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The Trump Card...

Turtle

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Not entirely.
No, not entirely. I'm only talking in the context of internal and external polling. I haven't bothered to clutter the conversation with any of the 75,000 other various and sundry factors that play a role.
How is Trump spending his time? At rallies where he speaks not to voters who may change their minds to vote for Trump, but to voters who long ago made up their minds.
That's a flawed, surface observation. If you peel back the layers of human nature you'll see that Trump's rallies (and most political rallies in general) stoke the embers of enthusiasm, which is contagious, and can (yes, I know, not always, but can) influence the likelihood of others not at the rally to go and vote, or can influence independents, and it can influence many Democrat voters. You'd be shocked at how many non-Republicans show up to Trump's rallies. On average, about 25% of attendees at Trump rallies are Democrat or Independent. They attend for a myriad of reasons, including they're bored, the novelty, the entertainment, curiosity, and so see up close and personal a large gathering of racists and homophobes and Islamophobes and whatever disparaging term is at hand. And a lot of them come away from the rally surprised by what they found, many even leaning towards voting due Trump. The #WalkAway movement is real, and social media is awash with individuals' stories of how their worldview has change since attending a rally, because it begins to dawn on them that they've been lied to by the mainstream media.
You're drawing a distinction without a difference.
No I'm not.
. It is an unfounded leap to suggest that this general presumption somehow validates the accuracy of internal polls.
It certainly would be an unfounded leap of I had made such a ridiculous leap. Thank goodness I didn't. I said it was an indicator, not a validator.
If the candidate does not like what he or she sees in the public polling, or if the staff is demoralized by what the external polls say, some managers will hire a company to do a private poll (internal poll), which will be structured to produce the result the candidate and staff want to see. A happy candidate does not fire the campaign manager. A motivated staff keeps working.
OK, I've never even heard of that happening at the presidential politics level, backed by national party committees, where the stakes are immensely greater than sense and sensibilities of one campaign manager, or even one candidate. A pollster who produced desired but inaccurate results would never be hired by another campaign again.

My step-cousin (my step-dad's niece) lives in Silver Spring, MD and is a pollster. Not for either of the presidential campaigns, but rather for the Senate Democrats and the DNC. I honestly haven't talked with her all that much about it, other than to know that at that level it's serious business that they don't play games with.
 
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muttly

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I heard this news on the radio. Trump is down about 8 points in Michigan according to Mitchell polling. But this was the polling from 2016. Some of the results was done by Mitchell.Screenshot_20201020-201821.png
 

ATeam

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If you peel back the layers of human nature you'll see that Trump's rallies (and most political rallies in general) stoke the embers of enthusiasm, which is contagious, and can (yes, I know, not always, but can) influence the likelihood of others not at the rally to go and vote, or can influence independents, and it can influence many Democrat voters.
You are correct about rallies stoking enthusiasm. But the enthusiasm is not one-sided.

From NBC (source)

"In a study of the 2016 race, researchers looked at fundraising on the day of a Trump event and found that in the regions where the events were held, Clinton saw a significantly greater uptick in donations than Trump.

"'It does help a little bit on the Republicans' side, but it gets the same counter-mobilization on the Democrats' side, if not more,” said Boris Heersink, an author of the study and a professor of political science at Fordham University.'"


Here's the link to the study itself. Excerpt:

"To assess whether campaign visits produce mixed effects, we measure the extent to which visits by presidential and vice-presidential candidates in the 2016 presidential election produced increases in small campaign donations and voter registration rates in the immediate aftermath of a visit. Our results show that visits by Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton inspired their supporters to donate and register at higher rates than they otherwise would have. However, we also find a considerable level of counter-mobilization: in particular, visits by Trump produced more donations to the Clinton campaign than to the Trump campaign, and more newly registered Democratic than Republican voters."

Trump supporters often cite the tremendous enthusiasm seen at Trump's rallies; and they are correct. Tremendous levels of enthusiasm are certainly present. But that's only half the story. The counter-mobilization these rallies produce is also a factor to consider.

As a strategy, Trump may not be doing rallies as his first choice. He may be doing them as his only choice. His campaign squandered hundreds of millions of dollars on vanity spending before Trump even had an opponent. Now his funds are limited as Biden is outspending Trump by a massive margin in ALL markets, AND in all battleground states. Trump's ad spending is tiny in comparison, simply because Trump does not have the money to spend.

Another factor: Most of Trumps rallies are no longer televised nationally. When you do multiple rallies per day and give the same speech, the rallies are no longer newsworthy.

Also, holding maskless rallies when the coronavirus is setting new daily highs is absurd. Seniors especially notice this and a significant number of them are leaving Trump because of it. Rallies are not the same in 2020 as they were in 2016. The coronavirus adds a new wrinkle. Trump can lie all he wants about us turning the corner about the virus. The people know the truth and Trump hurts himself everytime he tells the lie.
 
