Tag Archives: Polls

The Story of the Democratic Candidates: Final Chapter

Final chapter for now…

I made a very special graphic, have a look:

Following in part on the procedure discussed here, this analysis combines data from several time-overlapping polls to produce a neater and cleaner depiction of each of the top four candidates march towards the presidency … or not.

It turns out that polls come in clusters. There will be several days in a row with a bunch of polls coming out, and then there will be a few days with no polls at all. There are reasons for this I won’t go into now. And, these polls, in the clusters, tend to overlap in time. For this reason, it is easy to take a bunch of polls in such a cluster and average out the results to give a better than average snapshot of a candidate’s status for a given period of time, usually about a week. Then, these withing cluster estimates are somewhat independent from the other clusters because there is no overlap in time, for the most part. The power of each estimate is very high, the trends depicted across the estimates are very likely.

That’s what the graphic above shows for Biden, Sanders, Warren, and Harris. Trends I noted in the previous several blog posts are apparent, but more cleanly depicted.

Here is what this graphic, based on 38 national polls, shows:

1) Biden has had a steady decline, and the rate of that decline may have increased after the first and so far only debate, but he is still number one.

2) Sanders has had consistent, immutable, results the whole time, never changing. It is like there is a certain number of people who support him, and they are not budging, nor are they gaining allies.

3) Warren started to rise in the polls well before the debates. This seems to have corresponded with intensification of her campaign, and her issue oriented displays of knowing things and having plans. Most experienced candidates and campaigners will tell you that is a bad approach. For Elizabeth Warren, it may have moved her into second place.

4) Harris was steady in her just barely 10% status — remarkably flat in fact — until the debate, when she suddenly rose almost meteorically, but not beyond the first cluster.

Is Warren’s rise more stable and issues and candidate based, therefore long lived, while Harris’s rise is a temporary bump from going after Biden in the debates? Is Biden’s downward trend going to continue at its newly accelerated rate or will it flatten out a bit, as hinted in these numbers?

To find out the answers to these and other questions, stay tuned!

But seriously, the next cluster of polls will be available in less than a week from now, most likely. The current pattern requires that the average for Biden be 35% or lower. Warren needs to be a strong second with over 25%. Sanders, while looking very flat, is actually down at his lowest rate in this sequence at present. Sanders should drop below 20%. Harris is likely to stabilize at around 20 or drop back to below 20. Or, she will rise to the mid 20s at the expense of Biden, mostly.

In evaluating these projections, remember how they are calculate. The poll numbers you see will all be lower than those mentioned here because of this. I don’t have full confidence in these projections, but when I say it all out loud, it seems right.

The Story of Warren and Harris as told by the ever-loving polls

The Warren and Harris stories are similar to each other, when viewed using the data described here. Both are trending upwards from a respectable just under two digit position, menacing those in second place.

I put the polynomials (third order) on there to investigate consistency in this trend over time. They show that Warren’s upward trend is steady, and Harris’s is more stepwise. It is hard to know if this means one is stronger, or rising faster, or more likely to take a top position, than the other. Not shown here, but looking at only the last month or so, both trend up, and Harris overtakes or equals Warren 20 days out. But, the variance in the data for that shorter time period is high, so I wouldn’t put much in it.

Bottom line: Harris and Warren are moving into position to be contenders in the race for the Democratic Party nomination, currently moving past, or about to move past, second place Sanders, while at the same time Biden is sinking into the same range. For a brief moment, this may be a four way horse race, by the end of July or early August.

The Story of Beto and Pete, as told by the polls

Now that we have dispensed with Bernie Sanders’ and Joe Biden’s stories, let’s have a look at two very different cases, those of Beto O’Rourke and Pete Buttigieg.

See this post for a description of how the numbers are calculated for the following graphic:

Instead of using a straight line regression I used a third order polynomial to track the polling over time for these two non-linear candidates. Each shows a rise and fall, with the fall ongoing. Don’t pay much attention to the 20 day projection. Maybe one or both of these candidates is oscillating rather than descending. Only time will tell.

There seem to be two main conclusions that can be drawn from these graphs.

