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Author Topic: NJ: Academics and Model-makers on Hillary Clinton's chances  (Read 5136 times)
Mister Mets
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« on: February 16, 2015, 06:20:03 pm »

National Journal has a piece on political scientists skeptical of Hillary Clinton's chances of being the next President.

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For Clinton to reach 50 percent of the popular vote, under this model's rules, the president would need to see a 5-point increase in his approval rating and GDP growth would have to hit 3.5 percent. It's certainly possible, but it's fair to call that a best-case scenario for Obama in his final year as president.

So while Democrats see the recent gains in both Obama's approval and economic growth as signs that Clinton enters the race as the favorite, the academic modeling suggests that assessment is far too sunny. In fact, the recent uptick is the only thing keeping her from being a prohibitive underdog.

The reason Clinton struggles under seemingly decent conditions is obvious. After one party holds the presidency for two terms, voters want change. In the model, this desire for a new direction manifests itself as a 4-point reduction in the candidate's take of the popular vote compared with what candidates could expect had their party held the White House for just one term.

"One of the regularities you'll find for all presidential elections since World War II is, after a party has been in power eight years and is trying to hold on to the White House for a third consecutive term, it gets harder," Abramowitz says. "Another way of looking at it: In the first election after a party takes over the White House, you have a significant advantage. And the next time, after you've held another term, you lose that advantage."

Campaign operatives love to hate this academic assessment of politics, much like Wall Street belittles the technical analysts who use past performance to predict stock-market moves.

The tension between the strategists and the scientists speaks to the distinct approaches they employ: Political professionals (including journalists) study strategy, tactics, the day-to-day activities of a campaign, while political scientists see fundamentals shaping every election, almost no matter the strength of a candidate.

In 2012, for example, most strategists think Obama won because he ran one of the best presidential campaigns in American history while Mitt Romney ran one of the worst. According to political scientists, however, Obama's victory was a product of favorable conditions, such as an improving economy, decent approval ratings, and his incumbency. The unemployment rate was high, yes, but the state of the economy matters little compared with the direction it's headed.
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Mister Mets
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« Reply #1 on: February 18, 2015, 12:37:43 pm »

A lot of the academics are only looking post WW2, a huge mistake. The best period to look at is probably the late 1800s which had a GOP presidential majority but Democrats often controlled Congress. A lot of the elections were close in the 1880s and gave the GOP 51-47, 52-46 majorities in the 1890s. The problem for today's GOP is that demographics opened up the GOP's margins in the early 1900s, something that can happen for today's Democrats as more minorities become regular voters. And this will eventually trickle down to Congress as it did then.

If the GOP wins in 2016 then they could reverse their decline with young people and minorities but they also could be a one-term wreck like Carter was in 1980.
I don't see the point in looking at the late 1800s. A lot more has changed from an era when women didn't even have the right to vote.

I'm also suspicious of any model that suggests consistent close losses for Republicans, as it doesn't allow for much of a margin of error.
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Mister Mets
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« Reply #2 on: February 19, 2015, 11:33:42 am »

Why does every Democrat cheer the polls 20 months before the election that are showing Hillary ahead by 10-16 points?

Dude, it's because she is all the Democrats have left.

The entire country is pretty much Republican. The most watched news network is Fox. The most listened to talk radio show is Rush Limbaugh. There are 50 Governors, only 18 of them are Democrats. The Republicans just gained more seats in the House and Senate than they have had in decades. They have a huge white voter problem, so they try and spin that Hillary will win white guys in Arkansas.

It's all a pipe dream. I honestly think the Obama coalition is running the risk of becoming the rainbow coalition. If you like that, ask President Mondale and President Dukakis how well they enjoyed it.

Yes, old white people are the most politically engaged, which is why FOX & Limbaugh are as popular as they are. This isn't opinion, go look at FOX's demographics. You guys sure are getting obnoxious about an election in which 33% voted. If you want to claim the majority of the electorate, that would still be blatantly false but go right ahead. But don't try to claim the "entire country" is Republican.

Engaged -- sure. But they are also disinformed and manipulated. They are old, and they are dying off. They are not influencing younger voters who may be more interested in relief from student loans than in "gun rights".

Barack Obama built a far-sturdier and far-more-successful coalition than Jesse Jackson's Rainbow Coalition. His electoral apparatus has gone lock, stock, and barrel to Hillary Clinton... and that is how things start.



One of the great follies the left engages in is in thinking that how people vote when they are young is how they will vote all their lives.

They point out how conservative older voters re, but they miss the fact that these older voters were JFK supporters, voted LBJ by greater than the national popular margin and were Nixon's weakest demographic in 1972.

The left is EXTREMELY wedded to the idea of a permanent majority caused by demographics because the left fundamentally doesnt like elections. They years for a one party progressive state that creates a utopia. Where the one party isnt defeated by recession, corruption or foreign policy issues. The left's ideal looks a lot like Mexico under the PRI from 1929-2000 or Post 1994 South Africa.
Romney also won voters 18-20.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/monkey-cage/wp/2014/03/10/democrats-have-a-young-people-problem-too/

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If we zero in even further on the youngest of the millennials in these polls — those who turned 18 during Obama’s first term — the potential challenges for Democrats become even clearer. Among self-reported voters who were 18 years old in 2012, Mitt Romney, not Obama, won the majority: 57 percent.  Romney also won 59 percent among 19-year-olds, and 54 percent among 20-year-olds.  These youngest voters of 2012 had entered the electorate in 2010-2012, when Obama’s popularity was much lower than the high point of his inauguration.
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Mister Mets
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« Reply #3 on: February 19, 2015, 04:13:05 pm »

President Romney is sure glad the "models" were correct in 2012.

^This. Also, never doubt the chances that the Republican candidate, probably Jeb or Walker at this point (more so Walker) will end up pushing social issues or generally gaffing it up right until November. Add in the fact that the GOP owns both houses in Congress and it makes oppo far easier for Hillary's team: just ran against the do-nothing regressivists and tie their candidate to D.C.

And don't neglect that even if the nominee or vp nominee don't gaffe it up, some Republican somewhere will make an incredibly offensive statement regarding women, which the party will then refuse to clearly condemn.
They managed to avoid this in the 2014 cycle.
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Mister Mets
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« Reply #4 on: February 21, 2015, 11:21:49 am »

National Journal has a piece on political scientists skeptical of Hillary Clinton's chances of being the next President.

Quote
In 2012, for example, most strategists think Obama won because he ran one of the best presidential campaigns in American history while Mitt Romney ran one of the worst. According to political scientists, however, Obama's victory was a product of favorable conditions, such as an improving economy, decent approval ratings, and his incumbency. The unemployment rate was high, yes, but the state of the economy matters little compared with the direction it's headed.


Really? "Most" experts believe these two things? That's news to me...
He referred to strategists, not necessarily all experts.

Strategists are the subgroup of experts most likely to exaggerate the significance of campaigning.
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