Archive for the ‘Polls & Surveys’ Category

Economist: The demography of American voters…

November 13, 2018

Conclusion: All politics is “identity politics”.

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The Economist and YouGov, a pollster, have surveyed thousands of Americans and built a statistical model to predict political party preferences.

Think: generic ballot for Congressional elections.

What did they find?

America’s founding fathers envisioned a republic in which free-thinking voters would carefully consider the proposals of office-seekers.

Today, however, demography seems to govern voters’ choices.

Specifically, Economist and YouGov identified a dozen demographic characteristics that highly predicted how people would vote in Congressional elections.

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Let’s drill down on the the findings…

(more…)

Silver’s hedge: ”Bet’s off if there is a systematic polling error”

November 6, 2018

And, a Vegas odds-maker says that’s likely.

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Let’s connect a couple of dots today…

Nate Silver is the Democrat’s predictor of choice.

Remember, he’s the guru who said – on the day before the 2016 election – that Hillary had a greater than 90% chance of winning.

Oops.

Of course, he retroactively said that he was talking about the popular vote – not the pesky electoral college …. and Hillary’s 90% meant conversely that Trump had a slim statistical chance that happened to materialize..

Vindicated, right?

So, what is Silver saying about today’s elections?

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Cutting to the chase, he says that Democrats have an 86% chance of taking control of the House.

But, wiser with age, Nate is explicitly hedging his bet this time….

 

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Here’s Silver’s final pre-election banner headline:

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Directly on-point,  he says:

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Hmmm

Could it be that the polling data is “systematically wrong” … again?

(more…)

Should all people vote … or, just those who are “informed”?

October 23, 2018

Sometimes I scratch my head and wonder whether “one man, one vote” makes sense.

Polls routinely reveal that a majority of Americans have marginal knowledge of government, politics, and political issues.

All citizens should be allowed to vote.

But, should these uninformed citizens vote?

YouGov.com conducted a survey that queried people’s opinions on  that specific issue.

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Overall, it was a split vote … with a slight plurality (46%) saying that all citizens should vote and 42% saying that only the well-informed should vote.

The results are more interesting if you drill down to the poll’s “internals”:

(more…)

Maybe there is a political middle…

October 22, 2018

In the old days it was called the “silent majority”
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Last , we reprised a post: America’s political polarization in 3 charts …

That analysis ended in 2014 … showing a double-humped distribution that had been separating over the past decade or so.

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New data is now available, so let’s advance the picture to 2017

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Source: WaPo analysis of Pew data

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The humps have spread further apart … indicating sharper polarization.

The peaks are higher … especially the one on the left,

Also, note the vanishing middle (the dark blue on the graphic).

Now, let’s drill down another level…

 

 

(more…)

About that “blue wave” that’s coming …

October 18, 2018

Post-Kavanaugh, momentum seems to have shifted.

A few weeks ago, most pollsters predicted that Dems would win a Congressional majority and that they stood a shot at taking the Senate.

That picture seems to have changed … quite a bit.

RealClearPolitics is a down-the middle source that reports several polls-of-polls.

One tracks Congressional races, slotting them as likely Dem, likely GOP or toss-ups.

It takes 218 seats to control the Congress (which has 435 representatives).

A couple of weeks ago, RCP was reporting 206 seats as likely Dem, 191 likely GOP and 38 toss-ups.

Now, the RCP recap is Dems 206 and GOP 199 … with  30 toss-ups.

The Dem “hard” advantage has narrowed from 15 seats to 7 … with most of the GOP gain coming from the toss-ups (note the near mirror image of the GOP and toss-up lines).

 

What’s going on?

(more…)

Gallup: GOP favorability up, ties Dems

October 17, 2018

Last week, we reported Gallup findings that Americans satisfaction with the way they are being governed jumped 10 points in the past year …. and that 72% of Republicans are satisfied with the way the Trump administration is governing.

See Gallup: Satisfaction with governance increasing…

Predictably, the “satisfaction with governance” seems to be influencing the way that people view the Dem and GOP parties.

Gallup periodically surveys party favorability.

Their most recent poll was conducted during September during the run-up to the Kavanaugh hearings.

It’s headline conclusion:

In the past year, the GOP has erased an 8 point favorability disadvantage and now edges out the Dems by a point … that’s a 9 point swing.

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Let’s drill down on those numbers…

(more…)

Shocker: Hearings stoked anger and likely voter turnout.

October 15, 2018

And, advantage seems to go to GOP.
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In a prior post, we reported an NPR survey finding that  Dem’s enthusiasm advantage has evaporated.