1) Buttigieg is more or less on the board with a consistent high one digit showing, but he did not surge after the debates, and he is not really surging anywhere. In contract, O’Rourke has been essentially a non factor. People blame much of the pattern of polling on name recognition. This is true to some extent, but this effect is a) overplayed and b) important in choosing a candidate, not something to be discounted. Given the possible role of name recognition note that an unknown small time mayor is beating the pants off (in this low digit world) the guy who was VERY famous running against Texas Ted Cruz. In the end, O’Rourke does not appeal, Buttigieg has some potential.

2) Neither of these candidates really seems to be going anywhere.

In case you think me unfair or a statistical scoundrel of some kind for using a third order polynomial (and you should think that) for making the trend lines, there’s more.

The following graphic has the third order polynomial extended to fifth order. To illustrate the absurdity of it all, not this: There are some 38 data points here. A 38th order polynomial line would run through all of them. Anyway, using the high order polynomial, both candidates are doing great! But that is just for fun.

More important is the straight line regression line that shows both candidates as flat lining or slightly declining across this entire period, down below 10%. I suspect both of these candidates will be out of the race by the end of this November.

The Story of Bernie and Joe, as told by the polls

Here is a graph showing polling for Bernie Sanders and Joe Biden. See below for some important details.

The numbers used for this graph come from 38 national polls asking for voter preference about a varying number of candidates. There is a large variation across the polls in how many answered something other than a particular candidate (like “none”). These two factors cause useless and distracting variation in the actual percentage value given to a candidate for a given poll. You can imagine that if a certain candidate gets 23% of the “votes” in a given poll, that number could change a lot if non-answers were excluded, or the total number of candidates was different. An imperfect but still improved way to calculate the percent value for a given candidate is, then, to only look at a subset of the candidates across all the polls, and recalculate the percentage of polling for each candidate using only those numbers. That is what this graph shows, for these candidates only:

Biden
Booker
Buttigieg
Castro
Harris
Klobuchar
O’Rourke
Sanders
Warren
Yang

Why that particular list? Well, I noticed that if you look across all the polls, one minor candidate (minor in terms of percent in the collection of polls) seemed to vary from the middle of the middle tier to the bottom of the middle tier, but was never in the lowest lowest tier, and also, was polled from early on: Klobuchar. So, I took the RCP average at about the time of the debates, and applied the Klobuchar Factor. If you were below Klobuchar, you were out of consideration. Since then, the candidates have moved around a bit, and a present day Klobuchar Factor would produce a different list. But I don’t really care, because I just needed to have a cutoff somewhere.

The regression analysis suggests that about 56% of the variance seen in each canidates’ polls is explained by time (i.e., there is a pretty robust trend where time matters). I’ve extended the regression line out 20 days into the future, which would be the end of July.

So, getting back to the story of these two candidates. I want to consider each candidate separately. The reason they are both in the same graph, and blog post, is because they are the two candidates with the highest number across the entire data set, so the graph makes sense for their scale, and the process is cleaner of we separate out candidates by scale.

The story of Joe Biden is this: He started off high, around 50%, and ended up much weaker, closer to 30% with some of the most recent polls showing 25%. He halved, almost. Or at least, looking at the extended projection, he is in the process of measuring out his polling half-life, as it were. He was probably artificially high partly due to name recognition, and lost ground as other candidates gained. He also started out in a different sort of artificial high, as a well known and widely loved guy where policy had not been vetted, and has lost among Democrats in that way as well. But this is Biden, and this is how he has performed in his earlier presidential campaigns. Biden watchers are not surprised. Biden watchers will not be surprised if he isn’t really a factor in this campaign by the end of the year.

The story of Bernie Sanders is interesting. His numbers show the second lowest amount of variance, scaled by magnitude, of all the candidates. He started of around 20%. He is still around 20%. Bernie is not moving up, Bernie is not moving down. Well, maybe a tiny bit down. What he seems to be doing, really, is slowing down just a bit as Elizabeth Warren is passing him, much like a car going 45mph slows down a bit when a faster car is passing them on the highway. Though that is of course a bad analogy because the intentionality of events is very different.

In short, Biden is gliding to a campaign ending landing, while Sanders is flat-lining. The latter observation is, I think, the most significant. It tells us something, maybe, about Sanders campaign. His base is unmoving. This is expected, I think. I just hope that should Sanders not get the nomination nod, that base sees fit to support the nominee in 2020, all of them, different than what happened in 2016.

