Saturday, September 3, 2016

Last Call For El Payaso Naranja

A lot of the recent (and unwarranted) panic over polls tightening comes from the shift to likely voter models for pollsters, and those models have been mostly very bad at predicting turnout among voters of color.  I feel very strongly that these voter turnout models are using 2014 data, which granted had an absolutely dismal turnout of Latino voters. In 2014, the electorate was 75% white, and if that turnout model holds true, Donald Trump will easily be your next president.

It won't.

The reality is that there are 10.7 million more eligible voters in 2016 than in 2012, and two-thirds of them are voters of color. And that percentage will only rise in the future four, eight, twelve years from now.

The problem for Trump and the GOP is simple:  Trump is burying the GOP brand with voters of color, especially Latino voters.  And if Latino voters start voting like black voters, the GOP is dead and gone.

Donald Trump’s speech on immigration this week — with its full blown xenophobia, its broad brush portrayal of undocumented immigrants as invaders and criminals, and its flat-out nixing of any meaningful path to assimilation — is the stuff of nightmares for GOP operatives who believe their party’s perilous standing with Latinos has left it teetering on the edge of a demographic abyss.

A new poll of over 3,000 Latino voters just released today will not do much to assuage these fears.

The poll, which was commissioned by America’s Voice and conducted by Latino Decisions, finds Hillary Clinton leading Donald Trump by 70-19 among Latinos. That’s worse than Mitt Romney’s 27 percent in 2012.

But buried in the crosstabs are these findings that suggest Trump may also be damaging the GOP’s image among them pretty badly:

* Only 21 percent of Latinos say the Republican Party truly cares about the Latino community. (Forty five percent say the GOP doesn’t care too much about them, and 28 percent say it is hostile to them, a total of 73 percent.) By contrast, 56 percent say the Democratic Party truly cares about them.

* 70 percent of Latinos say that Trump has made the Republican Party “more hostile” to them. By contrast, 58 percent of Latinos say Hillary Clinton has made the Democratic Party “more welcoming” to them.

* 68 percent of Latinos say Trump’s views about immigrants and immigration make them less likely to vote for Republican candidates this November — with 58 percent saying those views have made them much less likely to do that. By contrast, 64 percent of Latinos say Clinton’s views make them either much more likely (43) or somewhat more likely (21) to vote for Dem candidates.

* 63 percent of Latinos say Trump’s opposition to Obama’s executive deportation relief for DREAMers (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) makes them less likely to vote for GOP candidates, with 53 percent saying they are much less likely.

* Latinos say they’ll vote for Democrats on the generic ballot by 60-14.

There is also some evidence that Trump may be galvanizing Latinos to turn out. Seventy six percent of Latinos say it’s more important to vote this year than it was in 2012, and of that group, a bare majority say this is because of the need to resist Trump and his views.

Imagine how crushed the Republican party would be if Trump drove Latino voters to turn out and vote like black voters.  They would end the GOP.

And everyone knows it.

That day just got a lot closer.

GOP Voter ID Laws Are Racist Extortion

North Carolina faces more legal action as Republicans are dragging their feet on implementing Supreme Court-ordered changes to remedy the state's racist voter ID laws by passing the buck on to GOP-controlled county election boards.

With the Supreme Court's refusal to hear an Appeals Court case that overturned North Carolina's 2013 elections law, the struggle for voter rights has moved to the counties.

The court decision resets the state's voting laws to before the 2013 law was passed. That includes 17 days of early voting but it raises a number of other questions; the number of hours and location of early voting sites aren't spelled out, for example.

At the reported urging of the state Republican party, many county boards of elections - which are all led by Republicans - have submitted plans for early voting that mirror provisions of the 2013 law or trend in that direction.

"The state failed in its effort to restrict early voting and failed in its effort to hurt voters of color in their participation," said Allison Riggs, with the Southern Coalition for Social Justice. "So we've seen counties pick up the mantle where the state failed."

"Lenoir County's plan represents a 76 percent reduction in early voting hours compared to 2012," said Riggs. "Early voting sites and predominantly African-American communities have been tossed. Weekend voting and Sunday voting have been tossed. Evening hours, tossed. It just flies in the face of what the 4th Circuit's ruling stood for, which is, you have a problem with discrimination when you try and attack voting like that. One of the reasons they wanted to get rid of Sunday voting is because black voters disproportionately used it and black people tend to vote Democratic."

So now the issue is that NC's voter ID laws aren't racist, it's that counties suddenly are unable to implement what the Supreme Court is telling them to do, gosh we're really sorry that we can't let black people vote, you guys.  We can't afford it.

Of course, as one Republican consultant pointed out on Friday, that's the whole reason this is happening.

Longtime Republican consultant Carter Wrenn, a fixture in North Carolina politics, said the GOP’s voter fraud argument is nothing more than an excuse.

“Of course it’s political. Why else would you do it?” he said, explaining that Republicans, like any political party, want to protect their majority. While GOP lawmakers might have passed the law to suppress some voters, Wrenn said, that does not mean it was racist.

Look, if African Americans voted overwhelmingly Republican, they would have kept early voting right where it was,” Wrenn said. “It wasn’t about discriminating against African Americans. They just ended up in the middle of it because they vote Democrat.”

Exeunt all, stage right.