There’s some directional support for that conclusion from a recent Rasmussen poll.

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Let’s drill down….

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Specifically:

62% of vote-eligible Republicans say that they’re more likely to vote in the midterms because of the Kavanaugh controversies.

The 62% compares to 54% for Dems and 48% for Independents.

Arguably, the GOP and Dem numbers are a wash.

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64% of likely Republicans voters are “very angry” about the Senate’s treatment of Kavanaugh

Less than half (48%) of Dems are “very angry” about the Senate’s treatment of Dr. Ford.

I’d call 64% to 48% statistically significant.

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Rasmussen’s conclusion:

“Republicans are madder about the Kavanaugh controversy than Democrats are and more determined to vote in the upcoming elections because of it.”

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Technical note: Rasmussen is often disparaged by pollsters because it’s a robocall survey. 

But, in 2016, its method was one that early-captured the “hidden” Trump voters … in part because the method doesn’t require admitting a controversial opinion to human pollsters.

So, I often refer to Rasmussen for clues … but, wouldn’t bet the house on its specific findings.

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Gallup: Satisfaction with governance increasing…

October 11, 2018

According to a recent Gallup poll, American’s satisfaction with the way they are being governed has bumped up by 10 points in the past year (the green line below).

38% now say they’re satisfied with the way they are being governed.

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Let’s drill down on those numbers…

(more…)

America’s political polarization in 3 charts …

October 9, 2018

The Kavanaugh circus and former President Obama’s return to the campaign trail reminded me of an interesting analysis that NBC’s Chuck Todd did a couple of years ago.

So, let’s flashback:

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It’s no secret that American politics has become increasingly – and maybe, irreversibly – polarized.

Of course, Obama lays blame on Trump and his band of ignorant deplorables.

Let’s look at some inconvenient facts from Todd’s analysis…

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As Meet the Press host Chuck Todd puts it:

Polarization is no longer just polluting the system — it’s paralyzing it.

The deepening divide between the right and the left has largely hollowed out the center of American politics.

Gone are the politicians who once occupied the large “middle” and the voters who once gravitated to them.

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The Pew Research Center has tracked party identity and ideology for decades.

One way they do it is by scoring the Republicans and Democrats on a 10-item scale of political values.

Based on the latest Pew data (from 2014), here’s where we stand:

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What the chart means …

Democrats cluster to the left, Republicans cluster to the right.

There is less than 10% in each party leaning ideologically to the left (or right) of the other party’s median.

That’s where we are.

How did we get here?

(more…)

NPR: Dem’s enthusiasm advantage has evaporated.

October 4, 2018

“Kavanaugh Effect” awakening GOP voters.
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Interesting study conducted by NPR

Prior to the Ford-Kavanaugh hearings, 78% of  Dems considered the midterm elections to be very important.

The obvious underlying force: adversity to President Trump.

Only 68% of GOP considered the midterms to be very important.

Chalk that up to midterm complacency and confidence that all folks would appreciate that the economy is doing quite well.

That’s a 10 point gap in a proxy measure of voter enthusiasm and likelihood of turning out to vote.

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Survey Results

Recent events have closed that gap…

(more…)

Which TV news source is “most trusted”?

August 1, 2018

The answer may surprise you.
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A survey outfit called Brand Keys periodically measures a “Customer Loyalty and Engagement Index” that examines 1,287 brands across 150 categories to determine how much “trust” contributed to each brand’s engagement and market success.

For  TV “brands”, 4,012 viewers rated broadcast and cable brands that they regularly watch to determine how much trust those brands engendered. Source

 

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The tightly bunched  “most trusted TV brands” at the top of the list are the BBC, Fox News and PBS.

Bloomberg and MSNBC fall in the middle of the pack.

The bottom of the pack are the Big 3 networks and CNN.

Hmmm.

What about ratings?

(more…)

Nums: What percentage of Americans prepare their own taxes? How many of them like it?

April 11, 2018

Since we’re heading down the homestretch towards the tax filing deadline … …

Pew Research says that overall, 33% of Americans say they do their own taxes while 56% say someone else prepares their taxes.

  • Note 1: 11% don’t know who does their taxes or were befuddled by the question
  • Note 2: The folks in the 11% get to vote in Presidential elections (ouch!)

A majority of Americans (56%) have a negative reaction to doing their income taxes 1 in 4  say they hate doing them.

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Among those who dislike or hate doing their taxes, most cite the hassles of the process or the amount of time it takes:

About a third (34%) say they either like (29%) or love (5%) doing their taxes.

Here are some details re: the “likers” and lovers … 

(more…)

Why I think that the Facebook brouhaha re: privacy will fade.