Election matters

Measuring the feeble heartbeat of the electorate

From a current NBC/Wall Street Journal Poll, regarding likely voters:

(Source)

It looks to me that more mobilization is needed. Groups you would think have the highest stakes in this year’s election have low numbers.

Related to potential Kavanaugh effects, from the same poll:

Women are smarter than men, people with college degrees are smarter than those without, younger is smarter than older. Oddly, Independents dislike Kavanaugh to a greater degree than one would expect given the previously graph. (I’m suspicious of the category “Independent,” however.)

Regarding who should control congress, this:

The Republican Party is the party of whites, men, and to some degree older folks, while the Democratic Party is the party of people of color, women, younger folks, and the better educated.

Most critical may be the fact that 50% of likely voters prefer Democrats nation wide, while only 41% of likely voters prefer Republicans.

This will not, however, translate into more Republican members of congress. Local tradition, local campaigning, election rigging, and gerrymandering, determine who wins a given Congressional seat. Sadly. As I’ve suggested before, it is highly unlikely that a Democratic leaning American electorate will actually elect a Democratic majority Congress, in either house.

Expect Mud

This happened. I was sitting on the couch watching a football game (go Vikings!) and a political ad for our local Democratic candidate for Congress, Dean Phillips, came on. It was a positive, informative, up beat ad. Nice. Then, a political ad for the Republican incumbent, the Trump Lapdog Erik Paulsen, came up. It was negative, disgusting, and full of lies.

So the person watching the game with me, asked about why that ad was so horrible and why do the Democrats have such different ads. I said, “The Democrats used to use negative ads too, both parties did. ”

“Why?”

“Because experts told all the campaigns that they worked, and they did seem to work, so everybody did them. But this year, Democrats, at least here, decided to do no negative ads. So you see Republican negative ads, no Democratic negative ads.”

“I think,” he said, “If you have negative ads, some people learn to hate the other candidate so you win, but more people hate the whole idea and just stay home and don’t vote, and that matters more.”‘

“Hmm,” I replied. “Pretty smart for an eight year old, since that is exactly how we lost this race two years ago!”

Here’s the thing. Right now, Republicans are going to double down on negative ads, and they are going to work. Or, just ads that lie. For example, Representative Sarah Anderson, of the Minnesota house, is famous for a) reducing funding for education and b) opposing heath care reform. Her opponent, Ginny Klevorn, is famous for a) being very pro education and also, knowing a lot about how the school systems in her district are run, and b) wanting to link the health care plans state legislators have to the average cost and availability of health plans for all the citizens of the state, so they know exactly what everyone is experiencing (currently, Sarah Anderson and her Republican buddies in the MN Legislature have really great heath care plans!)

The people who live in this district have made it clear that they want more attention paid to, and more money spent on, education, and they want health care reform. So, naturally, anti-education and anti-health care reform Republican Sarah Anderson has put out lies in all her lit and other ads, painting herself as the savior of the education system and the savior of health care. Erik Paulsen is putting out negative, lie-filled, hate ads against Dean Phillips, in the US Congressional race here. The Republican dweeb running for Governor, Jeff Johnson, has been putting out hateful, dishonest ads, in his effort to catch up with Democratic Gubernatorial candidate Time Walz. And so on.

That’s all expected. What concerns me right now is the fact, just reported by the New York Times, that while Democrats have been out raising Republicans in recent weeks, Republicans have way more money to spend on elections, starting now.

Republicans entered the final month of the campaign with more money in the bank than the Democrats, providing them with vital ammunition as they wage a furious effort to hold on to control of Congress.

The most recent round of campaign finance disclosures, filed Saturday, showed that Republican national party committees, candidates in key House and Senate races and their top unlimited-money outside groups, or β€œsuper PACs,” had $337 million on hand as of Sept. 30. Their Democratic counterparts had $285 million in the bank on the same date.