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Turtle

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An opinion piece on NBC critical of Trump and his rallies. That's a little surprising, considering how NBC usually goes out of their way to praise and support Trump. (please, please, please note the sarcasm)

In any case, remember in 2016 how Hillary spent $1.2 billion on her campaign only to lose to the guy who spent half that much?
 

muttly

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You are correct about rallies stoking enthusiasm. But the enthusiasm is not one-sided.

From NBC (source)

"In a study of the 2016 race, researchers looked at fundraising on the day of a Trump event and found that in the regions where the events were held, Clinton saw a significantly greater uptick in donations than Trump.

"'It does help a little bit on the Republicans' side, but it gets the same counter-mobilization on the Democrats' side, if not more,” said Boris Heersink, an author of the study and a professor of political science at Fordham University.'"


Here's the link to the study itself. Excerpt:

"To assess whether campaign visits produce mixed effects, we measure the extent to which visits by presidential and vice-presidential candidates in the 2016 presidential election produced increases in small campaign donations and voter registration rates in the immediate aftermath of a visit. Our results show that visits by Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton inspired their supporters to donate and register at higher rates than they otherwise would have. However, we also find a considerable level of counter-mobilization: in particular, visits by Trump produced more donations to the Clinton campaign than to the Trump campaign, and more newly registered Democratic than Republican voters."

Trump supporters often cite the tremendous enthusiasm seen at Trump's rallies; and they are correct. Tremendous levels of enthusiasm are certainly present. But that's only half the story. The counter-mobilization these rallies produce is also a factor to consider.

As a strategy, Trump may not be doing rallies as his first choice. He may be doing them as his only choice. His campaign squandered hundreds of millions of dollars on vanity spending before Trump even had an opponent. Now his funds are limited as Biden is outspending Trump by a massive margin in ALL markets, AND in all battleground states. Trump's ad spending is tiny in comparison, simply because Trump does not have the money to spend.

Another factor: Most of Trumps rallies are no longer televised nationally. When you do multiple rallies per day and give the same speech, the rallies are no longer newsworthy.

Also, holding maskless rallies when the coronavirus is setting new daily highs is absurd. Seniors especially notice this and a significant number of them are leaving Trump because of it. Rallies are not the same in 2020 as they were in 2016. The coronavirus adds a new wrinkle. Trump can lie all he wants about us turning the corner about the virus. The people know the truth and Trump hurts himself everytime he tells the lie.
When he says " turning the corner on the virus", I take it as that we are on the precipice of having a vaccine, and better theraputics, like the one he took a couple of weeks ago. You don't think that is what he was talking about?
 

muttly

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I always think Trump should spend more on tv ads. I felt the same way 4 years ago here in southeastern Michigan. Most of the ads were from Hillary's campaign. Trump had very few ads. I still thought he had a chance to win Michigan because of what I saw on the ground here, but the small amount of ads compared to Hillary were very annoying. The same thing this time with Biden. Biden just sits on his recliner in his basement and let's the tv ads do the work for him. Trump is out there doing rallies and outworking his opponent once again.
 

muttly

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Just last night, in this post, I questioned the wisdom of Trump discouraging his voters from voting early by mail. It seems the Trump campaign now agrees. This morning, CBS reported:

"President Trump's campaign has launched a social media ad blitz aimed at encouraging supporters to vote by mail, a move that follows months of Mr. Trump's open attempts to discredit the practice and tie it to election fraud. One ad has the headline "VOTE LIKE PRESIDENT TRUMP!" and includes the text, "TIME IS RUNNING OUT! Request your ballot today." The image shows a close-up of an absentee ballot. The ad, a reference to the absentee ballot the president sent for this year's Florida Republican primary, is appearing on Facebook in Florida and North Carolina. Another ad includes the text "Absentee ballots are GOOD. I need you to get your application and send in your absentee ballot IMMEDIATELY." The campaign spent at least $2.5 million on the twelve ads that had the broadest reach, according to Facebook data, targeting at least 11 million voters. Other Facebook ads from Mr. Trump's campaign about getting an absentee ballot have also targeted Arizona, Iowa, Michigan, Florida, Georgia and Pennsylvania." Full Story

The simple truth is Trump is getting crushed by Biden in early voting, absolutely crushed (see the numbers here). And the Trump campaign seems to have figured this out.

So now they are doing a full 180 degree reversal of their vote-by-mail fraud and abuse message. Now they are embracing vote-by-mail and spending millions of last-minute dollars to promote it. While they may try to not embarrass themselves in this reversal by drawing a distinction between absentee ballots and vote-by-mail ballots, there is no meaningful difference. Absentee voting IS vote by mail. Vote by mail IS absentee voting. In both cases, the ballots are mailed in or placed in official drop boxes. In both cases they are secured and carefully validated by trustworthy election officials.