March 28, 2018

According to Pew, teens don’t care (and, they’re in control now, right?)
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Thanks to social media, today’s teens are the first to have a complete record of their whole lives — their thoughts, their actions, and  their friends.

Eric Schmidt — Google chairman and ex-CEO — worries, however, that they’ll be the first who’ll never be allowed to forget their mistakes.

Schmidt says:  “People are now sharing too much.”

More specifically, privacy pundits say that it just takes your name, zip code and birth date to ID you and start linking your online and offline personal data … forever.

Now, Pew has published a research study re: teen’s online habits .

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Here are the Pew results …

(more…)

Pew: 3/4 of adults are on the internet daily …

March 27, 2018

Over 25% say that they are on the internet “constantly”

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According to a 2018 Pew Research Center survey, 88% of American adults use the internet … and about 90% of the users are online daily.

26% of American adults are constantly online … and another 43% go online several times a day.

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                             Source: Pew Research

The profile of heavy users (constantly online) follows conventional wisdom … with a notable exception.

(more…)

What percentage of Americans prepare their own taxes? How many of them like it?

March 14, 2018

Since we’re heading to tax filing deadlines …

According to Pew Research:

Overall, 33% of Americans say they do their own taxes while 56% say someone else prepares their taxes.

  • Note 1: 11% don’t know who does their taxes or were befuddled by the question
  • Note 2: The folks in the 11% get to vote in Presidential elections (ouch!)

A majority of Americans (56%) have a negative reaction to doing their income taxes 1 in 4  say they hate doing them.

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Among those who dislike or hate doing their taxes, most cite the hassles of the process or the amount of time it takes:

About a third (34%) say they either like (29%) or love (5%) doing their taxes.

Here are some details re: the “likers” and lovers … 

(more…)

Gun ownership in the U.S.

March 5, 2018

A couple of charts provide some statistical context.
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Pew conducted an extensive survey in March-April 2017.

Here are some of the key findings.

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Roughly 1 in 3 American adults currently own a gun.

40% live in a household that has at least one gun owner.

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In addition to the 30% of American adults who own a gun, 36% “could see owning a gun in the future”.

Said differently, about 2 of 3 Americans are inclined towards gun ownership.

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Digging a bit deeper …

(more…)

Are you a nice person?

February 8, 2018

You probably over-rate your “niceness” … but that’s OK.
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According to the UK Independent

You may consider yourself to be a nice person, but  a new study concludes that you’re probably not as nice as you think.

Psychologists at the University of London have discovered that 98 per cent of British people think they’re part of the nicest 50 per cent of the population.

Participants in the study were given a list of “nice” behaviors and asked which ones they do.

They claimed to do easy stuff like giving directions to lost souls, holding doors open or giving Granny their seat on the bus.

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But, their niceness had limits …

The respondents stopped short of giving money to needy strangers (less than 1 in 5) or helping Granny cross the street (about 1 in 4).

Still, there’s some very good news …

 

(more…)

Who consumes the most fake news?

January 9, 2018

And, are they swayed by it?
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Interesting article in the WSJ channeling a study by three political scientists from Princeton, Dartmouth and the University of Exeter…

The objective of their study was to validate or refute the common Democratic hypothesis that “fake news” elected Donald Trump … that “Trump voters were duped by fringe websites that traffic in misinformation, and that if those voters were better informed, Hillary Clinton would be president today.”

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Their findings may surprise you …

(more…)

What word annoys you the most?

December 20, 2017

Marist Poll releases 2017 list … mine wasn’t on it.

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Every year, the Marist Poll conducts a survey to ID the word that most annoys Americans.

For the 9th consecutive year, this year’s winner: ‘whatever…’.

According to the folks at Marist, ‘whatever’ first gained infamy about 20 years ago  in the movie Clueless.

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Here are the runners-up and my pick ….

(more…)

Who would vote for a creepy old man?

December 6, 2017

Answer: Probably a majority of Alabama voters.

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Have you noticed what’s been happening in the Alabama Senate race?

Note that – after a couple of weeks of losing poll numbers – creepy old Roy Moore has pulled back into the lead.

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Let’s dissect the numbers a bit …

(more…)

Are you a nice person?

November 3, 2017

You probably over-rate your “niceness” … but that’s OK.

=======

According to the UK Independent

You may consider yourself to be a nice person, but  a new study concludes that you’re probably not as nice as you think.

Psychologists at the University of London have discovered that 98 per cent of British people think they’re part of the nicest 50 per cent of the population.

Participants in the study were given a list of “nice” behaviors and asked which ones they do.

