It’s a new collaboration with Julian Zelizer over in History. The first episode, produced by the Woodrow Wilson school, is posted here, as well as on iTunes. Topics include: is a 1964-like landslide possible this year? Does Brexit teach us anything about the Trump phenomenon? Does The Party Decide on nominees? Is a realignment of the two parties likely this year? (Spoiler: on all four questions, I am not bullish.) Take a listen!
July 1st, 2016, 12:00pm by Sam Wang
June 30th, 2016, 9:13am by Sam Wang
As we have done since 2004, we are taking a polls-only approach to give a daily snapshot of the race – as well as a November prediction. This approach has an effective precision of a few tenths of a percentage point of public opinion, and performs very well as both a tracker and a forecast. Currently, the probability of a Hillary Clinton victory in November is 85 percent, based on polls alone.
Today, I give a brief tour of the computational approach. [Read more →]
June 29th, 2016, 12:24pm by Sam Wang
— Sam Wang (@SamWangPhD) June 26, 2016
On most news days this month, there has been some pointless story about a single poll. Journalists’ instincts to report on the exceptional event are totally inappropriate for following polls, where the median result is the one that is most likely to be true. After 12 years of poll aggregation, wouldn’t their profession have adopted better practices by now ? Anyway, Clinton has been up by 5 to 7 percentage points all month. There is nothing else to say about that. Also, we are starting to get state polls, which will fill in the picture considerably.
Meantime, this is of at least equal significance for November:
June 26th, 2016, 11:30pm by Sam Wang
Today, Mark Tengi and I release an online application to help diagnose whether partisan gerrymandering is evident in a set of election results. The application is intended for the use of judges, clerks, litigants, and others who want a statistically well-founded and easily understood test for partisan asymmetry. The Supreme Court has suggested that partisan asymmetry may form a basis for a manageable standard for partisan gerrymandering, but they have not settled upon a specific standard. I hope to fill that gap.
The website, gerrymander.princeton.edu, implements three tests for partisan gerrymandering as described in an article I published last week in the Stanford Law Review. These proposed standards recently won a prize in Common Cause’s 2016 contest to define a partisan gerrymandering standard. The website is in beta-test, and I welcome your comments. If you detect a problem, email the output PDF if possible.
My three standards have two key features: (1) they implement the principle of partisan asymmetry, as others have also recently done; and (2) they do so without the use of any consideration of maps.
The second point is quite important. Most people who get exercised at the offense of gerrymandering may gravitate toward examination of a district’s convoluted boundaries. Although this is perfectly reasonable, existing precedents and consequences of the Voting Rights Act have conspired to make consideration of boundaries a tough sell with courts – at least for statewide partisan gerrymandering. Let me explain. [Read more →]
June 24th, 2016, 4:42am by Sam Wang
— Tancredi Palmeri (@tancredipalmeri) June 23, 2016
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.
And then there is this fascinating essay in Dissent magazine, which describes two Englands: elite England centered almost entirely in London, and excluded England composed of everyone else. Excluded England includes working classes, poor areas, former industrial districts – regions and classes that have not partaken in the reinvigoration that has been promised as part of membership in the European Union. All in all, they sound rather a lot like the pro-Trump wing of the Republican Party.
Finally, Paul Krugman ponders the aftermath of Brexit in a fairly non-panicked manner. He suggests that the problems in the European Union were there all along, and this vote changes nothing. He does suggest that the vote is pretty bad for Britain in the long run. They wanted to revive Britain; what they may get is a revived England (and probably Wales), severed from Scotland and Northern Ireland.
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?
When Swansea reported, Leave became the favrite on Betfair for the first time tonight.
— Phil Kerpen (@kerpen) June 24, 2016
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.
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.
June 15th, 2016, 9:03am by Sam Wang
My latest, in the Washington Post.
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!
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 →]