2016 Presidential Primaries Predictions: March 26

Here are my Presidential predictions for the caucuses on March 26 2016.  I will add actual results and post-election commentary later.  Given how little information we have going in, I will not be including counties to watch this time.  I used the guide from the always-excellent Daily Kos Elections to inform some of my predictions.

 

Alaska

 

Democratic Party

RealClearPolitics Polling Average* Predictions Results
Hillary Clinton: 44 percent Bernie Sanders: 65 percent Hillary Clinton:
Bernie Sanders: 41 percent Hillary Clinton: 35 percent Bernie Sanders:
All others: 15 percent All others: 0 percent All others:
The single poll we have is from early January, so it’s not very useful.  The large white component of the Democrats here and the “left-libertarian” nature (as Daily Kos Elections put it) of the Democrats here helps Sanders.  On the other hand, it’s a closed caucus and there’s a large Native American population.  The Native American vote has been and still is a question mark.  Sanders has courted Native Americans vigorously but he still lost in heavily Native American Apache and Navajo Counties in Arizona.  Native Americans as a group are among the poorest people in the country and, historically speaking, know the perils of well-intentioned military invasions better than just about anyone, so why they would support Clinton over Sanders is a mystery to me.  I’m going to predict a big Sanders win, regardless.  

 

Hawaii

 

Democratic Party

RealClearPolitics Polling Average Predictions Results
No polling available Bernie Sanders: 56 percent Bernie Sanders:
Hillary Clinton: 43 percent Hillary Clinton:
All others: 1 percent All others:
The narrative is “Sanders can only win among whites!!!” and this is the least white state in the nation.  If that holds up, this may be Sanders’s weakest state today; in fact, I’m concerned that Sanders may even lose.  That said, the Asian plurality may not vote the same way as blacks and Latinos elsewhere; we really just don’t know.  It’s a semi-closed caucus so that may help Sanders a little (independents can still come caucus for him).  I’m going to give Sanders a reasonably modest lead and hope that he does better.  

 

Washington

 

Democratic Party

RealClearPolitics Polling Average Predictions Results
No polling available Bernie Sanders: 70 percent Bernie Sanders:
Hillary Clinton: 30 percent Hillary Clinton:
All others: 0 percent All others:
Very white, very liberal, and an open caucus.  What’s not to love?  Hoping for a Sanders blowout here.  

 

* No RCP average was available, so I put down the results of the most recent poll on RCP instead.

I Endorse Bernie Sanders for President in 2016 (Version II)

Author’s Note: I originally posted my endorsement of Bernie Sanders for President on February 1 2016.  Since then, I wrote and published a separate blog post detailing my consideration of and thoughts about Martin O’Malley, which consisted of both the Martin O’Malley-related sections from the original February 1 endorsement of Bernie Sanders and new content related to my thoughts about O’Malley’s and Sanders’s electability.  The following is a re-release of the February 1 post, with the Martin O’Malley parts excised for easier readability.  This should make the post more succinct for those readers who want to focus on just my reasons for supporting Sanders, and those who are interested in my thoughts on O’Malley can follow the link to a separate post dealing with that subject.  As the post has not otherwise been changed, it should still be read as if it were February 1.  That said, as of today, March 25 2016, I am more supportive of Bernie Sanders than ever before, and I still wholeheartedly endorse Bernie Sanders for President in 2016.

 

February 1 2016

Bernie Sanders has been literally my favorite living politician since all the way back in 2005, when I first really learned about him in Matt Taibbi’s excellent and highly recommended “Inside the Horror Show That Is Congress”.  When I saw him begin to make the Presidential rounds and drop hints about a 2016 Presidential run in late 2014, I was excited, but skeptical that he would actually make the plunge into a sea of opposition money.  When he actually entered the race in late April 2015, I was very pleased, but skeptical that he would actually gain any traction against Hillary Clinton, she who was inexplicably beloved by all Democrats far and wide.  And now on the eve of the 2016 Iowa caucuses, Sanders is polling an average of just 4 points behind Clinton in Iowa, and is ahead by an average of a whopping 18 points in New Hampshire, which votes next week.  At every turn I have underestimated Sanders, which is probably a product of my own caution: candidates I agree with tend to not do well in Democratic primaries.

Up until now, I haven’t officially supported Sanders for the Presidency.  The reason was a third candidate in the race: Martin O’Malley, who was touting a slate of progressive achievements he’d racked up as governor of Maryland.  Even though I was already aligned with pretty much everything Sanders thought and said, and his candidacy represented everything I’d been wanting to see in U.S. presidential politics for years, I wanted to keep an open mind and give O’Malley a chance.

(I never remotely considered supporting Clinton in the primaries; she is a serious danger to the future of the Democratic Party and she basically represents a continuation of the ideology and governing style of President Obama, which is not what this country needs.  I can write more about her in the future, but for now, you can read my still-relevant opinions about her back during her first Presidential run in 2008.)

