Thursday, March 24, 2016

Data Dump On Trump

Those who follow BeeLine regularly know that I am not a Donald Trump fan. I like a lot of things about Donald Trump. However, there a number of things I don't like. One of the things I don't like about Trump is how he polls with the the people who are going to vote in November. I want the Republicans to win in November. Trump makes that task much harder to do if you look at the polling data.

In my last post I wrote about the new Fox News Poll that came out yesterday which showed the GOP race tightening with Trump holding a 41%-38% lead over Cruz with Kasich following at 17%.

Don't look at this as another BeeLine post dumping on Trump. This is just data. And the data in that poll is doing the dump on Trump, not me.

I enjoy looking at poll data. Especially the internal tabular data that allows you to look at the underlying factors that are driving the results. This data can really tell a story. And it can also tell you the strategy that a candidate has to follow to move the numbers in their direction during the course of the campaign.

Donald Trump likes to cite polls. I don't think he will be citing the internals in this poll on the various cable channels that love to give him the airtime.

It is hard to imagine anyone polling much worse across so many groups. Men. Women. White. Black.
Rich. Poor. College Degree. High School Degree. This is a man that is not well loved by almost any group when it comes to the country at large. In fact, even among Republicans, 41% have an unfavorable opinion of Trump. Hillary is at 23% with Democrats. Obama is at 14%! If you are in this position with your base party vote, how do you win in November?

General Election

  • Most of the people I hang around with see Barack Obama's job performance in a pretty negative light. I don't talk to many that would give him high marks on his Presidency. However, if you are standing in line at the Department of Motor Vehicles or at your local cable company, you might get a different view. These are totals for all registered voters. The FNC poll shows that Obama has a 49% overall favorable rating. However, what is really astounding about this is that this is higher than every candidate running for President! By comparison, Hillary has a 39% favorable score and Trump is at 31%.
  • Clinton beats Trump 49%-38% among all registered voters in a hypothetical general election match-up.. However, Kasich would beat Clinton 51%-40%. Cruz would beat Clinton 47%-44%. This would indicate the current GOP lineup is completely inverted from where it should be looking for success in November. The same can be said for the Democrats. Sanders beats Trump 52%-38%, he edges Cruz and he only loses by 1% to Kasich.
  • Where are the favorable/unfavorable ratings coming from?
    • President Obama ( no real surprises here)
      • Black  86%/9%
      • White  42%/55%
      • Men    47%/50%
      • Women  51%/46%
      • Under age 35   56%/40%
      • Age 65+   43%/54%
    • Hillary Clinton  (a candidate with major problems)
      • Black   88%/9%
      • White   31%/67%   (Wow!)
      • Men      31%/66%   (Wow!)
      • Women    46%/51%  (Much worse than advertised)
      • Under age 35   31%/67%  ( A major, major problem for her)
      • Age 65+    42%/54%
    • Donald Trump  (a candidate with even more problems than HRC---where is the love?)
      • Black    7%/85% 
      • White    35%/61%
      • Men      32%/62% 
      • Women  30%/67%  (Horrible)
      • Under age 35   22%/75% (Absolutely abysmal)
      • Age 65+    40%/52%  
  • Enthusiastic or Scared about the prospects of this candidate being elected President?
    • Hillary    16%/33%
    • Sanders   14%/25%
    • Trump     13%/49% (58% of those under age 35 said they would be Scared)
    • Cruz        13%/21% (less scary than all of the above)
    • Kasich      8%/8%   (the appeal of being mushy in the middle?)
58% of voters under the age of 35 are "scared" about a Trump presidency? Perhaps that explains this incredible story from my alma mater, Emory University, where students protested to the administration about being "afraid", "in pain", "feeling attacked" and "intimidated" because someone wrote Trump's name in chalk on a campus sidewalk.

I am not kidding. This is the next "Greatest Generation"?

An example of one of the Trump chalk drawings and the comments a student made about it...

"This wasn't ordinary campaigning," "It was deliberate intimidation. Some of us were expecting shootings. We feared walking alone." 

Truly scary! It makes me so proud to be an Emory alum!

It just makes you wonder what the Emory students think ISIS would do to them if they could?

Trump v. Cruz
  • What Ted Cruz needs to do to beat Donald Trump in the stretch run to the Convention.
    • Cruz is beating Trump 44%-36% with white men but losing 38%-42% to Trump with women. The media narrative says that Trump is unpopular with women. Clearly this is not true with white, Republican women. Cruz needs to turn his numbers around with women if he is going to have a chance at defeating Trump in the remaining primaries.
    • Cruz is beating Trump 47%-30% with voters under the age of 45. However, Trump is besting Cruz 47%-33% among voters over the age of 45. Trump has a real problem with young voters, just as Hillary does. However, the older voters are saving him in the GOP primary. Cruz needs to find a message that will resonate with older voters, especially women over the age of 45 to compete with Cruz down the stretch.

The Young Vote

  • One of the interesting data points in the FNC poll is the extent to which the young vote (age 35 and under) is in play for Republicans this year. This voting group delivered the White House to Obama and the Democrats in 2008 and 2012 in overwhelming numbers (over 60% in both cycles voted Democrat). As shown above, Hillary polls horribly with this group. However, Trump polls worse. Look at the polling results on various match-ups. This could be the difference maker in November. 
    • Age 35 and younger Presidential preference
      • Clinton 50%   Trump 32% 
      • Cruz     51%   Clinton 37%
      • Kasich  55%   Clinton 34%

There Is A Long Way To Go

There is still a long way to go. Not only to November but to the GOP Convention.

In fact, it has been just 52 days since the first state caucus in Iowa. All of the primary votes will not be counted until the California primary on June 7---72 days away!

However, it is important to remember that this is just polling data with six months before real votes are taken. At this time in 1988 the polls said that Michael Dukakis would beat George H.W. Bush 53%-40%. Bush ended up beating Dukakis 54%-46% when the actual votes were counted.

The final electoral map looked like this.

Jimmy Carter was similarly leading Ronald Reagan 58%-33% at this point in 1980. Reagan won 51%-41% and ended up winning 44 states in the Electoral College that year.

Donald Trump is more than capable of turning his numbers around. For example, by a margin of 54%-41% voters favor Trump's call for a temporary ban on non-citizen Muslims from entering the U.S. until there is a more reliable process for vetting them.  39% of Democrats favor this action. 56% of women. 55% of Independents. And this was before the Brussels terrorist attack.

Despite the lousy poll numbers now, Trump has a big factor in his favor. The Democrats have to hope that everything stays calm and goes well between now and November. If not, I believe they have very real problems. 

That is not a hand I would want to hold in these turbulent times. Terrorist activity will play into Trump's hands. Economic problems will play into Trump's hands. Immigration problems will play into his hands. He will be viewed as Mr. Fix-It. People may not like him, but if confronted with the choice, they will vote to protect themselves even if they might have other problems with Trump. 

The data may dump on Trump, but count me as someone that is not dumping on him if gets the Republican nomination. 

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