They claimed to do easy stuff like giving directions to lost souls, holding doors open or giving Granny their seat on the bus.

clip_image002

But, their niceness had limits …

The respondents stopped short of giving money to needy strangers (less than 1 in 5) or helping Granny cross the street (about 1 in 4).

Still, there’s some very good news …

 

(more…)

Fun fact: another apparent partisan divide …

October 13, 2017

Yesterday, we posted a Pew survey finding:

“Each party has become more ideologically homogeneous, and more hostile toward the opinions of members of the other party.”

Oh, my.

On a slightly lighter side, the nation is even divided on housing preferences:

“Overall, Americans are equally divided between wanting to live in a community with larger houses farther apart, where schools, shops and restaurants are not nearby (48%), and those who want to live in smaller houses closer together but within walking distance to schools and shops (47%).”

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Now, one might expect that housing preferences wouldn’t be a political flashpoint, right?

(more…)

Pew: Even more divided now … moderates need not apply.

October 12, 2017

It’s no great secret that America is increasingly polarized politically.

For a revealing animated infographic, see America’s political polarization in 3 charts …

According to Pew surveys: (1) there was a political divide in the Clinton years, but also a sizeable overlapping middle (2) there was a slight convergence to the middle in the post 9-11 Bush years, and (3) there was a widening divide and shrinking middle during the Obama years.

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Fast forward to today.

(more…)

What do Americans fear the most?

October 10, 2017

The answer may surprise you …

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Chapman University does an annual survey of Americans’ fears

Here’s some quick background ….

The study queries on 11 “Domains of Fear”:

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The study deep dives into specific fears within each domain:

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OK, make your pick from the above list. 

What do Americans fear the most?

(more…)

America’s political polarization in 3 charts …

August 21, 2017

Interesting analysis from NBC’s Chuck Todd.

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It’s no secret that American politics has become increasingly – and maybe, irreversibly – polarized.

As Meet the Press host Chuck Todd puts it:

Polarization is no longer just polluting the system — it’s paralyzing it.

The deepening divide between the right and the left has largely hollowed out the center of American politics.

Gone are the politicians who once occupied the large “middle” and the voters who once gravitated to them.

=========

The Pew Research Center has tracked party identity and ideology for decades.

One way they do it is by scoring the Republicans and Democrats on a 10-item scale of political values.

Here’s where we stand today:

clip_image002

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What the chart means …

Democrats cluster to the left, Republicans cluster to the right.

There is less than 10% in each party leaning ideologically to the left (or right) of the other party’s median.

That’s where we are today.

How did we get here?

(more…)

America’s political polarization in 3 charts …

May 23, 2017

Interesting analysis from NBC’s Chuck Todd.

========

It’s no secret that American politics has become increasingly – and maybe, irreversibly – polarized.

As Meet the Press host Chuck Todd puts it:

Polarization is no longer just polluting the system — it’s paralyzing it.

The deepening divide between the right and the left has largely hollowed out the center of American politics.

Gone are the politicians who once occupied the large “middle” and the voters who once gravitated to them.

=========

The Pew Research Center has tracked party identity and ideology for decades.

One way they do it is by scoring the Republicans and Democrats on a 10-item scale of political values.

Here’s where we stand today:

clip_image002

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What the chart means …

Democrats cluster to the left, Republicans cluster to the right.

There is less than 10% in each party leaning ideologically to the left (or right) of the other party’s median.

That’s where we are today.

How did we get here?

(more…)

NBC: Majority think Comey shouldn’t have been fired.

May 12, 2017

But, the numbers are, shall we say, curious at best.

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NBC has been trumpeting results of a Survey Monkey poll that it conducted in association with Survey Monkey:

“A majority of Americans — 54 percent — think that President Donald Trump’s abrupt dismissal of FBI Director James Comey was not appropriate”.

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Color me skeptical on this one.

Here’s why …

(more…)

WaPo Poll: Trump is a horrible person, a worse president, and everybody thinks so…

April 24, 2017

Well, actually, there’s somebody who is worse..

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The Washington Post just reported a poll that is, charitably speaking, unfavorable for President Trump.

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According to the Post’s analysis:

Trump has reached the 100-day marker in his presidency faring worse to much worse than other recent presidents.

Specifically: Trump’s approval rating stands at 42%, the lowest recorded at this stage of a presidency dating to Dwight Eisenhower.

In comparison, President Obama’s approval was 69% at this point in his Presidency.

But, to the obvious shock & dismay of the WaPo’s reporters, there doesn’t seem to be much indication of buyer’s remorse.

(more…)

Are you a nice person?