I looked into O’Malley’s positions and record, and the more I learned about him, the more I found to dislike.  I came to realize that not only was O’Malley a bad fit for me, but I didn’t have any reason to support him even on electability grounds.  I eventually decided to reject O’Malley as a candidate and go with my original instincts about supporting Bernie Sanders.  To learn more about my thoughts on O’Malley, see my blog post “My Thinking on Martin O’Malley”.

Which brings me to Bernie Sanders.  It’s not just that there’s practically no issue I can think of where I materially disagree with him.  It’s not just that he’s been consistent on the issues and on his worldview his entire political life.  It’s not just that he’s an unashamed advocate for an active and responsive government, and a believer in the good such a government can do for people’s lives.  It’s not just that he actually understands and appreciates that politics is a constant battle between the haves and the have-nots, the powerful and the powerless.  It’s not just that he deeply cares about the common person, the downtrodden, the oppressed, and the out-of-luck in a way no other viable Presidential candidate in my entire goddamn lifetime has.

What sets Bernie Sanders apart from so many other candidates – and hell, people in general – is that he understands how political change happens.  Practically everyone else involved in politics these days, whether as a candidate or a pundit or a regular Joe talking out of his ass, thinks of politics in terms of the details of one policy proposal or another, or the latest petty feud between two candidates, or yet another minor remark that’s being blown out of proportion, or the slow grind of the horse race.  Bernie Sanders understands that real political change happens from capturing hearts and minds, engaging with people on what’s important in this country, and leading them to do what’s necessary to make meaningful progress a reality.  And Sanders is fully ready to do his part as a candidate and as President, but he understands that it’s not just about him or about his proposals or about legislation or about Congress – though all those are very important as well.  He understands that what’s been missing in our politics, throughout the Obama years and going all the way back to the great liberal movements of the 1960s and 1970s, is that vital element of public engagement.  He understands that, as the late and great Paul Wellstone put it, “electoral politics without grassroots organizing is a politics without a base.”  Sanders is ready to step up and do his part to connect electoral politics and public policy back to grassroots organizing, so we can once again produce a broad movement for the progressive change our country so desperately needs – if we, the people, are ready to do our part.

So forget about all the talk about how to win over “swing voters” in a general election (inconvenient fact: a majority of Americans already agree with Sanders on most of the issues).

Forget about all the talk about Republicans chomping at the bit to demonize a “socialist” (campaigns aren’t about how much they can hit you with; they’re about how hard and effectively you can hit back).

Forget about all the skepticism about how Sanders will get his liberal agenda through a Republican Congress (if anyone can convince me that Clinton or O’Malley can get their agenda through a Republican Congress, I’ll make a small donation to that candidate’s campaign).

Forget about how Sanders is too old, or too grumpy-looking, or too crazy-sounding.

The point of the Sanders campaign isn’t just about Sanders.  The point, as Sanders will readily tell you himself, is to get people to stand up and take back control of the political system and the government that’s supposed to be serving them.  And there is no person better suited to leading that populist movement as our next President than Bernie Sanders.

I decided about two months ago, in early December, that it was time to rule out everyone else and simply embrace the truth that Bernie Sanders is, and always has been, the right candidate for me.  True to form, it took me until now, on the eve of the Iowa caucuses, to finally get around to writing this post and making it official.  Well let’s make it official: I officially endorse Bernie Sanders for President in 2016.  He has my full and vociferous support and I’ll be looking into making a small donation to his campaign – which will be my first political contribution ever.  I hope fervently that this will be the year when the American people finally take back control of their political destiny, so they can have a government and a society that truly cares about and works for them, and that process begins with electing Bernie Sanders as our next President.  Feel the Bern!

My Thinking on Martin O’Malley

When I endorsed Bernie Sanders for President on February 1, I spent the first part of my piece talking about my consideration for Martin O’Malley.  I realized that not only did that part of the article slow down the pace of the article and make it longer, it didn’t fully explain my consideration and eventual rejection of O’Malley as a Presidential candidate.  So I thought I’d move that whole section to this separate blog post and re-release the Bernie Sanders endorsement without it.

In terms of considering O’Malley, I wanted to give him a fair shake, and I was considering him on both ideological/substantive terms and political/electability terms.  I’ll treat them both separately here.  The ideological/substantive part is mostly a straight transfer from the original Bernie Sanders endorsement post, with just a few additions.  The political/electability part is entirely new for this post.

Ideology and Substance

O’Malley has been running on liberal rhetoric and detailed policy prescriptions, essentially casting himself as the thinking liberal wonk of the Democratic field.  He’s been making the right noises and taking the right positions on issues like trade, wisely staking out a position to Hillary Clinton’s left (while still staying to the right of Sanders).  And as Maryland Governor, he did take his state forward on education, the environment, and a number of social issues, though it should be noted that when you have a House of Delegates and state Senate that’s no less than 69.5 percent and 70.2 percent Democratic, respectively, it’s not just a somewhat empty boast – you almost don’t have the choice of not being a progressive.

