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Joe BidenCongratulations to our presumptive Democratic nominee, Joe Biden!

Thu Feb 20, 2020, 02:52 AM

 

How large are the various groups of potential voters?

Specifically, of those who will or may vote Dem, how would you rank each group in terms of its size/likely impact?

1) First off, you've got the mass of Vote Blue No Matter Who/party faithful.

2) There's a lot of talk about "independents," but we know from multiple studies that the vast majority of them consistently vote a straight-party ticket (Dem-leaning indies vote Dem and Rep-leaning indies vote Rep). They're partisan but hate partisanship, as one article on the subject stated. They're also not as reliable voters (and quite possibly not as informed) as the party-affiliated.

3) Next, there's, I think, a pretty substantial number of folks who will either not vote or will vote 3rd party unless we nominate Sanders (or possibly Warren). They feel that the US is in desperate need of large-scale fundamental change. They, many of them young, feel disenchanted or downright pissed off. Like it or not, that's pretty evident.

4) As for "independents" who might be classified as true swing voters, I think they're definitely the smallest lot of the bunch that I've mentioned so far. It's also hard to say exactly why they might vote a certain way. Some claim that they'll support the most moderate option, but that's disputed by the following article, which suggests that "confused" would be a more apt description: https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/the-moderate-middle-is-a-myth/.

5) Lastly, there are Republicans who could potentially vote Dem. Personally, I think that's a tiny and inconsequential fraction of the electorate.

We probably take a hit with one group by going after another. It's doubtful that we can get great turnout from each and every group. Sacrifices will be made, and one's perception of how large each group is would seem to dictate where one thinks sacrifices should be made.
If I were to vote in a presidential
primary today, I would vote for:
Undecided

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Response to Garrett78 (Original post)

Thu Feb 20, 2020, 03:03 AM

1. the group most likely to abandon trump is women IMO after seeing him in action for 4 yrs nt

 

If I were to vote in a presidential
primary today, I would vote for:
Joe Biden

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Response to Garrett78 (Original post)

Thu Feb 20, 2020, 04:11 AM

2. I like a more simplistic view

 

It’s a deeply partisan country and there isn’t a lot of opportunity to gain votes “in the middle”. I think the best option would be someone that can maximize turnout. Granted Trump himself will motivate a lot of people to come out and vote against him, but it’s the democrats that decided for whatever reason to sit on the sidelines last election to get involved this time around.
If I were to vote in a presidential
primary today, I would vote for:
Undecided

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Response to leftwingbias (Reply #2)

Thu Feb 20, 2020, 06:28 AM

3. Yeah, the problem in 2016 was one of turnout. It wasn't so much...

 

...that some Obama voters voted for Trump but that millions of Obama voters didn't turn out for Clinton (including hundreds of thousands across key states).

Like you implied and as is made evident in the 538 piece (The Moderate Middle Is A Myth) that I linked to in the OP, there isn't some mass of astute middle-of-the-roaders with a clearly-defined moderate ideology who will vote in accordance with whichever party puts forth the candidate closest to the center. The potential for the greatest gains are among youth, POC and white suburban women. As well as 3rd party voters and non-voters. It's true that the strongest indicator of not voting in the future is not having voted in the past, but just a fraction of the non-voting population (numbering more than 100 million in 2016) could make a huge difference.
If I were to vote in a presidential
primary today, I would vote for:
Undecided

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Response to leftwingbias (Reply #2)

Thu Feb 20, 2020, 02:31 PM

6. We need people to vote against Trump, but what we really need is for Democrats to coalesce ...

 

and vote for and really support the Democratic candidates all up and down the ballot. I'm voting for a straight ticker for the first time for the first time on purpose. I will write in a Democrat for any office a Republican is running unopposed in.
If I were to vote in a presidential
primary today, I would vote for:
Joe Biden

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Response to leftwingbias (Reply #2)

Thu Feb 20, 2020, 04:36 PM

8. 5% of voters are truly non-partisan but swing voters are very real and decided 2016

 

Nothing has changed in that regard since I started following the math in 1992. Pew Research as always reported that only 7-8% of registered voters have absolutely zero allegiance to either side. They flow with the wind. They also don't vote dependably, which is the reason their actual percentage of the electorate drops closer to 5% instead of 7-8% raw percentage among registered.

The country is indeed becoming more partisan and that includes the vital midwestern swing states. Wisconsin, for example, always had 32% range for self-identified conservatives. Now that has jumped to 36%. Pennsylvania has gone from 30% to 33%. Michigan from 33% to 36%. And so forth. I can rattle all of this stuff from the top of my head. The closer any of those numbers reaches to 50%, then the percentage of a Democratic victory drops accordingly. Absolutely linear. I have the distribution charts to prove it. Years ago I used to post that stuff here but the response rate was so low it simply was not worth it. Flowery subjectivity is preferred.