What I don’t know is if this is simply more false balance reporting by the New York Times, or good analysis. Democratic superpacs have raised piles of money, a few million more than Republicans, and the superpacs represent more than half of the total campaign budget. But, it could be that Republicans are going to play their usual trick, swamping media markets where they are about to lose with lies, negative campaigning, and fear, and so in the end pull out and win. I would like to hope, but I dare not think, the post 2016 American electorate is not quite so easily manipulated.

Here’s the data from that report:

Send money to a Democrat!

Where does the Trump Presidency stand a fortnight and a half in?

The most recent polling indicates that Donald Trump has a 43% approval and 53% disapproval rating. So he is not exactly loved by the American people, which is odd because he seems so lovable. And, he has told us that the American people love him. And his victory in the November election was unbelievably big league. But, that’s how it is, according the scientific polling.

Approval and favorability are apparently slightly different, but the pattern holds. The same polling tells us that the American people have a 45% favorable attitude about the president, which would be tremendous for any product in a market economy. But for a president it is not so good, as a majority of Americans, 52%, look at the president with an unfavorable eye.

But what about some of the specific, Trump Brand signature issues? How’s he doing, and what do people think?

Building The Wall

The wall is still not built, but Trump still intends to build it. But, the promise was that Trump would “make Mexico pay for it.” The president has now learned that you can’t do that, and it is in fact not going to happen. And, the wall is still not built yet.

According to this recent poll, 56% of Americans oppose building the all, 37% are in favor of it, if Americans are paying for it.

The Muslim Ban

Trump promised to ban Muslims from the United States, and to practice extreme vetting. One of the main reasons he got elected was because of this promise. How’s that going?

A Trump Tower in Turkey, a Muslim country not banned.
A Trump Tower in Turkey, a Muslim country not banned.
Trump’s idea of “extreme vetting” seems to be “don’t let anyone in who is trying to get in legally.” Which, of course, leaves the death squads that are streaming across our borders leave to come, but leaves people like graduate students, professors, folks who went overseas to visit their grandmothers, etc. in the lurch.

Also, the ban on Muslims only banned some Muslims, from certain countries, so Muslims from countries where Trump does business are unaffected. So there may be an ethical issue there.

As you know, a key Federal court ruled unanimously to uphold a lower court decision to stay the ban because it negatively affects people and states. No higher court ruling has come down about the Second Amendment violation but that may happen later. There are more law suits against this ban than hairs on a dog, so we can expect a lot more news in this regard.

Meanwhile, the recent pol shows that 49% of Americans are opposed to the ban, with 45% in favor of it.

More interestingly, though, the vast majority of Americans, a whopping 66%, think Trump’s ban was poorly executed (27% thought everything went just fine). A majority of Americans recognized the “Muslim Ban” as an effort to ban Muslims. (Trump’s people claim it never was, even when it was called a “Muslim Ban.”) A strong majority (65% over 22%) do not think Muslims should be banned. In a sense, the courts are helping Trump out here, by shutting down this whole operation so we can move past what has turned out to be one of the most self damaging political nosedives witnessed in American history.

By the way, a strong majority of Americans trust Judges over Donald Trump to make the right decisions for the United States.

Repealing and Replacing Obamacare

Trump promised to repeal and replace Obamacare. Most observers were under the impression that Trump and Congress, between them, had no idea what to replace Obamacare with. Boy, were they ever right! Congress made a couple of initial procedural moves that will allow them to later undo Obamacare, ran in to major opposition, forgot to have any ideas about reforming Obamacare, and then stopped.

"The White House response is that he's not going to release his tax returns. We litigated this all through the election. People didn't care.  They voted for him, and let me make this very clear: Most Americans are -- are very focused on what their tax returns will look like while President Trump is in office, not what his look like."
“The White House response is that he’s not going to release his tax returns. We litigated this all through the election. People didn’t care. They voted for him, and let me make this very clear: Most Americans are — are very focused on what their tax returns will look like while President Trump is in office, not what his look like.”
The White House has been mostly silent on the issue. Polls show that a strong plurality of American support Obamacare (far more than those who oppose, with 47%-39% supporting-opposing). A YUGE majority of Americans, 65%, do not want Congress to repeal Obamacare and, rather, keep what works in the plan.

Keeping his Tax Returns Secret

Trump never did release his tax returns. He promised to release them after an “audit” was over. But soon after the election, spokes-minuteman Kellyanne Conway, announced a new policy: since Trump won, it must be true that nobody cares about his tax returns, or why would the majority of Americans have voted for him?

