Friday, April 29, 2016

Divergent Movements in PA Primary in Cambria County for Bernie and Trump

2016 Election Map for PA Democratic Primary
The headlines from this year's Pennsylvania Primary were that Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump have all but clinched the nomination of their respective parties for President with their wins on April 26.  Clinton won Pennsylvania with 55% of the vote while Trump won with 57% carrying all 67 counties.  In every election with millions of participants there are millions of stories that don't get reported.  

The county map above shows that Sanders won 31 out of 67 counties.  The results were close in many counties.  Bedford County was the closest in the state with Clinton beating Sanders by 5 votes.  Many counties were decided by a few hundred votes.  The outcome in some counties may change when absentee ballots are included.  Philadelphia County had the biggest margin for Clinton with 63% of the vote.  Columbia County was largest for Sanders with 58% of the vote. 

In Cambria County where I was organizing for Bernie we had a group of 30 volunteers (some of whom are pictured below at the election night party) canvass, leaflet, and phone bank for Bernie in Cambria County for the last 3 weeks of the campaign.  The Clinton campaign sent in Bill Clinton and volunteers from Arkansas a week after.  We covered the city of Johnstown and made it as far north as Ebensburg and Loretto.  The results on the Cambria County office of elections gives the following results that show Sanders won here by 537 votes out of 18,857 cast.





Roque Rocky De La




The group of volunteers who made it happen for Bernie Sanders in Cambria County
For comparison below is the election map for the PA primary in 2008.  Clinton won it by a similar margin with 55% of the vote but the pattern of wins by county was very different.  Obama won only 7 counties but winning 45% of the vote.  Turnout was higher that year with 2.3 million voting compared to 1.6 million voting this year in the democratic primary.  

For Cambria County, Clinton won there with 72% of the vote in 2008 with 31,643 turning out.  The turnout was down by 40% countywide in 2016 compared to a 29% decrease statewide.  This decrease may be partly explained by a decrease in population in the county (5.1% decrease or approximately 7,000 since 2010) and by reports of 61,000 Democrats statewide switching to Republicans presumably to vote for Donald Trump.  18,000 of which are in the southwest corner of the state.
2008 Election Map for PA Democratic Primary

For the Republicans, turnout was about 50% higher in the County and statewide partly due to Democrats switching sides and also due to there being a competitive primary which hasn't happened for Pennsylvania Republicans since 1980.  Donald Trump won the county with 65% or 10,795 votes out of 16,478 cast which is higher than Trump's percentage for the state.  

The outcomes of the primaries in both parties suggest that both sides are unhappy with politics as usual and their economic conditions in both the state as a whole and more so in Cambria County.  Our group took steps to address these concerns in a different manner than the Trump supporters.  Not by scapegoating foreigners but by addressing economic inequality.  There are some areas of agreement between Trump and Sanders supporters on free trade agreements being bad for the economy and the Iraq war being a big mistake.  To build a long term effective coalition one needs more than just fear to hold it together.  The primary shows that Cambria County can be fertile ground for Sanders' as well as Trump's ideas.  Time will tell which ideas will grow the most.

**Related Posts**

2014 Income and Poverty Update for Pennsylvania and Cambria County 

In Johnstown, PA to Organize for Bernie

Which Religious Group Supports Trump the Most?

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Buyers Remose for Hillary Voters

In my last post I spoke of how Bernie Sanders has moved into a statistical tie with Hillary Clinton in the national polls since April 9.  It recently occurred to me that at this point most of the Democrats in the US has had their primaries or caucuses.  35 states have voted including New York which voted last night.  15 states, 4 territories, and the District of Columbia have yet to vote.  

Looking at the Real Clear Politics tally of the popular vote from the primaries.  Clinton has had 57.4% of the popular vote in the contests so far.  Not included in the total are caucuses like Iowa which only report the county delegates that are selected.  Utah's caucus was a quasi primary where participants filled out paper ballots so they are included in the total.  The relative size of the caucus states not included (many of which Bernie won in landslides) is relatively small and would not narrow this gap appreciably.

The national nature of these polls should include many states that have already voted at a time when Hillary Clinton had a 10 to 20 point lead in the national polls.  An interesting question is how have voter preferences changed in those states since their contests.  Is there buyers remorse among the Hillary voters?  Another issue is how many of these voters were unable to vote in their states such as those in Arizona and New York due to either stringent laws or inadequate polling facilities.  Many polls in the states yet to vote still show Hillary with a lead which seems to lend credence to the buyers remorse argument.  These issues have yet to be resolved and I haven't seen documentation in the polls to answer these questions.

These issues could spell trouble for Clinton if she were to win the nomination and/or the election making it hard to govern.  The conditions could still be ripe for a primary challenger in 2020.

**Related Posts**

Iowa Caucus Coin Toss Math

Bernie Sanders Lead in Iowa and NH but not SC: Inside the Numbers

Deep South Primaries

Progressive Soul Searching in Wisconsin, PA, & other Red Gov. States



Friday, April 15, 2016

Facebook and Twitter Primary: The Final Five

RCP % Avg
Facebook Followers
FB Engaged
Engagement Rate
FB Followers Dec
FB Gain
% chg FB
Twitter Followers APR
Twitter Dec
Twitter gain
% chg Twitter
Hillary Clinton
Bernie Sanders

Donald Trump
Ted Cruz
John Kasich

Since looking at the national Facebook and Twitter numbers in December, the Democratic numbers have tightened considerably and the Republican field has winnowed down from 17 candidates to 3.  Two of the three are there to prevent Donald Trump from getting the 1,237 delegates he needs to win the nomination on the first ballot.  Bernie Sanders continues to challenge Hillary Clinton's lead in delegates.

While pulling even with Hillary Clinton in the RCP national poll average Sanders has surpassed her in the number of Facebook followers, the number of followers engaged on Facebook, and gain in followers.  Hillary Clinton still has a big advantage in the number of followers on Twitter with 5.9 million to Sanders' 1.9 million.  According to the site 79% of Clinton's Twitter followers are real while 89% of Sanders' followers are real.  Over this time period both candidates were about equal in the gain in followers with a larger % gain in Sanders account.

For the Republicans, Trump maintains a sizeable lead in Twitter and Facebook followers.  The number engaged is likewise high though the engagement rate is second to John Kasich.  Though in third place in the polls, Kasich has had the largest increase in followers on both sites in the % gain since December.  According to 76% of Trump's Twitter followers are real, 83% of Cruz followers are real, and 88% of Kasich followers are real.

How much of a factor will the candidates social media presence play in the crucial upcoming primaries in New York, Pennsylvania, California and several other remaining states?  The answer seems to be yes for winning the nomination.  Will this presence translate into success in the general election?  So far for Donald Trump, who leads all candidates in Facebook and Twitter followers but not in the engagement rate, the answer is no when it comes to the general election polls.  In the long run, the number engaged with your posts may be what matters most for the candidates.

**Related Posts** 

Twitter and Facebook Primary Democratic Update: Engagement Matters Most

Twitter and Facebook Primary Update: The GOP Stretch Run

2016 Facebook Presidential Primary Update: Engagement and Gain

The Ethics of Social Media Manipulation