Democratic Primaries Updates, April 26 2016

Here is the Facebook thread for when I followed the Democratic primaries election results on April 26 2016.

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


 

Kenneth Huang

April 26 at 7:30pm ·

Got a bit of a late start, but here’s the thread for the April 26 2016 primaries.

Here are the results as of right now (829 PM EDT).

Connecticut:

6 percent reporting, Hillary Clinton leads Bernie Sanders 51-47.

6 percent reporting, Donald Trump leads John Kasich and Ted Cruz 58-27-12 (and has been declared the winner).

Delaware: Nothing yet on either side.

Maryland: 0 percent reporting, but it has already been called for Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump based solely on exit polls.

Pennsylvania: 0 percent reporting, but it has already been called for Donald Trump based on exit polls.

Rhode Island:

5 percent reporting, Bernie Sanders leads Hillary Clinton 57-42.

5 percent reporting, Donald Trump leads John Kasich and Ted Cruz 62-26-11.


 

Kenneth Huang Connecticut: 16 percent reporting, Sanders leads 49.2-49.1 percent, geez. But most of Clinton-friendly Fairfield and New Haven Counties haven’t reported yet.

Delaware: 34 percent reporting, Clinton leads 59-40. Depressingly, she’s leading in all three counties.

Maryland: Still nothing.

Pennsylvania: 0.1 percent reporting, Sanders leads 51-47! Yayyyy!! (Only Philadelphia County has reported so far.)

Rhode Island: 6 percent reporting, Sanders leads 57-42. The problem is that Clinton-friendly Providence County has barely started reporting.

Like · Reply · 1 · April 26 at 7:42pm


 

Kenneth Huang Rhode Island and Delaware have been called for Trump, thus completing his sweep.

Delaware has been called for Clinton. 62 percent reporting, she leads 59-40.

Like · Reply · 1 · April 26 at 7:47pm


 

Kenneth Huang Connecticut: 32 percent reporting, Sanders leads 50-48. But Sanders’s counties have reported more than Clinton’s has. Most troubling is Fairfield County, which at 15 percent reporting Clinton leads 55-42.

Pennsylvania: 9 percent reporting, Clinton leads 58-41, and has been declared the winner.

Rhode Island: 42 percent reporting, Sanders leads 57-41. I have reason for optimism here because even in Providence and Newport Counties, Clinton is only getting 43 percent. I’m hoping for a big Sanders win here.

Like · Reply · 1 · April 26 at 8:13pm


 

Kenneth Huang Maryland: 5 percent reporting, Clinton leads 68-28.

For the U.S. Senate race, 5 percent reporting, Chris Van Hollen leads Donna Edwards (my pick) 54-39.

For MD-8, 0.5 percent reporting, Jamie Raskin (my pick) leads Kathleen Matthews and David Trone 40-23-22.

Rhode Island: 76 percent reporting, Sanders leads 56-43. The good news is that Newport County is done (Sanders won 56-43), and Bristol and Providence Counties are getting close to done (70 and 79 percent reporting, respectively). So let’s hope Sanders keeps his percentage at 56 or higher.

Connecticut: 49 percent reporting, Sanders leads 49.7-48.4.

Here’s the problem: Sanders-friendly counties in the east are already mostly reported. The three counties that are deciding this are the following:

Fairfield: 31 percent reporting, Clinton leads 56-42.

New Haven: 36 percent reporting, Clinton leads 50-48.

Hartford: 47 percent reporting, Clinton leads 53-45.

It’s good that Hartford is further along because they have the most people. If Sanders can keep up his numbers in New Haven and the Sanders counties, that might be enough to balance out his disadvantage in Hartford. This is going to be a nail-biter though.

Like · Reply · 1 · April 26 at 8:46pm


 

Kenneth Huang I got into the shower and I came out to a spate of bad news.

Maryland Senate: The race has been called for Chris Van Hollen. With 45 percent reporting he leads 52-41.

MD-8: The race has tightened. Jamie Raskin leads David Trone and Kathleen Matthews 34-28-24.

Pennsylvania Senate: My pick, John Fetterman, has lost; he’s currently behind 42-30-21.

Connecticut: As I feared, Clinton moved into the lead. 75 percent reporting, Clinton leads 50-48. Almost all the Sanders counties are done while the big three Clinton ones are still reporting, so I think it’s over for Sanders here. Damn. It would have been nice for Sanders to win at least one closed primary besides Democrats Abroad.

Like · Reply · 1 · April 26 at 9:32pm


 

Kenneth Huang Connecticut: 87 percent reporting, Clinton leads 50-48 and has been declared the winner. Sanders hung on in New Haven and Hartford but Fairfield really sunk him in. (Guess which racial group of voters Fairfield has a relatively large amount of??)

MD-8: 87 percent reporting, Raskin is hanging on to a 33-27 lead. This and Rhode Island are my two consolation prizes of the night.

Like · Reply · 1 · April 26 at 9:48pm


 

Kenneth Huang Here’s a breakdown of the results on the Democratic side, with exit polling data for 17-44 year olds vs. 45+, as well as blacks vs. whites. As a benchmark, remember that 17-44 year olds were 45 percent of the vote in Michigan, which Sanders narrowly won, so that roughly represents the kind of 17-44 turnout that Sanders needs to win a tough contest.