The problem for the Trump campaign is time is running out. It varies by state, but the deadlines to request absentee/vote-by-mail ballots are rapidly approaching. If the targeted Republican voters do not quickly respond, they'll miss the boat and must instead vote in person on Election Day. And why would they be quick to respond? They've been hearing for months that vote-by-mail is rife with fraud, and that the system is not reliable. Many have been telling others they plan on voting at the polls on Election Day. It will take more than a quick Facebook spend to neutralize the old message and replace it with the new one.

In addition to the problems with that I mentioned in a post above (discouraged voter) there is the weather to consider too. Where a snowstorm or rainy day happens, a certain number of Democrat, Republican and independent voters will stay home. Given the huge lead Democrats have in early voting, bad weather conveys a distinct advantage to them, since the votes that are in are the ones that will be counted.

I always thought Trump was unwise to undermine the integrity of the voting process. The process belongs to Republicans too. Railing against massive voter fraud that does not exist may prove to be not just something that undermines trust in our democracy, but also a gift to Biden that Biden could not have produced himself.
How is Florida doing? Are Dems still crushing it?
 

ATeam

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When he says " turning the corner on the virus", I take it as that we are on the precipice of having a vaccine, and better theraputics, like the one he took a couple of weeks ago. You don't think that is what he was talking about?
My post spoke of research done by three professors from three universities, working together to gauge the effect of rallies. They studied the effects of Trump rallies done in 2016. Neither I nor the study mentioned "turning the corner." I'm not sure how your question pertains to my post or the research. The paper produced by the professors does not mention the virus or "turning the corner" at all.
 
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ATeam

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How is Florida doing? Are Dems still crushing it?
The FiveThirtyEight aggregate of Florida polls shows today's number is Biden +3.6. They provide a handy at-a-glance chart here that shows the polling range over recent months. While the range varies, Biden has been ahead of Trump every week since early April.

Above, I said (in this post), "The simple truth is Trump is getting crushed by Biden in early voting, absolutely crushed (see the numbers here)." That statement referred to early voting, not polls. Early voting had not started in Florida when I said what I said.

Florida early voting started Monday in 52 of Florida's 67 counties. It will be underway in all counties next week. Regarding the numbers, the Tampa Bay Times reported:

"More than 2.6 million people have already cast ballots by mail, according to the state’s Tuesday morning data. That exceeds the total number of vote-by-mail ballots cast in the entire 2018 general election and is already close to the 2.7 million people who voted this way in the 2016 general election.

"Overall, more than 1.4 million Democrats in Florida have cast ballots, compared to more than 960,000 Republicans. No-party-affiliated voters have cast more than 580,000 ballots."


Given those numbers, it appears the answer to your question is yes. The Democrats are still crushing it. In terms of ballots submitted, registered Democrats are out-voting registered Republicans by a wide margin.

It goes without saying that could change. The numbers that truly matter are total ballots actually counted after the polls close. We won't know that until November 3, or shortly thereafter.

The Florida number will likely be quickly known. State law allows mail-in ballots to be opened and counted by election officials before Election Day.

Independent voters (known as NPA - no party affiliation -- voters in FL) are often overlooked in reports like these. As of Aug 31, Florida election officials say there are 14 million registered voters in the state, with about 5 million each in the Democratic or Republican parties. The remaining 4 million are third-party affiliated or NPA.

I think it is fair to assume that most Republican voters will vote for Trump and most Democratic voters will vote for Biden. And it is also fair to assume that while the Democrats enjoy an early-voting lead now, that can easily tighten as Republicans show up to vote on Election Day, as many expect them to do. Indeed, reports say Democrats and Republicans are showing up in equal numbers for the early IN-PERSON voting.

This being the case, the Florida election results will not be determined by the Democrats or Republicans. They will be determined by how the NPA voters break. It's hard to know how they will break. See this article for a discussion. It references a September poll in which NPAs favored Biden over Trump 51% to 40%, but that is old data.

Florida is known for its close elections. It's hard to predict Florida results in advance. In 2016, Trump won Florida by just 1.6%. In 2018, a statewide U.S. Senate seat was up for election. In that race the Republican candidate (Scott) beat the Democratic candidate (Nelson) by just 0.2%.

I believe it's fair to say all eyes will be on Florida on Election Night. The polls close at the same time or ahead of most others in this Eastern Time Zone state. Ballot totals, including mail-in ballots, will be quickly counted and announced. Florida is a battleground state with enough electoral votes to determine the national outcome if the election is close in other states.
 
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ATeam

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Biden just sits on his recliner in his basement and let's the tv ads do the work for him. Trump is out there doing rallies and outworking his opponent once again.
Based on poll results, it appears Biden's recliner strategy is working.
 

