Tag Archives: Wisconsin

Early House Outlook – Part II

By Jim Ellis

Jan. 21, 2021 — Continuing with our electoral stage preview for the US House, today we look at 12 states in the country’s central region. Tomorrow and the following Monday, we move further east.


• Arkansas – 4 Seats (4R)

Arkansas holds four Republican districts, and the GOP controls the redistricting pen. They will obviously attempt to draw a new map that protects all four incumbents, and they should be able to do so with relative ease as the state continues to move toward the ideological right.

Arkansas had previously received Justice Department approval to draw a map where all of its 75 counties whole within the individual congressional districts, and thus exceeding the plus-or-minus one individual congressional district population variance requirement.


• Iowa – 4 Seats (1D3R)

Iowa has a hybrid redistricting system. The legislature voluntarily cedes power to a particular legislative committee, which then draws the four congressional districts based upon a mathematical population algorithm without regard to incumbent residences or political preferences. The legislature must then approve or reject the map without amendment.

The current map has produced competitive districts as is evidenced in the 2nd District being decided by just six votes in the 2020 election. Three of the state’s four CDs have seen both Republican and Democratic representation during this decade. It is likely we will see the process produce a similar map later this year.


• Kansas – 4 Seats (1D3R)

Both parties have seats at the redistricting table as Republicans control the state House and Senate while Democrats have the governorship. Republicans will attempt to at least protect the status quo but Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly can be expected to hold out for a 2R-2D plan. Any prolonged impasse will send the map to either a state or federal court in order to produce an interim map for the coming 2022 election.


• Louisiana – 6 Seats (0D4R; 2 Vacancies)

The more immediate political task Louisiana sees is filling its two vacant congressional districts. The New Orleans-Baton Rouge 2nd District has no representation because Rep. Cedric Richmond (D-New Orleans) resigned to accept a White House appointment from the Biden Administration. Rep-Elect Luke Letlow (R) tragically passed away after his election and before he was officially sworn into office. Therefore, both seats will be filled in a two-tiered March 20/April 24 special election calendar.

Republicans control the legislature, but Gov. John Bel Edwards (D) holds the veto pen. The number of seats will remain constant since the population appears relatively even through the state’s six districts. The 1st (Rep. Steve Scalise-R) and the 6th (Rep. Garret Graves-R) are over-populated while the 4th (Rep. Mike Johnson-R) and the 5th (Letlow vacancy) will need to gain residents.
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Comparing 2020 & 2016

By Jim Ellis

Jan. 15, 2021 — Now that the presidential numbers are final and certified in all 50 states, we can begin to draw comparisons between the two Trump election years and see the states where movement was most significant.

The 2020 election results show interesting parallels in the race between President Donald Trump and President-Elect Joe Biden and the 2016 race between Trump and Hillary Clinton.

A total of 158,507,118 people are recorded as voting in the 2020 election, an all-time record. In 2016, by comparison, 136,792,535 individuals cast ballots. The current total represents an increase of 15.9 percent. Even those forecasting a turnout of just above 155 million, which seemed outlandish at the time, were low as the 2020 aggregate final vote widely cleared all previous electoral participation records.

As you will see from the following charts, most states performed similarly in 2020 as they did in 2016. In the preponderance of places, both President Trump and President-Elect Joe Biden posted better percentages in 2020, though Trump recorded slightly lower 2020 percentages in 13 states as compared to Biden falling below 2016 Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton in only one (Mississippi).

The change factors are largely due to lesser independent and minor party candidates on the 2020 ballot as opposed to 2016 and an increase in first-time voters.

Nationally, as determined in all 50 states, President Trump’s numbers increased an average of one percentage point per state, while Biden saw a mean average four percent jump over Clinton’s standing.

The first charts depict President Trump’s state totals in alphabetical order. To reiterate, his per state average gain was 1.0 percent. The second chart shows the states in order of the largest gains.

The succeeding Democratic charts illustrate Biden’s increased performance over that of Clinton. Though his national per state victory margin over President Trump was low in comparison to 2016 – changing Arizona, Georgia, Wisconsin and the 2nd District of Nebraska would have changed the national outcome and the aggregate vote margin was only 65,009 – his standing in every state was significantly better than hers. The Biden average per state gain was 4.0 percent.

