Big Swings Do Too Happen

 

On the latest GLoP podcast, @johnpodhoretz noted that polls show Trump down by some eight points, then said that a Trump victory would require a swing “of a kind that is unprecedented in recent history.” (I’m quoting John from memory. I may have a word or two wrong, but you get the idea.) With respect to John — and I do have the greatest respect for my old friend — that isn’t quite correct.

Consider 1980: One week before the election, as the chart below makes clear, Ronald Reagan could claim the support of only 39 percent of likely voters. On Election Day, he won with 51 percent of the vote — a swing of 12 points.

1980

I’m not saying Donald Trump is going to win, and I’m certainly not saying that Trump is another Reagan.

What I am saying is that this ain’t over.

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  1. Pseudodionysius Member
    Pseudodionysius
    @Pseudodionysius

    This post deserves to be on the Main Feed @peterrobinson

    • #1
  2. Basil Fawlty Member
    Basil Fawlty
    @BasilFawlty

    With Claire on the job, he doesn’t have a prayer.

    • #2
  3. Pseudodionysius Member
    Pseudodionysius
    @Pseudodionysius

    Basil Fawlty:With Claire on the job, he doesn’t have a prayer.

    That’s dark, Basil. Very dark. You could say it’s the Dark Tower.

    • #3
  4. Matt Upton Lincoln
    Matt Upton
    @MattUpton

    My biggest question is whether or not Trump has a meaningful campaign structure. Swings can happen, but is he even prepared for it to happen? I’ve heard reports that his field offices are nearly empty in swing states.

    I’ve made peace with casting a vote for a man a loathe, but all the NeverTrump converts in the world won’t change the fact that he has to campaign.

    • #4
  5. Z in MT Member
    Z in MT
    @ZinMT

    Matt Upton:My biggest question is whether or not Trump has a meaningful campaign structure. Swings can happen, but is he even prepared for it to happen? I’ve heard reports that his field offices are nearly empty in swing states.

    I’ve made peace with casting a vote for a man a loathe, but all the NeverTrump converts in the world won’t change the fact that he has to campaign.

    That is what is clear. At this point Trump is going to lose 2-3 points just because he doesn’t have people out knocking on doors reminding people to vote on a Tuesday in November, or giving the elderly a ride to the polls.

    • #5
  6. EDISONPARKS Member
    EDISONPARKS
    @user_54742

    Trumps major stumbling block is getting the (R)’s on board.   If some (R)’s will never vote for Trump, and many others will do so only because the other choice is Hillary Clinton, then where will his votes come from.

    Trump’s best hope is that revelations in the near future about Hillary’s selling access as Secretary of State (or Senator),  are so awful and undeniable, that even the MSM will be forced into the realization that having an all but convicted political graft grifter as the President of the United States is so unacceptable that even Donald Trump would be a better choice.

    • #6
  7. Pseudodionysius Member
    Pseudodionysius
    @Pseudodionysius

    Two weeks. Two weeks.

    • #7
  8. Pseudodionysius Member
    Pseudodionysius
    @Pseudodionysius

    • #8
  9. Peter Robinson Contributor
    Peter Robinson
    @PeterRobinson

    Matt Upton:My biggest question is whether or not Trump has a meaningful campaign structure. Swings can happen, but is he even prepared for it to happen? I’ve heard reports that his field offices are nearly empty in swing states.

    I’ve made peace with casting a vote for a man a loathe, but all the NeverTrump converts in the world won’t change the fact that he has to campaign.

    All true–all very true.

    • #9
  10. Richard Easton Member
    Richard Easton
    @RichardEaston

    Clinton is not acting like someone who thinks she is way ahead.  She pulled out the race card this week.  This allows Trump and his supporters time to point out her racist mentors.

    • #10
  11. Pseudodionysius Member
    Pseudodionysius
    @Pseudodionysius

    Richard Easton:Clinton is not acting like someone who thinks she is way ahead. She pulled out the race card this week. This allows Trump and his supporters time to point out her racist mentors.

    Two weeks. Two weeks.

    • #11
  12. Guerin Member
    Guerin
    @Guerin

    In this poll series, Carter is never shown higher than 45% any time from April 1980 onwards, usually only in the low 40s, much like his final finish.  Additionally, Anderson’s support bled away as the finish line approached, with most of the benefit going to Reagan (which makes sense, given he had entered as the anti-Reagan Republican).

    Trump isn’t doing as well as Reagan was in the Gallup poll, but I keep looking at the Brexit result and how unexpected an outcome that was.  Trump’s not exactly Brexit, but to the extent he’s trying to win the votes of people fed up with the status quo, he might come up with a late surge.  I think the debates will be the deciding point – Trump will either convince enough 3rd party/undecided voters to take a chance on him and he wins by a few points, or he won’t and the final vote will look more like 45/40/15.

    Should Hillary win, the Clintons will likely have the distinction of having won the presidency 3 times despite never winning a majority of the popular vote.

    • #12
  13. CuriousKevmo Member
    CuriousKevmo
    @CuriousKevmo

    I won’t be voting for either candidate but were I to vote for Trump, I wouldn’t tell anyone that I had.  I do wonder what percentage of voters are intending to vote for Trump but are too embarrassed about it to tell a pollster?