But the more I learned about O’Malley, the more I found to dislike.  His obsessive focus on policy details and data and results (see here and here) reveals that he’s a technocrat who lacks a sense for the larger ideological battles at stake in this country.  He could be a great cabinet secretary; he’s definitely committed to making government work.  But to me, if you’re not comfortable thinking about politics in more ideological terms, as a battle between competing worldviews – which it is – you’re not cut out to be the President, the person who’s in one of the best positions to change the way people think about politics and government.  That’s what I’m looking for in a President – not someone who’s the best at the nuts and bolts of running a government bureaucracy, but a leader who will inspire people to take the country to where it needs to be.  That’s where O’Malley fails – and where Sanders would excel.

The times when O’Malley does try to campaign on more ideological terms, it’s been a total turn-off.  He’s taken pains to keep himself at a comfortable ideological distance from Sanders while still staying to Clinton’s left.  He attacked Bernie Sanders’s “socialism” (which isn’t even really socialism) as a “proven failure”, which was really just a repackaging of right-wing talking points.  And his triangulation of himself between Sanders on the left and Clinton on the right was too cute by half.  Haven’t we seen this same story of “don’t vote for that guy because he’s too far left – I’m the nice comfortable middle ground” before?  It’s the exact opposite of what appeals to me.  He also attacked Sanders for not dismissing a primary challenge against President Obama in 2012 – something that I supported – and cast himself as the loyal partisan Democrat, which to me, translates into “party hack”.

And then it turns out that O’Malley’s liberalism is only of the recent variety – as in, since he started running for President – revealing him to be more a creature of opportunism than anything else.  His past is noticeably to the right of his present, he’s worked with business interests to water down the Democratic Party, and he’s had other long-standing ties to big corporations.  Most damning of all is this 2007 op-ed he wrote with Harold Ford, Jr. – one of my least favorite Democrats of all time – talking about how the Democratic Party had to work to “capture the center” through a “centrist agenda”. (See also this write-up about it.) Part of the op-ed was as follows:

Contrast the collapse of a conservative president with the success of the last centrist president. Bill Clinton ran on an agenda of sensible ideas that brought America a decade of peace and prosperity. He was the only Democrat to be elected and reelected president in the past seven decades, and he left office more popular than almost any other president in recent memory.

Nearly seven years after Bush succeeded Clinton in the White House, America is facing challenges as great as we’ve ever seen — a war against Islamist radicals who would destroy our way of life; global economic competition that demands we raise our game; and a quest for energy independence and efficiency that Al Gore has shown us could make or break our planet. To conquer such enduring problems, Democrats will need a broad, enduring majority — and a centrist agenda that sustains it by making steady progress.

Most Americans don’t care much about partisan politics; they just want practical answers to the problems they face every day. So far, our leading presidential candidates seem to understand that the proof of the pudding is in the eating. That’s why they have begun putting forward smart, New Democrat plans to cap and trade carbon emissions, give more Americans the chance to earn their way through college, achieve universal health care through shared responsibility, increase national security by rebuilding our embattled military and enable all Americans who work full time to lift themselves out of poverty.

Nope, nuh-uh.  This was not what I wanted to see coming from a future Democratic Presidential nominee.

Politics and Electability

When Bernie Sanders first announced, I already knew that he was easily the closest candidate to me ideologically, but I was worried that he would spend the entire election cycle as a single-digits fringe candidate like Dennis Kucinich, whom I supported in 2004.  At the same time, I really did not want Hillary Clinton to be the nominee.  My thinking was that Hillary Clinton had to be stopped, and it wasn’t helpful to have two contenders running against her from her left.  I thought O’Malley would poll much better and have more traction than Sanders would.  So if it looked like O’Malley was emerging as the primary leftist alternative to Clinton, and he was almost as liberal as Sanders, I would support O’Malley to help avoid splitting the progressive vote, and to help beat Clinton.

Clearly, neither of those conditions turned out to be the case, and that became very obvious early on.  During the summer of 2015, Sanders was the one attracting huge crowds at rallies and getting some media attention, while O’Malley languished in single digits.  By the time of the first debate on October 13, I told a friend of mine that I was “90 percent sure I’ll support Sanders”.  I remained more or less that way until December or so, when I learned more about the downsides of O’Malley that I explained earlier in the “Ideology and Substance” section of this blog post, and that closed any remaining possibility of me supporting O’Malley.  I was 100 percent sure I’d support Sanders by the beginning of December 2015, but it took me until February 1 to write the blog post and make it official.

Looking back now, I wonder how willing I would have been to support O’Malley even if he had been more viable and more liberal than he actually was.  A good friend of mine pointed out that it was very uncharacteristic of me to think in terms of electability, since I vote largely based on principle.  Unless and until I become influential enough to sway others, I don’t take responsibility for anyone’s vote but my own, and my one single vote would never actually decide an election.  What’s more, I was the one who voted for John Edwards in 2008 even after he dropped out of the race, so clearly I’m not one who has a history of thinking along “pragmatic” lines.