Connecticut: 99 percent reporting, Clinton leads 52-47. She managed to expand her lead here. This margin was close to my prediction (Clinton 51-48). 17-44 were 37 percent of the vote, too low to put Sanders over the top, but they very well could have, as Sanders won them 66-34. Blacks were 15 percent of the vote and were what gave Clinton the win, as Sanders won whites 50-48.

Delaware: 100 percent reporting, Clinton wins 60-39. No exit polling data here.

Maryland: 99 percent reporting, Clinton leads 63-33. My prediction was Clinton 62-37; in the final results, there was a high 3 percent Uncommitted vote. 17-44 were 41 percent of the vote, but Sanders won them only 52-46, and lost 45+ 75-20. Blacks outnumbered whites 46-43 and Sanders lost both groups.

Pennsylvania: 99.5 percent reporting, Clinton leads 56-44, very close to my prediction of 55-44. At least this wasn’t as big a loss as New York and Ohio were. 17-44 were just 36 percent of the vote. Given that Sanders won them 63-37, a stronger turnout would have boosted him to at least a close loss. This really was a failure of 17-44 year olds to get out the vote. Blacks were 19 percent of the vote and went big for Clinton, but Sanders narrowly lost the white vote as well.

Rhode Island: 100 percent reporting, Sanders wins 55-44. Even this lone victory sucks, as I was hoping that Sanders’s percentage would stay at 56 percent or higher. That said, it’s better than my prediction of Sanders 51-48. No exit polling data here.

The Sanders campaign is already rhetorically shifting away from discussions of winning the pledged delegate majority. They’re talking about winning as many votes for a show of strength, platform changes, and a contested convention. That goes to show that the Sanders people realize the game is over as well.

On the Republican side, Trump crushed, getting at least 50 percent in all five states (his worst performance was 54 percent in Maryland). Nowhere did Kasich break 30 percent (his best performance was 29 percent in Connecticut), and he finished behind Cruz in Pennsylvania, a state that he said he could win and Cruz couldn’t. Kasich really has no rationale for staying in the race (unless he thinks the establishment can throw him the nomination after multiple balloting) since he’s not doing a good job of denying Trump wins and delegates.

MD-8: 100 percent reporting, Raskin wins 34-27. This is my one downballot consolation prize, since all my other endorsees lost.

Like · Reply · April 27 at 3:12am

 

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2016 Presidential Primaries Predictions: April 26

Here are my Presidential predictions for the Presidential primaries on April 26 2016.  I will add actual results and post-election commentary later.

As per the usual, here’s Daily Kos Elections’s write-up of the April 26 primaries.

Before I dive into the details for each state, I want to make a more general assessment of where the primaries are at this point, on the Democratic side.  New York’s primary on April 19 was a crushing demonstration that this primary season has really boiled down to demographics, rather than momentum.  Most Democratic voters are already at least somewhat familiar with Bernie Sanders, and I think in many cases they’re hearing bad arguments to not vote for him.  Regardless, that means that momentum is not helping Sanders in the sense of making people aware of him and getting people to consider him, because most everyone has already made up their mind at this point, and they’ve all fallen neatly into their respective demographic categories.  It also means that heavy campaigning, which both Sanders and Hillary Clinton did leading up to the New York primary, might not matter much beyond simply maximizing whatever demographic advantages each candidate already has, as opposed to converting supporters of the other candidate or the precious few undecided voters that are left.

Long story short: Demographics are what’s going to decide each election, and demographics have, and continue to, favor Clinton, which is why Clinton is currently winning and will almost certainly go on to win a pledged delegate majority.  And you can pretty much tell how each state is going to go based on demographics and the nature of the election.  The race has solidified to the point where there is little room for surprise upsets, especially in closed primaries.

Of course, I hope that the future contradicts everything I said and the race gets more fluid so Sanders can pull off upsets.  But I’m just reporting what I’ve seen so far and what things realistically look like going forward.

There are three overarching questions that can be used to determine whether a state will support Sanders or Clinton:

  1. Is there a relatively high percentage of black voters? (See here for a handy chart of black percentage of the population by state.) If yes, the state will support Clinton.  If no, the state will support Sanders.
  2. Is there a relatively high turnout among voters below the age of 45? If yes, the state will support Sanders.  If no, the state will support Clinton.
  3. Is the state having a primary or a caucus, and is it open, semi-closed, or closed? If the state is having an open or semi-closed primary, or a caucus of any kind, it will likely be more supportive of Sanders than whatever the polling indicates.  If the state is having a closed primary, the state’s election results will basically follow whatever the polling was.

For each of the states below, I will answer the first and third questions for each Democratic contest.  I can’t address the second question until after the results are in, since I don’t know of any real way to reliably predict turnout by age group.

I’m not going to bother with the county predictions this time.  Suffice to say, urban and suburban counties will be more favorable to Clinton and rural counties will be more favorable to Sanders.  That’s the pattern that’s been established so far.

As for the Republicans, all I’ll say in advance is that if the predictions hold up, today could be the death knell for John Kasich’s credibility.  He was supposed to be the one who could beat Donald Trump in the Northeastern states.  Well here’s your chance big guy!

