Princeton Election Consortium

A first draft of electoral history. Since 2004

Senate Polls Meandering Toward Presidential Race

October 14th, 2016, 9:27am by Sam Wang

The last significant movement in the Presidential race occurred after the first debate. Here are national polls, unraveled day-by-day:

I calculated this for each date by taking the median of all polls that were surveying voters on each particular day. Then I smoothed it with a 3-day rolling median. It’s not perfect, but it does reveal that after the first debate Hillary Clinton gained 4 percentage points on Donald Trump. The smaller bumps are probably noise.

Oddly, the Access Hollywood video and ensuing sexual-assault scandal for Trump have not had a consequential effect yet on the Presidential race. To my thinking, the more important question is whether it will enhance the Democrats’ ability to tie Trump to downticket races.

There’s a story going around that Senate races are flat or trending Republican, even as the Presidential race is moving toward Clinton. Although it is true that several races have recently become competitive, the overall picture shows a fair amount of similarity. See the PEC aggregated-polling snapshots: [Read more →]

→ 50 CommentsTags: 2016 Election · President · Senate

All The Reasons You Doubt Polls: Motivated Reasoning Strikes Again

October 14th, 2016, 8:00am by Sam Wang

Every Presidential election, it happens. People on the side that is heading for a loss find ways to disbelieve what polls are telling them. This year is no different. [Read more →]

→ 42 CommentsTags: 2004 Election · 2012 Election · 2016 Election · President

The cabaret was quiet except for the drillin’ in the wall

October 14th, 2016, 12:57am by Sam Wang

Bob Dylan has been awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature. Awesome. He is a big part of the America I love. To echo Josh Marshall, this news makes me optimistic.

The choice of Dylan breaks a drought in U.S. writers since Toni Morrison won in 1993. The award to Dylan makes sense in the light of this essay, which points out that winners often exemplify the spirit of their country, and U.S. writers often can’t be pigeonholed that way. Dylan is both a great songwriter and quintessentially American, and fits with the Nobel committee’s priorities.

Lily, Rosemary and The Jack of Hearts – Bob Dylan from Lívia Pio on Vimeo.

→ 22 CommentsTags: Uncategorized

Politics And Polls #15: Senate And House Outlook

October 13th, 2016, 4:00pm by Sam Wang

On Politics & Polls (SoundCloud, PodOmatic, and iTunes): Julian Zelizer and I interview David Wasserman of the Cook Political Report. Wasserman is the most knowledgeable person about House districts and elections I know. We chew the cud about the election – and 2017. Listen now!

After you are done…find a swing district near you.

Comments OffTags: 2016 Election · House

Year Of The Woman, Again: Four Races That Will Determine The Senate Majority

October 13th, 2016, 6:00am by Sam Wang

The election of 1992 was hailed as the Year Of The Woman. In the wake of Anita Hill’s testimony against the confirmation of Clarence Thomas to the Supreme Court, female candidates such as Patty Murray were moved to run for office. Then-candidate Barbara Mikulski took issue with press coverage that treated her like a novelty*, treating the whole thing like “The Year Of Asparagus” (Mikulski’s words).

This year’s coverage of women in politics has, reasonably, focused the candidacy of Hillary Clinton. In the Senate, women will also play a historic role, but not because of their gender. [Read more →]

→ 25 CommentsTags: 2016 Election · Senate

Weekend At Bernie’s (no, not that Bernie)

October 12th, 2016, 4:55am by Sam Wang

To the extent that the most statistically stable Presidential race in 65 years can be made to look alive, here it is. Right-click to adjust the looping playback.

Animated Median EV

I have a question for readers. To me, it is plain that this year’s race is statistically highly stable, i.e. it hasn’t moved up and down very much. I am occasionally met with incomprehension or disbelief, even after showing a graph like the one able. Is the difficulty simply the emotional nature of this year’s race? Or is something else at work?

Thanks to PEC reader David Elk!

→ 98 CommentsTags: 2016 Election · President

Housekeeping note

October 11th, 2016, 8:40am by Sam Wang

Thanks to all the readers who noticed something wrong with the poll-aggregation rule. It’s fixed now, thanks to rapid response by PEC co-conspirator Walker Davis. I apologize for the glitch. [Read more →]

→ 64 CommentsTags: 2016 Election · Site News

Some secrets are not dirty

October 10th, 2016, 9:48am by Sam Wang

Yesterday, Hillary Clinton’s PEC win probability hit 95%.

In last night’s debate, the 2005 candid video of Donald Trump saying what he does with women was still on everyone’s mind. In response, he brought up many topics beloved by Republican rank-and-file voters: Bill Clinton, Benghazi, emails…it was a veritable Greatest Hits of 1996-2016. The likely consequence of this scorched-earth strategy is that Republican leaders are trapped. All their base (R) belong to Trump. This will reverberate downticket.

This seems like a good time to reveal one of the Princeton Election Consortium’s own secrets. Thankfully, it does not involve an Access Hollywood video. [Read more →]

→ 115 CommentsTags: 2004 Election · 2008 Election · 2012 Election · 2016 Election

Clinton/Trump: Debate #2

October 9th, 2016, 8:55pm by Sam Wang

My guess is that this will be surprisingly substantive, and less awful than feared. Don’t agree? Think about your fears. [Read more →]

→ 66 CommentsTags: 2016 Election · President

How Should Volatility Be Defined?

October 9th, 2016, 9:00am by Sam Wang

Several of you point out that my analysis of Presidential races 1952-2016 in The American Prospect appears to conflict with an assertion by Nate Silver about this year’s Presidential race. Yesterday he discussed why he thinks 2016 is a year of high “volatility.” In the piece he says that he is preparing a more detailed analysis of the topic. In anticipation of that, now seems like a good time to describe my own ideas of how volatility ought to be analyzed. If we can agree on our terms, we can all avoid confusion – and maybe some pitfalls.

You may regard the topic to be dry. However, volatility is absolutely central to understanding what is happening in our age of extreme polarization.

First, let me list qualities that I do not regard as volatility, properly speaking. [Read more →]

→ 55 CommentsTags: 2012 Election · 2016 Election