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.
September 29th, 2016, 3:36pm by Sam Wang
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 →]
September 28th, 2016, 12:12am by Sam Wang
Other than polls, focus groups, betting markets, financial markets, and downcast supporters, everything points to a big Trump win
— James Pethokoukis (@JimPethokoukis) September 27, 2016
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%.
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.
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.
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 →]
September 26th, 2016, 12:14am by Sam Wang
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!
September 23rd, 2016, 8:00am by Sam Wang
A bit strange.
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.
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 →]