August 26, 2016

Where could infrequent voters appear in droves for Trump?

Although there is no expectation that the Republican primary turnout will multiply by the same amount as before, to yield 70-90 million Trump voters in the general, it is still possible for the numbers to swell based on infrequent voters.

Normally these folks are sitting at home on Election Day, and may not even be registered. If any candidate in living memory could turn such people out for the first time in awhile, or ever, it's Trump. And with national turnout rates sitting at around 60%, that does leave a large chunk of the potential voters to become actual voters.

Now we have to ask where such people might come out of the woodwork. In other words, where are turnout rates the lowest? The map below shows turnout rates among the voting eligible population, with red being low and green being high, taken from this site:

First, the bad news. Most of the low turnout states are already safe red states, so even if Trump managed to send their abysmal rates soaring toward the maximum, it would not affect the state race or add to the Electoral vote count. Texas has a turnout rate of just below 50%, but it was already in the Republican's pocket before the race began.

The flipside is that most of the states with high turnout are blue states that we need to flip -- and if turnout is already fairly high, there isn't such a yuge pool of infrequent voters to tap into. Wisconsin's turnout rate is 73%, leaving far fewer infrequent voters to get out of the house, compared to Texas.

But the good news is that there are some exceptions, where a blue state has low turnout. These include the three central blue states of California, New York, and Illinois, with rates around the mid-50's. If the Trump campaign had enough time, money, and manpower, they could organize the unorganized in these states and make up even the sizable gap among the frequent voters.

However, these states have large populations, so it would probably be too much of a stretch to mobilize the legions of infrequent voters there -- we're talking millions of people in just two months. Some chunk will organize themselves by finding out how to register, where their polling station is, and show up on Election Day. But these self-organizers probably won't make up the large gap in these deep blue states.

More promising are those with smaller populations, or narrower gaps to be overcome in large states. Pennsylvania has 60% turnout, leaving a large number of infrequents available to close the 5-point gap from 2012. Connecticut has roughly 60% turnout, too, and the small population of the state will make it easier to sift through enough infrequents. Nevada has even lower turnout at 56%, the gap was only 6 points, and it's a small population concentrated mostly in the Las Vegas area.

Michigan, with 65% turnout, is only somewhat less favorable than those three, and much more favorable than the Lutheran Triangle states (MN, WI, IA).

The swing states also have only somewhat higher-than-average turnout, in the low-to-mid 60's, including Ohio, Florida, North Carolina, and Virginia. These states have smaller gaps to close, and don't need to rely on the infrequents like the more solid blue states do, but certainly a boost among infrequent voters here would make them comfortable wins rather than the typical squeezing blood from a stone for Republican candidates.

Finally, there are two blue states with very few infrequents to mobilize for the first time, but that still seem to be switching to Trump based on the frequent voters re-aligning -- Iowa and New Hampshire, both with turnout of 70%.

And of course the re-alignment of frequent voters in Rust Belt states could flip some of the other blue states, like Pennsylvania and Michigan. But that's a separate topic.

The following states ought to be ruled out, based on high turnout preventing a surge among infrequent voters, and the existing voters being mostly against the Trump movement, so that re-alignment among them is not likely -- Colorado, Minnesota, and Wisconsin, none of which Trump won even in the primary stage.

As we continue this series on a potential surge of usually hidden voters, we'll discuss what signs to look for between now and the election to see if there is in fact a whole bunch of infrequent voters coming out of the woodwork. For now, at least we know where to restrict our focus -- and where to ignore, even if there were solid evidence, like the red states that we've already got, with or without a surge in turnout.


  1. A thought on generational effect on voting that up your alley: having observed US elections since Reagan/Mondale, I noticed the game-changer principle that you can call the Generational Die-off Effect. For example, up to the mid-90s the so-called Greatest generation still formed a large voting block and whatever their conservative-liberal position on the spectrum, they demanded personal honor from their candidates. This is why allegations of adultery or past drug use were lethal to someone like Gary Hart in 1984. But by 1993, Bill Clinton overcame that problem (alleged affairs, "I did not inhale") on the strength of the brand new GenX voter, who cared less about those things.

    Today, the generational relic holding politics in an atavistic position is the still-alive Baby Boomers. Their defining quality, again regardless of their political views, is their utter faith in the mass media. And once they pass from the scene, the electorate will be -- all along the spectrum -- comprised of people who get their views from decentralized sources, often outside of the system's control.


  2. General Social Survey says all generations are equally skeptical of the media, within a given time period (like a decade). The main change has been a steep decline over time, starting abruptly in 1993.

    Boomers may consume more traditional media, but they don't appear to trust it more than later generations.

    They differ from Gen X and Millennials by having once trusted the media, back in the '70s when it wasn't unmitigated propaganda and tabloid sensationalism.