March 31, 2017

You probably over-rate your “niceness” … but that’s OK.

=======

According to the UK Independent

You may consider yourself to be a nice person, but  a new study concludes that you’re probably not as nice as you think.

Psychologists at the University of London have discovered that 98 per cent of British people think they’re part of the nicest 50 per cent of the population.

Participants in the study were given a list of “nice” behaviors and asked which ones they do.

They claimed to do easy stuff like giving directions to lost souls, holding doors open or giving Granny their seat on the bus.

clip_image002

But, their niceness had limits …

The respondents stopped short of giving money to needy strangers (less than 1 in 5) or helping Granny cross the street (about 1 in 4).

Still, there’s some very good news …

 

(more…)

America’s political polarization in 3 charts …

March 28, 2017

Interesting analysis from NBC’s Chuck Todd.

========

It’s no secret that American politics has become increasingly – and maybe, irreversibly – polarized.

As Meet the Press host Chuck Todd puts it:

Polarization is no longer just polluting the system — it’s paralyzing it.

The deepening divide between the right and the left has largely hollowed out the center of American politics.

Gone are the politicians who once occupied the large “middle” and the voters who once gravitated to them.

=========

The Pew Research Center has tracked party identity and ideology for decades.

One way they do it is by scoring the Republicans and Democrats on a 10-item scale of political values.

Here’s where we stand today:

clip_image002

=========

What the chart means …

Democrats cluster to the left, Republicans cluster to the right.

There is less than 10% in each party leaning ideologically to the left (or right) of the other party’s median.

That’s where we are today.

How did we get here?

(more…)

Gains, losses, the endowment effect … and ObamaCare

March 3, 2017

Here’s why repeal & replace is so challenging …

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Behavioral theorists have long observed that most people are risk adverse and, due in part to an “endowment effect”, they “value” losses greater than gains.

Endowment Effect: People tend to ascribe a higher value to things that they already own than to comparable things that they don’t own. For example, a car-seller might think his sleek machine is “worth” $10,000 even though credible appraisers say it’s worth $7,500. Sometimes the difference is due to information asymmetry (e.g. the owner knows more about the car’s fine points), but usually it’s just a cognitive bias – the Endowment Effect.

The chart below illustrates the gains & losses concept.

  • Note that the “value line” is steeper on the losses side of the chart than on the gains side.
  • L & G are equivalently sized changes from a current position.
  • The gain (G) generates an increase in value equal to X.
  • The loss (L) generates a decrease in value that is generally found to be 2 to 3 times an equivalently sized gain

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For example, would you take any of these coin flip gambles?

  1. Heads: win $100; Tails: lose $100
  2. Heads: win $150; Tails: lose $100
  3. Heads: win $200; Tails: lose $100
  4. Heads: win $300; Tails: lose $100

Most people pass on #1 and #2, but would hop on #3 and #4.

OK, now let’s show how all of this relates to ObamaCare.

(more…)

“Most Americans support ObamaCare” … say, what?

January 5, 2017

18% say the law has helped their families; 29% say it has hurt them

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ObamaCare is front-and-center again as the GOP controlled Congress starts the process of repealing and replacing.

A repeated Dem talking point yesterday was how the majority of Americans support ObamaCare.

Sorry, Charlie, but the data doesn’t seem to support the claim.

Gallup has been tracking public sentiment towards ObamaCare for the past couple of years.

Bottom line:

More people have disapproved of ObamaCare since its inception … for most of the past 4 years, a majority has disapproved … most recently, the there has been a 7 point gap – 51% disapproving to 44% approving.

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Why the majority disapproval ?

(more…)

They didn’t get Michelle O’s memo on hopelessness …

January 3, 2017

Majority of Americans expect 2017 to be better than 2016.

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FLOTUS Michelle Obama chatted with slimmed-down Oprah recently, lauding her hubbies accomplishments (and fretting that the era of hope & change is ending, replaced by pervasive (and justified) melancholy.

She asserted that her husband had succeeded in keeping his campaign promise of fostering hope.

And, she opined: “The U.S. is entering a time of hopelessness  We are feeling what not having hope feels like. We can feel the difference now.”

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Worry not, Michelle.

Polling firm GFK conducted a survey for the AP that asked people how 2016 was for them personally and what their expectations are for 2017.

Here’s what they found …

(more…)

Flashback: Revenge of the unintelligensia?

November 11, 2016

Will “uneducated” voters determine the 2016 Presidential election?

Originally posted July 20, 2016

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The most recent Washington Post poll – showing Hillary leading Donald by a couple of points — provides some very interesting drill down data … it’s worth some browsing time.

