Posted by: seanmalstrom | September 30, 2016

How could Ohio NOT be a bellwether?

2012:

-Popular Vote-

Obama: 51%

Romney: 47%

Difference: 4 points

 

-Ohio Vote-

Obama: 50%

Romney: 47%

Difference: 3 points

 

2008:

-Popular Vote-

Obama: 52%

McCain: 46%

Difference: 6 points

 

-Ohio-

Obama: 51%

McCain: 47%

Difference: 4 points

 

2004:

-Popular Vote-

Bush: 50%

Kerry: 48%

Difference: 2 points

 

-Ohio Vote-

Bush: 50%

Kerry: 48%

Difference: 2 points

 

2000:

-Popular Vote-

Bush: 48%

Gore: 48%

Difference: 0 points

 

-Ohio Vote-

Bush: 50%

Gore: 46%

Difference: 4 points

 

One of the reasons why Ohio is a bellwether is that Ohio has been won by every winning candidate back to J.F. Kennedy in 1960. This has been going on for over 50 years. Even in the 19th Century, there were so many presidents from Ohio because Ohio was seen as the bellwether back then.

But then I read this in the New York Times:

Ohio is no longer a bellwether state

After half a century, Ohio is no longer a bellwether. What new data has emerged to suggest this? There is no 2016 electoral data yet.

But even some of the state’s proudest boosters acknowledge that Ohio, which is nearly 80 percent white, is decreasingly representative of contemporary America.

“Ohio, like a melting iceberg, has slowly been losing its status as the country’s bellwether,” said Michael F. Curtin, a Democratic state legislator and former Columbus Dispatch editor who is an author of the state’s authoritative “Ohio Politics Almanac.”

The assumption here is that elections are decided by race. Are they? Texas, the most reliable Republican state, is filled with hispanics, Nigerians, and such. Vermont, a reliable Democrat state, also Bernie Sanders home state, is dominated by whites.

“If the Republican Party looks more like the Trump coalition and the Democratic Party looks more like the Obama coalition, then the states Democrats must win will no longer be Ohio and Iowa,” said David Wilhelm, a manager of Bill Clinton’s first presidential campaign and a former Democratic national chairman who lives in suburban Columbus. “They will be Virginia, North Carolina, Arizona and Georgia.”

Trump is outperforming McCain and Romney. If primary votes are any indication, Trump is definitely going to get Republicans out there. If Obama couldn’t get Arizona and Georgia in 2008, what chance does Clinton have? Obama couldn’t even get North Carolina from Romney in 2012.

Virginia is notoriously difficult to poll because there are no publicized party affiliations there. How many Rs and how many Ds? We do not know. It is why the 2014 Virginia polling was so far off.

[My favorite is when people talk about Texas voting. Texas hasn’t had a Democrat win a state-wide election in like fifteen years. If a party cannot win a state wide election, it won’t win a presidential election.]

In the 2016 Ohio primary, Trump got more primary votes than Clinton despite him getting second to Kasich.

It is not probable that Clinton would be ahead in the popular vote if she is pulling out of Ohio.

Clinton cannot win in Ohio because of the massive registration changes coming out of Cleveland (which she would need in order to have a fighting chance at the state to offset the Republican areas).

Trump performing well in Ohio is significant because we need to look at these as more of ‘areas’ instead of just states. This would mean Trump would be doing better than, say, Romney at the surrounding states around Ohio. It would explain why Obama is campaigning for Clinton in Philadelphia and/or Pittsburgh. It might explain why Trump is in Michigan today.

These massive registration changes are also being seen in Florida. I expect Clinton to pull out of Florida next.  If Clinton pulled out of Ohio, which Obama won by 3 points, how is she going to have any chance in Florida which Obama won by less than 1% in 2012? “Because of non-white voters.” That makes no sense especially since both Trump and Clinton are white. In order for identity politics to work, the candidate has to be of that identity.

General Polling was wrong in 2012

General polling was off in 2012. Gallup got it wrong so they stopped doing presidential polling. Most 2012 polls had the race a tie. It wasn’t. Only two polls were outliers and nailed Obama +3. They were the RAND poll and the LA Times poll.

The reason why Trump supporters keep citing the LA Times poll isn’t because it shows Trump up, but it is because they remember the sting of 2012. They don’t want to get their hopes up. LA Times was correct last time and the other polls were wrong.

Currently, the LA Times poll has Trump +5. This could explain why Clinton pulled out of Ohio and is only making a show at Florida (gone for her also. Remember, voting has already begun). It seems North Carolina is to Clinton what Pennsylvania was to Romney. A state to give the campaign watchers hope.

If the D strategy is for a non-white coalition, then why would such a non-white coalition vote for Clinton in greater or equal numbers than for Obama (who was non-white)? Romney and McCain were both accused of racism. How on earth is Clinton going to get states Obama couldn’t get especially with her negatives? It sounds like the strategy the Clinton Campaign is using is to depress Trump enthusiasm. But when we look at rallies, we certainly see no shortage of enthusiasm for Trump. If you look at primary vote data, more Republicans voted for Trump than in any other primary. There was more R primary participation too. However, the D primary participation was way down.

Take the 2012 electoral map, flip Ohio (Clinton already pulled out), flip Florida (where Obama won by less than 1% in 2012), flip Iowa (which the NY Times article says Clinton will likely pull out), and then flip Virginia (or a combination of Colorado + Nevada + New Hamsphire + Pennsylvania + Michigan), and Trump is past 270.

“Ohio is not a bellwether…” sounds like a desperate wish. After 2016 election, if Clinton wins without Ohio THEN we can say that Ohio is not a bellwether. But doing so now, without any electoral data, and throwing out electoral data of the last half century, sounds absurd.

I think the two very different primaries of D and R will paint the general election. During the R primary, it was very competitive, and the people voted Trump (Cruz wins were mostly in caucus states, not direct voting states). During the D primary, it was rigged for Clinton due to the super-delegates. Clinton’s won states were also southern states that she won’t win in the general election. It is more likely for Ds to vote for Trump than the other way around due to the D primary, due to Clinton supporting the Iraq War and Trump didn’t, and Trump’s anti-NAFTA economic nationalist plank. That, alone, may shatter the Rust Belt.

I also think campaign watchers are not understanding Trump’s support. Trump’s support isn’t coming because he has a R by his name (like Romney or McCain or Bush). Trump is not a candidate. Trump is a murder weapon. The victim will be the establishment class, i.e. the status quo. I saw this during the primaries. The more Trump is attacked by newspapers, TV shows, ‘statesmen’ politicians, whatever, the more he becomes beloved by his supporters. Many people cite Reagan’s popularity due to constitutional advocacy or wit and humor. What it actually was that they saw a non-politician character go to Washington and receive and take the blows for ‘the common people’ (ex: “I paid for this microphone, Mr. Green”). It is why the traditional negative ads aren’t working against him.

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