Princeton Election Consortium

A first draft of electoral history. Since 2004

Brexit survey of the day

June 24th, 2016, 4:42am by Sam Wang


The UK voters who dominated the vote to Leave are also the ones who have to live with the outcome for the least amount of time.

→ 25 CommentsTags: United Kingdom

Brexit polls microscopically favor Remain

June 23rd, 2016, 11:00am by Sam Wang


Today, the UK votes on a referendum on whether to Remain in the European Union, or to Leave. In polls started since June 16th, the current median is Remain +1.0 +/- 1.8% (n=7; median +/- estimated SEM; probability of a lead among decided respondents=70%). Where a single pollster conducted multiple polls in the last week, I used the most recent survey. So among decided respondents, Remain is very slightly ahead.

HuffPollster reports about 9% of respondents still remain Undecided, enough to swing the outcome either way. Where multiple polls were available from one pollster, the direction of change was YouGov 0.5% toward Remain, NBC/SurveyMonkey 4% toward Remain, and Survation 3% toward Leave. This is ambiguous.

Big referenda like this can contain hidden strains of opinion. For example, in 2014 the Scotland independence referendum failed by 6% more than indicated by polls. That was a situation of some voters being little-c conservative, in the sense of avoiding drastic change. Naively, I think such a dynamic would favor the Remain side…but we will see. Could still go the other way.

The Scotland failure led to stengthening of the SNP, with echoes felt in the UK today. Even if Remain wins, what will be the consequences of today’s vote?

Update, 8:54pm: “Leave” is doing better than expected in many constituencies. Follow the results at the Guardian’s liveblog.

Friday morning: I had a bit of trouble with updates last night, so couldn’t post this. An excellent projection was done by Chris Hanretty of the University of East Anglia. His interpolation made it clear by about 9:00pm Eastern (2:00am UK) last night that Leave would win.

→ 24 CommentsTags: United Kingdom

The Takeaway – today!

June 16th, 2016, 8:46am by Sam Wang


Today on The Takeaway, John Hockenberry and I discuss whether a realignment is brewing (spoiler: probably not). On WNYC-AM at 9:00am Eastern, WNYC-FM at 3pm. Broadcast nationwide, and here is the recorded podcast.

→ 27 CommentsTags: 2016 Election

How behavioral science could help get more Americans to vote

June 15th, 2016, 9:03am by Sam Wang


My latest, in the Washington Post.

→ 14 CommentsTags: Politics

Pardon our mess…

June 9th, 2016, 4:23am by Sam Wang


A fair amount of construction is going on around here. There may be a few bumps along the way. For example, right now we’re tweaking the banner (until now it was updated manually).

Starting this summer, I am on the lookout for a new partner in running PEC, as Mark Tengi moves on from Princeton. Ideally, the person is part of the Princeton community (student or otherwise) and conversant or willing in Python, WordPress backend, and Linux. Write me!

→ 33 CommentsTags: 2016 Election

The Second Phase of Realignment: 1976-2012

June 5th, 2016, 12:00pm by Sam Wang


Shifts in American political geography (“realignments”), which I wrote about on Thursday, can be viewed at a glance using the following diagram. It allows us to see just how little change there has been in recent years – including 2016 so far. [Read more →]

→ 47 CommentsTags: 2004 Election · 2008 Election · 2012 Election · 2016 Election · President

The Realignment Myth

June 2nd, 2016, 3:35am by Sam Wang


With a candidate as strange as Donald Trump, it is tempting to speculate that the usual red-state and blue-state assignments may not hold. Trump is probably not a leader of change in the Republican Party, but rather the visible manifestation of a realignment within the party that has been brewing for years. Will national voting patterns change too? [Read more →]

→ 18 CommentsTags: 2004 Election · 2008 Election · 2012 Election · 2016 Election · President

State-poll snapshot: Clinton 336, Trump 202 EV; Meta-Margin +4.2%

May 31st, 2016, 10:32am by Sam Wang


Thanks to Brad DeLong, who has collected some of my oldies from January 2016. Back then, I outlined how polling data and Republican party rules pointed clearly toward a Trump nomination.

Here at PEC we are ramping up slowly. In the top banner is a preview of the main product: a snapshot of state polls. It’s basically the same as previous years, a day-to-day snapshot of state polls for the general election. This year, I am also adding a November prediction.

Brief notes: [Read more →]

→ 62 CommentsTags: 2016 Election · President

Nomination rules and November nerdery at the NYT

May 25th, 2016, 9:57am by Sam Wang


In the New York Times, an article about the Republican Party considering changes to its nomination rules process to eliminate “chaos,” which I think is a code word for “Trump.” However, my quick scan does not reveal any proposed changes that would solve their Trump problem. As I wrote last July in The New Republic, some kind of instant-runoff or ranked-preference voting might have gotten them out of their current jam. Probably that’s too fancy for them to consider.

Also, I see The Upshot is drilling into the Erikson and Wlezien data that I used for the post below about November predictions. They only use data from 1980, but their answer appears to be similar to mine – except that I added a predictive calculation based on the data. Again, that’s just my quick scan of it.

→ 31 CommentsTags: 2016 Election · President

February national polls are the best you get until August

May 22nd, 2016, 12:00pm by Sam Wang


Tuesday 5/24, 8:20am: in the comments, an interesting discussion here.

Some media types are going around with their hair on fire over two unfavorable polls for Hillary Clinton in which she lags Donald Trump. In response in the NYT, Norm Ornstein and Alan Abramowitz are trying to convince you that these polls mean nothing. Nothing, I tell you! Don’t Panic!!!

In a deep sense, they’re right. As I wrote the other day, opinion can move a lot between now and Election Day. And it is inappropriate to trumpet a single poll showing an exceptional result, which is what the news channels do.

However, do not throw out the baby with the bathwater. In fact, we can learn quite a lot from polls by extracting as much value as possible from them. This can be tricky because right around now, national polls are the least informative they are going to be in 2016. To put it another way, polls will be more informative one month from now – and they were also more informative a month ago. How can this be, and what do we really know about the Clinton/Trump November win probability? [Read more →]

→ 73 CommentsTags: 2016 Election · President