 

Connecticut

Democratic Party

RealClearPolitics Polling Average Predictions Results
Hillary Clinton: 49 percent Hillary Clinton: 51 percent Hillary Clinton:
Bernie Sanders: 44 percent Bernie Sanders: 48 percent Bernie Sanders:
All others: 7 percent All others: 1 percent All others:
Percentage black: 10.34 percent (21st in the nation)

Contest type: closed primary

The black percentage here isn’t too high, but much of western Connecticut is basically suburban New York City, and there are lots of affluent NYC commuters living there.  Also, it’s a closed primary, so the polling will be reasonably accurate.

 

Republican Party

RealClearPolitics Polling Average Predictions Results
Donald Trump: 54 percent Donald Trump: 57 percent Donald Trump:
John Kasich: 27 percent John Kasich: 30 percent Ted Cruz:
Ted Cruz: 14 percent Ted Cruz: 12 percent John Kasich:
All others: 5 percent All others: 1 percent All others:
Trump has been doing well with angry working-class low-educated Northeasterners, and will do well again here.  Somehow, supposed Northeastern sensibility doesn’t seem to be coming to the aid of Kasich.  

 

Delaware

Democratic Party

RealClearPolitics Polling Average* Predictions Results
Hillary Clinton: 45 percent Hillary Clinton: 57 percent Hillary Clinton:
Bernie Sanders: 38 percent Bernie Sanders: 42 percent Bernie Sanders:
All others: 17 percent All others: 1 percent All others:
Percentage black: 20.95 percent (8th in the nation)

Contest type: closed primary

Closed primary, high percentage of black voters.  This is an easy win for Clinton; she’ll outperform the polls.

 

Republican Party

RealClearPolitics Polling Average* Predictions Results
Donald Trump: 55 percent Donald Trump: 55 percent Donald Trump:
John Kasich: 18 percent John Kasich: 25 percent Ted Cruz:
Ted Cruz: 15 percent Ted Cruz: 19 percent John Kasich:
All others: 12 percent All others: 1 percent All others:
Delaware is somewhat similar to Maryland, which means a small majority for Trump.  

 

Maryland

Democratic Party

RealClearPolitics Polling Average Predictions Results
Hillary Clinton: 58 percent Hillary Clinton: 62 percent Hillary Clinton:
Bernie Sanders: 34 percent Bernie Sanders: 37 percent Bernie Sanders:
All others: 8 percent All others: 1 percent All others:
Percentage black: 30.1 percent (4th in the nation)

Contest type: closed primary

Despite Sanders’s inspiring discussion of poverty in inner-city Baltimore, this is still a closed primary with a massively high percentage of black voters.  This is an easy win for Clinton.

 

Republican Party

RealClearPolitics Polling Average Predictions Results
Donald Trump: 48 percent Donald Trump: 53 percent Donald Trump:
John Kasich: 27 percent John Kasich: 26 percent Ted Cruz:
Ted Cruz: 22 percent Ted Cruz: 20 percent John Kasich:
All others: 3 percent All others: 1 percent All others:
You would think highly-educated government workers would help Kasich here, but nope, still Trump.  

 

Pennsylvania

Democratic Party

RealClearPolitics Polling Average Predictions Results
Hillary Clinton: 54 percent Hillary Clinton: 55 percent Hillary Clinton:
Bernie Sanders: 38 percent Bernie Sanders: 44 percent Bernie Sanders:
All others: 8 percent All others: 1 percent All others:
Percentage black: 10.79 percent (20th in the nation)

Contest type: closed primary

The black percentage isn’t too high, and Sanders can win much of central and western Pennsylvania, while Clinton will probably dominate in Philadelphia.  Still, a closed primary will probably mean few surprises.  I do think Sanders will close the gap a little bit, but not enough to pull off a win or even a close loss.

 

Republican Party

RealClearPolitics Polling Average Predictions Results
Donald Trump: 48 percent Donald Trump: 49 percent Donald Trump:
Ted Cruz: 27 percent Ted Cruz: 27 percent Ted Cruz:
John Kasich: 22 percent John Kasich: 23 percent John Kasich:
All others: 3 percent All others: 1 percent All others:
Pennsylvania was one of the states specifically cited by Kasich as a reason for him to stay in the race, because he can beat Trump there while Cruz can’t.  Well, let’s see how that works out for him.

At this point, it seems more and more like the Republican primary electorate is default Trump, with some pockets of the country here and there willing to support the other two Republicans.

 

 

Rhode Island

Democratic Party

RealClearPolitics Polling Average Predictions Results
Hillary Clinton: 44 percent Bernie Sanders: 51 percent Hillary Clinton:
Bernie Sanders: 42 percent Hillary Clinton: 48 percent Bernie Sanders:
All others: 14 percent All others: 1 percent All others:
Percentage black: 7.5 percent (27th in the nation)

Contest type: semi-closed primary

This might be Sanders’s single win for the evening.  There’s a somewhat low black percentage and those independents will gave Sanders a sorely-needed boost.  Politically, Rhode Island is similar to Massachusetts, which gave Clinton a narrow win.

