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DeSantis resurrection, Pew shifts on generations
Plus: The electoral impact of election denial, domestic offshoring, and Premier League lineup consistency
No. 268 | May 26th, 2023
After signaling a campaign for months — even years — Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis formally announced on Wednesday that he’s running for president. As a result, the two leading Republican candidates in the primary polls, former President Donald Trump and DeSantis, are now both officially in the race.
In the leadup to his announcement, DeSantis’s pre-campaign experience demonstrated how quickly political winds can shift. Coming off of a resounding reelection victory in November 2022, DeSantis seemingly had the Republican world at his fingertips. Conservative media fêted his potential 2024 presidential candidacy, and polls of the nascent primary found him not far behind — and sometimes even ahead of — Trump. Fast forward six months, however, and Trump has a larger lead over DeSantis in FiveThirtyEight’s national polling average than at any point since March 1.
Nate Cohn: Why It’s Far Too Soon to Say DeSantis Is Done (The New York Times 🔒)
“Is the Ron DeSantis campaign already over?
After the last few months, it’s hard not to wonder. His poll numbers have plummeted. Would-be donors seem skeptical. Pundits have questioned whether he should even run at all.
But as he finally announces a presidential bid, expected later today, it is worth mulling his path back to contention. Despite it all, Ron DeSantis could still be the next Republican nominee.
That might seem hard to imagine, but fortunes can change astonishingly quickly in presidential primaries. There are still more than six months until the Iowa caucuses, and there will be plenty of opportunities for him to right his ship. In the end, the factors that made Mr. DeSantis formidable at the beginning of the year could prove to be more significant than the stumbles and miscues that have recently hobbled him. The damage is not yet irreparable.”
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Patrick Ruffini: The six Republican Parties (The Intersection)
“But we can go beyond basic ideological categories to segment the Republican Party in more nuanced ways, and we did this in our most recent national survey. Asking a battery of 15 different “concern” items — on everything from wokeness in corporations to soft-on-crime prosecutors to the U.S. giving too much aid to Ukraine, we used machine learning to automatically sort Republican voters into different camps based on their answers to all these questions. This not just of ideological self-categorization, but a veritable map of how Republican voters think about all the hot-button issues before them.
Here are the six types of Republican voters we found…”
Amy Walter: Can Republicans Hope To Outrun Trump In 2024 House Races? (The Cook Political Report)
“One theory at the time was that the traditionally Republican voters in these districts were turned off by the brash and unorthodox GOP presidential nominee, but couldn’t bring themselves to support a Democrat down-ballot. After all, more than half of the Clinton/Republican districts had voted for Mitt Romney in 2012.
Another theory was that these voters, convinced that Hillary Clinton would win the election, wanted to see a divided government in Washington.
Two years later, those voters didn’t draw that same distinction between Trump and GOP House candidates. In 2018, Democrats flipped all but two of those 23 Clinton/Republican districts.
By 2020, these “swing districts” once again voted overwhelmingly Democratic. Biden won 21 of the 23 districts Clinton had carried in 2016, and House Democrats carried 15 of the 23.”
David Wasserman: Could Democrats Redraw New York's House Map for 2024? It's Complicated (The Cook Political Report 🔒)
“The North Carolina Supreme Court's recent decision to throw out a previous ruling against gerrymandering paves the way for Republicans to eliminate up to four Democratic seats — nearly doubling the GOP's slim cushion in the House heading into 2024. But it's also emboldened talk among Democrats of retaliating in New York, the only place a state court struck down a Democratic legislature's brazen gerrymander, costing them multiple seats in 2022.
Just as in the Tar Heel State, a major shakeup on New York's top court since the midterms could lead to a new, hyper-partisan map for 2024. However, whereas there are few obstacles in the North Carolina GOP's way, the Empire State's process is much more byzantine.
Democrats, led by Gov. Kathy Hochul and House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries, have blasted the current congressional map as being drawn by an unaccountable, out-of-state academic and are pushing to crack open the lines. The stakes are high: if their gambit succeeds, Democrats could reap a bonanza of four, five or even six additional seats in New York, offsetting potential losses.”