In this case, I was imagining a scenario where the election would be something like Clinton with 45 percent support, O’Malley with 45 percent support, and Sanders with 5 percent support.  Do I support the guy at 5 percent, or do I support someone who I thought was still liberal enough and could actually beat Clinton?  The three biggest considerations for me were: 1. Clinton had to be stopped, 2. O’Malley was the most viable challenger to Clinton, and 3. O’Malley was almost as liberal as Sanders.  It turned out that neither #2 nor #3 were true (and I’m very thankful that it was Sanders, not O’Malley, who emerged as Clinton’s main rival), but I wonder if I would have voted for Sanders even if they had been true.  Knowing me, I probably would have supported Sanders anyway, even if he wasn’t viable and even if O’Malley was almost as liberal as him.  But I’ll never know for sure, of course.

It’s interesting how this was my one moment of political weakness so far; the time I came closest to buying into the bullshit argument for “voting strategically”.  It’s bullshit because it only works if it’s done in coordination with large masses of people, and even then one person, like myself, can still vote their conscience without actually deciding the outcome.  But the specter of Clinton being the Democratic nominee was enough to scare me into considering the idea of voting strategically.

In any case, Sanders surged, O’Malley flopped, and I was more than happy to choose Sanders.

Democratic Primaries Updates, March 22 2016

Here is the Facebook thread for when I followed the Democratic primaries election results on March 22 2016.

Below, I have reposted just my commentary and analysis from that evening.  All times are CDT.


 

Kenneth Huang

March 22 at 9:22pm ·

Okay, let’s see how things go in today’s Democratic primaries, where Bernie Sanders really needs some wins. I don’t know if it’s going to be a long night or a short night.


 

Kenneth Huang While we’re waiting for results, here’s some bad news in terms of election management out of Arizona:http://usuncut.com/news/arizona-polling-disaster/

 

Something Is Going Seriously Wrong at Arizona Polls Today

USUNCUT.COM

Like · Reply · Remove Preview · March 22 at 9:47pm


 

Kenneth Huang And we’re off! Arizona, 0.1 percent reporting: Clinton leads Sanders 62-36. This is a chunk of the early vote in Maricopa County.

Like · Reply · March 22 at 10:15pm


 

Kenneth Huang Well that was fast. With 4 percent reporting, Arizona has been called for Hillary Clinton, who leads 60-37.

<sigh>

Like · Reply · March 22 at 10:27pm


 

Kenneth Huang Something weird is going on with the monkeys who run Politico’s website. The reporting for Arizona is now down to 1.1 percent and they’ve reported some numbers (I think they’re early votes) for Coconino and Navajo Counties but it says 0 percent for both. Right now Sanders leads in Coconino 53-44 and Clinton leads in Navajo by a very surprising 58-35.

Between this and reports that there are still people waiting to vote in line right now because of the disastrous mismanagement of the polls, it’s looking like a dark cloud is settling over the legitimacy of Arizona’s primary.

Like · Reply · March 22 at 10:36pm


 

Kenneth Huang This is the slowest vote count ever. Arizona is at 21.3 percent reporting and Clinton still leads 60-37. Sanders is up just 53-44 in Coconino and it’s 91 percent done. Navajo and Apache are still early in reporting but so far Clinton is hitting 60 percent in each. It’s not certain if Sanders is winning the Native American vote.

Nothing out of Idaho or Utah yet.

Like · Reply · March 22 at 11:46pm


 

Kenneth Huang Arizona: 35 percent reporting, Clinton leads… 60-37. I swear, this may set a new record in how long the ratio goes unchanged.

Utah has started reporting. With 6 percent reporting, Sanders leads 67-30.

Like · Reply · 1 · March 23 at 12:21am


 

Kenneth Huang While we’re waiting for the results to trickle in, I did a quick web search for all the reported voter problems in Arizona, and here are some articles that describe what an utter shitshow it was:

http://www.azcentral.com/…/live-arizona…/82096726/

http://www.12news.com/…/ariz-democratic-party…/96906041

http://www.phoenixnewtimes.com/…/arizona-voters-brave…

https://www.facebook.com/groups/458204524340014/permalink/549796465180819/

In case it isn’t clear, it looks like many Democrats, including ones that probably changed their registration recently so they could vote for Sanders, were rejected as non-Democrats by polling officials, or otherwise dissuaded from voting by the long lines, lack of ballots, etc. Lots of provisional ballots were handed out which may lean heavily in favor of Sanders. I don’t know if this is what cost Sanders a win in the state overall, but it does seem like Sanders was disproportionately hurt by this Election Day mismanagement, and in any case, it’s not good at all for our democracy when voting is made to be this difficult.

Like · Reply · March 23 at 12:26am


 

Kenneth Huang Utah has been called for Bernie Sanders. With 11 percent reporting, Sanders has a whopping 75-24 lead.

Arizona: 43 percent reporting, Clinton leads 60 to… 38! Whoa!

I’m still really pissed off about all the voting problems in Arizona though. I really hope things get clarified and worked out there.

As for Idaho, I keep *hearing* about how Sanders has a big lead there, but no actual numbers have been posted yet.

