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How this nightmare came to be, Part 2: voters

by Dan Burns on March 1, 2017 · 2 comments

trump10(In Part 1 I wrote about the Great American Stupid.)
 

This article is the most definitive, yet straightforward, thing I’ve seen so far. It pretty much goes with the “perfect storm” of factors hypothesis which most people who seem to know what they’re talking about, have arrived at. It was a lot of things, not just one like “white working class resentment.”
 

The reasons that happened varied from state to state, Bonier and other analysts note. In Ohio and Wisconsin, for example, turnout fell, belying the image of an army of previously hidden Trump voters storming the polls.
 
In Pennsylvania, by contrast, that image may be more accurate — turnout rose significantly across the state. Similarly, in Florida, Clinton won heavily in nearly all the places that Democrats generally count on, but lost because of a huge election-day upsurge in heavily white, nonurban counties of the central part of the state, according to an analysis by Democratic strategist Steve Schale.
 
One big, consistent piece of the problem was that Clinton performed worse than Obama did in blue-collar, predominantly white communities outside of major cities; such as the counties that include Scranton and Erie, Pa.; Youngstown, Ohio; Green Bay, Wis.; and Daytona Beach in Florida. In many such counties, Clinton’s vote was 15 percentage points or more below what Obama received in his reelection…
 
In contrast to the “where” and “when,” the “who” and “why” of Trump’s success remain more elusive. Analysts know, for example, that some people who voted for Obama four years ago turned around and voted for Trump this year. But they don’t yet have a good picture of how many did so compared with the number of Obama voters who simply stayed home.
 
Some of the answers won’t be known until states release their detailed voter files, showing who actually voted this year. Only a few states have done that so far.
(Los Angeles Times)

This wasn’t a low-turnout election, compared to most recent ones. But we sure didn’t get the high turnout that would have been needed to give Donald Trump – Donald Trump – the sound shellacking that he should have been hit with along with his political party and, most of all, right-wing ideology.
 
I find the thought that a very substantial number of voters switched from Obama to Trump to be of tremendous concern. My feeling is that it will turn out to be a comparatively small number. Hopefully that’s not just wishful thinking.
 
In some ways things don’t really look different than they have in the past. But different enough, for a close election. Way closer than it ever should have been, by any rational standards. Donald f*cking Trump!!!
 

(The first image is credited on Google to the Washington Post. Both of these are based on exit polling, which has big margins of error but is what we have at this time.)
 
voterincome
 
voterage
 

But one thing was pretty clearly major. This article deals with underperformance by minorities, young people, etc., as well as overall. Which has been progressives’ electoral bane, seemingly forever.
 

Election-year polls understandably focus on likely voters. Then, after the election, the attention turns to actual voters, mainly using exit polls. But getting good data on Americans who didn’t vote is more difficult. That’s why the SurveyMonkey poll, which interviewed about 100,000 registered voters just after Election Day, including more than 3,600 registered voters who didn’t vote, is so useful.1 It’s still just one poll, and so its findings aren’t gospel, but with such a big sample we can drill down to subgroups and measure the demographic makeup of nonvoters to an extent we couldn’t with a smaller dataset.
 
Let’s look first at the most newsworthy finding: Registered voters who identified as Democrats and independents were more likely than Republicans to stay home.
(FiveThirtyEight)

For our base not to show up in Wisconsin and Michigan, for example, despite Scott Walker and Flint…
 
Regarding non-voters, the word I’m looking for would incorporate complacency, apathy, irresponsibility, and laziness. But who am I to judge, right? That’s not how they see themselves. They just don’t think it’s worth the effort of putting in one hour or whatever every two years.
 
There’s a tendency to presume that all voters are as hung up in politics as we online political junkies are. A lot of people don’t think about voting at all. They should, it affects them a lot more than they seem to realize, but they don’t. A lot of times people just don’t want to engage with what they can’t control – like politics.
 
Many voted in 2008 because they were angry and perhaps even frightened. That seems to be the only way to get our base to the polls.
 
Comments
 
From Mac Hall: Instead of focusing on Trump, why not look at the down ballot races.
 
Why did Jason Lewis win ? Why did Tim Walz barely squeak by against un-financed opponent ? In Minnesota, the Republicans took over the state legislature completely … thus, ya gotta ask WHY are people not voting … and for those that vote, why Republican ?
 
OK … they got a base that is reliable with the Guns God Gays and Gynecology issues, but it is also economic. They talk to the “CUB cashier” who hears the message that there is someone else getting a free pass and that taxes need to be cut.
 
Let us remember that Trump could have likely won if not for the minority candidates — Gary Johnson (112,972) and Evan McMullin (53,076) — as Clinton’s margin was less than 45,000. Thus ya gotta ask who did the Trump/Johnson/McMullin voter go for in the state legislature contests (Trump won the Second garnering more votes than Lewis).
 
Yet, Minnesota may have had a problem from not having a US Senate race — remember that Stewart Mills III said he felt better about 2016 because Franken would not be on the ballot — and instead look to another state that you cite — Wisconsin.
 
Wisconsin did have a Senate race … one that many thought would be a “for sure” Democrat pick-up … but in the end, Ron Johnson once again defeated Russ Feingold … by almost 100,000 votes.
Think about it … Tammy Baldwin won in a non-Presidential year garnering 1,547,104 votes versus ex-Gov Tommy Thompson with 1,380,126. Compare that to the presidential year (2016) Senate vote
Johnson 1,478,170 Feingold 1,378,922.
 
So, somehow in a non-presidential year, more people voted … and went Republican. Yeah, in Wisconsin, Trump won … but the exit polls clearly showed that Obama was viewed favorably while Trump had unfavorable rating of 64%, 64% also said he was not qualified to be President and 59% worried that he did not have the temperament to be President … yet, he got more votes.
 
My thought is that there are really two things going on here.
1. People had Clinton fatigue and with the polls showing she would win, were willing to make a “statement” vote against her … thinking that Trump would never win … and if he did. so what, after all he was a businessman who would “create jobs” (LOL).
2. There is a real problem for the DFL … they are not getting the people to the polls.
 

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