“Additionally, using our Wins Above Replacement (WAR) scores, we can quantify the penalty Republicans paid for election denial in federal races. Battleground GOP nominees who denied the validity of the 2020 election had a median WAR score of –2.1, meaning that they underperformed by two points even after controlling for factors like statewide environment, fundraising, and incumbency. Meanwhile, battleground Republicans who fully accepted the election results actually overperformed by 1.7 points, suggesting the electability delta between the two camps was roughly four points in margin.”
Kim Parker: How Pew Research Center will report on generations moving forward (Pew Research Center)
“Pew Research Center has been at the forefront of generational research over the years, telling the story of Millennials as they came of age politically and as they moved more firmly into adult life. In recent years, we’ve also been eager to learn about Gen Z as the leading edge of this generation moves into adulthood.
But generational research has become a crowded arena. The field has been flooded with content that’s often sold as research but is more like clickbait or marketing mythology. There’s also been a growing chorus of criticism about generational research and generational labels in particular.
Recently, as we were preparing to embark on a major research project related to Gen Z, we decided to take a step back and consider how we can study generations in a way that aligns with our values of accuracy, rigor and providing a foundation of facts that enriches the public dialogue.”
@KSoltisAnderson: I’ve found Pew’s work on Gen Z to be really enlightening. And while some of their criticism of generation-based research is sound, this is basically letting the perfect be the enemy of the good and it cedes the ground to clickbait. I love Pew but this seems like an overreaction. (Twitter)
Ruy Teixeira: Has the Emerging Democratic Majority Re-Emerged? (The Liberal Patriot)
“News outlets have been taking note of the mood of optimism in Democratic circles as they look to 2024. This mood has been reinforced by the release of new data from the respected big data firm Catalist, which highlighted some favorable trends for the Democrats in the 2022 election. Some have become practically giddy. Eric Levitz of New York magazine put out an article “The Return of the Emerging Democratic Majority?” based on the new data.
On one level, this is remarkable. We are talking about a party that does not control the House, has just a two seat majority in the Senate (even counting Kyrsten Sinema!) and whose incumbent president and presumed standard-bearer, Joe Biden, is both really old and really unpopular. Polling on Biden and his performance in office is almost uniformly brutal. In the latest CNN poll, Biden’s overall approval rating is 40 percent, his rating on the federal budget is 35 percent, on the economy, 34 percent and, bringing up the rear, on immigration, 30 percent. In the same poll, just 31 percent say Biden has had the right priorities in office, compared to 69 percent who say he ‘hasn’t paid enough attention to the country’s most important problems.’ Ominously, in a recent Washington Post/ABC poll the public preferred Trump’s job handling of the economy to Biden’s by 54 to 36 percent.”
Issi Romem: Domestic offshoring: A city-by-city analysis (ADP Research Institute)
“Throughout history, economic and political power has concentrated in key cities, hubs of business, technology, ideas, and influence that thrive as command-and-control centers of the broader economy.
Now a transformation is underway. Soaring housing costs and declining affordability are increasingly preventing low-wage earners from living in some of those cities, forcing them to find new places to live and work, and forcing companies to think harder about where work is performed.
This phenomenon, which we dub domestic offshoring and explore in a companion research note, follows a path laid by the liberalization of global trade. As barriers to trade fell, national economic advantages and disadvantages were thrown into sharp relief. Low-skilled jobs were exported and economies grew more specialized.”
Ryan Best: How Consistent Was Every Premier League Lineup This Season? (FiveThirtyEight)
“The two most consistent teams this season by STABLE, Arsenal and Newcastle, just so happened to be the two biggest overperformers, based on actual points earned per match versus predicted points per match from our preseason forecast. But there isn’t actually a tidy relationship between consistency and success.3 Teams can have relatively steady squads that drop points match after match (sorry, Everton supporters). And there are many reasons clubs find themselves on the inconsistent end of the STABLE spectrum. For the richest clubs with deep rosters, inconsistency can be more of a feature than a bug. Ever-changing lineups can also point to a team devoid of any cohesiveness, struggling to establish who its best squad really is — or a team that simply suffered lots of injuries and bad luck. And in the worst-case scenario, it can signal all these at once (here’s looking at you, Chelsea).”