Thursday, August 4, 2016

Wisconsin demos show that Drumpf could compete...if he wasn't Drumpf

As I was lounging up North last week, I caught an excellent breakdown of U.S. polling in the New York Times’ “Upshot” segment. Titled “The One Demographic That is Hurting Hillary Clinton”, Nate Cohn showed the main reason Donald Trump was polling close to Hillary Clinton at the time was that he was winning big among white people without college degrees- especially men. It made up for him doing worse among people that aren’t stupid scared trash all other demographics.

Cohn pointed out that the “rile up the white guys” element of Trumpism is likely to change which states may or may not be in play come November.
Regardless of the exact sources of Mr. Trump’s strength, his narrow but deep appeal has the potential to shake up the electoral map. The extent that Democrats are dependent on white working-class voters varies considerably by state. So, too, does the extent to which Republicans depend on college-educated white voters.

A result could be growing strength for Mr. Trump in the Midwestern states with many working-class Democrats, like Iowa or Ohio. Mrs. Clinton, meanwhile, could excel in the states where there are fewer less-educated white voters for her to lose, and plenty of well-educated white voters or Hispanics for her to gain, like Virginia, Colorado, North Carolina and Florida. More traditionally Democratic states, like Pennsylvania and Iowa, might be in jeopardy.

These patterns are only beginning to emerge in the sparse public data. But the Clinton campaign’s view is clearer. Joel Benenson, the campaign’s pollster, said on Monday that Mrs. Clinton was “stronger in the Sun Belt states” than Mr. Obama was in 2012.

On the same day, the campaign pulled its advertisements in Colorado on the belief that it had built a large and durable lead — an astonishing turn for a state where Democrats never reached 50 percent of the vote between 1964 and 2004. Yet last week, the Clinton campaign began airing advertisements in Pennsylvania — a state where Democrats have won an above-average share of the vote in every election since 1952.
And if you look at a key chart in that story, you’ll see Wisconsin down at the bottom with Iowa, Ohio and New Hampshire as the type of state that could be more “Trump-friendly” due to these demographics (I apologize that I can't get the graphic to post). In Wisconsin in 2012, there were a small amount of Mitt Romney voters who were either “college-educated white” or Hispanic (barely 30%), but a whole lot of Democratic voters were white people without college degrees (over 55%). That would indicate that Drumpf could do well in the state, if he was equally strong in Wisconsin among white people without college degrees.

Nate Silver at had a similar observation on demographics (the link has disappeared on me, but I remember it coming up around the start of the DNC), where he said Wisconsin should be a strong place for Trump to make inroads because of demogrpahics. But Nate also noted that Trump was underperforming here, with Clinton maintaining a solid lead even before she started pulling away this week, and right now FiveThirtyEight projects her to win Wisconsin by double digits, which is why your local TV shows haven’t been too polluted yet with ads.

That being said, the disconnect between gearing your message toward a winning presidential strategy nationally for the Dems (designed to win higher-educated, more diverse states like North Carolina, Virginia, Florida, and Colorado) is something that could actually hurt them in the Midwest. Sure, Hillary is still extremely likely to win Wisconsin and most of those other Midwest states, and possibly by safe margins. But the margin seems likely come in the form of running up totals in urban areas and college towns, and getting enough votes in the WOW Counties and Appleton/Green Bay to keep Trump from running up his totals there. On the flip side, Drumpf could do well with rural Wisconsinites or those who live in blue-collar areas without a UW school in them (think Wausau, Manitowoc, Sheboygan, non-black Racine), and that could mean that there is little change in the State Legislature, given the nature of gerrymandering.

Now, Drumpf's recent meltdowns and in particular his disgusting attacks on Mr. and Mrs. Kahn along with his irrational nature on foreign policy may change this calculation, because it's really exposed him as a weak-minded, arrogant jackass more than a straight shooter, and even many lower-educated people aren't going to stand for that garbage. I'm going to be very intrigued by what next week's Marquette Poll might say, not just for the overall margin, but to see if Drumpf has suffered in certain demographics (i.e.- lower-educated white peopl).

But even with Drumpf melting down and being an anchor for the GOP, I still think it might be useful for the Democratic Party of Wisconsin not to hitch themselves entirely to Hillary, and instead promote independent-minded, anti-TPP candidates that relate more to blue-collar and rural interests (think Russ Feingold, Tom Nelson). It’s also why I’ve predicted Bernie Sanders will make at least one appearance on the stump with Russ this Fall, because it’s no coincidence that Bernie did as well in many bluer-collar mid-size Wisconsin cities during April’s primary as he did in the college towns (check the April results for yourself).

Bottom line- what might make sense for the DNC and the Hillary Clinton campaign might not be the best for the DPW and Dems running for other offices in Wisconsin this November. Don't get me wrong, Dems will be happy to see the GOTV help that Team DNC/Clinton may give (along with the depressed turnout Drumpf might cause for GOPs), but demographics and local opinions seem to indicate that a separate ideology that appeals more to working-class individuals might be a good plan for those in Wisconsin that aren't running for president.

No comments:

Post a Comment