Discover more from The Intersection
How pollsters are modernizing
Plus: The end of Title 42, an outlier poll, a look at House rematches, and the Four Addictions
No. 266 | May 5th, 2023
📊 Polling & Public Attitudes
Nate Cohn: Two Schools of Polling Are Converging: Reflecting on a Tumultuous Decade (The New York Times 🔒)
“It’s been nearly a decade since I first attended the annual conference of pollsters, known as AAPOR.
Back then, it was a very different place. It was dominated by traditional pollsters who knew change was inevitable but who appeared uncomfortable with the sacrifices required to accommodate new people, methods and ideas.
At the time, that gathering reminded me of the Republican Party, which was then grappling with how to deal with demographic change and Hispanic voters in the wake of Barack Obama’s re-election. There are obvious differences, but the AAPOR crowd’s talk about reaching out to new groups and ideas was animated by similar senses of threat that the Republicans were facing then — the concern posed by long-term trends, the status threat from newcomers, and the sense that traditional values would be threatened by accommodating new ideas.”
Nathaniel Rakich: The End Of Title 42 Could Be A Big Problem For Biden (FiveThirtyEight)
“At 11:59 p.m. on Thursday night, Title 42 — a policy dating back to the Donald Trump administration that made it easier to expel migrants from the U.S. by citing the public-health risk of COVID-19 — officially ended. Experts expect this will lead to a surge in immigration across the U.S.-Mexico border, and there are signs that it has already begun: The number of migrants crossing the border has already increased from a norm of about 6,000-7,000 per day late last year to 10,000 per day on Monday and Tuesday of this week, and the streets of many border cities are filling up with migrants seeking entry to the U.S.
President Biden’s administration has been bracing itself for Title 42’s expiration by building more facilities for migrants, making it easier for people to apply to come to the U.S. legally rather than risk an illegal border crossing and even sending 1,500 troops to the border. And politically, taking such aggressive action is probably smart: Polling suggests not only that Americans want to keep Title 42 in place, but also that another border crisis could be a political disaster for Biden.”
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Americans Hold Positive Feelings Toward NATO and Ukraine, See Russia as an Enemy (Pew Research Center)
“In the midst of a major international conflict in Ukraine and an expansion of NATO in Europe, Americans have distinct opinions on the key players in the war. Majorities of U.S. adults have favorable views of Ukraine itself, as well as the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, and have confidence in Ukraine’s leader, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy. At the same time, few have positive opinions of Russia or confidence in its ruler, President Vladimir Putin. And a 64% majority view Russia as an enemy to the United States, rather than as a competitor or partner.
Americans express mixed confidence in two of NATO’s most important leaders: French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz. In fact, 35% of Americans have never heard of Scholz, with 24% saying the same about Macron.”
Nate Cohn: An Outlier Poll on Trump vs. Biden That Still Informs (The New York Times 🔒)
“There’s usually a simple rule of thumb for thinking about outlying poll results: Toss it in the average, and don’t think too hard about it. After all, outlying poll results are inevitable, simply by chance. When they occur, it shouldn’t be any surprise.
But sometimes, that guidance gets a little hard to follow. The most recent ABC/Washington Post poll is proving to be one of those cases.
In a startling finding, the poll found Donald J. Trump and Ron DeSantis each leading President Biden by seven percentage points, with Mr. Biden trailing among young people and struggling badly among nonwhite voters. After a few days of relentless media conversation, even I’ve been forced to abandon the usual rule of thumb.”
Ruy Teixeira: How the White Working Class Could Sink the Democrats…Again (The Liberal Patriot)
“With Trump running again and looking like he could easily be the 2024 Republican nominee, it’s a good time to cast your mind back to the first Trump shock of 2016. At the time, almost no one thought he could win.
And yet he did. While there were a lot of moving parts to Trump’s victory, the key development was a surge of white working-class voters into his column. This was true all over the country but particularly in competitive, but heavily white working-class, states like Iowa (23 point white working-class margin swing away from the Democrats), Ohio (16 point swing), Wisconsin (13 points), Michigan (11 points) and Pennsylvania (9 points).
While it’s still not widely-appreciated, a crucial factor in Biden’s 2020 victory over Trump was his ability to stop the bleeding among white working-class voters. These voters were the dog that didn’t bark in the 2020 election. Biden even managed a slight improvement among the white working class, moving them in the direction of the Democrats by 2 points nationally and by similar amounts in key states.”
“Candidates who lose close House races are often motivated to run again. When they do, their high name recognition, strong fundraising connections, and tested campaign infrastructures tend to give them an advantage over primary opponents. Support from national party committees like the NRCC and DCCC can also be decisive in consolidating would-be crowded primary fields, especially when the returning challenger is a former incumbent.
To identify how well candidates seeking returns to office actually perform, Split Ticket analyzed returning challengers’ performances relative to normalized expectations in 46 rematches between 2008 and 2020. Note that the loser of the first election is always counted as the challenger, regardless of prior incumbency status.”
Diverse Cultures and Shared Experiences Shape Asian American Identities (Pew Research Center)
“The nation’s Asian population is fast growing and diverse. Numbering more than 23 million, the population has ancestral roots across the vast, ethnically and culturally rich Asian continent. For Asians living in the United States, this diversity is reflected in how they describe their own identity. According to a new, nationwide, comprehensive survey of Asian adults living in the U.S., 52% say they most often use ethnic labels that reflect their heritage and family roots, either alone or together with “American,” to describe themselves. Chinese or Chinese American, Filipino or Filipino American, and Indian or Indian American are examples of these variations.
There are other ways in which Asians living in the U.S. describe their identity. About half (51%) of Asian adults say they use American on its own (10%), together with their ethnicity (25%) or together with ‘Asian’ as Asian American (16%) when describing their identity, highlighting their links to the U.S.”
🤖 Artificial Intelligence
“A 2019 Pew Research Center study and follow-up study in 2020 involved the complicated task of transcribing more than 60,000 audio and video files of sermons delivered during religious services at churches around the United States. The primary goal of this research was to evaluate relatively broad topics discussed in the sermons to determine if there were any notable patterns or denominational differences in their length and subject matter.
The huge number of audio and video files meant that it would have been too time-consuming and expensive to ask humans to transcribe all the sermons. Instead, we used Amazon Transcribe, a speech recognition service offered by Amazon Web Services (AWS). We hoped to identify the key themes in the sermons we collected, even if the machine transcriptions were not perfect or at times lacked elements like punctuation that would often come with a traditional human transcription service.”
@emollick: Hey ChatGPT Code Interpreter: Create code that would win me a science fair. I am a high schooler. Pick whatever field you want, and make sure you run the code and give me the results and how to present it. Give me visualizations, and a way to explain them. Now give me a speech. (Twitter)