Possible lessons for Democrats: advocating gun control can cost you a presidential election. Appealing to pro-gun Democrats and independents, the National Rifle Association took credit for Trump’s 2016 victories in big hunting states like Pennsylvania, Ohio, and possibly Florida, Michigan and North Carolina. That, along with the abandonment of Clinton by anti-Trump Greens and Libertarians in states like Wisconsin may be part of what sealed Hillary Clinton’s fate.
FBI Director James Comey’s announcement that he was reopening the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s emails probably cost her three or four percentage points and the election in Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Florida, possibly Arizona and even North Carolina, according to a detailed post-election analysis of polling in key states by Fivethirtyeight.com.
Political journalists “may have given hyperbolic coverage to the Comey letter in part because they misanalyzed the Electoral College and wrongly concluded that Clinton was a sure thing. And Comey himself may have released his letter in part because of his overconfidence in Clinton’s chances. It’s a mess — so let’s see what we can do to untangle it,” Nate Silver writes in his analysis.
There have been lots of suggestions that flawed polls gave Clinton a sense of over-confidence and caused the media to falsely report that she was way ahead in the horse race. But the American Association for Public Opinion Research has concluded that national polls were generally correct and accurate by historical standards; but that state polls “had a historically bad year in terms of forecasting outcomes in the states,” with a five percent absolute error, greatest since 2000. Late changes in voter choices in key states did not give state polls enough time to accurately measure the trend.
Trump’s support was also under-estimated, AAPO concluded, because pollsters’ failed to weight by education (college educated voters were over-represented).
At the same time, AAPO pointed out that some theories about flawed and biased polls were incorrect. There is no evidence that national pollsters are historically biased in favor of Democrats (in previous elections, 2012 and 2000, they under-estimated Democratic support), little evidence that shy Trump voters were reluctant to tell pollsters their true preference because they feared it was socially unacceptable; and little evidence that growing non-response rates from fewer telephone interviews caused pollsters to presume those who didn’t respond supported Clinton.
A voter suppression law in Wisconsin prevented 200,000 people from voting legitimately, because they didn’t have authorized IDs, according to a study by Priorities USA, a progressive advocacy organization.
The study, shared with The Nation magazine, “compared turnout in states that adopted strict voter-ID laws between 2012 and 2016, like Wisconsin, to states that did not,” Ari Sherman writes.
While states with no change to voter identification laws witnessed an average increased turnout of +1.3% from 2012 to 2016, Wisconsin’s turnout (where voter ID laws changed to strict) dropped by -3.3%. If turnout had instead increased by the national no-change average, we estimate that over 200,000 more voters would have voted in Wisconsin in 2016….
Government Accountability Office, which found that strict voter-ID laws in Kansas and Tennessee reduced turnout by 2 percent, enough to swing a close election, with the largest drop-off among newly registered voters, young voters, and voters of color.he Priorities USA study is consistent with a 2014 study by the
Did purists who voted for Green candidate Jill Stein or Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson cost Clinton the election in key states? Bill Maher seems to think so. So did some other analysts.
Dec 2, 2016 – Jill Stein spoiled the 2016 election for Hillary Clinton … total number of votes received byGreen Party nominee Jill Stein in each of those states:.
Nov 9, 2016 – Third Party Votes Could Have Cost Hillary Clinton the Presidency … Between 2.30 a.m. ET, when Donald Trump won the U.S. presidential election, and 11.00 … her support for the Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein.
Nate Cohn of the NYT offers a more skeptical analysis of why Clinton lost, not just the Comey letter. He points to a Florida poll just before the Comey letter was released showing Trump with a four-point lead in Florida. “Several other polls were conducted over the same period that showed Mr. Trump gaining quickly on Mrs. Clinton in the days ahead of the Comey letter,” he wrote.