    That seems to work more in Trump's favor than the cynicism of X-ers and Millennials who take the dishonesty of the media for granted, having known no other mode of operation their whole lives. People respond more with righteous anger when they feel fair play has been violated, whereas those who take it for granted shrug their shoulders as though someone were criticizing the laws of gravity.

    Who gets the most fired up at Trump's lines about the dishonest scum in the media? Boomers. And who makes a point of going up to the media pen at his rallies to insult the reporters to their faces? Boomers.

  3. The greatest change from Reagan to now is the number of Americans who have attended at least a couple of semesters of college, including community college.

    IT is HERE that in the first year or two, all American youth have been brainwashed with progressive blather, from their English 1A/1B to the Intro to Sociology class they take for an easy grade and social science credit.

  4. Do you read Sundance at the Conservative Treehouse?

  5. If the polls are any indication Trump has a good chance to win Iowa.

  6. The early 90's were when the culture war took off in earnest (so many states going blue, sudden disinterest in industrial decline/income inequality/the homeless population, moralism taking precedence over getting down to brass tacks, etc.). The GOP became an awkward alliance between evang. fundies and muh small gubermint fanatics thereby alienating huge swaths of people unwilling to commit fully to either camp (aka be "principled"). The Dems bought totally into PC which conveniently didn't ask for sacrifice from smug pseudo-intellectuals who claimed that it was bigoted to judge the value of groups while they looked down on lower-income whites. As we've seen the last couple years, the rising level of cultural Marxism and hypocrisy (which have done nothing to help many non-whites or woman) has literally killed people.

    What this election will put to the test is:

    -How many once alienated paleo cons and old-school Dems will be motivated to pull the lever?
    -Has the modern Dem's pandering to dangerous groups and continuing refusal to protect low-middle income economic security and civil order finally caused enough people to wake up and vote for change?

    The cuck/modern liberal disdain for Trump is derived from his championing of issues that don't fit neatly into the culture war era (which in retrospect will likely be said to have lasted from circa 1990-2015), not from his being a "racist" or an obnoxious ego maniac.

    Those who say his persona/ideas are dangerous and worthless are myopic and stubborn. Most people either have no knowledge of or no real grasp of pre-WW2 history. A better understanding of American history would make it obvious that we are in a transition away from a fatalistic/insular era to a reform minded/civic era. We're not on a linear path. The last reform cycle had it's baby steps in the very late 1800's before really taking off in the 1900's. Early Silents might recall this, but they mostly weren't involved in the cleanup and besides, nobody's listening to them right now. The cycles point to us needing and eventually getting a populist reform figure. Not an empty panderer or would-be royalty.

    As we saw back then, it's gonna take some time before everyone's on board. I mean, the level of shrieking hysteria and sophomoric rhetoric (Trump is mean, stupid, a bully, a con-man, a neo-Hitler etc.) from the cultural warriors and their media sycophants ought to be delighting the peons and the brave elites right now. No reason to panic. Let's have some fun instead. It's not like everything is gonna be reset right away. Be patient.

    The media eventually turned to reform in the early 1900's. We can't expect them to catch the populism wave too quickly, but eventually they will.

  7. "The greatest change from Reagan to now is the number of Americans who have attended at least a couple of semesters of college, including community college.

    IT is HERE that in the first year or two, all American youth have been brainwashed with progressive blather, from their English 1A/1B to the Intro to Sociology class they take for an easy grade and social science credit."

    A recent article said that Trump supporters are often people who've lived near ancestral roots for generations. The more transient/rootless/status and glory seeking you are, the more you will oppose someone who is telling Americans that they need to defend their homeland. People who abandon their roots to be cool or to strike it rich don't want to be shamed or stigmatized. They want validation for their selfishness.

    Who has the most to lose from Trumpism? Immigrants, diversicrats, Yuppies/the salaried classes (who profit from a weak and diverse wage class), and prissy cultural warriors who have no desire to engage with policies that actually help lower class people.

    It isn't college that's poisoned everyone. It's a mercenary and callous attitude that's the problem. Why be concerned about terrorism, poverty, the decay of industry and infrastructure, etc. when you've got a trendy neighborhood and Apple products to brag about? The Reagan era was the last period where people were genuinely concerned about how society's policies affected everyone. And I mean everyone, not just liberal pets (fags, blacks, foreigners) or the modern GOP's anointed class of libertarians and Christianity first people.

    Boomers have a better shot of at least intuitively understanding these things, since, hey, they were mature adults before the 90's. But good luck with some of the more glib and smug Gen X-ers and Millennials.

  8. "The cuck/modern liberal disdain for Trump is derived from his championing of issues that don't fit neatly into the culture war era"
    The bottom line is not enough people can afford the culture wars anymore. Bible doesn't pay the bills. Abortion actually reduces the excess of mouths to feed. The virtuous delusions of prosperous times inevitably begin to fall away as the belt tightens and the pie shrinks.

