Monday, July 25, 2016

The enthusiasm gap

Last Friday (7/22), Trump and Hillary both posted shareable graphics for facebook users to showcase who they're voting for in November. As of Monday (7/29) at 9pm, this is what they showed:

Trump's photo has been liked and shared by over 50% more people than Hillary's has been even though Hillary's specifically asks users to share the photo while Trump's does not.

This doesn't show up in polls* or polls-plus forecasts, though, so Nate Silver should just keep ignoring indicators like these. The endorsements of the political class, a group despised by the electorate, is a better measure!

Speaking of Silver, how dopey does he look for pairing the launch of his 2016 general election model with the headline "Trump Has A 20 Percent Chance Of Becoming President"? The release date was arbitrary. If he'd put it out several weeks earlier, when Trump was marginally ahead in the RCP average--as he is again today--he wouldn't have been able to dress up yet another punditry prediction of Trump's impending downfall in quantitative clothing.

As of today, Silver's model shows Hillary with a 54% chance of winning to Trump's 46%. Oops.

* Most poll samples are created by mirroring demographic population profiles or by using turnout from previous election cycles to estimate turnout for the election in question, and most of these are conducted on registered voters. But "likely voters" is a stronger predictor of the actual behavioral intentions of potential voters. These "likely voters" polls have consistently shown Trump doing several points better than "registered voters" polls do.


pithom said...

"This doesn't show up in polls* or polls-plus forecasts, though, so Nate Silver should just keep ignoring indicators like these."

-He should. Ron Paul and Bernie Sanders would have totally outshined their establishment opponents in them, which would not have been predictive of their lackluster results in primaries.

"The endorsements of the political class, a group despised by the electorate, is a better measure!"

-Not anymore!

There is definitely a boost in enthusiasm Trump has caused in West Virginia, but not in Nebraska, judging by primary voter turnout for the winning candidate.

chris said...

A question about demographics. Most of the relative decrease in the proportion of White people in America has been due to an increase in the Hispanic population. How much of this Hispanic population are legal residents, and if Trump wins, what is the likelihood of Trump successfully deporting them an any children they have had and denying citizenship/residency to any children born of these illegal immigrants there, and hence restoring the 69% White demographic to 75% + ?

From my simple understanding, Trump could deport and deny citizenship to children born of illegal immigrants on American soil as the 14th amendment could be interpreted to only apply to legal residents or citizens.

“All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and the State wherein they reside.”

"The gist of the argument rests on the fact that the 14th Amendment requires people to be born on U.S. soil and be "subject to the jurisdiction thereof" to receive citizenship at birth, as the amendment says. To understand this point a little better, consider the example of children of foreign diplomats born in the United States. These children are not citizens because their parents have allegiance to a foreign country and not the United States -- meaning they are not subject to U.S. jurisdiction."

Audacious Epigone said...


I don't know regarding Ron Paul, but that definitely is not the case regarding Sanders. Even though his support was skewed young, Hillary had almost double the social media followers (in December when I looked at all the candidates) that Sanders did.

Speaking of age, Trump's supporters are older than Hillary's, on net, so that should dampen his online enthusiasm. Yet he still blows her out of the water.

That isn't to say that this should be seen as definitive because it's not. But it's worth considering. In fact, it's probably more telling than a lot of other traditional indicators (like ad money spent, political endorsements, etc).


Trump is certainly aware of this. Early on especially he regularly mentioned that many smart lawyers and judges he knew disagreed with the current interpretation of the 14th amendment and thought it needed to be challenged.

The Crumudgeon said...

I suspect there may be parallels between the Trump vote and Brexit. Both have been toxified by the great and good. There is a clear incentive for Trump voters to be less than honest with polsters, and even their own families and cohorts.

As a Brit I voted for Brexit on 23rd June of this year, and anecdotally, in the run up to the referendum my experience was out of kilter with what I saw being reported, there was far stronger Brexit support than was being reported and was being reflected in the poll, which showed a significant Remain tilt right up until the night of the the polls closed on referendum day.

I suspected my anecdotal experience could be wishful thinking on my part and I was reading too much into it, but it was true and the received wisdom was wrong and it was underpinned by a bien pensant narrative that didnt appeal to the bulk of the natives.

I'm expecting Trump to win in Nov, for much the same reason.

Cicatrizatic said...

Reuters release today shows Trump +2

In the USC daily tracking poll he is up to +5

Brian Fast said...

Speaking of Brexit, this article has a great rundown of examples where polls overstated leftist support:

Audacious Epigone said...

Brian Fast,

That sounds plausible, although one confound is that the Reuters-Ipsos polls consistently showed Trump doing better in the primaries than other polls did (in line with the praxis article) but that isn't the case in the general, where R-I looks bad for Trump relative to other polls (R-I polls are all conducted online).