Data Politics

New Whitman Insight Strategies Poll Finds Biden Lead in ‘Tipping Point’ Pennsylvania

In the wake of last week’s vice presidential debate and Donald Trump’s coronavirus hospitalization, a new Whitman Insight Strategies poll finds former Vice President Joe Biden holds a 5-point lead among likely voters in Pennsylvania.

This poll was conducted between October 5th and 9th.

As the Washington Post wrote this weekend Pennsylvania is the ‘tipping point’ state in this election, the state that will secure the presidency for Biden or Trump. As such, both candidates are increasingly focused on the pivotal role that Pennsylvania will play in deciding the outcome of the presidential race.

Our full findings present a troubling picture for Donald Trump. Both candidates have consolidated their base, with Trump winning 86% of Republicans and Biden winning 89% of Democrats. But among non-affiliated voters, Biden holds a commanding 13-point lead. Trump won these same voters by a 7-point margin against Hillary Clinton four years ago.

Our poll also finds a historically massive voting mode difference exists in Pennsylvania. Biden is winning among voters who plan to vote early or by mail by a 52-point margin. Among voters who plan to vote in-person on Election Day, Trump is winning by an equally historic 31-point margin.

This historic gap has real implications for how votes will be counted, and what results on election night will look like (some states count early voters first, while other states count early voters after completed Election Day counts).

Finally, we measured the impact that Trump’s COVID-19 diagnosis has on voter preference and find that most voters don’t think it will affect their candidate choice. A full 58% of likely voters say his diagnosis will make no difference in their support. But among those who do say it will affect their vote, more think it will make them less likely to support Trump in his reelection.

With just 22 days until the election and voters already heading to the polls in Pennsylvania, time is running out for the Trump campaign to course correct and secure a win in this critical tipping point state.

podcast Politics

Society Behind The Stat Ep. 05 – Bernard Whitman & Matt McDermott on The 2020 Conventions & State of The Race

Adam & Scott are back from a midsummer hiatus to talk about the 2020 Presidential Election.

This time they’ve gone in-house for guests, speaking with Democratic Pollsters & Strategists (not to mention colleagues @ WINS) Bernard Whitman and Matt McDermott.

In this episode the panel discusses the current state of the 2020 race, what the DNC and RNC each set out to accomplish, what Joe Biden and Donald Trump’s chances each come down to, and expectations for what a Trump re-election or Joe Biden victory look like for America, respectively.

Blog Post Politics Public Health

The Sweden Experiment Failed

It turns out that refusing to lock down during a deadly pandemic does not protect your economy, it just kills more of your people.

Media Politics

Conventions, VEEPStakes, and The State of the 2020 Race

WINS VP Matt McDermott talks with Dr. Christina Greer and Lincoln Mitchell on MNN’s The Election Show this week.

Blog Post Opinion Politics

How Policy Matters

There is an old adage in American politics that people vote for character and values, not policies.

And while character and values may very well be the best way to position a candidate to win an election, policy is how the the consequences of our electoral processes impact our lives.

In new research from Marquette University, Philip Rocco examines the role that state budget shortfalls have had in encouraging premature reopening , and ascribes these decisions to the failure of the CARES Act to provide any meaningful relief to states or local municipalities.

Rocco’s research found that Holding all other variables constant, a shift in states’ revenue share derived from the income tax from 5 to 10 percent is associated with a 43 percent increase in the probability of reopening.”

Writing on the study in the American Prospect, David Dayen concludes:

If economic precarity played a role in reopening, and induced states to reopen early, then the CARES Act could have put states at ease by ensuring fiscal support. Nearly four months later, no such support has arrived, practically every state has reopened, and we have virtually the same level of outbreak we did then, completely wasting the lockdown. The CARES Act structure helped lead to that outcome. “This is, I think, very much the story,” Rocco said.

You can put on a partisan hat, blame it on Trump, blame it on idiots like Ron DeSantis and Greg Abbott and Doug Ducey. They certainly all were bad at their jobs. But you can’t discount that the CARES Act’s lack of fiscal aid nudged states to reopen early. We now have some evidence suggesting that to be true. And the effect of that was catastrophic.

The massive surge in COVID-19 cases as a result of premature reopening and the CARES Act’s indifference to state and local relief is but one example of how policy impacts our lives.

Another example is that 5.4 million American families lost health insurance during a pandemic, but because of a recession. Let that sink in.

And yet a third sits behind the backdrop of the protests that have rocked the country over the past two months since George Floyd’s murder. The “systemic” part of systemic racism isn’t just confined to the hearts and minds of Americans, it is has been turned into policy, and written into law – sometimes obviously, but other times more insidiously.

Policy matters. Elections have consequences, but policy changes lives and often continues long after the leaders we voted for retire from public life.  Americans who have committed to learning, listening and personal change as they rethink society in these tumultuous times should question not only what they think individually, but also the consequences of what we do collectively.

Opinion Politics

Dead Cat Bounce

The virus and the real economy are linked, and Americans have understood this from the start.

Blog Post Politics

The Election Question

Sometimes politics is a game of checkers, not chess.

It’s exceedingly difficult to win an election when 2/3rds of America thinks you’re doing a bad job on the #1 issue facing the country.

The American people have always viewed pandemic response as something that needs to be addressed by the President at the Federal level. And while they were willing to forgive early errors by President Trump & the CDC, America’s patience has worn out.

podcast Politics

Society Behind The Stat Podcast Ep. 02 – Gen-Z Activism with Aleysha

Adam and Scott are back this week with Episode 2 of their podcast Society Behind The Stat.

In this episode they interview Aleysha, one of the Gen-Z Activists whose TikTok tactics helped sink Donald Trump’s Tulsa controversial campaign rally.

SBTS Ep. 02 is a must-listen for anyone who wants to better understand the motivating factors behind Gen-Z activism, how teens are using new social platforms to interact with the world around them, and what “K-Pop Stans” are.

Media Opinion Politics Video

CSIP & Election 2020 Roundtable

Matt McDermott joined a political roundtable to discuss the electoral implications of the multi-pronged crises currently barraging our country — including CSIP findings that suggest both the COVID-19 pandemic and protests in response to the murder of George Floyd have had significant negative repercussions on President Trump’s re-election prospects.

Data Media Politics

COVID-19 Era Politics: Trump Slumps With White Women Voters

Our own Matt McDermott speaking this week in the WaPo, CNN and on his blog about the impact of the past week on President Trump’s numbers.

Matt McDermott, a Democratic pollster, said such results capture the paradox in Trump’s calls for law and order: His words and actions have been so confrontational that they are “leading people to conclude the Republican President is increasing the threat of violence to themselves and their community.” Trump’s uniquely belligerent posture, McDermott says, is fraying the GOP’s traditional advantage among suburbanites on keeping their communities safe.

One GOP pollster I spoke with, who asked not to be identified while discussing the party’s 2020 prospects, agreed that Trump’s response to the protests was likely to further erode his already tenuous position among college-educated white suburbanites, especially women. That will require him, the pollster said, to generate even bigger margins and more turnout from non-college whites, especially those outside of metropolitan areas.