    As for Boomers, the professional types remain oblivious getting most of their news from newspapers and TV, quadrupling down on a system they have 3-4 decades of investment in.(Just read NYT comments) They sense something is going wrong but shake their head at Trump, failing to understand it.
    I get the sense it's less (financially) successful boomers who have been forced to question and grow. The types who remember when "everyone was middle class" and have become disillusioned.

  9. Random Dude on the Internet8/28/16, 1:41 PM

    Trump is going to Everett, Washington in a couple of days.

    Both Democrats and Republicans do their own internal polling, I'm curious if there are some signs that there is a slight chance Washington could be competitive. While Trump isn't the type of guy that hunkers down in the three or four most purplish counties in Ohio like Romney and Obama, it would seem unusual to just go to a state that doesn't have a chance.

    Regarding Iowa, I have friends, family, and co-workers from there. There are still a lot of Republicuck handwringers who "still don't know" about Trump. The two things going for Iowa is that it has a decent manufacturing industry and that there are a number of towns where hispanics are 20-40% of the population with gang activity in towns that only have a couple thousand people. It's a new experience for Iowans and they don't like it. I still put this state in the "competitive" column. At this point though, I'd rather Trump do whatever he takes to win Michigan and Pennsylvania than Iowa. I think appealing to the rust belt will be the key to victory and time spent in the cuck belt is ultimately a waste.

  10. He was tied with Hillary in two polls in Oregon, from May and July. Maybe holding the rally in Seattle allows it to get into the Pac NW broadly.

    I'd like to see him return to hammering on the H1-B visa abuse, in order to peel away college-educated whites. Immigration as cheap labor affects all classes, and is really bad out on the West Coast, especially in IT.

    Would also help solidify the nationalist sentiment up and down the economic scale --

    "You guys who do computer coding, you think your job is safe from foreign workers? Just because they aren't being stolen by Mexicans streaming across the southern border, doesn't mean they won't replace you with a cheaper Indian or Chinese worker who they bring over here, or who they off-shore the job to."

  11. As for Boomers, the professional types remain oblivious getting most of their "news from newspapers and TV, quadrupling down on a system they have 3-4 decades of investment in.(Just read NYT comments) They sense something is going wrong but shake their head at Trump, failing to understand it."

    And cultural warrior Gen X-ers still stuck in the rock the vote era are any better? It may be hard for many people born after 1970 to believe, but people were just fine before the 1990's when PC stuck it's talons into everything and has refused to let go.

    Boomers are bigger populists. They feel a greater connection to blood and soil Americana. They have a greater sense of camaraderie and what America used to be. Ya know, before there were millions of dumb lawsuits, when people fought to expand free speech. When we didn't import TB and bedbugs. Are some Boomers crooks and useful idiots? Sure. But at least on average Boomers don't have the same kind of prissy/condescending attitude towards "low-info"/"old-fashioned" white people that you see among mercenary/cynical Gen X-ers who think that the default setting for Western society is corruption and chaos.

    BTW, quite a few Boomers are in tough shape. Later GIs and Silents have been riding a gravy train for most/all of their lives and they don't want to get off it. Boomers (esp. later born ones) were part of a demographic bulge that made getting a job and promotions more difficult. While the Silent gen saw to it that the Boomers were trained and paid fairly well, said Silent Gen also was much slower to die, retire, or accept less work/pay than the GIs. So Boomers faced a lot more competition compared to previous generations. The cost of living in most regards has risen over the last 40 years (as has income inequality) and this has been detrimental to the generations who came after the Silents (the lucky few).

    Having kids has become more difficult and expensive since the 60's, too. Desegregation and massive immigration levels means that parents have to recalibrate their lives (and pay a lot more for housing, or live in the sticks) to insure that their kids don't run into Jose or Tyrone too often. There's a reason people don't have kids like they did in the 50's, and it's not just birth control (keep in mind that not many people were born in the 30's or early 40's).

    Feral minorities have been out of control since the late 60's,and mass murderers have become an epidemic over the last 30 years. Trust me, that really does bother most Boomers who (accurately) don't remember anyone (including the Boomers themselves) wasting dozens of people before the 80's.

    A lot of Gen X-ers and Millennials need to look in the mirror before launching into "my generation is better than yours" accusations. The younger gens. can't even be bothered to feign interest in most of the people around them. Their guard stays up until they know they like and trust someone. We've got to break out of our cocoons.

    I don't see any particular generational bias among our enemies. I just saw a '67 born Obamaite on TV news who said that Hillary Clinton taking payoffs (excuse me, "donations") in exchange for meetings with various elites is perfectly normal. Yeah right, you traitor bastard.

    That's one thing I never hear in the mainstream. Republicans (least of all Trump) are constantly accused of "racism". Racism, Racism, Racism blah blah blah. How come modern liberals and cucks are never called traitors? They've subverted the security of ordinary Americans for decades. If that's not treason I don't know what is.

    It'll be a good sign when "traitor" is revived. Even into the 80's, Americans had a better sense of who was really on their side.


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