Like · Reply · March 23 at 12:42am


 

Kenneth Huang My Internet picked a great time to crap out, and in the meantime more results came in.

Arizona: 80 percent reporting, Clinton leads 58-39.

Utah: 15 percent reporting, Sanders leads 74-25.

Idaho: 100 percent reporting, Sanders leads 78-21.

Apparently Idaho decided to dump all their numbers at once, and yeah this margin is a doozy, far larger than I expected. If I’m not mistaken, this is Sanders’s highest percentage outside of Vermont. As Daily Kos Elections notes, had Sanders pushed Clinton’s percentage down 7 more percentage points, she would have been below the 15 percent viability threshold and not have gotten any delegates at all. Too bad that didn’t happen.

In any case, it’s great to have won Utah and Idaho by such sweeping margins, and DKE estimates that on the strength of those two wins Sanders will net 14 delegates total from tonight’s contests. Still, I’m deeply troubled that, after all that campaigning, Sanders still lost Arizona by such a big margin. He needs to show that he can win bigger, more diverse states, especially if he wants to capture New York and California, and that didn’t happen tonight.

Like · Reply · 1 · March 23 at 2:05am

2016 Presidential Primaries Predictions: March 22

Here are my Presidential predictions for the primaries and caucuses on March 22, as well as the Democrats Abroad primary which had results released on March 21.  I will add actual results and post-election commentary later.

 

I’ll post counties to watch for the Arizona Democratic primary, but not for any of the other contests.

 

I used the guide from the always-excellent Daily Kos Elections to inform some of my predictions, especially for Arizona, for which I originally had lower percentages for both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump before I read the guide.

 

Democrats Abroad (January 11-March 8, results released March 21)

 

Democratic Party

Provisional Results Predictions Results
Bernie Sanders: 69 percent Bernie Sanders: 64 percent Bernie Sanders: 69 percent
Hillary Clinton: 31 percent Hillary Clinton: 36 percent Hillary Clinton: 31 percent
All others: 0 percent All others: 0 percent All others: 0 percent
It shouldn’t come as a surprise that there’s no polling here, but there are provisional results – that is, results from walk-in voting on March 1-8.  The total results, which will include post, fax, and email votes that were taken from January 11 to March 8, were released on March 21, and these predictions were written in the early hours of March 21 before those results came out (trust me!).  Based off the provisional results, Sanders is crushing Clinton.  The only population of Democrats Clinton carried was the one in Singapore; I don’t know if that actually says something meaningful about Singapore. (The Singapore voting session did include a presentation by Steven Okun, who once worked in Bill Clinton’s administration.) I’m assuming that the non-walk-in votes will only lower Sanders’s percentage, especially since some of them would have been cast very early in the process before Sanders became more well-known, but I don’t really know by how much, so I’m just going to guess it will go down by a modest margin. Looks like the non-walk-in votes didn’t change the results.  I wonder if Democrats living abroad are more receptive to Sanders since many of them are living in places that have strong social safety nets like the kind Sanders advocates for.

 

American Samoa

 

Republican Party

RealClearPolitics Polling Average Predictions Results
No polling available Donald Trump: 42 percent Donald Trump:
Ted Cruz: 39 percent Marco Rubio:
John Kasich: 18 percent John Kasich:
All others: 1 percent All others:
I really have a hard time with these far-away constituencies that have not been polled.  Looking at results for nearby/similar places is not entirely helpful.  Trump won by a healthy margin in Hawaii and in a blowout in the Northern Marianas, but Cruz… kinda won in the Virgin Islands and Guam.  I’ll just predict that Trump gets about the same percentage as he got in Hawaii while Cruz and Kasich split Rubio’s percentage about evenly.  

 

Arizona

 

Democratic Party

RealClearPolitics Polling Average Predictions Results
Hillary Clinton: 53 percent Hillary Clinton: 54 percent Hillary Clinton:
Bernie Sanders: 23 percent Bernie Sanders: 45 percent Bernie Sanders:
All others: 24 percent All others: 1 percent All others:
The RCP average is based off of one poll in early March and one in late February.  Sanders has campaigned hard in this state and the massive amount of undecideds suggests to me that he’ll close the gap, but (sadly) not by enough to take the state, especially given that it’s a closed primary in a state with lots of Latinos and the elderly.  I’m very much hoping I’m wrong.  Sanders has been courting Native Americans heavily and I’m wishfully predicting he’ll do well in heavily Native American counties.

 

Pro-Sanders counties: Coconino, Navajo, Apache

Pro-Clinton counties: Maricopa (if Sanders can hold down Clinton’s margin here to single digits, he has a shot at winning the state)

Swing counties: Pima

 

 

Republican Party

RealClearPolitics Polling Average Predictions Results
Donald Trump: 38 percent Donald Trump: 49 percent Donald Trump:
Ted Cruz: 25 percent Ted Cruz: 38 percent Marco Rubio:
John Kasich: 14 percent John Kasich: 10 percent John Kasich:
All others: 23 percent All others: 3 percent All others:
Trump has had the advantage here, as the state has a large population of border-obsessed elderly people, but Cruz has been working hard to catch up.  I think Kasich will also shed some of his voters to Cruz as anti-Trump voters begrudgingly coalesce around Cruz.  

