Friday, August 19, 2016

Donald Trump losing support from reliably Republican demographic groups

Donald Trump is struggling to gain the support of women and minorities that he would need to win the U.S. presidential election this fall. But the real reason Trump is trailing Hillary Clinton by such a wide margin is key demographic groups that have traditionally voted for the Republicans are abandoning him.

The last time the GOP won the White House, in 2004, George W. Bush won the votes of male, white and wealthier Americans by double-digit margins. But this year, the Republican nominee is down significantly among these demographics — even by the bars set by Mitt Romney in his failed 2012 bid for the presidency.

But while Hillary Clinton has held on to most of Barack Obama's coalition of voters from 2012, she hasn't built on it. Nevertheless, due to the significant losses that Trump has suffered among groups that should be in the middle of the Republican tent, she has moved ahead in the national polls by about six points while also being on track to take less of the vote than her Democratic predecessor did in either of the past two elections.

You can read the rest of this article here.

The Pollcast: What does the NDP want from electoral reform?

The special committee on electoral reform gets back to work next week. The battle lines have been drawn: the New Democrats and Greens on the side of proportional representation, the Conservatives and Bloc Québécois concerned with holding a referendum, and the Liberals noncommittal and seemingly more interested in talking about online and mandatory voting.

Will this mostly polite but disparate committee be able to come to a consensus on what electoral system should replace Canada's first-past-the-post system for the 2019 federal election?

After discussing electoral reform with two Liberal MPs last week, on this week's episode of the Pollcast I'm joined by two MPs from the NDP: Nathan Cullen, MP for Skeena–Bulkley Valley, and Alexandre Boulerice, MP for Rosemont–La Petite-Patrie.

Both Cullen and Boulerice are members of the committee.

They say the NDP is ready to find a compromise, though they have some concerns that the government is dragging its feet on getting electoral reform done. So do they believe that their work will lead to a change in the electoral system after all?

"That is my expectation," says Cullen. "That is the promise that Mr. Trudeau made. It was a black-and-white kind of promise."

You can listen to the podcast here and subscribe to the podcast here.

Polls, endorsements and money: measuring the Tory leadership race

Leadership races can be like looking through a pane of frosted glass. We might be able to see the vague outlines of what is on the other side and can make out some movement, but we don't know for certain what we're looking at until the window is thrown open — and the ballots are counted.

But there are a few metrics that can help clarify things for observers. In the Conservative leadership race, which will come to an end in May 2017, these metrics are beginning to come into view.

Six contestants are in the running to take over the Conservative Party of Canada: Ontario MPs Kellie Leitch, Michael Chong and Tony Clement, Quebec MP Maxime Bernier, Alberta MP Deepak Obhrai, and Saskatchewan MP Brad Trost.

Because of their relatively low profiles, it is difficult to rank these contestants at this point in the campaign. (Clement is the only one to hold significant cabinet posts throughout the entirety of the Harper government, although Bernier, Leitch and Chong were each in cabinet for periods of time.) But we can measure them according to three metrics: fundraising, endorsements and polls.

You can read the rest of this article here.


  1. It's a mistake, I think, when looking at the US horserace numbers, to ignore the actual levels of support these candidates are getting.

    Yes, Clinton is leading by a fair margin, but she'd polling well under 50%. We're seeing a huge section of voters who are either undecided or who will simply not vote.

  2. Ira,

    If I was a Rodham Clinton or Trump supporter, I would not tell pollsters the truth about my voting intention. Multiply that factor by a significant number and you get polls that will miss the winner, even in late polling, who becomes president.

    1. Why? To make your candidate look weak? Seems pretty idiotic as a strategy.

    2. There's no evidence to support this, though. There's no reason to believe that most people behave as you say you would. It appears either that the vast majority of people answer truthfully, or that both sides lie to a roughly offsetting degree (so the final numbers are roughly accurate).

      Polling is done because it is accurate to a statistically significant degree. Decades of evidence support this.

    3. Ryan,

      It's not a question of making my candidate weak or flawed. They don't need any help from voters. My support would be tepid at best hence my lack of conviction in publicly supporting my choice.

  3. I still don't understand what the NDP is doing. The only way the New Democrats could ever win a majority is by a preferred system of voting, if not they may always be third party status, but they are not pushing it. This is insane. Do they have nobody who has studied basic statistics and elections in their caucus?

    1. It...could be an argument based on principle and not electoral advantage

    2. You can have all of the power some of the time, or some of the power all of the time. The NDP is choosing the latter. Majority government isn't the be-all and end-all of politics.

  4. Hi, hard-core 308ers. It just occurs to me that I've been conversing with you guys for something like 8 years but have never actually spoken to any of you. Would any of you be interested in an actual live discussion? Like a Skype conference call or something? (Maybe if we organize it we can convince Eric to attend as well:)

    1. Not me.

      I prefer asynchronous communication. Message boards are my favourite, but comment threads do pretty well.


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