 

Republican Party

RealClearPolitics Polling Average Predictions Results
Donald Trump: 52 percent Donald Trump: 55 percent Donald Trump:
John Kasich: 23 percent John Kasich: 31 percent Ted Cruz:
Ted Cruz: 12 percent Ted Cruz: 13 percent John Kasich:
All others: 13 percent All others: 1 percent All others:
This is also one of those states where you’d think Kasich would do well, given his second-place finish in politically similar Massachusetts.  

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

I Endorse Donna Edwards for U.S. Senate in 2016

I’ve been a big fan of Representative Donna Edwards, from Maryland’s 4th Congressional District, ever since she first ran for the U.S. House back in 2006.  This wasn’t just any race – she was running against a Democratic incumbent from the left in the primary.  The incumbent, Al Wynn, had supported the Iraq war, estate tax repeal, and bankruptcy “reform”, all of which Edwards was against.  Any time a candidate challenges a sitting incumbent from the left, that person gets automatic brownie points with me.

Edwards lost that 2006 race by just 3.3 percent of the vote, but she came back to run again in 2008 and routed Wynn 60-35.  Since then, she’s been a sterling liberal and progressive champion in the House.  I could go on and on about how great she is, but Alternet already did it for me, so I’m just gonna link their write-up here.

Now she’s running for an open U.S. Senate seat in Maryland, and her main opponent is fellow Representative Chris Van Hollen.  Van Hollen is a decent, mainstream Democrat, and he supports some progressive ideas like a basic income paid for by a cap-and-trade-and-dividend system.  That said, he isn’t going to be the liberal agitator Edwards would be.  In fact, many were surprised he even decided to run for the Senate since he was deeply involved with the House leadership and was considered on track to rise up further in the ranks.  I don’t want someone who’s cozy with the go-along-to-get-along establishment; I want someone who will be in a pain in the ass from the left – the kind of person who would, oh I don’t know, primary a sitting corporatist Democratic incumbent.

Edwards has been campaigning against Van Hollen from the left, attacking Van Hollen for considering supporting Social Security cuts (as part of the Simpson-Bowles proposals), and for taking Wall Street contributions.  Edwards has also been playing up her race and gender, as she would be just the second black woman in the Senate; that kind of argument turns me off.  Van Hollen, for his part, has been hitting back at Edwards for being an ineffective legislator and too unwilling to compromise with Republicans, which is never a great argument for me personally.

The election is tomorrow, April 26.  Recent polls have shown Van Hollen with increasingly larger leads, though Edwards held leads in several polls before April.  I endorse Donna Edwards for the United States Senate from Maryland and I hope she wins tomorrow!

P.S. I’m also endorsing Jamie Raskin for Maryland’s 8th Congressional District and John Fetterman for the United States Senate from Pennsylvania!  Both of their elections are tomorrow as well.

Democratic Primaries Updates, April 19 2016

Here is the Facebook thread for when I followed the Democratic primaries election results on April 19 2016.

 

Below, I have reposted just my commentary and analysis from that evening.  All times (unless otherwise noted) are CDT.


Kenneth Huang

Yesterday at 8:28pm ·

Alright, New York primaries time! Looks like it’s not called yet so far on the Democratic side, as of 928 PM EDT.


 

Kenneth Huang As of now, with 23 percent reporting, Hillary Clinton leads Bernie Sanders 61-39. So that looks pretty bad. But the counties reporting so far are the New York City ones; most of Upstate hasn’t reported yet.

But it gets worse. The NYC counties are solidly for Clinton right now; she’s hitting percentages of 60+. Oddly enough, the best Sanders borough may be Staten Island, where he’s “only” losing 53-47 with 83 percent reporting. Here’s a great neighborhood results map for NYC:http://www.wnyc.org/story/map-ny-primary-vote-nyc-2016/

All in all, it does not look good for Bernie so far.

MAP: The New York Primary by NYC Neighborhood

Follow the vote for presidential candidates across New York City.

WNYC.ORG

Like · Reply · Remove Preview · Yesterday at 8:38pm



Kenneth Huang
 38 percent reporting, Clinton leads 61-39 still.

Over on the Republican side, the race was called for Donald Trump very quickly. Trump currently leads John Kasich and Ted Cruz 63-23-14.

Like · Reply · Yesterday at 8:49pm


 

Kenneth Huang The race has been called for Clinton. 44 percent reporting, Clinton leads 60-40. There goes the great Bernie upset.

Mayor de Blasio and Comptroller Stringer are calling for an audit of the Elections Board. There were massive problems with voting in this primary:http://www.npr.org/…/after-more-than-100-000-voters…
http://usuncut.com/…/new-york-city-comptroller-orders…/

 

 

After More Than 100,000 Voters Dropped In Brooklyn, City Officials Call For Action

NPR.ORG

Like · Reply · Remove Preview · Yesterday at 9:02pm



Kenneth Huang
 60 percent reporting, Clinton leads 59-41. I’m surprised at how quickly the votes are being counted.

This headline says it all: http://usuncut.com/politics/new-york-primary-disaster/

 

New York’s Primary Is a Total Disaster

The New York primary is already rife with complaints of voter disenfranchisement in at least two different New…

USUNCUT.COM

Like · Reply · Remove Preview · Yesterday at 9:19pm



Kenneth Huang
 86 percent reporting, Clinton’s lead has been whittled to 57-43. But much of the big Bernie areas have already finished reporting. Let’s see if the margin goes down to 56-44 or 55-45.

