Final Five Candidates -- USA Search Interest

Thursday, November 17, 2016

The Impact of House Races on Senate and Presidential Outcomes

The Impact of House Races on Senate and Presidential Outcomes


The Democrats made two major blunders in 2016.   They embarked on a 50-state strategy even in states where they have little support.  They did not put nearly enough time or resources in House races in the rust belt.  The importance of putting money into House races in Midwest states is the major point that I want to stress in this post.

Some facts:

Wisconsin:

Republicans spent 18.4 million in Wisconsin House races compared to $4.6 million for Democrats.

Hillary Clinton did not visit the state once during the general election campaign.

Hillary Clinton lost the state by around 27,000 votes, around 1.0% of the vote.

Feingold lost his senate race by around 100,000 votes.  He was a heavy favorite in the state.

Make up of House in Wisconsin 5 Republican and 3 Democrats

Ohio:

In Ohio Republican House candidates outspent Democratic House candidates 14.3 to 3.3 million.


Lost Senate race and Presidential contest

Pennsylvania:

House expenditures in Pennsylvania:       
Republicans $19.6 million to Democrats $11.7 million


Lost senate race and presidential contest

A Comparison to South Carolina:

One of the people running for DNC chair  is from South Carolin.   He supports the 50-state strategy and has argued that South Carolina will be flipped soon.

This person is INSANE.    Here are two facts.

Hillary Clinton lost South Carolina by 14 percent of the vote.   this is huge.

In South Carolina Republican spent 4.5 million on House Races compared to 2.7 million for the Democrats.

This spending differential was much small than for the rust belt states.

Final Thought:  Victory for the Democrats is through the Rust Belt.

Donald Trump proved that money is not that important in politics because he was drastically outspent by Hillary Clinton.   However, the money figures are emblematic of effort.   Remember Hillary Clinton never even visited the rural areas of the rust belt and never even stepped into the state of Wisconsin.  

The Democrats need new realistic leadership that will target House races and look at the map that actually exists.   In my view, this involves replacing Pelosi as Minority leader and obtaining a realistic DNC chair that values working class voters.







Saturday, November 5, 2016

Understanding CNN’s View of the Election

Understanding CNN’s View of the Election


Question:   How do CNN’s categorizations of Leans Republican, Battleground and Leans Democratic compare to polling data from Real Clear Politics?  Do political tendencies in key states favor Democrats or Republicans?



Analysis: The chart below has the RCP average as of the Friday night before the election. The Republican Index variable is the sum of the Republican Senators and Republican Governors currently serving.    A 3 indicates a state is strongly Republican while a 0 suggests a state is strongly Democratic.




Understanding CNNs Electoral College Map as of 11/03/2016
Leans Republican
Favorite
RCP Average
Republican Index
2012 Outcome
Georgia
Trump
4.6
3
Romney
Iowa
Trump
2.4
3
Obama
Ohio
Trump
3.3
2
Obama
Utah
Trump
10.4
3
Romney
Battleground
RCP Average
Republican Jndex
2012 Outcome
Arizona
Trump
4
3
Romney
Florida
Clinton
1.2
2
Obama
Nevada
Trump
2
2
Obama
New Hampshire
Trump
1.6
1
Obama
North Carolina
Trump
0.8
3
Romney
Leans Democratic
Favorite
RCP Average
Republican Index
2012 Outcome
Colorado
Clinton
3
1
Obama
Michigan
Clinton
4.8
1
Obama
Pennsylvania
Clinton
2.6
1
Obama
Virginia
Clinton
5.2
0
Obama
Wisconsin
Clinton
5.5
2
Obama




Observations and Comments:


 Based on the RCP averages Trump leads in every battleground state with the exception of Florida.  Sometimes TV pundits quote single polls that have Clinton ahead in more battleground states but the RCP averages provide a more favorable view for Trump.

If these numbers are correct, Trump will not lose a single Obama state and will take two states that Romney lost.

This election may be very close if Clinton fails to win Florida and if Trump wins North Carolina.  I am cautiously optimistic about Florida and pessimistic about North Carolina.

The polls are very tight in North Carolina and a Clinton win, which is possible, would put Clinton over the top but I believe Trump will take North Carolina.   Republicans in NC are very good at suppressing black votes.   The state has two Republican senators and a Republican governor.   Sometimes Democrats win races in the state and lets hope I am wrong.