There are two problems with this “logic.” First, a majority of Americans voted for Hillary Clinton, not Donald Trump. Second, at present, an overwhelming majority of Americans want Trump to release his tax returns. (58% say yes, 31% say no.)

Keeping his business ties ethical

LOL.

Screen Shot 2017-02-10 at 1.13.12 PMAt his first press conference, Donald Trump showed us piles of folders containing all of the plans to unlink him from his businesses. A lawyer explained how all the ethical rules would be followed. We were also told that all the ethical rules did not apply to the President anyway, and that nothing would really be done.

The folders, we learned later, were as empty as his earlier promises to disassociate his business and his activities as president. Indeed, just yesterday, Kellyanne Conway went on Fox News, representing the White House, and urged listeners to buy Trump’s daughter’s products. Perhaps, technically, though I don’t know, Trump himself has no direct ties to this business. But it is his daughter’s business so legal and ethical constraints apply. Conway should not have made the statement she made.

Had she been a Democrat, the calls for her being fired would never end. But since she is a Republican, there was a minor outcry. But, the event was a clear enough case of unethical behavior that even the FOX news people sensed something was wrong:

The moment three FOX news anchors realize that Kellyanne Conway stepped over the line, legally and ethically.
The moment three FOX news anchors realize that Kellyanne Conway stepped over the line, legally and ethically.

By the way, 62% of Americans think Trump should fully divest himself from his businesses.

The Investigation of Voter Fraud

In his never ending but always unsuccessfull effort to not be the Biggest Loser, Trump issued the blatant lie that millions of people, mainly Illegal Immigrants, voted illegally in the last election, and that this is why he actually lost the vote. As you know, great efforts were made to recount the votes in several states, and this showed no problems. Also, the Secretaries of State across the country declared that there was no measurable problem with the voting. The White House has been relatively silent about this issue lately, perhaps because they sensed that the country was against them on this. Indeed, it seems that about 55% of Americans think there was no illegal voting by millions of people in the last election.

Be Presidential

During the election, Trump told us that he’ll be big league presidential. I assume this means, among other things, being, or at least, seeming, credible.

How’s that going?

Well, the poll I’ve been referring to all along (see below) pits the New York Times against Trump in credibility, which is appropriate because Trump has been engaging in an aggressive Twitter war against the Paper of Record. The result? 52% of Americans think the NYT is more credible than Trump, 37% think the opposite.

Saturday Night Live, the fictional, comedy, all the stuff is made up TV show of fame, doesn’t do quite as well as the New York Times. A mere 48% of Americans put SNL above Trump in credibility, with 43% saying the opposite. So, while it may be stranger than fiction, it seems that Trump is less credible than fiction in the minds of a plurality of Americans.

People are about evenly divided on whether or not Trump should be impeached, with about 46% saying each “yes” and “no.” That is a lot of people who want to see his presidency ended immediately. But, one might expect a higher percentage of people saying “Impeach” than indicated here, given all the above information.

Rachel Maddow has a theory as to why more people don’t, at the moment, want to see Trump thrown out of office. I’ll let her tell you. Watch the whole video, but the key moment starts about 4 minutes.

I hope you watched that whole thing to see how Trump supporters seem to not know about, or care about, the Constitution.


Donald Trump’s Approval Rating Over Time vs. Obama: No Honeymoon

Using mainly data from this poll, and RCP’s approval ratings page for Obama 2008, we get this graph.

Trump’s approval rating was never high, and at the moment of the election and shortly after, when the approval ratings for a president have gone up for every election since polls existed, Trump’s numbers have dropped.

How have events shaped the Clinton-Trump race?

It is unfortunate that “all the pundits” are now saying that Clinton will now win no matter what, and that Trump will likely suffer more scandal before the end of the process.

This is unfortunate because a weak get out the vote effort is probably worth a couple of points on election day. It is unfortunate because some Trump scandals increase, rather than decrease, his numbers. He could suddenly gain a couple of points if he says or does just the wright/wrong things. It is unfortunate because, for whatever reason, Hillary “My Middle Name is Target” Clinton has turned into the Teflon Candidate for now, but that won’t stick, as it were, for more than a day or two. Then Wikileaks, weak as it is, or some other issue, will come into play and knock two points off of her numbers.

