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Outcome: Biden 306 EV (D+1.2% from toss-up), Senate 50 D (D+1.0%)
Nov 3 polls: Biden 342 EV (D+5.3%), Senate 50-55 D (D+3.9%), House control D+4.6%
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Politics & Polls #5: Courting the Working Class

July 30th, 2016, 12:00pm by Sam Wang

This week, Democrats invoked patriotism, diversity, and strength at their convention. They also made an explicit play for people who typically vote Republican. Among these are white working-class voters. In this week’s Politics and Polls, Julian Zelizer and I talk about what these voters might want. [WWS] [iTunes] [SoundCloud]

Tags: 2016 Election · President

22 Comments so far ↓

  • bks

    Podcasts without transcripts are like golf games without scorecards.

    • Ed Wittens Cat

      quitcher whinage bks
      i’ll take it anyway i can get– this was brilliant!
      teasing out the different strands of electoral revolt…

    • Sam Wang

      From my point of view, the whole point of doing a podcast is that I do not have to spend time on it. You transcribe it, I’ll post it.

    • 538 Refugee

      Part of the open source concept is pitching in and adding features you want or feel are worth while. There is transcription software available for free. 5 or 6 people all taking a 5/6 minute chunk to proof and it might not be much effort depending on how accurate the software is.

  • Phoenix Woman

    The white working class left starting in the 1966 midterms as a direct result of LBJ’s bringing the New Deal to nonwhites. They’re not coming back because they put screwing over nonwhites, women and LGBTQs above their own economic interests.

    That’s why they voted for Matt Bevin last fall in Kentucky, even though they knew he’d kill Kynect and make it much harder for them to get Medicaid. He stood by Kim Davis, the anti-gay county clerk, and that was that.

    • Cervantes

      It was immediately after those mid-terms in ’66 that Kevin Phillips started writing The Emerging Republican Majority.

    • Phoenix Woman

      Cervantes: Yes, and he was one of the persons who designed the Southern Strategy that made it happen.

    • Cervantes

      Nixon’s campaign referred to him internally as their “ethnic specialist.”

      He’s come a long way since then, in some ways.

  • 538 Refugee

    OFF TOPIC: I told my wife after HRC’s DNC speech that Trump would probably pull out after the 1st debate after getting thoroughly thumped and bated into numerous traps. Once again I under estimated Trump. He’s trying to pull out BEFORE the first debate.

    • Frank

      If Trump drops out of any of the debates, I predict this will cost him at the very least 3% points in the popularity vote polling. Recall that during the GOP primary campaign, when he ditched one of the debates, he immediately lost the subsequent state primary election.

      Furthermore, if Trump believes that there won’t be a debate if he drops out, they’ll probably put in Gary Johnson instead (with Clinton’s approval). I believe this would damage Trump more than Clinton, as it would legitimize Johnson to those who plan to reluctantly vote Trump simply because he’s the Republican nominee.

    • A New Jersey Farmer

      The Committee really should have avoided NFL games. How difficult would it have been to schedule the first debate on September 27?

    • Sam Wang

      This is a made-up issue. A debate in 2012 coincided with Monday Night Football, and you don’t even remember that. Anyway, the Presidential Debate Commission set its dates first.

      Anyway, it seems like the real problem is that Trump is concerned that she will win.

  • G from the D

    Sam – just wanted to point out that there seems to be something wrong with the Huff feed on the left side of the Home page.

    • Sam Wang

      It looks like they are changing their Gallup feed to have all daily updates, not just a jumping average. Once it is caught up, I hope it will start showing other polls again. Note that the right sidebar has a link to the full feed.

  • Richard Vance

    I’m confused. All polls show Colorado blue.
    States Don needs to just have a chance are showing toss up. NV, NH, FL, IA. But he went to Colorado to a city with NORAD HQ. The brass despises the man and the troops are edgy.
    Is there something going on not caught in polls or is he just that stupid?

    • 538 Refugee

      I think Colorado was the ‘tipping point’ state in the last election. That is an indication of what a rough map Trump faces. Virginia, Ohio and Florida were icing on the cake. This year Clinton could take up through North Carolina. I’m not putting much stock in the state polls yet but she could possibly add a state or two more.

    • Tony

      Trump has very little campaign infrastructure, it’s very possible he has very little internal polling and no resources analyzing the public polls.

      Clinton’s campaign is a machine, and probably knows more about the current state of the election than any other group or organization, and they’ve pulled their ads from Colorado.

      It’s safe to assume Colorado is in the category of states that are going to go to Clinton unless Trump has already won the election. Trump just doesn’t realize it.

    • OldenGoldenDecoy

      From Wikipedia:

      “At one time Colorado Springs was counted to be the national headquarters for 81 different religious organizations, earning the city the tongue-in-cheek nicknames ‘the Evangelical Vatican’ and ‘The Christian Mecca’…”

      Culture – Religious institutions:,_Colorado#Culture

    • Richard Vance

      Yes about the Clinton data machine. They are using Obama’s guys. Wired had an article on them. They use individual targeted campaigns. They can accurately predict if you are worth their interest just from your social media. There are no wasted resources. As was said if you see Clinton move resources into Michigan or Wisconsin then she’s playing defense. If you see a play in Arizona she’s going for a blow out.

    • 538 Refugee


      Clinton’s campaign could also reflect a broader picture of down ticket races. She’s been around long enough to know that just winning the presidency isn’t enough if she truly wants to have a meaningful presidency. Four years without the house and senate will simply allow the Republicans to complete their vilification of her. Four more years of hearings and nothing else. “President Clinton has high unfavorable ratings. We think the next president should fill the Supreme Court vacancy.”

  • Amitabh Lath

    The category “white” integrates over far too large a swath of the population. It includes Berber/Arab-Americans, Southern-European Catholic-, Scandinavian-, Anglo-Irish, German- Americans, as well as those who trace their ancestry back to the former Yugoslavia and Soviet Union. It’s not clear if all these subgroups within “white” are at all monolithic in outlook.

    Your point focusing on people who report race as “American” and areas where Wallace did well, as well as focusing on the Appalachian demographic gets to the heart of the issue. This indicates “white” is more important as an indicator of not-something-else (not black, hispanic, asian, urban, recent immigrant, coastal sophisticate).

    Of course this oversimplification exists in other groups. For instance “Asian-American” includes people of East-Asian and South-Asian ancestry. But it’s not yet a big enough demographic to matter.