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5/5/2015 Chapter 9. Understanding presidential Elections Elections Bob Botsch -- Fall 2012.

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Presentation on theme: "5/5/2015 Chapter 9. Understanding presidential Elections Elections Bob Botsch -- Fall 2012."— Presentation transcript:

1 5/5/2015 Chapter 9. Understanding presidential Elections Elections Bob Botsch -- Fall 2012

2 5/5/2015 Why predict ?  entertainment -- like point spreads in sports – media “horse race”  helps candidates as the run  exit polls help interpret vote 1

3 Formal Mathematical Models  Based on economic factors: GDP, growth, inflation, real disposal income, interest rates, unemploymentunemployment  Attitudes: job approval of incumbent, right/wrong trackjob approval of incumbentright/wrong track  Pol Cycle: # of terms a party has held White House—hard to win 3 straight!  Example: See PollyVote; Ray Fair; fivethirtyeight; Princeton ConsortiumRay Fair  Work pretty well, but campaigns matter—affect undecided split

4 5/5/2015 Tracking Polls -- early efforts  Literary Digest: correct in 1924, 28, 32  1936 disaster with 2 million surveys – sample bias  Gallup/Roper/Crossley correct with small samples  1948: stopped too early—quota sampling was biased 1

5 How accurate?  “Snapshot in time” limitation  hardest in close elections—sampling error  hardest when hi % make up mind late in campaign–how to divide undecideds  Complicated by turnout estimates (lv’s)  generally good record (pp )  Averaging poll results— RCP average and Princeton Consortium averageRCP average 2

6 Exit Polls  Early efforts based on early returns—1952 Univac predicted Ike had 100 to 1 chance of winning, but network too afraid to make call  First exit poll in 1968  Media consortium pooling efforts since 1980s – about 100k interviews + 15k tel interviews  most accurate kind of poll  problem of competitive pressure to make early calls (2000 and Fla)  Do early calls affect later voters? 1980 – not so much 3

7 Voter Models: major factors  partisanship -- Critical Election Theory – growing polarization  prospective or retrospective view of voters— greatly affected by filter of party id  issues and personality balance in any election  short term forces critical in close elections – deviations from the “normal vote” 3

8 5/5/ , 1956: Personality  Eisenhower vs Stevenson  short term forces favors Republicans  personality was critical – “I like Ike” 1

9 1960: near “Normal” election  JFK vs Nixon  short term favors Rep -- slightly  Catholicism -- hurts in South -- helps in North  movement of Af-Am minority to Dem swings election 4

10 1964: Normal Election  LBJ vs Goldwater  short term favors Democrats  Goldwater seen as radical -- issues help LBJ (the fraudlent “peace candidate”)  Regional realignment starts – 1964 Civil Rights Act and white South 5

11 1968: Dealignment with regional Relaignment  HHHumphrey vs Nixon vs Wallace  short term issues favor Rep’s  Issues split Democrats: Vietnam and civil rights (Strom’s role in the South) 6

12 5/5/ : Flip of 1964, & More Dealignment  Nixon (“Peace with Honor”) vs McGovern  short term forces favor Rep’s  issues and personality -- McGovern loses on both (the Eagleton fiasco)  Dem’s lose more support in South 1

13 5/5/ : Rebuilding the New Deal Coalition?  Carter vs Ford  short term forces favor Democrats – economy and Watergate  retrospective judgment on trust  personality -- Carter (“never lie”) more trusted  Carter rebuilds southern base – Normal Election? 1

14 5/5/ – Dealignment  Carter vs Reagan  short term forces favor Republicans – “misery” index (unemployment/inflation/int rate)  Retrospective judgment -- poor economy, Iranian hostage crisis -- the “ABC” election – “are u better off?”  more regional realignment: the rise of the “Reagan Democrats” 1

15 5/5/ : A New Realignment?  Mondale vs Reagan  short term forces favor Republicans  Retrospective judgment -- better economy – good timing! (fortuna)  Issues play small role -- voters closer to Mondale on issues  reinforces regional realignment  Gender gap appears 1

16 5/5/ : Three in a row!  Dukakis vs Bush  short term forces favor Republicans  Retrospective reward to heir apparent -- good economy  Dukakis seen as too liberal on issues 1

17 5/5/ : Rebuilding the New Deal again  Clinton vs Bush vs Perot  short term forces favor Democrats  Retrospective judgment over personality - - poor economy -- the ABB election  Clinton moves to center on issues (“triangulation”) -- New Democrats  Perot distracts Bush but not a factor in end 1

18 5/5/ : Normal Election  Clinton vs Dole vs Perot  short term forces favor Democrats  Retrospective judgment over personality -- good economy de ja vu 1

19 5/5/ : Almost 3 in a row  Gore vs Bush2 vs Nader vs Buchanan  Bush runs “prospective” campaign  Retrospective judgment on economy favors Gore, but Gore disassociates from Clinton  Personality favors Bush  Minority winner, thanks 2 Nader and Supreme Court 1

20 2004 – Maximize the base  Bush v Kerry  Bush uses wedge issues (e.g. gay marriage) to turn out Republican base  Ties Iraq to war on terrorism  Personality--Candidate image critical: “wartime” president vs weak flip-flopper with unpatriotic past

21 2008 A normal election with short term factors mostly helping Democrats  New larger Dem base: 51-38%  Retropspective factors help Democrats 1. Historical low approval ratings of incumbent, in the 20’s 2. Majority view Iraq as a “mistake” 3. Economic crisis tied to deregulation  McCain’s poor response to crisis and vp choice  Echoes of 1932, 1960, 1980, and 1992  “Get tired” effect—3 in a row is tough!  Discipline, organization, $, favor Dem  Two factors hurt Democrats: 1. Ethnic antipathy depresses white Dem vote 2. Divisive Dem primary helps GOP, but HRC helps bind the wounds

22 2012? A Chance for Realignment Lost  Democrats could have cemented advantages won in 2008—blown by marginal economic success (summer 2012 economic numbers)  Dealignment with rise of “independents” as largest group—smaller Dem base group—smaller Dem base  Democratic success(?) was planned to turn on personal factors (trust and favorability), but lost that advantagetrustfavorability  Retrospective moving toward Obama--GallupGallup  Prospective tends to favor Romney— wrong trackwrong track  Will be remembered as a campaign in which a really bad first debate (almost?) decided the election  Turnout is key—why low turnout favors the GOP—see Pew Study of “nonvoters”nonvoters

23 2012? A Chance for Realignment Lost— Continued  Wildcards:  Weather 1: Sandy, leadership image and independents—the “Chris Christi effect”  Weather 2: bad weather interacting with the “enthusiasm gap,” esp. wrt young voters  Tracking Polls—the rapidly rising refusal rate: 90%!?!  Early warning sign Tuesday evening? u If Obama loses a state he is supposed to win, like Wisconsin, Iowa, Pennsylvania or Ohio, then all the projections were off.


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