 

Idaho

 

Democratic Party

RealClearPolitics Polling Average* Predictions Results
Bernie Sanders: 47 percent Bernie Sanders: 59 percent Bernie Sanders:
Hillary Clinton: 45 percent Hillary Clinton: 41 percent Hillary Clinton:
All others: 8 percent All others: 0 percent All others:
This one poll is from late February.  Sanders has an advantage here, but there are indications that this race will be closer than in neighboring Utah.  Clinton’s organization is supposed to be better, and a “mock caucus” held a few weeks ago had Sanders winning just 55-45.  Sanders has been campaigning here more than Clinton has, and it’s an open caucus, which should favor him.  

 

Utah

 

Democratic Party

RealClearPolitics Polling Average* Predictions Results
Bernie Sanders: 52 percent Bernie Sanders: 64 percent Bernie Sanders:
Hillary Clinton: 44 percent Hillary Clinton: 36 percent Hillary Clinton:
All others: 4 percent All others: 0 percent All others:
Sanders has the advantage here, so the real question is how high of a percentage is he going to hit.  He’s been campaigning a lot here (unlike Clinton) and I wonder how much Clinton’s percentage can go down as a result.  It’s also a semi-open caucus, which should help Sanders.  The prediction I’m making is a bit of wishful thinking, but it’s not unfounded.  

 

Republican Party

RealClearPolitics Polling Average* Predictions Results
Ted Cruz: 53 percent Ted Cruz: 60 percent Donald Trump:
John Kasich: 29 percent John Kasich: 26 percent Marco Rubio:
Donald Trump: 11 percent Donald Trump: 13 percent John Kasich:
All others: 7 percent All others: 1 percent All others:
Trump is apparently very unpopular in Utah, so the race is really between Cruz above 50 percent of the vote and Cruz below 50 percent.  If Cruz gets at least 50 percent he’ll get all of the state’s delegates.  This contest, along with the one in Arizona, will serve as a test of how much Kasich is going to block Cruz now that the race is down to three people.  Cruz has a number of advantages going into the race: the caucus format, the religious nature of the populace, the slow coalescing of anti-Trump forces, including former Rubio and Kasich supporters, around Cruz (though we’ll see in these contests if that bears out), and Mitt Romney’s advocacy, which may carry more weight here than in did in Michigan.  

 

* No RCP average was available, so I put down the results of the most recent poll on RCP instead.

Young people: If you support Bernie Sanders, you might want to actually vote for him

There’s been a lot of talk about how white people and black people are voting differently in the Democratic Presidential primaries, but the clearest break between Bernie Sanders supporters and Hillary Clinton supporters is along age.  In every contest, there is some age where a majority of all voters younger than that age support Sanders, and a majority of all voters above that age support Clinton.  That age varies from state to state, but when you break the ages into four distinct groups – 18-29 year-olds (YO), 30-44 YO, 45-64 YO, and 65+ YO – once you hit that inflection point from young to old, it just keeps going more and more pro-Clinton.  I haven’t seen a case where, say, 18-29 YO support Sanders, 30-44 YO support Clinton, but then 45-64 YO go back to supporting Sanders.   This trend is also borne out in public opinion polling.

 

Because of this correlation of decreasing age with increasing support for Sanders, when young voters turn out more, Sanders tends to do better. (For the purposes of this discussion, I’ll define “young” as younger than 45, because that’s where the split occurs.) I wanted to see what the actual percentages for young vs. old turnout were for the March 15 states, and compare those with Michigan, where Sanders did better than in any of the March 15 states.  Fortunately, NBC News has a treasure trove of exit polls that I could dig into.

 

In Florida and North Carolina, Sanders lost the 30-44 year-old demographic as well, so I decided to focus on just the Midwestern states.

 

Illinois

 

18-44 YO (pro-Sanders): 39 percent

45+ YO (pro-Clinton): 61 percent

 

Missouri

 

18-44 YO (pro-Sanders): 41 percent

45+ YO (pro-Clinton): 59 percent

 

Ohio

 

18-44 YO (pro-Sanders): 37 percent

45+ YO (pro-Clinton): 62 percent

 

Michigan

 

18-44 YO (pro-Sanders): 45 percent

45+ YO (pro-Clinton): 55 percent

 

Let’s compare the order of Sanders’s performance, from worst to best, with the order of the 18-44 YO electorate share, from lowest to highest.

 

Sanders’s performance, worst to best: Ohio, Illinois, Missouri, Michigan

18-44 YO electorate share, lowest to highest: Ohio, Illinois, Missouri, Michigan

 

So elegantly simple.

 

YOUNG PEOPLE SUPPORT BERNIE SANDERS.

WHEN YOUNG PEOPLE VOTE, BERNIE SANDERS DOES BETTER.

SO YOUNG PEOPLE NEED TO MAKE SURE THEY GET OUT AND VOTE FOR BERNIE SANDERS.