Buried in the numbers is some interesting data…..

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MSM headlines frequently stereotype Trump’s supporters as non-college degreed whites … and often, the label is shorthanded as a more pejorative “uneducated”, i.e. mind-numbed dummies.

According to the WaPo poll, it’s true that Trump is favored by “white non-college” almost 2-to-1 … 60% to 33%

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No surprise there …

But, here are some findings that did surprise me a bit since they never gets spotlighted in the mainstream media…

(more…)

A pollster who nailed it …

November 9, 2016

An unconventional technique found Trump’s “hidden” support.

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In a pre-election poll, the Trafalgar Group conclude that Trump had hidden support from an additional 3 percent to 9 percent of voters who didn’t want to reveal their true opinions to pollsters.

The company is betting its future by publicly testing — at its own expense — its own methods.

Trafalgar’s CEO Robert Cahaly says:

“On Wednesday, I’m either going to be guy who got it right, or nobody is going to listen to me anymore.”

                    Monday, November 7, 2016
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Trafalgar’s polls are unconventional, designed to capture opinions from people who otherwise avoid lengthy interviews on the phone.

Here’s how they do it …

(more…)

Since 1912, this model has only mis-called one Presidential elections…

November 8, 2016

I just wanted to get this one onthe record before the polls close.

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Helmut Norpoth, a political-science professor at Stony Brook University, has a Presidential election model that is largely driven by how well a candidate did in his/her party’s primary elections.

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Before you chuckle … Norpath’s model has correctly predicted the winner of every presidential election since 1912, with the exception of 2000.

Earlier in the year, Norpoth predicted an 87% chance that Trump would prevail since he vanquished 15 competitors (winning NH & SC) –while Clinton tight tussled Bernie Sanders (losing both NH &SC).

Now, despite the plethora of polls showing Clinton ahead by at least 3 percentage points, Norpoth is sticking by the results of his model

He says: “If [Clinton] was leading by 10 or 20 points, I would say this is not going to be my year, but I don’t see it. It’s so close. It’s certainly do-able [for him], even when you look at the polls.”

Norpoth will “certainly have bragging rights if he’s right,” since just about everyone else is calling the race for Clinton.

Source

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No one can ever accuse Prof. Norpoth of “herding” – the tendency of forecasters go with most popular prediction.

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How many eligible citizens turnout to vote?

November 8, 2016

What’s the “mix” by party affiliation?

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By diving deeper into the widely varying polls, the obvious became evident to me.

By and large, the polls get about the same same answers by ‘type’ of voter … e.g. about 90% of voters throw their support behind their party’s candidate.

So, the variance in ‘headline’ numbers is almost entirely attributable to party-affiliation ‘mix’ – the proportion of voters from each party that are expected to turnout to vote.

Polls assuming that many more Dems will vote than GOPs say that Hillary is up by 4 or 5 points; polls that say there will be about an equal number of Dems & GOP turning out narrow the difference or give the edge to Trump.

Given that this will be a turnout election, I dove a bit deeper into voting trends, just to get some historical context for this election.

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For openers, according to the Bipartisan Policy Center

In 2012, there were about 219 million citizens eligible to vote … 57.5% (126 million) of them did vote.

Note that 1960 was the high-water mark (64.8%), not 2008 (62.5%).

And, note that 2012 was down about 5 percentage points from 2008.

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This year, most pundits are predicting that about 130 million will vote.

Clinton is trying to stir enthusiasm to hold together the Obama coalition; Trump is counting on an increase in the number of working-class voters.

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Now, lets’s look at the partisan mix – the factor that will determine this year’s election….

(more…)

Election Day: Final Election Polls

November 8, 2016

LA Times: Trump +3

IBD: Trump +2

Media Herd: Clinton + 3.3

Nate Silver: Clinton + 3.6

Monmouth College: Clinton + 6

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L.A. Times Tracking: Trump + 3

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IBD: Trump + 2

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Media Herd: Clinton + 3.3

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Nate Silver 538: Clinton + 3.6

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Monmouth University: Clinton +6

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IBD: “Trump lead widens to 2”

November 7, 2016

Reminder: IBD was the most accurate poll in 2012.*

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Sub-headline: “His biggest lead yet”

Nit-pick: More precisely, it’s 2.4 points

Partisan split: Roughly equal representation of Democrats, Republicans and Independents

Noteworthy: Still over 5% are “not sure”

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* According to Nate Silver:

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Sunday polls: Pick your favorite …

November 6, 2016

There’s a poll for everybody today … pick one that confirms your biases.