It is unfortunate because the difference between Clinton and Trump is now between about 5 and 7 points, and 2 + 2 + 2 = 6.

Do the math. This race is not over.

In order to give some idea of the magnitude of things like the post-sexual-assault-revelations Trump Slump, or the conventions, or a given debate, in relation to the overall shifts of numbers across this race, I mad this chart, using RCP’s national polling averages, and adding in some key moments from the campaign:

screen-shot-2016-10-19-at-3-00-12-pm

While Clinton has always been ahead, on average, she has not always been that far ahead, and was, in fact, father ahead at various points in the past than she is now. In other words, for all the talk about BusTapeGate and debate performances, Clinton has not pulled out ahead of Trump father than she has been in the past. If you look at this graph, you do not see a clear breakout. And, if you look at the MOST current version from RCP, as I write this, the blue line on top is dropping (those data came in while I was drawing this graphic, and I did not adjust). See that earlier peak in September for Clinton? The current peak is starting to look like that.

So, no, this is not over, and it is not wise to insist that it is.

Who Won The Presidential Debate Weekend?

You can’t say who really won the debate, because on Friday, news broke, confirming other news from the prior Monday (and general suspicians) indicating that Donald Trump is not fit to be President in Yet Another Way, and his campaign essentially imploded. So, instead, we’ll ask, “who won the weekend?”

As you know, I’m the last person to write off Donald Trump. From the very beginning, without fail, I’ve been warning you that he’ll do well, that he’ll win the GOP debates, that he’ll win various primaries, that he’ll win the nomination, etc. All of it. I have never once been wrong about this.

The reason I’m never wrong is because I know something that you also know but that you refuse to admit because it is too painful. Most Americans, perhaps way more than a majority, share one or more opinions with the core Republican political and social philosophy. A smaller number, a minority but not fewer than about 40%, agree with most or all of those points of policy. Added to this Republicans tend to work better in lockstep than Democrats.

And this, dear reader, is why Republicans have been mostly in charge for most of the time since the Republican party became what it is today (staring in the 1970s).

Donald Trump, meanwhile perfectly represents most of that ~40% of Americans, and that is why he is their candidate.

However, more than one thing must be in place to win an election. One of these things is having a large and loyal base, and Trump has that. Another is money, from multiple big donors. Trump had that (including himself) but it is gone (except himself). Another is the support of the party elite and all those great surrogates that go out and stump for you. Trump lost whatever he had along those lines a while back, and as of a couple of weeks ago has had absolutely nothing in the way of surrogate support. It has been just Trump and Pence. And now, Pence seems to have stopped campaigning, so it is just Trump over the last few days, today, and tomorrow, at least.

There remained for a while the Basket of Hypocrites, such as Mike Pence, Paul Ryan, Ted Cruz and the others. These are mostly evangelical conservatives who were willing to throw every one in the country under the bus just to defeat Hillary Clinton, regardless of the cost. But with the culmination of sufficient evidence to regard Donald Trump as a supporter and likely doer of sexual assault on arbitrary females as a given part of his privilege, even the Hypocrites can not survive being associated with him.

And for this reason, over the weekend, these rats left the ship.

As of some time over the last 48 hours or so, the Trump Campaign is over, and this is true regardless of any debate.

Then, there was the debate.

One could argue that Trump did better than expected, and Clinton could have done better, but everyone who is not extremely partisan thinks Clinton pretty much won.

So, what do the polls show? A new poll by NBC and the Wall Street Journal, that does not include the debate (because it was conducted on Saturday and Sunday, before the debate) puts Clinton at 46% to Trump’s 35% in a four way match. Head to head, the spit is 52% to 38%, so if some of those third party snowflakes get with the program and actually vote in the election, the spread widens from 11% to 14%.

Those are double digit numbers. We’ve not seen double digit numbers from a major and legit poll since, I think, the start of the national campaign.

I’m pretty sure the debate did not push the polls back the other way. I’m pretty sure this weekend poll reflects the current situation, more or less. Of course, it is only one poll.