    • #13
  14. RightAngles Member
    RightAngles
    @RightAngles

    CuriousKevmo:I won’t be voting for either candidate but were I to vote for Trump, I wouldn’t tell anyone that I had. I do wonder what percentage of voters are intending to vote for Trump but are too embarrassed about it to tell a pollster?

    I think there are a LOT more people who will vote for him than we know. I agree with you that they’re too embarrassed and fear the blowback.

    • #14
  15. Marion Evans Member
    Marion Evans
    @MarionEvans

    Counter-argument: Polling has gotten much better since 1980. Has it?

    • #15
  16. CuriousKevmo Member
    CuriousKevmo
    @CuriousKevmo

    Marion Evans:Counter-argument: Polling has gotten much better since 1980. Has it?

    I have very little knowledge of how polling works and how clever their mathematical models are, but I know that were I asked I either wouldn’t answer, or I’d lie.  Just because it’s non of their business and I’d likely be annoyed that someone stopped me on the street, or called me and asked.

    • #16
  17. CM Member
    CM
    @CM

    This cycle has done a lot to demonize supporters of Trump. From what I’ve read of the Reagan election, it appears the same occurred there.

    There is a reason voting is anonymous. Polling strikes me as opening oneself up to intimidation if you pick the wrong answer. I am not certain how most people feel on that, though… only myself.

    But if you are going to be smeared “racist” or “Nazi” for supporting the candidate out loud, I wouldn’t be surprised if they stay silent and speak with their anonymous vote.

    • #17
  18. Goldgeller Member
    Goldgeller
    @Goldgeller

    We were saying the same thing back during the Romney election. Not only about a Reagan swing, but we kept with “the polls were wrong.” Okay. I did at least. Maybe I was an outlier. But it turned out the polls weren’t wrong. And they are almost certainly right here.

    The Gallop poll was wrong. Internal polling from both campaigns showed a much tighter race, and the race had different dynamics in terms of convention bounces. Also, we have much better polling data and abilities now. Reagan wasn’t actually down as much as the Gallup poll would suggest.

    This article, and just searching for the Reagan swing, shows how tracking other polls and internal campaign polls showed a much tighter race. And also, Trump isn’t Reagan and Obama isn’t Carter. I think this article may be better.

    • #18
  19. goldwaterwoman Thatcher
    goldwaterwoman
    @goldwaterwoman

    Peter Robinson:I’m not saying Donald Trump is going to win, and I’m certainly not saying that Trump is another Reagan.

    What I am saying is that this ain’t over.

    Thank you so much for this encouraging post Peter. For Trump supporters these are trying times. I do remember feeling the same poll depression in 1980 and was deliriously happy with the final results.

    • #19
  20. goldwaterwoman Thatcher
    goldwaterwoman
    @goldwaterwoman

    CM: There is a reason voting is anonymous. Polling strikes me as opening oneself up to intimidation if you pick the wrong answer. I am not certain how most people feel on that, though… only myself.

    Also, once you start answering a poll participation takes forever as they ask all sorts of subjective and irrelevant questions. Look at the internals, for example, of the latest Quinnipiac poll. There are some 49 questions. Here’s just one: Do you think Clinton is level headed? Do you think Trump is level headed?  Considering all the previous questions, that one seemed particularly ridiculous. They also want to know your race, income (I’m sure people lie on this one) and age (I would surely fudge a bit here).

    • #20
  21. Israel P. Member
    Israel P.
    @IsraelP

    Anything that has to do with timing – whether it’s an Assange announcement or simple political winds – must take into account the start of early voting. Things are not what they were in 1980 in that regard.

    • #21
  22. Jules PA Member
    Jules PA
    @JulesPA

    CuriousKevmo:I won’t be voting for either candidate but were I to vote for Trump, I wouldn’t tell anyone that I had. I do wonder what percentage of voters are intending to vote for Trump but are too embarrassed about it to tell a pollster?

    I agree. In a poll I would be both never Hillary. Never trump.

    No pollster can get me to reveal the deathly dark November decision I will be forced to make. Only gunpoint and truth serum would make me tell.

    This entire year is an embarrassment.

    • #22
  23. Pugshot Member
    Pugshot
    @Pugshot

    @PeterRobinson:  With all due respect, Peter, as I recall you said pretty much the same thing about Romney in 2012 and I bought it.  I’m not getting fooled again!  The articles linked by @Goldgeller make it pretty clear that Reagan’s  “great reversal” of 1980 was a myth. I’m not saying it’s impossible that Trump will win the election – given his opponent, anything is possible – but given his erratic behavior and lack of an effective ground game, I seriously doubt he’ll pull this one out. And trying to convince yourself otherwise doesn’t help you or anyone else.

    • #23
  24. goldwaterwoman Thatcher
    goldwaterwoman
    @goldwaterwoman

    Pugshot: I’m not saying it’s impossible that Trump will win the election – given his opponent, anything is possible – but given his erratic behavior and lack of an effective ground game, I seriously doubt he’ll pull this one out.

    Virtually every single Republican I know in real life is a Trump supporter. The only Nevers I know are here on Ricochet and the various talking heads on television. So, what does that say? My conclusion is that the rank and file are behind him and don’t care what the pundits are saying.

    • #24

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