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WaPo: Clinton +4 

Turnout: Dems +7 (Dems 37%, GOP 30%, Independents 29%)

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IBD: Trump +1 

Most accurate in 2012

Turnout: +3 (Dems 37%, GOP 34%, Independents 29%)

Turnout assumption differences fully account for differences in IBD and WaPo

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LA Times: Trump +6

Statistically significant: outside the margin of error

4th most accurate in 2012

No turnout assumptions reported

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Nate Silver: Clinton +3

Clinton 2 to 1 favorite to win.

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Poll watching: A tale of 2 polls …

November 6, 2016

Here are the numbers to keep your eye on …

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In yesterday’s post, we highlighted how sensitive “headline” poll results are to the assumed party-affiliation mix of voters.

Let’s add another piece to the puzzle: there are 2 sets of data that have to be closely watched when trying to make sense of the polls:

(1) the assumed party-affiliation mix of voters, and

(2) the survey-determined voter preferences by party affiliation.

I know that’s common sense … what I didn’t realize is how much those numbers vary from poll-to-poll.

To illustrate the point, let’s look at 2 polls: FoxNews (presumed to lean right) and Washington Post – ABC (presumed to lean left).

The most recent Fox poll had the race as essentially a dead heat … slight Clinton lead.

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A recent WaPo poll had Clinton up by a couple of points.

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OK,let’s play around a bit with the numbers …

(more…)

Nums: Somebody explain this gender gap thing to me …

November 5, 2016

The numbers just don’t square with the narrative.

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OK, I understand the simple explanation:

Clinton can make history as the first woman President.

Trump is a crude billionaire playboy.

Women are sensible and sensitive.

Men are … well they’re men.

So, it makes sense that Trump leads by 11 points among men … and Clinton leads by 13 points among women.

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FoxNews Poll Nov. 4

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But, digging a little deeper into the numbers, things get a bit confusing…

(more…)

Nums: Let’s look at turnout math …

November 5, 2016

Very small changes in the Dem / GOP mix make a YUGE difference.

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A recent WaPo poll had Clinton over Trump by 2 points.

Naturally, voter preference varied by self-proclaimed party affiliation:

Clinton got 86% of of the Dem vote; Trump got 88% of the GOP vote.

Independents went 47% to Trump and 40% to Clinton.

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WaPo weighted their sample 37% Dems, 30% GOP and 29% Independents.

In concept that weighting should represent WaPo’s best guess as to the mix of voters on election day.

Some pundits argue that WaPo’s aggregate tally over-weights towards Dems.

Maybe it does, maybe it doesn’t. We’ll know in a couple of days.

For today, let’s just play around with the numbers to demonstrate how critical the turnout assumptions are …

(more…)

Silver: Breach in Hillary’s blue firewall ?

November 4, 2016

Trump’s chances are up to about 1 in 3, according to Dem-darling pollster Nate Silver.

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And, looking at the race’s dynamics, Silver see’s some red flags:

There’s been a potential breach of Hillary Clinton’s electoral firewall.

And it’s come in New Hampshire, a state that we said a couple of weeks ago could be a good indicator of a Donald Trump comeback because of its large number of swing voters.

Three new polls of New Hampshire released today showed a tied race … other recent polls of New Hampshire still show a Clinton ahead. But the race has clearly tightened in New Hampshire, with Clinton leading by only 2 to 3 percentage points in our forecast.

If Clinton lost New Hampshire but won her other firewall states, each candidate would finish with 269 electoral votes, taking the election to the House of Representatives.

Or maybe not — if Clinton also lost the 2nd Congressional District of Maine, where polls show a tight race and where the demographics are unfavorable to her, Trump would win the Electoral College 270-268, probably despite losing the popular vote.

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Is Virginia in the bag for Hillary?

November 4, 2016

Based on recent history, I think not.

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Yesterday we posted results from a Hampton College poll that had Trump pulling to within 3 points of Clinton … after trailing by double digits just a week or so again.

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I have no idea whether Hampton College polls are credible, or not.

But, the most recent results brought to mind the 2014 Senate race between incumbent Democrat Mark Warner and former RNC head Ed Gillespie.

As Nate Silver put it:

Everything favored Warner.

He’d raised considerably more money than Gillespie and won overwhelmingly in 2008.

Gillespie — while an experienced political hand as the former head of the Republican National Committee — had never run for public office before.

Source

Right before the election, the polls had Warner up by about 9 points.

Gillespie was closing, but the gap was big.

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So, what was the outcome?