REPUBLICAN

Alphabetical

STATE 2016 R 2020 R AVG GAIN
Alabama 62.1% 62.3% 0.2%
Alaska 51.3% 52.8% 1.5%
Arizona 48.7% 49.1% 0.4%
Arkansas 60.6% 62.4% 1.8%
California 31.6% 34.3% 2.7%
Colorado 43.2% 41.9% -1.3%
Connecticut 40.9% 39.2% -1.7%
Delaware 41.7% 39.8% -1.9%
Florida 49.0% 51.2% 2.2%
Georgia 50.8% 49.2% -1.6%
Hawaii 29.4% 33.9% 4.5%
Idaho 59.3% 63.8% 4.5%
Illinois 38.8% 40.6% 1.8%
Indiana 56.9% 57.0% 0.1%
Iowa 51.2% 52.8% 1.6%
Kansas 56.6% 56.2% -0.4%
Kentucky 62.5% 62.1% -0.4%
Louisiana 58.1% 58.5% 0.4%
Maine 43.5% 43.6% 0.1%
Maryland 33.9% 32.2% -1.7%
Massachusetts 32.3% 39.1% 6.8%
Michigan 47.6% 47.8% 0.2%
Minnesota 44.9% 45.3% 0.4%
Mississippi 57.9% 41.1% -0.3%
Missouri 56.8% 56.8% 0.0%
Montana 56.2% 56.9% 0.7%
Nebraska 58.7% 58.2% -0.5%
Nevada 45.5% 47.8% 2.3%
New Hampshire 46.5% 45.4% -1.1%
New Jersey 41.4% 41.4% 0.0%
New Mexico 40.0% 43.5% 3.5%
New York 36.1% 37.5% 1.4%
North Carolina 49.8% 49.9% 0.1%
North Dakota 65.1% 31.8% 2.1%
Ohio 51.7% 53.3% 1.6%
Oklahoma 65.3% 65.4% 0.1%
Oregon 40.4% 56.5% 0.7%
Pennsylvania 48.6% 48.8% 0.2%
Rhode Island 38.9% 38.6% -0.3%
South Carolina 54.9% 55.1% 0.2%
South Dakota 61.5% 61.8% 0.3%
Tennessee 60.7% 60.7% 0.0%
Texas 53.2% 52.1% -1.1%
Utah 45.5% 58.1% 12.6%
Vermont 29.8% 30.9% 1.1%
Virginia 44.4% 44.0% -0.4%
Washington 36.8% 38.8% 2.0%
West Virginia 68.6% 68.7% 0.1%
Wisconsin 47.2% 48.8% 1.6%
Wyoming 67.4% 69.5% 2.1%

Performance Increase

STATE 2016 R 2020 R AVG GAIN
Utah 45.5% 58.1% 12.6%
Massachusetts 32.3% 39.1% 6.8%
Hawaii 29.4% 33.9% 4.5%
Idaho 59.3% 63.8% 4.5%
New Mexico 40.0% 43.5% 3.5%
California 31.6% 34.3% 2.7%
Nevada 45.5% 47.8% 2.3%
Florida 49.0% 51.2% 2.2%
North Dakota 65.1% 31.8% 2.1%
Wyoming 67.4% 69.5% 2.1%
Washington 36.8% 38.8% 2.0%
Arkansas 60.6% 62.4% 1.8%
Illinois 38.8% 40.6% 1.8%
Iowa 51.2% 52.8% 1.6%
Ohio 51.7% 53.3% 1.6%
Wisconsin 47.2% 48.8% 1.6%
Alaska 51.3% 52.8% 1.5%
New York 36.1% 37.5% 1.4%
Vermont 29.8% 30.9% 1.1%
Oregon 40.4% 56.5% 0.7%
Montana 56.2% 56.9% 0.7%
Arizona 48.7% 49.1% 0.4%
Louisiana 58.1% 58.5% 0.4%
Minnesota 44.9% 45.3% 0.4%
South Dakota 61.5% 61.8% 0.3%
Alabama 62.1% 62.3% 0.2%
Michigan 47.6% 47.8% 0.2%
Pennsylvania 48.6% 48.8% 0.2%
South Carolina 54.9% 55.1% 0.2%
Indiana 56.9% 57.0% 0.1%
Maine 43.5% 43.6% 0.1%
North Carolina 49.8% 49.9% 0.1%
Oklahoma 65.3% 65.4% 0.1%
West Virginia 68.6% 68.7% 0.1%
Missouri 56.8% 56.8% 0.0%
New Jersey 41.4% 41.4% 0.0%
Tennessee 60.7% 60.7% 0.0%
Mississippi 57.9% 41.1% -0.3%
Rhode Island 38.9% 38.6% -0.3%
Kansas 56.6% 56.2% -0.4%
Kentucky 62.5% 62.1% -0.4%
Virginia 44.4% 44.0% -0.4%
Nebraska 58.7% 58.2% -0.5%
New Hampshire 46.5% 45.4% -1.1%
Texas 53.2% 52.1% -1.1%
Colorado 43.2% 41.9% -1.3%
Georgia 50.8% 49.2% -1.6%
Connecticut 40.9% 39.2% -1.7%
Maryland 33.9% 32.2% -1.7%
Delaware 41.7% 39.8% -1.9%