Like · Reply · Yesterday at 10:08pm



Kenneth Huang
 98.5 percent reporting, Clinton leads 58-42. With few precincts remaining, this margin is pretty much set.

As I predicted, Sanders swept most of Upstate but fought to a near-draw in the three swingy urban counties. After narrowly leading in Erie County most of the night, he’s losing there 50.2-49.8 (with 94 percent reporting). He lost Monroe County 52-48 and Onondaga County 53-47.

Clinton leads in Westchester County 67-33 (84 percent reporting), and while she won Nassau County big (63-37), her margin in Suffolk County was just 55-45.

As for New York City, it was a blowout for Clinton. She won Manhattan comfortably (66-34), as I predicted. But to my dismay, the Bronx, Brooklyn, and Queens weren’t close at all. She won the Bronx 70-30, Brooklyn 60-40, and Queens 62-38. Most surprisingly, it was Staten Island that was the most favorable to Sanders, with Clinton winning it only 53-47.

Looking at the racial breakdowns of the five boroughs (which I did not do when I made my predictions) provides a discouraging explanation where demographics really is destiny. Staten Island is easily the most white and least black borough. Brooklyn and the Bronx are the most black, at 36 percent each, so it was a bit foolish for me to think that Sanders had a chance of making it close in either. (My hope was that Latinos in those two boroughs would help balance out blacks.) Queens could have been promising, as it has fewer blacks and more Asians, but Sanders did worse there than in Brooklyn.

Given that Sanders was polling well Upstate and had little chance of winning the NYC suburbs, NYC was always the most important region for Sanders, and I’m glad he focused on campaigning there. Unfortunately, it proved to be not enough.

Like · Reply · 22 hrs



Kenneth Huang
 I had a chance to look at the exit polls (http://www.nbcnews.com/politics/2016-election/primaries/NY), which show the framework for the big Sanders loss.

Age: Clinton, disconcertingly, edged out Sanders 53-47 among 30-44 year olds. Sanders beat Clinton 65-35 among 18-29 year olds but I’ve seen much bigger margins in other states. If you break age down by 18-44 year olds vs. 45+, Sanders won the former just 55-45 while Clinton won the latter 66-34. Crucially, 18-44 year olds made up only 41 percent of the electorate. By comparison, they made up that same proportion in Missouri, which Sanders narrowly lost, and they were 43 percent and 45 percent in Wisconsin and Michigan, respectively, which Sanders won.

So yes, a stronger youth turnout would have helped narrow the gap, but with such a low level of support for Sanders, maybe not enough for a win. Sanders won 18-44 by 65-32 in Michigan and 73-26 in Wisconsin. If 18-44 year olds are only 41 percent in New York AND Sanders is only winning them 55-45, that portends a big loss.

Race: Sanders and Clinton split the white vote 50-50 – already a bad sign for Sanders. Then of course black voters went with Clinton 75-25, but distressingly, Latinos also sided with Clinton 64-36. This is dismaying since Sanders has done well with Latinos before – he narrowly won them in Illinois – and polling had shown him competitive among Latinos in New York. Sanders HAS to do well among Latinos if he wants to have a chance at winning California and other diverse states. Latinos don’t seem to be as monolithic a group as blacks, and we’ll have to hope that California Latinos (not to mention Latinos in New Mexico) are more like Illinois Latinos than like New York Latinos.

To my disappointment, no other racial groups were large enough to be polled. Asians only made up 2 percent; I thought they would be more than that. Clinton easily carried Flushing, a heavily Asian part of Queens, so that’s not a good sign. Sanders is also going to need Asian support to help him in California, and I’m hoping California Asians split from their New York counterparts.

 

New York Primary Results: 2016 Election – NBC News

NBCNEWS.COM

Like · Reply · Remove Preview · 21 hrs


 

Kenneth Huang Finally, here’s a Politico article that dissects the political narrative reasons behind Sanders’s loss: http://www.politico.com/…/how-bernie-lost-new-york-222173. They seem to blame three things in particular:

1. The New York Daily News interview that was, in my opinion, overhyped and exaggerated to hurt Sanders
2. The controversy Sanders was embroiled in over having said Clinton was unqualified for the Presidency
3. Sanders’s April 15-16 trip to Vatican City

I don’t think the trip to the Vatican made a difference. Two more days of campaigning probably wouldn’t have moved too many minds, and the press attention from the Vatican trip was, to my eyes, a net positive.

The Daily News interview wasn’t great (I read the transcript), but the degree to which Sanders blundered was greatly exaggerated by the Clinton campaign and the dutiful media. Sanders probably could have done more to tamp down on the media damage, in part by re-explaining his positions in greater detail.

The qualifications controversy was an unforced error on Sanders’s part. Clinton’s campaign set a trap for him and he walked right into it. He could’ve easily avoided the controversy by doing what Clinton did – obliquely question her qualifications without directly attacking them – and he would’ve controlled the narrative about Clinton’s record. Instead, directly stating that he thought Clinton was unqualified gave the media an opening to pounce on that specific charge and drown out the larger point Sanders was trying to make, and basically sucked up a week’s worth of media discussion. I think this ginned-up controversy may well have made a difference of at least a few percentage points in the final results.