Independents indeed decide this stuff. We can quibble and deny all we want but that category shifts more than anything else among the meaningful blocks. Hillary never led by as much as conventional wisdom preferred in 2016 because there were an unusually high number of undecided independent voters late in the game. I made that point repeatedly and how it contrasted to low number of undecideds in 2012. It is one of the reasons I have to laugh at this new insistence that swing voters don't exist. It is incomparable ignorance. Normally the most recent example is not the one that is forgotten or denied. The reason Nate Silver was always lower than other models on Hillary's win expectancy was that he picked up on the bizarre high number of undecided voters late in that race, specifically in the key midwestern states.

Unfortunately it was the worst imaginable situational scenario because the Comey letter was released just as those swing voters were deciding. They broke toward Trump is almost unimaginable percentage, given the otherwise polarized nature of that election.

Here is a related section from 538: https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/the-invisible-undecided-voter/

"In 2012, President Obama’s advantage over Mitt Romney, although often paper-thin in national polls, was stronger than it appeared for two big reasons. One was that Obama, in stark contrast to Hillary Clinton, was outperforming his national polls in swing states, largely as a result of his popularity in the Midwest. The other is that 2012 featured remarkably few undecided voters: Only about 4 percent of voters went into Election Day not already committed to Obama or Romney. That reduced the chance of a potential last-minute swing. Even if most of the undecideds turned out for Romney, it probably wouldn’t have been enough to vault him past Obama in the swing states.

Just the opposite was true in 2016, and Clinton’s lead was considerably more fragile than it appeared from national polls. Not only was she underperforming in the Electoral College because of the way her demographic coalition was configured (see the first article in this series for more about that) but a much larger number of voters — about 13 percent on Election Day and as many as 20 percent at earlier stages of the campaign — were either undecided or said they planned to vote for third-party candidates Gary Johnson and Jill Stein. Those undecided voters made Clinton’s lead much less safe and they broke strongly toward Donald Trump at the end of the race. Trump won voters who decided in the last week of the campaign by a 59-30 margin in Wisconsin, 55-38 in Florida, 54-37 in Pennsylvania and 50-39 in Michigan, according to exit polls, which was enough to flip the outcome of those four states and their 75 combined electoral votes."

***

The good news for our 2016 nominee -- whoever that may be -- is that late undecideds tend to break toward the challenger and not the incumbent. It is unlikely we'll be swamped late as Hillary was. Posters who were here in 2004 will remember that a poster named TruthIsAll bombarded this site with one thread after another insisting that John Kerry was 99.99% likely to win. He based that exclusively on adjusting state polls toward his bias while also assigning an absurd percentage of undecideds to the challenger. This was just when evidence was mounting that undecideds to the challenger was an overblown theory, and especially in high profile races where both candidates become well known to the electorate.

Let's see, in 2004 I was using my ideological percentages. I was winning every statewide wager. In 2020 I will be using my ideological percentages. I love foundational aspects that require as few variables and decisions as possible, while others scramble for thousands of variables and try to pretend everything is changing in our midst.

Simple wins. Preference wins.
If I were to vote in a presidential
primary today, I would vote for:
Joe Biden

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Response to Awsi Dooger (Reply #8)

Thu Feb 20, 2020, 04:56 PM

10. Nobody is saying swing voters don't exist. More straw men.

 

Self-identified independents, moderates and undecideds are all over the map ideologically, as made clear by the 538 article on the myth of the moderate middle.
If I were to vote in a presidential
primary today, I would vote for:
Undecided

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Response to Garrett78 (Original post)

Thu Feb 20, 2020, 07:22 AM

4. what we do know, the under 30 crowd just do not vote, we see this in all elections

 

too busy gaming, texting, partying.
If I were to vote in a presidential
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Joe Biden

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Response to beachbumbob (Reply #4)

Thu Feb 20, 2020, 12:47 PM

5. Between 2014 and 2018, and between 2012 and 2016, the 18-29 age group...

 

...had a larger increase in turnout than any other age group. They went from 20% in 2014 to 36% in 2018, and from 46% in 2012 to 51% in 2016.

Lower turnout than the population as a whole, but here's the big thing to keep in mind: millennials are very close to being the single largest generation of US adults. As of 2018, they were approaching Boomers in number.

