Chart of the day

Adoption of new technology via Pew:


Why Obama voters became Trump voters

There weren’t a ton of those, but definitely enough to swing states like PA, MI, and WI.  Nice analysis from Political Scientsts Sean McElwee and Jason McDaniel looking at this and other questions.  Short version: attitudes towards diversity:

The CCAP data indicate that 9 percent of Obama 2012 voters switched to Trump in 2016, and about 5 percent of Romney 2012 voters defected from Trump by voting for Hillary Clinton, and 6 percent voted for another candidate. Perceiving growing racial diversity as a threat strongly predicts Obama to Trump vote switchers, and more positive attitudes towards diversity predict the probability that a Romney 2012 voter would defect from the Republican nominee in 2016. The chart below shows that among whites most accepting of diversity there was a predicted 33 percent chance of defecting, compared to a 2 percent chance for whites with the most negative views about rising diversity. Among whites with the most positive views of rising diversity, the model predicts a less than 2 percent chance of an Obama voter’s voting for Trump. This compares to a 50 percent chance of voting for Trump among whites with the most negative views of rising diversity. Moreover, our analysis indicates that these attitudes had a stronger effect on vote switchers than any other variable, including racial resentment and attitudes towards immigration.

I don’t doubt that these racial views have interesting interactions with feelings of economic anxiety, etc., but if there is one consistent thing through all the polling and election data, it is that racial views were very important in Trump’s win.

Photo of the day

Pretty cool Wired gallery of a modern steel factory.

Molten steel melts to 3000 degrees in the ladle.  RICKY RHODES

The real Republican health care plan

We have it.  It’s called the Affordable Care Act.  And Republican extreme dishonesty about the matter has helped put them in their current pickle. Good reminder on the matter from David Leonhardt:

You hear it from Republicans, pundits and even some Democrats. It’s often said in a tone of regret: I wish Obama had done health reform in a bipartisan way, rather than jamming through a partisan bill.

The lament seems to have the ring of truth, given that not a single Republican in Congress voted for Obamacare. Yet it is false —demonstrably so…

If Republicans still pass it [AHCA], they will take political ownership of the flawed American health care system — after making it much more flawed. Tom Cotton, the Republican senator from Arkansas, has said the bill is so bad that it would “put the House majority at risk next year.” On the other hand, if Republicans fail to pass their own bill, they’ll look weak and incompetent, which is also not a good look to voters.

How did the party’s leaders put themselves in this position? The short answer is that they began believing their own hype and set out to solve a problem that doesn’t exist…

So Democrats slowly moved their proposals to the right, relying more on private insurance rather than government programs. As they shifted, though, Republicans shifted even farther right. Bill Clinton’s plan was quite moderate but still couldn’t pass…

They embarked on a bipartisan approach. They borrowed from Mitt Romney’s plan in Massachusetts, gave a big role to a bipartisan Senate working group, incorporated conservative ideas and won initial support from some Republicans. The bill also won over groups that had long blocked reform, like the American Medical Association.

But congressional Republicans ultimately decided that opposing any bill, regardless of its substance, was in their political interest. [emphases mine] The consultant Frank Luntz wrote an influential memo in 2009 advising Republicans to talk positively about “reform” while also opposing actual solutions. McConnell, the Senate leader, persuaded his colleagues that they could make Obama look bad by denying him bipartisan cover…

The reason is simple enough: Obamacare is the bipartisan version of health reform. It accomplishes a liberal end through conservative means and is much closer to the plan conservatives favored a few decades ago than the one liberals did. “It was the ultimate troll,” as Michael Anne Kyle of Harvard Business School put it, “for Obama to pass Republican health reform.”

Today’s Republican Party has moved so far to the right that it no longer supports any plan that covers the uninsured. Of course, Republican leaders are not willing to say as much, because they know how unpopular that position is. Having run out of political ground, Ryan, McConnell and Trump have had to invent the notion of a socialistic Obamacare that they will repeal and replace with … something great! This morning they were also left to pretend that the Budget Office report was something less than a disaster.

Their approach to Obamacare has worked quite nicely for them, until now. Lying can be an effective political tactic. Believing your own alternative facts, however, is usually not so smart.

Yes, yes, and yes.  Leonhardt is totally spot-on.  And, of course, Republicans still lie to themselves about the history of this.  And, it is also worth emphasizing that not that long ago Republicans (other than Trump) used to at least pretend to like the idea of insuring more people (with actually adequate insurance).

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