 

How Bernie lost New York

Caught up in one distraction after another, Sanders never came close to the upset victory he once predicted.

POLITICO.COM

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2016 Presidential Primaries Predictions: April 19

Here are my Presidential predictions for the New York primaries on April 19 2016.  I will add actual results and post-election commentary later.

As per the usual, here’s Daily Kos Elections’s write-up of the New York primaries.

New York

Democratic Party

RealClearPolitics Polling Average Predictions Results
Hillary Clinton: 53 percent Hillary Clinton: 52 percent Hillary Clinton:
Bernie Sanders: 41 percent Bernie Sanders: 48 percent Bernie Sanders:
All others: 6 percent All others: 0 percent All others:
Sanders narrowed the polling average gap to just 11 points in early April, but he’s been stuck there more-or-less in the weeks since then, despite his heavy barnstorming of the state.  The thing hurting him most in New York isn’t even Clinton’s “home state” status.  Sanders’s chances are weighted down by New York being a closed primary, having an absurdly early voter registration change deadline (back in October!), and reported Arizona-style unauthorized registration changes, which threaten to delegitimize the election results the same way they have for Arizona.

Sanders is poised to do well Upstate, matching if not slightly exceeding Clinton, though Clinton may still find pockets of strengths in the big cities like Buffalo, Rochester, and Syracuse (I put Erie, Monroe, and Onondaga Counties under the swing category).  Clinton should easily win the New York City suburbs (like Westchester County) and Long Island.

That leaves New York City itself as the big battleground, and Sanders has wisely put in a lot of time campaigning in the Five Boroughs.  Clinton looks set to win Manhattan.  Staten Island is suburban-ish, so it will probably go to Clinton as well.  I had previously thought the Bronx would be good for Sanders based off it being lower-income and the massive turnout at his Bronx rally a few weeks ago, but I’ve since moved it, along with Brooklyn and Queens, into the swing counties category.

The three swing boroughs are very diverse – and by diverse, I mean all non-white races, not just black.  This will be a great test to see how well Sanders does with people who are neither white nor black, as New York might be the first state to have significant enough populations of other minority groups for them to show up in exit polling.  Sanders narrowly won Latinos in Illinois and has been narrowly leading among New York Latinos in polling as well.  There are also some hints that Sanders is popular among Asians.  If he does end up performing strongly among Latinos and Asians, that should help him in the Bronx and Queens, respectively.

Now, on to predictions for the final results.  The RCP polling average has Clinton leading 53-41, and many polls and predictions have a larger Clinton lead.  If I’m not mistaken, there are no other candidates besides Clinton and Sanders on the ballot, so “All others” will be zero.  Sanders tends to outperform the polling in non-Southern states, and I think he’ll pick up most of the undecided vote.  Reallocating the polls’ 6 percent “All others” in a 2-4 Clinton-Sanders split leaves the final result at Clinton 55-45.

Beyond that though, Daily Kos user subir wrote a very detailed and well thought-out prediction that had Clinton winning 53-47.  He estimated that Sanders would win Upstate 53-47 but lose New York City 55-45.  Frankly, I think Sanders can do better than that in NYC, but I have not and will not go into the same level of detail that he did.

Finally, a fellow Sanders-supporting friend of mine referred me to this interesting article bashing the New York polling.  The article contends that the polls are undercounting young voters and Upstate voters that will largely support Sanders, so Sanders will do better than the polls are predicting.  I generally agree that the polling is probably undersampling Sanders supporters (as it often has).  That said, given how young voters failed Sanders on March 15, I’m skeptical of counting on them to deliver Sanders a win, but I sure as hell hope they do.

Given subir’s analysis and the problems with polling we’ve seen, I’m going to go even further and say Clinton wins, but only 52-48.  Of course, my wishful thinking is that Sanders wins outright, but losing 52-48 would already be something of an upset.

Pro-Sanders counties:  Hudson Valley counties, North Country counties near Vermont (Clinton, Essex, Washington), Tompkins, Broome

Pro-Clinton counties: Westchester, Long Island counties (Nassau, Suffolk), New York, Richmond

Swing counties: Upstate big city counties (Erie, Monroe, Onondaga), Kings, Queens, Bronx

 

 

Republican Party

RealClearPolitics Polling Average Predictions Results
Donald Trump: 53 percent Donald Trump: 52 percent Donald Trump:
John Kasich: 23 percent John Kasich: 31 percent Ted Cruz:
Ted Cruz: 18 percent Ted Cruz: 16 percent John Kasich:
All others: 6 percent All others: 1 percent All others:
Trump has had a lousy few weeks, but his supremacy in New York doesn’t seem to have been affected too much.  Trump will win, but the two big questions are:

1.       What percentage will Trump get?  If he hits 50 percent or more he’ll get all 14 of the statewide delegates.  I say he hits that target but not by much more.

2.       How well will Kasich do?  Kasich’s argument at this point is that he can fill in the anti-Trump gaps in states that don’t like Cruz, and New York certainly fits that bill.  The question is whether the undecideds and possible Cruz or other anti-Trump voters defect to Kasich in large enough numbers to give him a solid second place and put some distance between himself and Cruz.  If that happens, it will give him a few extra delegates, but perhaps as importantly, a moral victory that props up his argument for staying in the race.  I do predict that Cruz’s support will decline from the polling and that Kasich will scoop up Cruz defectors and the undecideds, particularly in upstate communities that resemble the Rust Belt.