The uncertainty about Utah stems from the fact that it is a three-person race and one of the polls in the average was a larger outlier in favor of Trump.  A third-party candidate win in Utah does not affect Clinton’s chances of 270 but is a complicating factor for Trump.

I suspect that CNN will soon move Georgia to the solidly Republican category.   Look at the Republican index.   When was the last Democratic victory in GA?   Look at the Senate poll numbers for GA.



Arizona should be moved from battleground to Leans Republican because the poll differential is above median for lean Republican, Republican Index is 3, and Romney won the state.


All leans-Democratic states appear solid based on information in the chart.

I believe Trump’s team should have put more emphasis on Wisconsin than Pennsylvania.  Wisconsin is similar to Iowa, which is the state most likely to switch from 2012.  An issue for after the election is whether Trump would have won with more support from Ryan.

Final Thought:  In my view, the CNN map slightly understates the chances that Trump will win this election. Can Trump sweep or nearly sweep the battle ground states and peal off something to get to 270?  Clinton taking Florida is the key to whether we have a comfortable Clinton victory or a nail biter.

Authors Note:  I am glad the election is ending.    People interested in health care should read my health memos blog.






Friday, November 4, 2016

Six comments on the contest for Senate Control

Some data and comments on the contest for the Senate

Question:  What do descriptive statistics on average poll results for key senate races tell us about the contest for control of the U.S. Senate?   Do these statistics indicate whether James Comey’s letter to Congress has had an impact on the contest for control of the Senate?


Discussion of Data:  I got the data in the table below from real clear politics.   The numbers are the average of the differential (D-R) of the senate races in each state.  

An increase in (D-R) indicates a trend toward the Democratic candidate. 

The decrease in (D-R) indicates a movement in favor of the Republican.


Margin in Key Senate Races (D-R) on two Dates
State
28-Oct-16
3-Nov-16
Difference 11/3-10/28
NH
-2.5
-2.5
0
PA
0.2
3.8
3.6
NV
-0.4
-1.4
-1
NC
-2.2
-1.5
0.7
IN
NA
NA
NA
MO
-1
-1.5
-0.5
WI
6.8
2.7
-4.1
IA
-17.3
-21
-3.7
FL
-5.6
-3.2
2.4
OH
-14.5
-15.6
-1.1
IL
NA
NA
NA
GA
-12.2
-11
1.2
CO
14.3
6
-8.3
AZ
-13
-10
3



Comments on the state of the contest for the Senate:

Comment One:  Democrats had such high hopes this year and have fallen way short.   They are way behind in key races in blue states (at least under Obama blue) – Ohio Iowa, and Florida.   They were unable to get off the ground in red states Ar4izona and Georgia.

Comment Two:  The Democrats have stopped spending in Florida even though they have a real shot in that state.    Why?   Do they believe that actively campaigning against Rubio would make it less likely that Republicans will split their ticket?   I hope that I am wrong on this idea.

Comment Three:  Senate races have substantially tightened in two states Wisconsin and Colorado since Comey’s announcement.

Comment Four:  Optimistic Democrats have argued that they can win races in Indiana and Missouri and the Democrats have nominated strong candidates in both races.  The limited data that exists suggests these outcomes are unlikely.  Moreover, in recent elections Republicans have done very well in red-state races unless their candidate stumbled by making outrageous statements on rape.   This hasn’t happened this year.

Comment Five:  Barring a Republican stumble the path to Democratic control of the Senate is really narrow.     The numbers indicate there are six states in play that are controlled by Republicans -- NH, PA, NC, WI, Il, and FL.   As noted in comment two, the Democrats have pulled out of FL.  The polls have the Democrats trailing in NH, NC, and FL and ahead in PA, WI, and IL.  However, the polls also have Democrats trailing in NV a seat they currently control.

Comment Six:  RCP averages can be greatly impacted by outliers; hence, the worse poll can be highly influential.  Medians are more robust.  I quickly looked at medians for a few key states.   The evidence from the medians was similar to evidence from the means.

Concluding Remark:

Hillary Clinton leads Trump in many of these states but she has no coattails.   When historians look at this election they are going to wonder why more highly qualified candidates did not put forward their resume.    Hillary Clinton may hold on to her lead and the Democrats may find the narrow path to a Senate majority but in my view 2016 was a blown opportunity for Democrats.


Authors Note:  I can’t wait for this election to end.  I am working very hard on my health care blog.  Interested readers should look at my research proposal published at the link below.