Princeton Election Consortium

A first draft of electoral history. Since 2004

Politics and Polls #66: Year of the Trumpquake

November 9th, 2017, 8:10pm by Sam Wang

Our podcast is ranked #12 in News and Politics on iTunes! Which is pretty cool.

Here, Julian Zelizer and I look back on the last 12 months, including what we did and didn’t foresee after last November’s Trumpquake. Added bonus: I do impression of Russian spy. All in the new Politics & Polls.

→ 2 CommentsTags: 2014 Election

Tuesday election trackers

November 6th, 2017, 9:50pm by Sam Wang

The DailyKos Elections tracking spreadsheet is here.

The New Jersey governor’s race is a foregone conclusion – the winner should be Phil Murphy (D), which would give Democrats full control of government.

Virginia governor’s race looks close: Northam (D) leads Gillespie (R) by 2.5 +/- 0.9 % (median +/- SEM, n=4). It’s closer than expected, given that in Virginia, the President’s party (R) usually underperforms the previous year’s Presidential-election performance – and Hillary Clinton won Virginia by 5 percentage points. Note that all of the Virginia House of Delegates (the lower chamber) is up for election. The Virginia Senate, which is narrowly controlled by Republicans, doesn’t have any seats up this time around – that happens in 2019. If Gillespie wins, that raises the possibility of total Republican control over Virginia’s redistricting in 2021. For these reasons, Virginia is worth watching – and getting out the vote. Turnout is key; to follow that, here’s a tracker!

4:48pm: As of 4:00pm, median turnout in the NextGen America precincts has already matched total 2013 turnout. Polls close at 7:00pm.

10:00pm: In Virginia, Northam’s win is headed for 8-10%, larger than expected from polls. It’s a large error, over 6 points…but then again, it would have been weird if Northam had *not* outperformed Clinton’s 5-point win last November. Some in the press are saying it was a huge blow to Trump and the GOP, but as far as I can tell, it’s just a continuation of the longstanding Virginia trend of going against the President’s party one year later.

→ 15 CommentsTags: governors

Tomorrow on WPRB w/These Vibes Are Too Cosmic

November 6th, 2017, 9:17pm by Sam Wang

Tomorrow (Tuesday) at 6:45pm, I’ll go on WPRB Princeton 103.3 FM with Stevie Bergman, host of These Vibes Are Too Cosmic. Long-form college radio. She and her co-host Brian get great guests on scientific topics ranging from the paranormal to how alliances form on social media. It should be fun. NJ/PA area listeners and online WPRB fans, tune in!

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Today on WHYY Radio Times

October 19th, 2017, 5:18am by Sam Wang

Today at 10:00am Eastern, WHYY Radio Times host Marty Moss-Coane will have me on to talk about partisan gerrymandering. Her other guest is Carol Kuniholm of Fair Districts PA. Pennsylvania is the largest gerrymandered state and there are several lawsuits brewing, so our discussion will be most timely.
Listen to the show here!

Comments OffTags: Redistricting

Politics & Polls: What I saw in the Supreme Court

October 12th, 2017, 5:16pm by Sam Wang

Julian Zelizer and I talk about partisan gerrymandering, what I saw when I attended oral argument in Gill v. Whitford, and what it means for reform efforts nationwide. All in the new Politics & Polls.

→ 12 CommentsTags: Redistricting

Data Science in 30 Minutes: Partisan Gerrymandering

October 11th, 2017, 8:59pm by Sam Wang

Here’s a webinar on how data nerds can help fight partisan gerrymandering: You can help by joining state-level efforts, and by supporting our work.

→ 1 CommentTags: Redistricting

Support our gerrymandering work!

October 11th, 2017, 7:19am by Sam Wang

We are engaged in nonpartisan analysis to help understand the causes of partisan gerrymandering, and develop tools to fix it through court action and through citizen-led reform efforts in states. For example, our amicus brief in last week’s Supreme Court case may be useful to them as they write their decision – and, depending on that ruling, to lower courts as the decision is implemented.

To learn more about our analysis, which meets legal constraints set in place by the Court (and even addresses objections by conservatives such as Justice Samuel Alito), read our amicus brief or watch our great explainer video. For a deep dive into why partisan gerrymandering has soared, see our piece in The American Prospect.

If you are interested in supporting the project, please contact Princeton University Development officer Thomas Roddenbery, who can help direct your donation.

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Making Every Vote Count: Election reform and the National Popular Vote Compact

October 7th, 2017, 11:02am by Sam Wang

This morning I was on CNN (watch it here) with Mike Smerconish to talk about replacing the Electoral College with a national popular vote. There’s a practical strategy for doing so: state-level legislation, in the form of the National Popular Vote Compact.

Some of the reasons for implementing a national popular vote may surprise you. One big reason is security. Today’s Electoral College opens a giant security hole. Hackers can target as few as five states to swing an election.

Another reason has to do with the fact that many communities are not represented in the swing states. To name a few: Mormons, Southern Baptists, and Americans of Puerto Rican descent all get left in the cold. Also, despite what you may believe, small states are mostly left out of influence.

Read more at Making Every Vote Count. Washington-area people, the national rollout occurs this Thursday morning at the National Press Club.

→ 7 CommentsTags: President · U.S. Institutions

What the Supreme Court didn’t say…yet

October 3rd, 2017, 8:51pm by Sam Wang

This bingo card turns out to be a fairly apt explanation for what did, and did not, happen during oral arguments today.
First, a bit of color: I sat behind Bill Whitford, and to his right was former California Governor Arnold Schwarznegger. In front of them was Wisconsin Senator Tammy Baldwin. That was cool.

Anyway, note the failure to make bingo above – and what is missing. [Read more →]

→ 13 CommentsTags: Redistricting

Tom Petty

October 3rd, 2017, 6:36am by Sam Wang

This was the first Tom Petty song I loved.
So much bad news in the world. The biggest mass shooting in U.S. history. The rapid erosion of norms in our government’s institutions. Climate change-induced intensification of hurricanes, and the ensuing disaster in Puerto Rico. The post-apocalyptic imagery in the video above seems fitting.

However, there is a bright spot: U.S. science. Rosbash, Hall, and Young richly deserve their Nobel Prize for working out the genetics and molecular mechanisms of circadian rhythms. Surely every one of you has an opinion about whether you got enough sleep last night. Circadian rhythms are a central feature of our lives, and are critical for health. Their work was done in a small fly, Drosophila melanogaster, and the basic principles all apply to us. This prize, for molecular neuroscience, is a pinnacle of basic research, one that was made possible by the greatness of American scientific establishment.

Today, the Nobel Prize in Physics goes to Weiss, Thorne, and Barish, for the discovery of gravitational waves. Again, a milestone in basic research.

Off to the Supreme Court, to see whether (statistical) science cuts any ice with them.

→ 1 CommentTags: 2014 Election