 

That is all.

Democratic Primary Updates, Super Tuesday II (March 15)

On the evening of Super Tuesday II on March 15 2016, I was once again glued to the computer as I watched election results come in for the Democratic Presidential primaries in Florida, Illinois, Missouri, North Carolina, and Ohio.  Suffice to say that it wasn’t as fun a night as March 8.  The Facebook thread is here.  Below, I have reposted just my commentary and analysis from that evening.  All times are CST.


Kenneth Huang

Yesterday at 7:40pm · Stillwater, OK, United States ·

Alright, this is my thread for results for Super Tuesday II. It’s gonna be an exciting night. For my predictions, see here: https://maverickjh.wordpress.com/2016/03/15/2016-presidential-primaries-predictions-super-tuesday-ii-march-15/


Kenneth Huang There goes my prediction for the big Ohio showdown. With 6 percent reporting, Clinton leads Sanders 65-34, and it’s already been called for Clinton. That margin had better go way the fuck down.

Like · Reply · 1 · Yesterday at 7:58pm · Edited


Kenneth Huang Florida: 83 percent reporting, Clinton leads 65-33.

 

Illinois: 9 percent reporting, Clinton leads 54-45.

 

Missouri: 1 percent reporting, Clinton leads 64-33.

 

North Carolina: 18 percent reporting, Clinton leads 57-39.

 

Not a good night so far for Sanders. That Ohio loss is especially going to sting.

Like · Reply · 1 · Yesterday at 8:01pm


Kenneth Huang Florida: 90 percent reporting, Clinton leads 64-33.

 

Illinois: 24 percent reporting, Clinton leads 53-46.

 

Missouri: 6 percent reporting, Clinton leads 51-47.

 

North Carolina: 34 percent reporting, Clinton leads 56-40.

 

Ohio: 24 percent reporting, Clinton leads 60-39.

Like · Reply · Yesterday at 8:26pm


Kenneth Huang Ohio looks to be particularly grisly: Cuyahoga has only reported 2.1 percent so far, and that’s likely to be one of Clinton’s best counties. Clicking on random counties all over the state shows Clinton ahead in nearly all of them.

Like · Reply · Yesterday at 8:32pm


Kenneth Huang Okay, some good news from Illinois (yay good news): Sanders is holding his own in Cook (which has reported 63 percent), DuPage, and Lake (the latter two have barely started reporting). Champaign has also only reported 12 percent. So Illinois will be our Michigan of tonight.

Like · Reply · Yesterday at 8:37pm


Kenneth Huang Some bad news from Missouri: Sanders is leading 50-48 with 39 percent reporting, but Sanders-friendly Greene County is almost done (90 percent reporting) and Kansas City and St. Louis have barely started.

 

In Illinois, Clinton leads 52-47 with 50 percent reporting. Cook County is mostly done (82 percent reporting).

Like · Reply · Yesterday at 9:23pm


Kenneth Huang For Missouri, the big counties that still have a lot left to report are the pro-Clinton Jackson and St. Louis City, the pro-Sanders Boone, and the swingy St. Louis, where Clinton is currently leading 53-46. So Sanders may pull off the win, but it will be too close – not the big margin he needs.

Like · Reply · Yesterday at 9:29pm


Kenneth Huang Just wanted to reiterate what I got from a Politico article (http://www.politico.com/…/why-arent-the-anti-trump&#8230;) the other day:

 

— The top state for ad spending is Illinois, where Sanders has invested $2.8 million since March 1, compared to $2.6 million for Clinton.

 

In Missouri, Sanders’ spending advantage stands at $1.7 million to $900,000. In North Carolina, it’s $1.8 million to $600,000. In Ohio, it’s $3 million to $1.9 million.

 

Even in Florida, where Sanders trails badly, the Vermont senator is spending nearly as much as Clinton, $680,000 to $810,000. —

 

So Sanders tripled Clinton’s spending in North Carolina, and it may have paid off, as he’s actually broken into the 40s – markedly better than any other Southern state he’s lost.

 

He nearly doubled Clinton’s spending in Missouri, and he will probably win that state, though by a slimmer margin than I hoped for. And he may also win Illinois by a slim margin.

 

The big waste of money was Ohio, where he spent more than 1.5 times what Clinton spent but is still losing it by double digits.

 

Why aren’t the anti-Trump forces hitting him harder in Ohio?

POLITICO.COM

Like · Reply · Remove Preview · Yesterday at 9:44pm


Kenneth Huang Missouri: So I was wrong about the Kansas City-area Platte, Clay, and Cass Counties; those all went for Sanders. We’re still waiting on Jackson and St. Louis City, but those aren’t providing Clinton with a big enough margin to close her deficit. With 91 percent reporting, Sanders leads 51-48. Sanders will probably win here.

 

Illinois: Sanders has the opposite problem here; he’s running out of downstate votes to counter Clinton’s 88K raw vote lead in Cook County. With 85 percent reporting, Clinton leads… 51-48. Clinton will probably win here, but god I hope I’m wrong.