Looking at phone polls by major pollsters and/or major news agencies, excluding one outlier because its numbers are so far different (FOX), from September 1 to the present (including the poll mentioned above) we get this from HuffPo Pollster:

screen-shot-2016-10-10-at-12-45-18-pm

OK, now, pretend I’m wearing a Steve Kornacki mask and I’ve got a sharpie.

screen-shot-2016-10-10-at-12-48-12-pm

screen-shot-2016-10-10-at-12-49-37-pm

I could do more, but I think you get the point.

I expect more scandalous news.

Last week there were indications that the NYT had more about taxes that would eventually come out. I’ve heard rumors of a tape with Trump saying the “N-word.” Right now there is strong evidence that Trump is on board with the whole idea of sexual assault, and there is already some information out there about this, but with the Access Hollywood tapes out, may be we will start seeing actual victims, if any, come to the fore. And, there are known to be tapes from The Apprentice said to be similar to, maybe worse than, the Access Hollywood tapes.

These things will not come out today, because today, the news cycle is still finishing with Friday’s information, and still working on the Debate, so any editor or producer with something to say will wait until tomorrow. So, if something is out there, may be we’ll hear of it then. a few days ago I suggested that we’d be seeing approximately one Trump news dump about every four days until the election. The time span between Monday’s revelations (already forgotten) and Friday’s was about four days, right? Then there was friday ..let’s see … (counting on fingers) … friday, saturday, sunday monday, … TUESDAY! So, Tuesday, or maybe Wednesday. Stay tuned.

The Clinton-Sanders Race in Historical Context UPDATED

I’m going to make this simple. The primary season has not started yet. It starts in a few weeks. Everything we are doing now is pre-Primary. Not one person has put pen to checkmark in a voting booth.

Once that process starts, everything changes. Suddenly there is more polling in downstream states. Starting before the first primaries, but then ramping up as we head towards states that matter (and no, Iowa and New Hampshire don’t matter despite what you may have been told). Same with campaigning. We’ve seen a few debates, there’s been a lot of speeches, but you ain’t seen nothing yet. And other things (fund raising, more endorsements, etc.)

I thought I’d start out a discussion on the historic context by producing the simple graphic above. This is the course of polling (from Real Clear Politics) for the Clinton-Obama race in 2008 up to about now in the process, along side the Clinton-Sanders race this year. The graphic is rough, I just threw it together, but it kind of speaks for itself.

But in case the meaning is not clear, it means this: The primary season has not started yet. It starts in a few weeks.

I made a new graphic to underscore the meaning of the graphic above. Here, I took the 2008 primary season and the 2016 primary season RCP polling data for the two main candidates and ROUGHLY scaled them together. That moment when everything changes for 2008 is about now, or about the beginning of the actual primaries. Will that be what happens this year?

Screen Shot 2016-01-16 at 2.28.11 PM

2016 US Presidential Election: Trump/Carson/Somebody vs. Clinton (polls)

The current polling as shown on the Huffpo Pollster, using only “likely voters” and “non partisan polls” shows that Trump and Carson are neck and neck and have been close for a week. Most of the other candidates are so low it is impossible to imagine any of them rising to a level of significance. On the other hand, there are still so many clowns in the clown car that it is hard to say. If eight or nine of the candidates dropped out over the next few weeks, it is possible that someone will rise up.

On the other hand, there is a thing about how the Republicans pick their candidate that may have a significant effect and cause neither Carson nor Trump to get the nomination. It works like this. There are many states (and/or Congressional Districts, which matters more in some states) where there aren’t that many Tea Bagger Republicans, but still a good number of delegates. States like New York could be sending a very large number of delegates who would never consider a Trump or a Carson, while states like Alabama might send a small number of delegates who are strongly in favor of the fringe candidates (like Trump and Carson, fringe in the sense of their, well, you know what I mean.) So, we’ll see. Frankly, we might not know what is going to happen in the GOP race until Super Tuesday or later.

In the Democratic Race, looking again only at likely voters and non-partisan pols, Clinton has been ahead of Sanders all along and her relative position has risen slightly. Hillary Clinton currently has a commanding and steadily growing lead over Sanders.

The Gop poll is shown above, the Democratic poll shown below.

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