Articles Posted in Media

Trump is a symptom of the decline of American institutions

Donald Trump (and to a lesser degree Bernie Sanders) are contemporary political phenomenon. The two outsider candidates — one having essentially won a major party nomination, the other still mounting a significant challenge– have enjoyed more success than any other “outsider” candidate in a generation. The question we hear more often than any is: how…

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Poll Modeling Says: No, Bernie Sanders Is Not More Electable

Bernie Sanders, facing a virtually insurmountable climb to win the Democratic nomination through pledged delegates, has turned to trying to convince superdelegates that he is more electable. Sanders is doing this by pointing at current polling which does indeed show him performing stronger against Donald Trump or the other Republicans than Hillary Clinton. As a pollster, I’d like to make sure folks understand that this “theory” is got more than a touch of wishful thinking in it.

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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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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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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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Election Poll Accuracy Over Time

Election polls especially suffer from two specific types of measurement error: (1) election salience among voters at the time of the poll and (2) strategic voting decisions at the time of the vote which are at odds with poll responses. On point one, the research literature shows that the farther a poll is out from…

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American Partisan Support for U.S. Iran Policy

Foreign policy is traditionally a strength of the Republican Party. Americans often prefer Republican positions on international issues particularly in situations that involve conflict. However, part of the core rationale for Barack Obama’s candidacy in 2008 was his opposition to the war in Iraq. Can history repeat itself and can Obama’s nuanced approach to foreign…

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2016 Turnout Projection Update – June 2015

In recent posts I’ve outlined how we plan to use our Reuters/Ipsos survey data to forecast turnout for the 2016 presidential election and shown where we stand – with our way too early estimate – as of May 2015. In this post, I’d like to bring in some other proof points, expand our analysis a bit and update our turnout projections.

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