ATeam

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I'm hearing the polls are tightening considerably. Lol.
Hearing from who? Which polls? What time frame? I have no knowledge of polls tightening or widening beyond the FiveThirtyEight summary I've pointed to in this thread. RealClearPolitics is a similar summary service. If the polls are moving in one direction or another, it is fair to say that would be shown on these websites, is it not? If not, what poll info source is better?
 
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ATeam

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National polling is meaningless in an election with the Electoral College.
That depends on the question asked. I started posting weekly national FiveThirtyEight poll summary results here, acknowledging that national polls and Electoral College results are two different things. My purpose in posting the weekly national results was -- and still is -- to provide a handy quick reference we can use to gauge the accuracy of the national polls after all Election Day votes are counted.

If you are asking do the national polls indicate who will win the Electoral College vote, that is a different question, and I agree with your point. It is exactly as you say it is. "National polling is meaningless in an election with the Electoral College."

To answer that question, we can still test the accuracy of the polls by doing what I suggest above, but it must be done state by state, with an eye on the number of Electoral College votes each state has.

Asking the Electoral College question raises the need to clearly define the question. Do you look at all states? Just the top 10 or top 20 "big" states? Battleground states (whatever that means)? Swing states (whatever that means)? That's not a serious problem. It just requires one to clearly define the question before looking for the results.

That said, let's take a snapshot glimpse at 13 so-called "battleground states." Data from FiveThirtyEight as of 10/23/20:

STATE (# of Electoral College votes) FiveThirtyEight Poll Summary

AZ (11) Biden +3.5
FL (29) Biden +3.8
GA (16) Biden +0.9
IA (6) Biden +1.0
MI (16) Biden +8.0
MN (10) Biden +7.9
NV (6) Biden +6.6
NH (4) Biden +11.5
NC (15) Biden +2.9
OH (18) Trump +1.0
PA (20) Biden +6.1
TX (38) Trump +0.5
WI (10) Biden +6.6

Same exercise using RealClearPolitics reports of most-recent state polls:

AZ (11) Biden +1.0, +3.0 (two polls same day)
FL (29) Biden +1.0, +5.0 (two polls same day)
GA (16) Tie
IA (6) Biden +3.0, +3.0, Trump +1.0 (three polls same day)
MI (16) Biden +12.0
MN (10) Biden +6.0
NV (6) Biden +2.0
NH (4) Biden +10.0
NC (15) Trump +1.0
OH (18) Trump +3.0
PA (20) Biden +7.0, +5.0, +8.0, 10.0 (four polls same day)
TX (38) Tie
WI (10) Tie, Biden +5.0 (two polls same day)

There are 538 votes in the Electoral College. 270 are needed to win. By number of Electoral College votes, the 13 largest Electoral College vote-states are listed below. Combined, these states would command the majority win if they all voted the same way. Poll summaries shown are from FiveThirtyEight as of 10/23/20.

STATE (# of Electoral College votes) FiveThirtyEight Poll Summary

CA (55) Biden +29.7
TX (38) Trump +0.5
FL (29) Biden +3.8
NY (29) Biden +30.9
IL (20) Biden +17.3
PA (20) Biden +6.1
OH (18) Trump +1.0
GA (16) Biden + 0.9
MI (16) Biden +8.0
NC (15) Biden +2.9
NJ (14) Biden +20.2
VA (13) Biden + 12.1
WA (12) Biden +24.3

Trump is not without his strong states but those states have a smaller number of Electoral College votes.

Trump's Top 10 States (ranked by RealClearPolitics poll summaries as of 10/23/20:

STATE (# of Electoral College votes) FiveThirtyEight Poll Summary

AL (9) Trump +17.8
AR (6) Trump +18.1
ID (4) Trump +19.8
IN (11) Trump +10.2
KY (8) Trump +17.5
MS (6) Trump +14.8
OK (7) Trump +21.7
TN (11) Trump +13.4
WV (5) Trump +24.3
WY (3) Trump +37.3

Total Electoral College votes in Trump's top-10 states: 70

Biden's strong states also include some states with a smaller number of Electoral College votes.

Biden's Top 10 States (ranked by RealClearPolitics poll summaries as of 10/23/20:

NY (29) Biden +30.9
CA (55) Biden +29.7
HI (4) Biden +32.2
DE (3) Biden +25.6
DC (3) Biden +87.0
MD (10) Biden +32.1
WA (12) Biden +29.3
MA (11) Biden +38.4
VT (3) Biden +33.2
RI (4) Biden +32.2

Total Electoral College votes in Biden's top-10 states: 134

We can slice and dice the data for all kinds of Electoral College scenarios. However way you slice it, the state-by-state polls show Biden holds the Electoral Cololege advantage, as of today.
 
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