Like · Reply · 23 hrs


Kenneth Huang I may have spoken too soon about Missouri. With 93 percent reporting, Sanders leads just 50-49, and Clinton has widened her lead in St. Louis City, which still has 43 percent left to report. This may end up being a Michigan/Massachusetts-sized margin.

Like · Reply · 23 hrs


Kenneth Huang Going into the night, I was hoping for a big Sanders win in Missouri, a close Sanders win in Illinois, and a very close Sanders win in Ohio.

 

Instead, we’re getting the exact reverse: a close Sanders win in Missouri, a close Sanders loss in Illinois, and a big Sanders loss in Ohio.

 

It’s been a bad night for Sanders across the board. And given that Sanders outspent Clinton in four out of the five states and turned in his best debate performance yet last Wednesday, I’m very curious as to what happened. First thing I would look at is turnout, especially among young voters.

Like · Reply · 23 hrs


Kenneth Huang Because the bad news can’t stop rolling in: the candidate I endorsed in IL-10, Nancy Rotering, has lost her primary 55-45 with 92 percent reporting.

Like · Reply · 22 hrs


Kenneth Huang With 94 percent reporting, Illinois has been called for Hillary Clinton; she leads 51-49.

 

In Missouri, with 98 percent reporting, Sanders lead is 49.7-49.3. St. Louis City is done, so it’s just Clinton-leaning Jackson, Clinton-leaning St. Louis, Sanders-leaning Cass, and Sanders-leaning Buchanan at this point.

Like · Reply · 22 hrs


Kenneth Huang Because the shittiness of this night just won’t end, Clinton has now moved into the lead in Missouri, thanks to St. Louis County, which Clinton won 55-44. With 99 percent reporting, Clinton leads 49.6-49.4.

 

From Daily Kos Elections:

 

— Tuesday, Mar 15, 2016 · 11:42:09 PM CDT · Steve Singiser

Here is the math in Missouri: AP has Bernie Sanders up 2125 votes. But these numbers being reported out of St. Louis County (the purported complete numbers) add 3558 votes to Clinton’s margin in the county. That puts her up by 1443 votes. All that remains is 34 precincts in Jackson County (KC), plus one precinct each in Buchanan and Cass County, both of which have gone narrowly thus far for Sanders. —

 

Buchanan and Cass Counties are small, both are less than 100K people. Jackson County has gone Clinton 53-46 and I have no idea how those last 34 precincts will go.

Like · Reply · 22 hrs


Kenneth Huang I went looking for answers on FiveThirtyEight. Unfortunately, their individual post links don’t work, but the gist is that

 

  1. Only 17 percent of the voters made their decision in the last few days, and they broke about evenly toward the two candidates. In Ohio, Sanders won the late deciders 53-46, but it wasn’t enough to overcome Clinton’s massive lead among early voters.

 

  1. In Ohio, Clinton won the white vote 51-48, only 38 percent of the voters were younger than 45, and – astoundingly – “Voters who said trade with other countries takes away U.S. jobs supported her, 53 percent to 46 percent.” This last part I really do not understand. It’s like saying, “Voters who said we need less racist and divisive rhetoric in politics supported Donald Trump”.

Like · Reply · 22 hrs


Kenneth Huang Missouri is at 100 percent reporting, and Clinton leads Sanders, 49.6-49.4. (Note that that leaves 1 percent for “Uncommitted” and a slew of minor candidates.) The race has not been officially called by media networks.

 

Sanders could request a recount but what’s the point. This is a shitty night all around for Sanders (and, as one of his supporters, me) and it’s not clear if him winning in the next eight contests (as he’s favored to do) would make up for it.

Like · Reply · 22 hrs


Kenneth Huang Quick Missouri update: the reporting percentage has weirdly gone back to 99.9 percent, and Jackson County’s has gone back to 99.4 percent. I’m thinking this might mean that they’re rechecking results? In any case, I doubt this will be resolved any time in the next few hours.

 

Surveying the carnage tonight, one thing is clear: young voters’ lack of turnout contributed to Sanders’s defeat in Ohio: http://www.attn.com/…/bernie-sanders-loses-ohio-primary

 

18-29 year olds made up 16 percent of the voters. 65+ year olds made up 22.

 

18-49 year olds comprise all the age groups that gave Sanders a majority, 50+ year olds gave Clinton a majority. 18-49 year olds added up to 47 percent of the voters; 50+ year olds added up to 54. (Not sure why there’s an extra 1 percent there.)

 

By contrast, 18-29 year olds matched 65+ year olds in turnout in Michigan, where Sanders won.

 

Sanders has said this time and time again: when turnout is big, he wins. When it’s not, he loses. But we should add a caveat to that: when turnout is big among young people, he wins. I’m gritting my teeth in anguish at how young voters who support Sanders the most failed to deliver for him.

 

Here’s the Group Who Hurt Bernie Sanders the Most Tonight

ATTN.COM|BY KYLE JAEGER

Like · Reply · Remove Preview · 1 · 20 hrs