What I Got Right and Wrong on the 2016 Election

If predictions on occasion contradict, I’m grading my latest prediction, not my first one.

Right: Trump would overperform Mitt Romney in the popular vote, and overperform in Michigan.

Right: Republicans would keep the Senate and House.

Right: Trump would win Florida

Right: Toomey would win Pennsylvania

Right: this entire paragraph:

I suspect the driftless area of southwestern Wisconsin, notorious for having a majority of its Whites vote for Obama, will, like Iowa, swing mostly, though not entirely, to the Republican candidate this year.

Overall, expect a Trump overperformance in northern Wisconsin and a Trump underperformance in the rich Cruzlim parts of Wisconsin.

This, like Pennsylvania, is a swing state worth watching. It almost went for Bush in 2004 as a result of his strong performance in the rich Southeast of Wisconsin. Cruz got more votes in Wisconsin than Clinton (though not Sanders) in the primary, and Trump got 47.17% of the combined Clinton+Trump vote -not impressive, but better than Mitt’s performance in the 2012 general election and, given the strong Cruz performance there, nothing to sneeze at, either. Certainly, Wisconsin is a competitive state for Trump, though it depends on what extent Cruz supporters stay with Trump and Sanders supporters stay with Clinton.

Right: Pennsylvania would be Trump’s keystone to victory in the general (if he, in fact, won it)

Right: Trump would win North Carolina by 4 points (actual lead was 3.8 points) due to a strong GOP early vote. The Upshot model was ridiculous.

Right: the polls suffered from massive herding

Right: Trump wouldn’t do all that badly with Hispanics

Wrong: Clinton would win (I only began saying this after the Access Hollywood tape and the failure of the second debate to boost Trump’s numbers)

Wrong: Michigan, Wisconsin, PA would not go for Trump

Wrong: Every county of Vermont would swing to Trump

Wrong: New Hampshire would go for Trump

Wrong: Feingold would win Wisconsin

Wrong: Heck and Ayotte would win. This prediction was made before their splitting of their ties with the nominee.

Wrong: Bayh would win Indiana. Shoulda thunk it due to the rise of straight-ticket voting (see below)

Interestingly, in the heavily minority (mostly Black and Indian, some blue-collar White) precinct in which I reside, straight-ticket GOP votes doubled from 2012 to 2016 (I was one of them; I did not vote in 2012), while votes for the GOP nominee increased by nearly 50%. Straight-ticket Dem votes and votes for the Democratic nominee were up by larger numbers than for the GOP, but by much smaller percentages, since my precinct was already heavily Democratic. Voter turnout was low in 2012 and went up slightly. Straight-ticket votes went up as a percentage of the electorate for all parties except the U.S. Taxpayers (Constitution) and Green parties.

I checked the primary results for this precinct I live in, and it turns out Trump won the GOP primary there well in the double digits and Sanders won the Democratic primary by the same margins as in the rest of Michigan.

The situation for the more White-collar town I reside in was almost the opposite, with little change in voting patterns, high voter turnout in 2012, which declined slightly this year, and a clear low single-digit Democratic tilt -fewer votes for the Republican nominee, more votes for the Democratic. There was more straight-ticket voting for all parties except the U.S. Taxpayers and Natural Law parties.

Author: pithom

An atheist with an interest in the history of the ancient Near East. Author of the Against Jebel al-Lawz Wordpress blog.

14 thoughts on “What I Got Right and Wrong on the 2016 Election”

  1. I’ve always assumed you were a college student (probably a poli sci major, based on the amount of time you devote to studying electoral politics). Your description of your precinct and your characterization of your municipality as a “town” rather than a “city” sounds more like East Lansing than Ann Arbor. So my guess is you go to Michigan State. How close am I to correct in any of these surmises?

  2. Castle was my first choice! I’m not clear on how this election was a missed chance for him though. What do you mean?

    BTW now that you know sflicht is Jewish are you going to put triple parentheses around his name like you do for all other Jews and for stuff you don’t like?

    (Or maybe my pestering you about your use of the triple parentheses might influence you to double down and keep using it even after the Klan sees how stupid it is and abandons it.)

            1. I think it’s likely less than that, but either way you’ve made my point for me. Johnson is a former governor who’s had a somewhat high-profile 3rd party run in a previous election. McMullin, who was the highest-profile 3rd party candidate with politics anything like Castle’s, was barely a blip on the radar. Not much of an opportunity there.

              If Castle can be a legit contender (something at least like Ben Carson status) in the next GOP primary then that might be a good opportunity, even if he loses. But most Americans aren’t familiar with 3rd parties, at least not aside from the Greens and Libertarians.

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