 

 

Democratic Primaries Updates, April 5 2016

Here is the Facebook thread for when I followed the Democratic primaries election results on April 5 2016.

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


Kenneth Huang

22 hrs ·

Wisconsin Presidential primaries! Hoping for a big Bernie win!

Assuming Bernie does win, the big question is by how much. So even after the election is called, I’ll continue to update with results.

Watch Milwaukee County. That will be the key county in this race.


Kenneth Huang Our first vote dump of the night.

2 percent reporting, Sanders leads 56-44.

Not that it means much at this early stage, but three of the only five counties reporting so far are big Clinton counties: Waukesha, Ozaukee, and Brown. Clinton is leading in Ozaukee only.

Like · Reply · 22 hrs


Kenneth Huang 4 percent reporting, Sanders leads 56-43.

Note that neither Dane nor Milwaukee Counties have started reporting yet. Clinton is leading only in Ozaukee, and she’s trailing narrowly in Waukesha. Good signs.

Like · Reply · 22 hrs


Kenneth Huang Milwaukee County just dropped the hammer. 56 percent reporting for that county, Clinton leads 52.5-47.5. That’s dragged Sanders’s statewide total down to 52-48, with 17.4 percent reporting.

Now the other shoe in Milwaukee has to fall, but if things stay on track Sanders may end up winning by double digits still.

Like · Reply · 22 hrs


Kenneth Huang As a reminder, my predictions for Wisconsin (https://maverickjh.wordpress.com/…/2016-presidential…/):

Sanders 55, Clinton 44, All others 1

Cruz 55, Trump 26, Kasich 17, All others 2

 

2016 Presidential Primaries Predictions: April 5 and 9

MAVERICKJH.WORDPRESS.COM

Like · Reply · Remove Preview · 22 hrs


Kenneth Huang The election has been called for Bernie Sanders!

23 percent reporting, Sanders leads 53-47.

Dane County is only 21 percent done. Let’s expand that margin!

Like · Reply · 1 · 22 hrs


Kenneth Huang 52 percent reporting, Sanders leads… 55-44. Psst, look at my predictions.

The good news is that Milwaukee County is largely done, at 83 percent, and Dane County is still at 46 percent. The bad news is, I don’t think it’ll be enough to get Sanders to 60 percent. Maybe only 57 percent at this point. And yes, that means that, in a race where Sanders needs every delegate he can get, I’m actually rather sad about this victory. frown emoticon

Like · Reply · 21 hrs


Kenneth Huang Looking at the exit polling data (http://www.nbcnews.com/politics/2016-election/primaries/WI), it looks like the 18-44 year olds turned out well, making up 43 percent of the electorate. By contrast, they were 41 percent in Missouri, which Sanders lost very narrowly, and 45 percent in Michigan, which Sanders won by a small margin. Sanders was able to keep the 45+ vote in Wisconsin reasonably close, losing it 43-56.

Unfortunately, Clinton still won the black vote by a hefty 69-31 margin. Fortunately, they only made up 10 percent of the vote. Still, that’s not good news going forward as the race moves to states like New York, Maryland, and Delaware.

 

Wisconsin Primary Results: 2016 Election – NBC News

NBCNEWS.COM

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Kenneth Huang Whoa! Dozed off there. Let’s wrap this up.

On the Republican side, with 99.9 percent reporting, Cruz leads 48-35-14. I originally had predicted something close to this – Cruz 51-30-17 – but I revised my final prediction to reflect what I thought would be a greater collapse in Trump’s support, Cruz 55-26-17. Oops.

On the Democratic side, with 99.9 percent reporting, Sanders leads… 56.5-43.1! This actually rounds to 57-43, so it makes me feel slightly better about the final margin. (Incidentally, this is almost the exact same margin Clinton won Ohio by.) Sanders’s percentage was stuck at 56.3 or 56.4 for much of the night, so I’m glad to see it’s only gone up. There are still a few precincts out in Milwaukee and La Crosse Counties as a write this.

Sanders’s victory was great in breadth. He carried all the Milwaukee suburban counties, albeit by narrow margins, as well as Brown County. Those were all supposed to be friendly to Clinton. As far as I can tell, Clinton carried only Milwaukee County, by a narrow 52-48 margin, as well as Polk County way out in the northwest. I don’t know if Sanders campaigned in Milwaukee any other times besides Monday night, but if he didn’t, he should have, as that was clearly his area of greatest weakness (as was also shown in pre-election polling).

All in all, a good, solid win for Sanders, even if it wasn’t as big as I hoped for. Now we move on to Wyoming and New York. I’m really hoping Sanders crushes in Wyoming and pushes Clinton into non-viability there.

Like · Reply · 1 · 13 hrs

 

2016 Presidential Primaries Predictions: April 5 and 9

Here are my Presidential predictions for the primaries and caucuses on April 5 and 9 2016.  I will add actual results and post-election commentary later.

I used the guide from the always-excellent Daily Kos Elections to inform some of my predictions.

