- Party Identification
- Long-term decline in identification with either party: Democrats and Republicans
- Increase in identification as Independent
- 2016 seems to have frayed these party bonds even more: especially for Republicans
- But not yet sure if this is just short-term, or a long-term trend
Third Parties in Global Context
- There is more experience with the effect on polls and voter calculus in other countries with multi-party systems
- Polls typically overstate the strength of third party candidates versus election outcomes
- Voters might, indeed, be enthused by a given 3rd party candidate.
- But when they walk into the voting booth, they make a strategic decision not to throw their vote away AND vote for an option with a better chance of winning.
- Social scientists call this “Strategic Voting” and this can wreak havoc on polling and forecasting
- Additionally, third parties (and 4th and 5th, etc.) have often served as a means to express a protest vote
- This vote may not materialize in the voter’s mind until Election Day, and may be devoid of ideology. Again, making polling a very difficult enterprise.
- Example 1: Unmaterialized Third-Party Vote. Brazilian 2014 Presidential election and Marina Da Silva.
- Example 2: Third Party as a Protest Vote. Italian 2013 Parliamentary Elections; Grillo and the 5-Star Movement get 25% of vote and force out incumbent.
2016 in the US will be a disruptive election and disruptive elections are about the Protest Vote
- The 2016 US Elections will be Disruptive in Nature
- 85% of elections are slam dunks to predict: change or continuity (“throw the bums out” or “more of the same”)
- 15% are what I call disruptive elections. Here past is not prologue; the future becomes less certain.
- In such scenarios, voters have often lost belief in the political class to deliver / to look out for their interests
- In the US right now, large majorities believe that “the system is broken” and that “the traditional political class no longer cares about the common person”
- The Horse Race: 2- and 4-Way Race
- Taking the average of the polls, Clinton leads Trump by 2 points (Ipsos data & RealClearPolitics aggregate average)
- However, when both Stein and Johnson are included Clinton v Trump become even! (Ipsos data & RealClearPolitics aggregate average)
- Strong indication of protest vote at work; though unsure of how will materialize on election day
- Older and more educated more likely to migrate to third party candidates.
Johnston takes more from Trump than Clinton but only marginally so; Stein takes almost exclusively from Clinton