Quick hits (part II)

1) YouGov’s Doug Rivers with a thoughtful take on polling and the election.

2) Andrew Gelman on the 2% shift in opinion.

3) I love this.  Maybe the bubble is rural America:

To pin this election on the coastal elite is a cop-out. It’s intellectually dishonest, and it’s beneath us.

We, as a culture, have to stop infantilizing and deifying rural and white working-class Americans. Their experience is not more of a real American experience than anyone else’s, but when we say that it is, we give people a pass from seeing and understanding more of their country. More Americans need to see more of the United States. They need to shake hands with a Muslim, or talk soccer with a middle aged lesbian, or attend a lecture by a female business executive.

We must start asking all Americans to be their better selves. We must all understand that America is a melting pot and that none of us has a more authentic American experience.

If we pin this election on coastal elites, we are excusing white working-class and rural Americans for voting for a man accused of violating the Fair Housing Act by refusing to rent apartments to black people. If we pin this election on coastal elites, we are excusing white working-class and rural Americans for voting for a man who called Mexicans rapists, drug dealers and criminals. If we pin this election on coastal elites, we are excusing white working-class and rural Americans for voting for a man who called for a complete ban on Muslim immigration.

I have friends and acquaintances who are Trump supporters. They genuinely do not understand today’s shock, particularly from minorities. These Trump supporters do not understand that many minorities believe the people who voted for Trump endorse his racism and bigotry — that those voters care more about sending a message to the political establishment than they do about the rights and welfare of human beings.

4) I’m feeling guilty for readily believing the data that said Trump out-performed Romney with Hispanics.  Latino Decisions explains that it is quite likely sampling issues with the exit polls.  As expected, Trump actually did get killed among Latinos.

5) My mentor from way back in my undergrad days put together a nice set of links to help people make sense of the election.

6) Larry Bartels makes a compelling case (to be fair, I’ve never not been persuaded of anything by Larry Bartels) that this was a pretty ordinary election and definitely not a realignment:

An extraordinary campaign has produced a remarkably ordinary election outcome, primarily reflecting partisan patterns familiar from previous election cycles…

Most state election outcomes were also surprisingly consistent with past voting patterns…

The impression of partisan stability suggested by the state-level results for 2016 is generally echoed in national exit polls, which showed Clinton winning 89 percent of the vote among Democratic identifiers and Trump winning 90 percent among Republicans. These percentages precisely match those in 2008, the last time there was no incumbent president on the ballot. (The corresponding percentages in 2012 were only slightly higher, 92 percent and 93 percent.) To a good approximation, Trump won because the overwhelming majority of Republicans voted for the Republican candidate, undeterred by the qualms of party leaders and conservative intellectuals.

7) Interesting piece from Obama’s campaign manager, David Plouffe, about what he got wrong about this election.

8) If you are one of my twitter followers, you know that I way upped my twitter usage during this election.  I don’t think I’ll “break up” now, but will try and cut back significantly.  Farhad Manjoo with a nice column on election obsessions on twitter.

9) Pretty damn sure my kids are going to be life-long voters.  We’ve been voting as a family for as long as I can remember.  And as we never miss a primary or municipal election, the kids have had many opportunities to vote with us.  And the social science says this really matters:

When it comes to casting our votes, we tend to assume that showing up at the polling booth is driven by the issues at stake. But there’s some evidence to indicate that voting habits are just that, habits, shaped in part by the practices and routines of our parents when we’re still too young to vote…

But voting as a family routine? It turns out that there is evidence in the world of political science and public policy research that lifelong voting habits are formed in childhood and adolescence, and that those issues of routine and habit may be important in determining voter behavior and therefore election results…

It’s about seeing your parents vote, as you’re growing up, and it’s also about political discussions in the home, so those family dinner routines that pediatricians like to recommend may contribute as well. And it’s even about participating in political activities — rallies, protests, student government elections — as part of growing up.

“Voting behavior is very much a habit,” said Henry Brady, dean of the Goldman School of Public Policy at the University of California, Berkeley. “If you’ve had the behavior modeled in your home by your parents consistently voting, by political discussion, sometimes by participation, you start a habit formation and then when you become a little older you’ll feel it’s your duty and responsibility to register and vote.” Civics courses are much less effective in transmitting that sense of duty and responsibility, he said.

10) Samantha Bee’s response to the election.  She is not happy with white people.

11) This tweetstorm from David Frum is amazing.  Drum is kind enough to assemble it into a blog post.

12) I think this take from Charles Lane is scary.  And right:

The Trump White House response could well be “He was right about the election, when everyone else said he was wrong, so who are you to say he’s not right about this, too?” — on Russia, immigration or anything else.

Add to that the fact that some of the Republicans who were reelected to the Senate or the House arguably owe their upset victories to Trump’s coattails, and you have a formula for Trump domination of the GOP establishment, not the opposite.