April 5 2016

Wisconsin

Democratic Party

RealClearPolitics Polling Average Predictions Results
Bernie Sanders: 48 percent Bernie Sanders: 55 percent Bernie Sanders:
Hillary Clinton: 45 percent Hillary Clinton: 44 percent Hillary Clinton:
All others: 7 percent All others: 1 percent All others:
Wisconsin is a state that should be favorable terrain for Sanders.  It’s largely white and has a long liberal/progressive tradition.  Thus, it’s been disappointing to see Sanders only holding a 3-point average lead in the polls.  DKE explains that Wisconsin is a somewhat older-than-average and more-religious-than-average state, which is helping keep Clinton’s numbers up.  The big thing I’m watching out for tonight is not who wins, but by how much.

If you reallocated 6 percent evenly to Sanders and Clinton and left the remaining 1 percent for All others, the breakdown will have Sanders winning 51-48-1.  But for my prediction, I’m giving Sanders a few extra percentage points for several reasons, though I’ll concede they’re not totally 100 percent solid.

1.       Sanders has been generally outperforming the polls when he’s campaigned hard in a state that’s not in the Deep South.

2.       A PPP poll shows Sanders leading among black voters in Wisconsin 51-40.  I don’t know how many black voters the poll sampled, but if Clinton is losing the black vote it’s game over for her.

3.       The polls are testing likely Democratic voters, but there could be a large number of infrequent and first-time voters.  This is an open primary and it has same-day voter registration, which helps voters in those two categories, and thus Sanders.

4.       Barack Obama beat Clinton here 58-41 in 2008.  I feel like, his disadvantage among blacks notwithstanding, Sanders should be able to come close to matching Obama’s performance, especially given the starker contrast between the two candidates this time.

On the other hand, the following could hurt Sanders:

1.       Thanks to its Republican state government, Wisconsin has stringent voter ID laws, which will probably hurt first-time, infrequent, and poor voters more. (I’m surprised the Republicans haven’t abolished same-day registration yet.)

2.       Two recent Sanders rallies, held in Madison on Sunday night and Milwaukee on Monday night, had smaller turnout than usual.  I’m not concerned about the Madison rally so much because that was apparently the third time Sanders went there in the last two weeks.  But Milwaukee is concerning because Sanders has a much smaller advantage there.  If anything, Sanders should have been concentrating like crazy on Milwaukee.  On the other hand, cold weather may have contributed to the lower turnout for both rallies (I bet Sanders is missing Arizona right now) and of course, it’s debatable how much correlation there is between rally turnout and voter turnout.

An x-factor is that it’s currently 36 degrees in Milwaukee, and rain and snow are predicted for tonight. (It’s about the same for Madison.) This will hurt poor voters who might vote for Sanders, but it could also hurt unmotivated and older voters who would vote for Clinton.  In general, bad weather turns the results in favor of the highly-motivated (Sanders voters) and the affluent (Clinton voters), and I’m hoping there are more of the former than the latter.

All that said, my wishful thinking is that Sanders does even better and crushes Clinton by at least 20 points.  In my defense, that’s actually what happened in New Hampshire, where the polls had Sanders leading Clinton 55-41, my predictions had him winning 57-43, and the final results had him winning 60-38.  So I really hope he’ll defy the polls and my predictions again!

Pro-Sanders counties: Dane, pretty much anywhere else that’s not in one of the other two categories here

Pro-Clinton counties: Milwaukee’s suburban counties (Waukesha, Washington, Ozaukee), Brown

Swing counties: Milwaukee (watch this one especially; if Clinton isn’t at least in the high 40s here she’s losing the state big), Racine

 

Republican Party

RealClearPolitics Polling Average Predictions Results
Ted Cruz: 39 percent Ted Cruz: 55 percent Donald Trump:
Donald Trump: 35 percent Donald Trump: 26 percent Ted Cruz:
John Kasich: 20 percent John Kasich: 17 percent John Kasich:
All others: 6 percent All others: 2 percent All others:
Cruz has the edge.  Wisconsin is more evangelical than other parts of the Midwest, and also has a large suburban population (most notably the Republican stronghold that is Waukesha County), which hurts Trump.  Trump had a week of bad publicity.  And that weather issue I mentioned for the Democrats will probably also favor Cruz more than Trump.  I think Cruz’s win is going to be quite a bit larger than the polls are predicting.

I don’t know how much early voting has been happening here and whether any of it took place before March 15, when Rubio dropped out.  Given that it’s been three weeks, I’m going to assume no, which should help prop up Kasich’s numbers.  But overall, I foresee a good chunk of Kasich’s voters going over to Cruz to help stop Trump.

 

April 9 2016

Wyoming

Democratic Party

RealClearPolitics Polling Average Predictions Results
No polling available Bernie Sanders: 77 percent Bernie Sanders:
Hillary Clinton: 23 percent Hillary Clinton:
All others: 0 percent All others:
Western.  Caucus.  State.  I chose the numbers somewhat arbitrarily (but hey look, it’s the same as the margin for the Iraq war resolution vote in 2002, which Clinton voted for of course).  Based off his performances in neighboring Idaho and Utah, I think Sanders’s percentage will be somewhere in the high 70s, but I’m really hoping he beats my expectations again and hits 85 percent so he can sink Clinton into non-viability here.