Archive for the ‘fabio’ Category
What do you say your children about politics?
We now have a lot more detail about Tuesday’s vote. Let’s start basic facts:
- Clinton 2 is ahead of Trump in the popular vote. Once the absentee ballots are counted, she’ll likely have a slim victory of about 200,000 votes or so.
- The electoral college was determined by very narrow margins in Midwest states: WI (27k votes, <1%), MI (12k, <<1%), and PA (68k, <1%). Ohio was a Trump blowout by 8%.
- The total popular vote will probably be at 2012 levels or less. Clinton 2, the winner of the popular vote, will barely match the total that the loser of 2012 got. Data: Clinton 2 will get about 59 million votes, Romney got almost 61 million votes.
- It’s not the economy: With 8% unemployment, Obama pulled out a comfortable victory in all the Midwest states Clinton 2 lost. With 5% unemployment, Clinton did much worse. See the stats here.
- Outside the Midwest, things were very predictable: Trump won the South and the Mountain States/Great Plains. Clinton 2 won the West Coast and the Northeast.
- Polls got Clinton 2’s tally correct, over-reported Johnson and under-reported Trump. Exit polls show that Clinton 2 lost Whites by even bigger margins and barely won union voters (!!) but the pattern is actually typical otherwise. But with low turnout and a split electorate, this relatively modest shift matters.
- In the last weeks of the campaign, Trump focused on Wisconsin and Michigan while Clinton 2 tried to steal Arizona before returning to the Midwest.
Taken together, this suggests a very straightforward story of the 2016 general election.
- Each party got roughly what you would expect. There is no massive rejection or endorsement of either party. The polarized electorate is the same as it was before.
- The electoral college split from the popular vote mainly because of (a) modest increase in White votes for Trump and (b) bad urban turnout for the Dems in the Rust belt, stretching from rural Pennsylvania to Wisconsin.
- This does not suggest that HRC was damaged at all by email scandals or any other of the very many Clinton scandals. Her national polling in 2008 and 2016 was pretty much the same Rather, it suggests that the campaign systematically failed to gather votes in one specific area of the country – the rust belt.In a close race, that’s enough.
For next week, I’ll focus on Clinton 2’s long history of poor campaign management and piece together a possible theory of how the Rust Belt Bungle might have happened.
What is the “sociological” take on election 2016? Use the comments. Tell us what you think! A selection of orgtheory related election posts:
- Elections, media and the public good.
- Bernie in the Street
- The Progressive Explosion in the Democratic Party
- Trump symposium
- What to do with Trump voters?
- The Party Decides Model
- Readers – HRC 53%
- The Real Clear Politics average is shooting for 46% HRC, 44% Trump, 5% Johsnon, 2% Stein.
Tomorrow: No matter what, the GOP has a real serious problem on its hands.
In my view, driverless cars are revolutionary. At the very least, they will eliminate a major health problem – auto injuries and fatalities. No system will be accident free, but driverless cars will be better at driving that most humans, they don’t get drunk, and they won’t drive recklessly.
There is another social consequence of driverless cars that needs discussion. Driverless cars will seriously disrupt police departments. Why? A lot of police department revenue comes from moving vehicle violations and parking tickets. In a recent news item, one judge admitted that many small town fund their police department entirely through speeding tickets. Even a big city police department enjoys the income from tickets. New York City receives tens of millions in moving violation fines. This income stream will evaporate.
Another way that driverless cars will disrupt police departments is that they will massively reduce police stops. If a driverless car has insurance and registration (which can be transmitted electronically) and drives according to the rules of the road, then police, literally, have no warrant to pull over a car that has not been previously identified as related to a specific crime. Hopefully, this means that police will no longer use moving violations as an excuse to pull over racial minorities.
Even if a fraction of the hype about driverless cars turns out to be true, it would be a massive improvement for humanity. Three cheers for technology.
Right now, we aren’t seeing a collapse of Donald Trump. Instead, we’re seeing (a) Clinton 2 steady at about 45% in the four way race and (b) Trump moving from about 40% to 43%. That means that the third party vote is collapsing. Johnson is dropping from a summer high of 10% to 4%. How can that be?
My current favorite explanation is the “parking lot” theory of American third parties. Most people today are highly polarized, which means they strongly sort themselves into parties and stick with it. A number of people, including myself, have argued that parties are a sort of social identity. Perhaps not as fundamental as gender or racial identity, but important none the less. The consequence of party-identity theory is that people usually become defensive about their identity and they are loathe to leave it.
“Parking lot” theory is a corollary of party-identity theory. When people are faced with a horrible candidate from their party, they become defensive and don’t want to give it up. They refuse to consider third parties. At best, third parties become “parking lots” for voters who are indecisive or embarrassed until they finally pull the lever for mainstream parties. I suspect that is what resulted in those 10% polls for Johnson. The Libertarian Party was simply the “parking lot” for 5% of American voters who fully intend to vote GOP but are too embarrassed by Trump. There is a real libertarian vote out there, but it is in the low single digits. Definitely not 10%.
I’m not the first to make this argument. In fact, one my BGS* pointed out that this argument appears in Shafer and Spady’s recent book The American Political Landscape. They don’t develop it fully but the historical data is there. In 2016, we see a spike of 10% for the Libertarians but they’ll be lucky to get 5% on polling day. In 1992, Perot peaked in the 30% range but ended up with 19% (still impressive) and then 10% in 1996. In 1980, John Anderson peaked at 20% but ended up with a paltry 7%. Nader 2000 is probably the only modern third party candidate that wasn’t a voter parking lot. He polled consistently in the 2%-4% range and got 3%.
Bottom line: The Libertarians may spoil a state or two this round, but they are doomed to be a voter parking lot.
* Brilliant Grad Students
I’ve often argued that Halloween is clearly and obviously the best holiday. Let me restate the case:
- Low social expectations. If you drop out and don’t do it, no one cares.
- Low cost. Just buy a bag of candy and you’re ready to go. Cheap costumes (or none) total acceptable.
- Be anything you want to be.
- Cool colors.
- No one alienates their family over “Halloween Dinner.”
- Limited travel.
- Pro-child holiday.
- A-political and inclusive of all religious and secular people.
I wish we could have Halloween every day of the year.