Saturday, November 12, 2016

Turnout

While part of me is uninterested in conversing about how Trump won (instead preferring to focus on why and what to do next), I was intrigued enough to examine the different narratives I was hearing.

One narrative, for example that arrived at by usually more liberal publications, suggests that Trump won by by motivating minimally educated white voters in large numbers.

Another narrative, less mentioned by liberal publications, suggests that Clinton lost because of low turnout from usual Democratic bases.

I took at look at some of the turnout data compiled by David Wasserman at 538. My spreadsheet here. I wanted to compare the change in turnout specifically in the 6 states that Trump flipped from 2012, in order to see the impact on the electoral college.

In Wisconsin (10), Ohio (18), Michigan (16), Iowa (6), the Democrat drop in turnout from 2012 to 2016 had a bigger effect than the increase in Republican turnout. In Pennsylvania (20), and Florida (29), the Republican increase in turnout had a bigger effect than the drop (or weaker increase for FL) in Democrat turnout.

10+18+16+6=50
20+29=49

There are obviously all sorts of details that this kind of broad analysis ignores, but generally speaking I think we can say that poor support for Clinton (whether due to apathy, sexism, disgust) had as much of an impact on the outcome of this election as rising support for Trump.





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