(more…)

Poll: Trump up by 3 in Virginia

November 3, 2016

From the pollsters at Hampton College:

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The latest Hampton University Center for Public Policy (CPP) poll reveals that the FBI’s decision to reopen the Hillary Clinton email investigation may have triggered a boost for Donald Trump with likely voters in Virginia.
  
Democratic Presidential nominee Clinton had a two point lead before the email news story broke on Friday Oct. 28.

She is now trailing three points behind Republican Presidential nominee Trump.

Trump has erased a 12 point deficit reported by the CPP in early October. 

This is the first time Clinton has trailed in the CPP polls this year.

The latest poll was conducted Oct. 26-30.

When Virginians were asked if the election were held today, 44 percent of those surveyed would vote for Trump and 41 percent would choose Clinton,

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Poll Shocker: Trump up by 6 in LA Times tracking poll …

November 2, 2016

IBD: dead heat  …  WaPo: Trump +1

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LAT: Trump +6 … beyond the 95% confidence level

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IBD: Race tied

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WaPo-ABC: Trump +1 (was Clinton +12 last week)

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WaPo Poll: Republicans are “coming home”

November 1, 2016

… and, some Dems are jumping ship.

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A snippet from the WaPo’s poll analysis:

Consolidation for Trump within his own party has been one part of the post-FBI dynamic:

Trump has gone from a low of 82 percent support among Republicans early in the tracking period to 89 percent now, his high.

Clinton, meanwhile has gone from a high of 90 percent support among Democrats to 87 percent now.

The latest results mark the first time in tracking that Trump has had numerically higher support among Republicans than Clinton’s among Democrats, 89 vs. 87 percent.

Adding in ideology, the tracking poll shows Clinton going from 95 percent support among liberal Democrats early in the tracking poll to 88 percent now.

Trump’s gone from 89 percent among conservative Republicans to 94 percent now.

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RCP: Trump closes to 2.4 points

November 1, 2016

HomaFiles poll-of-polls: dead heat.

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HomaFiles (HFS) tracks IBD (most accurate in 2012), LA Times (4th most accurate in 2012)  and WaPo (adds balance from the left) …

HFS average: dead heat.

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When will Obama pardon Clinton?

November 1, 2016

… and a couple of other pivotal questions.

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Disclaimer: I’m not an attorney and don’t offer legal advice …. just personal opinions and an occasional fact!

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Pivotal Questions

1) To Hillary: Will you accept the results of the election?

Of course, she has to answer to the affirmative since she blasted Trump for insinuating that the election might be rigged.

Funny when the shoe is on the other foot …

But, you can bet that she’ll fight the results tooth-and-nail if she loses.

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2) To Hillary: Will you accept the FBI’s decision to indict (or not)?

Hmm.

Likely answer: I’ll continue to cooperate with the FBI, and will continue to vigorously defend my innocence.

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3) Legal question: Once elected, can Clinton be indicted?

Not as straightforward as it sound.

According to former Judge Andrew Napolitano (Libertarian, Fox contributor, matriculated at Princeton when I was there):

Civil actions against a President can be pursued during a President’s tenure (e.g. Paula Jones vs. Bill Clinton), but criminal charges are suspended until a President leaves office.

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My read: If elected, she can be indicted between now and Inauguration Day …. but, after being sworn in, she can’t be indicted until she leaves office … either voluntarily or involuntarily (2-terms, voted out or impeached)

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4) To Hillary: If elected and then indicted, will you pardon yourself?

It is her legal right to pardon herself, whether or not an indictment is handed down.

That is, she can pro-actively issue a pardon to herself to stop proceedings and avert a prospective indictment.

Of course, such a pardon is likely to cause political repercussions, hinder her Presidency and taint her legacy.

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5) To Hillary: If elected and then indicted, will you resign?

Answer: “You gotta be kidding”

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6) To Obama: Will you pardon Clinton and her posse?

Likely answer: I have faith in their innocence and the legal system … blah, blah, blah.

Real answer: Of course I will.

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7) To Obama: If you do pardon Clinton, when will you do it?

My bet: 4 scenarios ….

If Trump takes a sizable lead in the next couple of days, Obama will do nothing and hang Hillary out to dry.

If  Hillary takes a lead, Obama will count on the Dem turnout machine and do nothing … until the election is complete.

If Trump takes a significant lead, Obama will swing for the fences and pardon her this week “for the good of the country”.

If Hillary gets elected, Obama will immediately pardon her … again, “for the good of the country”.

If Hillary doesn’t get elected, she’s on her own.

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8) Legal question: Can Congress continue to investigate emailgate regardless of the FBI decision or results of the election?

You bet … a GOP controlled Congress will continue to dog Clinton if she gets elected … but let it drop if Trump wins.

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