The oldest Gen Zers didn't become eligible until 2016. Obviously a greater percentage are now eligible.
If I were to vote in a presidential
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Undecided

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Response to Garrett78 (Original post)

Thu Feb 20, 2020, 03:27 PM

7. Sanders supporters are incredibly ignorant regarding a general election

 

Somehow they are dense enough to believe it is merely a continuation of a primary dynamic, that Sanders will always be on offense, and willing voters flow like water.

Meanwhile as soon as Sanders is the nominee he runs into those impenetrable stacks of self-identified conservatives in state after state. Those stacks are large and not impressed by anything. You don't self-identify as conservative and vote for a socialist. You don't win elections under the mind boggling stupidity that your guy will inspire turnout while the other side sulks on the couch. When there is energy or lack of energy both sides sense it and react accordingly.

And none of this accounts for all the anti-Sanders ads that have been canned and ready for go for 4 years.

The recent Wisconsin polling is a gulp of where we actually are against an incumbent, and not where we stupidly have believed we were for 3+ years. It is the reason I have probably used the word incumbent regarding Trump more that the rest of this site combined since 2017.

There is a very simple reason I bet on Republicans almost 90% of the time. That's where the value is. The formula is always the same: Identify the states with high number of self-identified conservatives but with the dialog and polling overstating the Democrat. Instead of 10/1 favoritism -- where it should be -- the odds drop to laughable territory like 60/40. That sample size includes Texas senate 2018 and Georgia governor 2018 and senate control 2018. In other words, all the races that Rachel Bitecofer totally ignored all the self-identified conservatives lined up the other way, creating virtually zero margin for error for the Democratic nominee.

It's going to be hilarious reading about turnout until November. Just wait until Sanders falls behind in polling. The genius supporters won't budge. They'll insist their guy really has that bonus 2-5% out there.

Meanwhile in Texas senate 2018 that extra 2% would have equated to 170,000 votes. That is the burden. That is the real world. Keep that in mind when Sanders supporters comically throw out terms like extra 2-3% based on turnout. Same thing here in Florida, where 2% will equate to 200,000 vote range in 2020. In Wisconsin that extra 2% is 60,000 votes.

When Bernie Sanders fielded the first question last night and emphasized turnout it was a signal that he has no clue what he is doing. We defeat Donald Trump on preference or not at all and we are on the verge of nominating a guy who wants to limit personal wealth.

Like it or not the single most significant moment of that debate last night was when Bloomberg correctly defined that personal wealth exchange as the greatest gift imaginable for Donald Trump.
If I were to vote in a presidential
primary today, I would vote for:
Joe Biden

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Response to Awsi Dooger (Reply #7)

Thu Feb 20, 2020, 04:51 PM

9. You're building straw men. Nobody believes a general election is merely an extension of a primary.

 

If I were to vote in a presidential
primary today, I would vote for:
Undecided

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Response to Garrett78 (Original post)

Thu Feb 20, 2020, 04:58 PM

11. Analyzing and estimating your 5 groups:

 

1) I think this is a solid 40% of the likely voters.

2) This doesn't exist, really. I lump the Dem-leaning indies into group 1.

3) This group is smaller than you think. It was about 5% of the electorate in 2016.

4) This group is bigger than you think. It was about 10% of the vote in 2016.

5) You vastly underestimate the size of this group. This group is what fueled the blue wave of 2018. And every one of them basically counts as two votes - one taken away from the GOP and added to the Democrats. For example - if there were 100 voters and they were split 50-50... and one of them switches, it is a 2-vote swing because it is now 51-49. Kind of like a pick-six in football when one team is about to score - a 14-point swing.



If I were to vote in a presidential
primary today, I would vote for:
Joe Biden

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Response to CalFione (Reply #11)

Thu Feb 20, 2020, 05:28 PM

12. Here's my response from the last time you made the same claim regarding #5:

 

https://www.democraticunderground.com/?com=view_post&forum=1287&pid=531564

Read the article that I linked to in that post. What you're claiming simply isn't true.

As for #2, independents definitely exist. But lumping them in with #1 is reasonable, given that the vast majority always vote a straight-ticket.

It's really hard to know just how many are in group #3, since we're talking about people who will only vote if a certain candidate is the nominee. We don't really have a way to test that, but we know they exist.

2016 matched 2 historically unpopular candidates, so it was something of an outlier. 3rd party voting was higher than normal. And, as made clear by the 538 article I posted elsewhere in this thread, those who self-identify as undecided or moderate or independent or all of the above (what we might call swing voters) are all over the map ideologically-speaking. This means, as the author points out, those who claim to know what it is those voters are looking for is talking out of their ass. They're making false assumptions based on what they think a swing voter must be like.
If I were to vote in a presidential
primary today, I would vote for:
Undecided

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