Articles Posted in Elections


Social Media May Not Be the Democratic Force We Thought It Was

On Federal Election Day, 2015, over 770,000 Tweets were sent out into the Twittersphere in Canada, but new data shows that the high volume of social media posts may not be reaching a new audience. Despite the early promise and the increased use of social media to discuss politics and policy issues, fewer Canadians have…

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Turnout and the D-R “Enthusiasm Gap”

My working hypothesis is that “swing voters” are mostly a myth created by pollsters (SORRY) and the media. The idea that there is some large swath of the population who, despite our nation’s immensely partisan tendencies, are compelled to fairly regularly change the party the vote for between D and R from election to election seems too fantastical. Party identity in the US is deeply rooted in values and identity, and not fleeting fancy. Of course we know there are some genuine swing voters out there, but not – in my view – in the numbers popularly conceived.

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Ipsos Analysis of Donald Trump’s Climb to 1,237 Delegates

The notion of a contested convention for the Republican presidential nomination has gained traction over the last several weeks. A contested convention (also known as a brokered convention) would occur in the event that none of the Republican nominees were able to reach the 1,237 delegate threshold needed in order to clinch the nomination.

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Carson’s Departure Doesn’t Change Much (2016 Republican Primary)

Ben Carson ended his run for the 2016 Republican nomination on Friday, March 4 (link) after briefly surging in polling last fall but winning no primaries this year. His departure comes during repeated calls from the Republican Party leadership for the party to coalesce around a candidate (but Trump). Some hope that without Carson in the race, the ~10% of Republicans (link) still supporting him will move to support one of the establishment candidates like Marco Rubio. Our data indicates that is unlikely to happen.

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Why Donald Trump has a 90 percent chance of winning the Republican nomination

New Hampshire, South Carolina and now Nevada: the evidence is mounting that Donald Trump will be the Republican presidential nominee. Those who doubt a Trump victory believe that Republican voters will at some point come to their senses, while others see a narrowing field as one that favors Trump’s competition. We have always been bullish on a Trump nomination. Indeed, in September, we gave Trump a 45 percent chance of being nominated. Today, less than a week before Super Tuesday, we give Trump a 90 percent chance of winning the Republican Party nomination based on the available evidence.

Here’s why.

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Impact of 2016 Primaries on Voter Enthusiasm

Our presidential primary system is a unique, complicated and dynamic system that seems to be engineered more for drama than actually selecting a leader. After each contest pundits and candidates battle over who has “momentum” in an effort to both frame the next chapter and fire up supporters. Electoral losses are referred to as “demoralizing losses”, while victories are going to “energize supporters”. Regular political news covers (in very minute detail) the poll gains and losses of the candidates. What is less well studied is how election fortunes affect the enthusiasm of candidates’ supporters. After a big win or tough loss, are people fired up? Or ready to give up?

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Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Trumpism

In a few other posts [here and here], we poked at the idea that the theme driving Trump’s campaign, Make America Great Again, may be emotional nostalgia — for a time in America when the only barrier to success was one’s willingness to work for it, jobs were plentiful, and the stock market was booming — and…

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Public Reputations of 2016 Presidential Candidates

When discussing contemporary politics, one of the most common questions I get asked is, “what do people see in (Candidate)? I don’t understand how anyone can think he/she would be a good president.” This is usually expressed in an incredulous tone suggesting the speaker is talking about the opposition party. I particularly get this question…

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Forget the debate: Two simple reasons a Republican will likely win in 2016

The following article by Clifford Young and Julia Clark originally appeared in Reuters: http://blogs.reuters.com/great-debate/2015/10/14/forget-what-you-saw-last-night-two-simple-reasons-a-republican-is-likely-to-win-in-2016/ Elections are not mysterious events subject to the whimsy of unpredictable candidates and voters. They’re actually highly predictable, with a set of variables that influence outcomes in familiar ways. Because of that, we can say, with reasonable confidence, that a Republican…

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The rise of Neo-Nativism: Putting Trump into Proper Context

by Cliff Young and Chris Jackson Many argue that Trump’s rise in the polls is nothing but a fluke (link, link, and link); that once the Republican voters come to their senses, a more credible candidate will emerge (link, link, and link).  These people may be right; horse race polls are ephemeral at best this…

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