Princeton Election Consortium

A first draft of electoral history. Since 2004

Politics & Polls #13: The Alt-Right

September 29th, 2016, 3:36pm by Sam Wang


Julian Zelizer and I had the pleasure of interviewing historian Rick Perlstein on the subject of the “alt-right.” Fringe movements on the right have been around a long time, and Perlstein has studied these movements deeply, starting with his classic book Before The Storm. It was a fascinating conversation – take a listen.

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The incredibly stable 2016 campaign

September 29th, 2016, 1:10pm by Sam Wang


Like you, I am waiting for polls to come in. A reminder: the following measures will tend to move together: the Presidential Meta-Margin, the Senate Meta-Margin, the House generic Congressional ballot, and President Obama’s net approval. In the last day, the House and Obama numbers have moved toward Democrats.

This year’s Presidential campaign has been full of drama (much of which is captured in a single current story, that of Donald Trump and Alicia Machado). Despite all the venom and extremeness, actual voter sentiment is more stable than it’s ever been. [Read more →]

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Post-debate pundit spin lives up to its promise

September 28th, 2016, 12:12am by Sam Wang


I have little to say about last night’s debate, except to point out that based on polls of undecided and independent voters, Clinton was seen as scoring a convincing win against Donald Trump. This feeling is echoed by one-third of Republicans, which is pretty bad – as well as Rudy Giuliani, Brit Hume, Megyn Kelly, and other GOP bloviators. Oh, and Stormfront. Seems clear-cut.

What will happen next? Before the debate, I used regression to the mean to suggest that in the absence of other information, opinion is expected to move toward Clinton. We should have some national and state polls by Friday. Until then, ponder what value is added by pundit opinions.

The starting point for future comparisons is Clinton 303 EV, Trump 235 EV, Meta-Margin = Clinton +2.1%.

→ 102 CommentsTags: 2016 Election · President

Virginia is for statistics lovers

September 27th, 2016, 4:59am by Sam Wang


Today I head for Longwood University, site of next week’s vice-presidential debate, to talk about election math. If you’re anywhere near Farmville, come out and see what a great temperament I have. Tonight, Jarman Hall, 7:00pm.

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In the eye of a hurricane there is quiet: Clinton/Trump debate thread

September 26th, 2016, 8:15pm by Sam Wang


A few days ago, the state-poll-based Meta-Analysis reached an extreme value of Clinton +1.4%. It has turned around, and today went to Clinton +2.4%. I don’t know if this turnaround will continue…but note that this is a pre-debate bounce.

Get your panic on. [Read more →]

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Three Reasons To Ignore Debate “Expectations”

September 26th, 2016, 12:15am by Sam Wang


Polls are likely to move after the debate. It is the moment when voters get to make a direct, side-by-side comparison of the two candidates. This may also be the last time for any significant shift in the race.

Both before and after the debate, pundits will emit opinions about “expectations.” This commentary does not have predictive value. It would be better if they kept their focus on policy substance or factchecking.

Here are three reasons why you should basically ignore the onslaught of horserace punditry that is about to rain down. [Read more →]

→ 92 CommentsTags: 2016 Election · President

Today – WHYY Radio Times at 10am; on campus at noon

September 26th, 2016, 12:14am by Sam Wang


Today at 10:00am Eastern, I’ll be on WHYY-FM’s Radio Times with Mary Cummings-Jordan for an hour-long program on polls and the campaign. (Did you miss it? Archived here.)

If you’re in the Princeton area, at noon I’ll be giving a talk in the American Politics Seminar. My focus will be this year’s race, polarization, and a little gerrymandering too if I have time. Come on by if you can!

→ 4 CommentsTags: 2016 Election · Politics

Between Two Ferns: Zach Galifianakis interviews Hillary Clinton

September 23rd, 2016, 8:00am by Sam Wang


A bit strange.

Comments OffTags: 2016 Election · President

Politics & Polls podcast #12 – How will debates move the race?

September 22nd, 2016, 5:00pm by Sam Wang


The first debate is Monday, Sept. 26, at 9 p.m. from Hofstra University in New York. This first debate could be the most-viewed in our history. (update: yup.) How might these debates influence voters? With presidential polls more favorable to Trump than their average for 2016, which way will they move afterward? Julian Zelizer and I chew the cud.

→ 19 CommentsTags: 2016 Election · President

Ipsos/Reuters rips off the Band-Aid

September 20th, 2016, 7:00pm by Sam Wang


In today’s 50-state release of data by Ipsos/Reuters, some have commented on the fact that some individual state results are not convincing. I take a different view: having so many data points at once is a gift. [Read more →]

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