the Democrats.
9. Overall, the Democrats' gains among white voters.in 2018 can account for essentially all of their improved performance over the 2016 Presidential election.
10. While Democrats did not win rural areas, or even come close, it is still the case that the largest swings toward the Democrats over 2016 took place in rural, not suburban, areas.