Let's think about this for a second.  Republicans would let black people vote in North Carolina if more black people just voted Republican.  Republican lawmakers wouldn't target black voters in majority black voting precincts with laws that make it much harder for them to vote if they weren't the most reliable voting bloc for Democrats in America.

This is how Republicans choose to operate.  That's outright extortion, codified into state law.

In 2016.

Let that sink in.  Get angry.

Then go vote.

The Turnout Model Doesn't Always Turn Out Like That

With Labor Day weekend approaching, we're starting to see pollsters switch from registered voters to likely voters, that is raw numbers of voters to weighing those numbers based upon who pollsters think will actually turn out to vote in November.

Traditionally this switch greatly favors the Republican candidate, as polling outfits eliminate more of the younger, more liberal, Democratic-leaning voters from their likely voter models as they are less likely to actually vote than older, more conservative Republican voters.  In presidential election years, this switch usually happens around Labor Day, where the campaign season's home stretch begins.

But a lot of those turnout models haven't done so well recently.  Remember four years ago when Gallup was predicting a Romney win, and Obama won by 5 points instead?  Many likely voter models are heavily weighted against black and Latino turnout, and yet black voters came out in record numbers in 2008 and 2012.

It looks like the pollsters are making the same mistake this year as well.  Let's start with the latest IBD/TIPP poll, showing Trump now tied with Clinton at 39% in a 4-way race.

In a sharp turnaround in an already volatile election season, support for Hillary Clinton tumbled as Donald Trump made gains over the past month, leaving the race a virtual tie.

The latest IBD/TIPP Poll shows that Clinton is now ahead of Trump by just one percentage point, 44% to 43% among likely voters. Last month, Clinton had a seven-point lead over Trump — 46% to 39% -- among registered voters.

Clinton and Trump are tied at 39% each in a four-way matchup that includes Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson, who gets 12% support, and Green Party candidate Jill Stein, who gets 3%.

As the election nears, IBD/TIPP is narrowing the horse-race results from registered to likely voters. This month's survey included a total of 934 respondents, 887 of whom were registered voters and 861 were deemed likely voters. The margin of error for the horse-race results is +/‐3.4 percentage points. The IBD/TIPP Poll has been cited as the most accurate in the past three presidential elections.

Now IBD/TIPP has traditionally been pretty accurate when it comes to the final poll of the presidential campaign, they called 2008 right on the nose.  But the jump from registered to likely is always jarring and is almost always the likely voter model from four years previous, without any adjustments.  We're seeing that now.

Reuters/Ipsos too has made the jump to their first real likely voter model, and it now finds Trump leading.

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump has pulled into an effective tie with Democratic rival Hillary Clinton, erasing a substantial deficit as he consolidated support among his party’s likely voters in recent weeks, according to the latest Reuters/Ipsos national tracking poll released Friday.

The poll showed 40 percent of likely voters supporting Trump and 39 percent backing Clinton for the week of Aug. 26 to Sept. 1. Clinton's support has dropped steadily in the weekly tracking poll since Aug. 25, eliminating what had been a eight-point lead for her.

Trump's gains came as Republican support for their party’s candidate jumped by six percentage points over the past two weeks, to about 78 percent. That is still below the 85 percent support Republican nominee Mitt Romney enjoyed in the summer of 2012, but the improvement helps explain Trump’s rise in the poll.

The Reuters/Ipsos poll is conducted online in English in all 50 states. The latest poll surveyed 1,804 likely voters over the course of the week; it had a credibility interval, a measure of accuracy, of three percent.

Different polls have produced widely different results over the course of the campaign. In part that's because some, like Reuters/Ipsos, have attempted to measure the preferences of who's likely to vote, while others have surveyed the larger pool of all registered voters. And even those that survey likely voters have different ways of estimating who is likely to cast a ballot.

Again, a very, very similar outcome to IBD/TIPP.  Rasmussen too has made the jump to the likely voter model this week.

Hillary Clinton’s post-convention lead has disappeared, putting her behind Donald Trump for the first time nationally since mid-July.

The latest weekly Rasmussen Reports White House Watch national telephone and online survey shows Trump with 40% support to Clinton’s 39% among Likely U.S. Voters, after Clinton led 42% to 38% a week ago. Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson now earns seven percent (7%) of the vote, down from nine percent (9%) the previous two weeks, while Green Party candidate Jill Stein picks up three percent (3%) support. Three percent (3%) like some other candidate, and seven percent (7%) are undecided. (To see survey question wording,click here.)

Clinton's support has been trending down from a high of 44% in early August just after the Democratic National Convention. This is her lowest level of support since mid-July. Trump's support has been eroding, too, from his high of 44% at that time. A one-point lead is statistically insignificant in a survey with a +/- 3 percentage point of margin of error. It highlights, however, that this remains a very close race.

Again, a nearly identical outcome.  All three polls show Hillary Clinton at just 39% among likely voters in a 4-way race, tied with Trump, and frankly I don't believe that for a second. Once again these likely voter models almost always underestimate black and Latino voters, and those are the groups that Hillary is polling the best with.

So expect to see adjustments in these likely voter models that favor Clinton as we move ahead as these models start accounting for the changes in the electorate from four years ago (some will do this better than others, which is why Gallup was so badly off four years ago in late October, having Romney up by 7 two weeks before the election.)

Shorter article: relax.  Then go vote.

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