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Is Trump's electoral college advantage fading?
Plus: Why 2024 might be a referendum on Trump not Biden, another look at Biden's nonwhite fade, a new campaign simulation, and red flags for dating
No. 284 | September 15, 2023
Nate Cohn: Trump’s Electoral College Edge Seems to Be Fading (The New York Times)
“The early polls show Donald J. Trump and President Biden tied nationwide. Does that mean Mr. Trump has a clear advantage in the battleground states that decide the Electoral College?
It’s a reasonable question, and one I see quite often. In his first two presidential campaigns, Mr. Trump fared far better in the battleground states than he did nationwide, allowing him to win the presidency while losing the national vote in 2016 and nearly doing it again in 2020. But there’s a case that his Electoral College advantage has faded.”
“Presidential reelection bids tend to revolve around the incumbent’s performance in office. But a potential rematch between President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump could upend that dynamic, polling suggests, with most voters saying their decisions would come down largely to their feelings about Trump.
In the latest CNN poll, which finds registered voters deadlocked in a hypothetical contest between Biden and Trump, 62% of those backing Trump said they saw their choice mainly as a show of support for him, with a similar 64% of those backing Biden saying they viewed their choice largely as a vote against Trump. Only about a third on either side treated the decision as primarily a referendum on the sitting president.”
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Nate Cohn: Why Are Democrats Losing Ground Among Nonwhite Voters? 5 Theories. (The New York Times)
“Why is President Biden losing ground among Black, Hispanic, Asian American and other nonwhite voters?
There’s no easy answer for this relative weakness that shows up in polling, and there might never be one. After all, we still don’t have a definitive explanation for why Donald J. Trump made big gains among white working-class voters in 2016 or Hispanic voters in 2020, despite the benefit of years of poll questions, final election results and post-election studies.”
“Imagine that there are just two months to go until Election Day, and you’re managing a presidential campaign. You have choices to make on where to invest your precious resources to both convince persuadable voters and turn out your base.
POLITICO partnered with Split Ticket, an election analysis publication, to create a choose-your-own-adventure game that shows the electoral dynamics across states. Split Ticket defined eight clusters that group similar counties across the country based on political and demographic statistics such as partisanship and racial demographics.”
“The narrow outcome of the 2022 election makes a thought-provoking exercise out of looking at near-miss districts, where candidates suffered a loss partially attributable to a lack of financial support. To qualify for our list, a candidate must have lost by less than 3 points, had a positive WAR score, and faced more outside money than was spent on their behalf.
Five districts made their way onto here: two Democrat-won and three Republican-won districts. While Republicans could say that they sufficiently invested in their candidate but were simply outspent by wealthy Democratic groups, Democrats do not have this excuse — in fact, there were two seats in which Democrats put in less than $300K in outside spending and came within a hair of winning.”
📰 Media Habits
Network News Fact Sheet (Pew Research Center)
“Network TV news – appointment viewing for many Americans – saw some audience changes across networks in recent years. Financially, advertiser expenditures for the news programs of the three major networks (ABC, CBS and NBC) have declined substantially since 2020. Explore the patterns and longitudinal data about network TV news below.
The average audiences for the evening newscasts of ABC, CBS and NBC remained relatively stable for all three networks, according to Comscore TV Essentials® data. (Average audience is defined as the average number of TVs tuned to a program throughout a time period.)”
📊 Public Opinion
Kim Parker and Rachel Minkin: Public Has Mixed Views on the Modern American Family (Pew Research Center)
“Trends in marriage and fertility along with shifting social norms and important legal changes have reshaped the American family. Public views of the family are complicated. Americans are more pessimistic than optimistic about the institution of marriage and the family.
And there is no consensus on how some of the broad trends that are driving family change will impact the country in the future. Majorities say fewer people marrying these days and more couples living together without being married won’t have a positive or negative impact.”