13) Seth Masket on how the polls got Clinton right and Trump wrong.

14) Not sure I’ve mentioned lately how much the electoral college sucks (and lest anybody thinks this is sour grapes, I’ve been ranting against it since I first taught a college class in 1998).

15) Chait’s post-election take on how Clinton’s “dishonesty” shaped the race:

The belief that Clinton is a dishonest and even criminal figure was the most important dynamic of the race. Polls showed, incredibly, that voters rated her less “honest and trustworthy” than her opponent — a man who lies with a frequency and brazenness unknown in American political history, who will baldly present steaks still bearing the label of the supermarket where they were purchased and tell the national media they are from his long-defunct line of branded steaks. This is a man facing trial for massive fraud for running a scam university.

Clinton’s own failures contributed to her image. Paranoia and terrible judgment caused her to bypass proper email etiquette, and greed led her and her husband to dangle their foundation and lucrative speaking business with the prospect of future access. It is fair that Clinton is not seen as a paragon of virtue. But it is absurd that she is seen as criminal, or coming within an order of magnitude of Trump’s dishonesty. That a figure of unparalleled secrecy and self-dealing managed to position himself as the candidate of relative honesty and good government is a staggering failure of the electoral process.

It took not only Clinton’s own contributions but months of attacks by Bernie Sanders on corruption related to big money and an allegedly “rigged” primary win. It took simultaneous sabotage by leaks by Russian intelligence and a cabal of right-wing FBI agents, the latter of which ultimately pressured the bureau’s director to shatter precedent and float charges against her in the race’s final lap. And it required the cooperation of the news media, which made the mundane email story the central frame with which it explained Clinton to America. The emails received more media attention than all policy issues combined. No wonder casual news consumers rationally concluded that Clinton was hopelessly corrupt. That perception cost her a decisive chunk of Obama’s 2012 voters and current job-approvers.

16) Of course Trump’s presidency will be a policy disaster for the white working class.  But at least they won’t have to put up with “political correctness”!!

17) Ezra Klein’s election-day reminder of why Trump promised to make such an awful president.  A comprehensive summary worth bookmarking.  But, hey, at least he tells it like it is!

Somebody recently tweeted that this New Yorker cartoon (which I hopefully shared before) is really the story of the election:

18) Brian Beutler’s pre-election-day take on how the media let Trump skate through with an incredibly low bar.  “Look, he can successfully read off a teleprompter and go a whole week without egregiously offending someone!”

19) Jay Rosen’s excellent reflections on Trump and the media:

Trump’s campaign was “openly intended to distort reality” because that is a show of power. Power over his followers. Over the other candidates he humiliated and drove from the race. Over party officials who tried to bring him to heel. And over the journalists who tried to “check” and question him.

One of the first observations the checkers made about Trump is that he doesn’t care when his statements are shown to have no basis in fact. As Glenn Kessler, the Washington Post’s Fact Checker, put it: “What’s unusual about Trump is he’s a leading candidate and he seems to have no interest in getting important things factually correct.” The more astute journalists were aware that something different and threatening was going on. In December of 2015 Maggie Haberman and Patrick Healy of the New York Times made this observation:

Trump uses rhetoric to erode people’s trust in facts, numbers, nuance, government and the news media, according to specialists in political rhetoric. “Nobody knows,” he likes to declare, where illegal immigrants are coming from or the rate of increase of health care premiums under the Affordable Care Act, even though government agencies collect and publish this information. He insists that Mr. Obama wants to accept 250,000 Syrian migrants, even though no such plan exists…

A political campaign intended to erode people’s trust in facts is an attack on the very possibility that journalists can inform those people. But Trump went beyond that. He tried to substitute his world for the one we actually live in,

20) Love this interactive precinct-level map of North Carolina voting from the NYT.

`21) Love David Remnick’s angry post-election take.  Read all of it.

 

About Steve Greene
Professor of Political Science at NC State http://faculty.chass.ncsu.edu/shgreene

5 Responses to Quick hits (part II)

  1. Mika says:

    #6 Once upon a time Larry Bartels replied to my comment that I wrote at the old Monkey Cage -blog. He started it: “Yes, very helpful–and even more supportive of Frum’s point than I would have guessed.” That was pretty cool. To say the least. He continued his reply with “However,..” but that was pretty cool also.

    http://themonkeycage.org/2012/02/charles-murray-does-a-tucker-carlson-provoking-me-to-unleash-the-usual-torrent-of-graphs/

  2. R. Jenrette says:

    #14 Electoral College
    I want to get rid of it too but can the rural states stop such a Constitutional change? Why would they willingly give up the power their voters have compared to big states’ voters?

  3. rgbact says:

    #4 is interesting. I’m usually skeptical of a partisan outfit like Latino Decisions…..but I don’t see how its mathematically possible for Hillary to have such a huge improvement in states like California, Texas, and Arizona…..with Trump actually performing better than Romney with Latinos.

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