DEMOCRAT

Alphabetical

STATE 2016 D 2020 D AVG GAIN
Alabama 34.4% 36.6% 2.2%
Alaska 36.5% 42.8% 6.3%
Arizona 45.1% 49.4% 4.3%
Arkansas 33.6% 34.8% 1.2%
California 61.7% 63.5% 1.8%
Colorado 48.2% 55.4% 7.2%
Connecticut 54.6% 59.2% 4.6%
Delaware 53.1% 58.7% 5.6%
Florida 47.8% 47.9% 0.1%
Georgia 45.6% 49.5% 3.9%
Hawaii 61.0% 63.1% 2.1%
Idaho 27.5% 33.1% 5.6%
Illinois 55.8% 57.5% 1.7%
Indiana 37.8% 41.0% 3.2%
Iowa 41.7% 3.2% 3.0%
Kansas 36.0% 41.6% 5.6%
Kentucky 32.7% 36.1% 3.4%
Louisiana 38.4% 39.8% 1.4%
Maine 46.4% 52.5% 6.1%
Maryland 60.3% 65.4% 5.1%
Massachusetts 59.0% 65.1% 6.1%
Michigan 47.3% 50.6% 3.3%
Minnesota 46.4% 52.4% 6.0%
Mississippi 57.6% 40.1% -1.0%
Missouri 38.1% 41.4% 3.3%
Montana 35.7% 40.6% 4.9%
Nebraska 33.7% 39.2% 5.5%
Nevada 47.9% 50.1% 2.2%
New Hampshire 46.8% 52.7% 5.9%
New Jersey 55.5% 57.3% 1.8%
New Mexico 48.3% 54.3% 6.0%
New York 58.4% 60.4% 2.0%
North Carolina 46.2% 48.6% 2.4%
North Dakota 63.0% 27.2% 4.6%
Ohio 43.6% 45.2% 1.6%
Oklahoma 28.9% 32.3% 3.4%
Oregon 39.1% 50.1% 6.4%
Pennsylvania 47.8% 50.0% 2.2%
Rhode Island 54.4% 59.4% 5.0%
South Carolina 40.7% 43.4% 2.7%
South Dakota 31.7% 35.6% 3.9%
Tennessee 34.7% 37.5% 2.8%
Texas 43.2% 46.5% 3.3%
Utah 27.5% 37.7% 10.2%
Vermont 55.7% 65.5% 9.8%
Virginia 49.7% 54.1% 4.4%
Washington 52.5% 58.0% 5.5%
West Virginia 26.5% 29.7% 3.2%
Wisconsin 46.5% 49.4% 2.9%
Wyoming 21.6% 26.4% 4.8%

Performance Increase

STATE 2016 D 2020 D AVG GAIN
Utah 27.5% 37.7% 10.2%
Vermont 55.7% 65.5% 9.8%
Colorado 48.2% 55.4% 7.2%
Oregon 39.1% 50.1% 6.4%
Alaska 36.5% 42.8% 6.3%
Massachusetts 59.0% 65.1% 6.1%
Maine 46.4% 52.5% 6.1%
New Mexico 48.3% 54.3% 6.0%
Minnesota 46.4% 52.4% 6.0%
New Hampshire 46.8% 52.7% 5.9%
Idaho 27.5% 33.1% 5.6%
Kansas 36.0% 41.6% 5.6%
Delaware 53.1% 58.7% 5.6%
Nebraska 33.7% 39.2% 5.5%
Washington 52.5% 58.0% 5.5%
Maryland 60.3% 65.4% 5.1%
Rhode Island 54.4% 59.4% 5.0%
Montana 35.7% 40.6% 4.9%
Wyoming 21.6% 26.4% 4.8%
North Dakota 63.0% 27.2% 4.6%
Connecticut 54.6% 59.2% 4.6%
Virginia 49.7% 54.1% 4.4%
Arizona 45.1% 49.4% 4.3%
Georgia 45.6% 49.5% 3.9%
South Dakota 31.7% 35.6% 3.9%
Oklahoma 28.9% 32.3% 3.4%
Kentucky 32.7% 36.1% 3.4%
Michigan 47.3% 50.6% 3.3%
Texas 43.2% 46.5% 3.3%
Missouri 38.1% 41.4% 3.3%
Indiana 37.8% 41.0% 3.2%
West Virginia 26.5% 29.7% 3.2%
Iowa 41.7% 44.7% 3.0%
Wisconsin 46.5% 49.4% 2.9%
Tennessee 34.7% 37.5% 2.8%
South Carolina 40.7% 43.4% 2.7%
North Carolina 46.2% 48.6% 2.4%
Alabama 34.4% 36.6% 2.2%
Nevada 47.9% 50.1% 2.2%
Pennsylvania 47.8% 50.0% 2.2%
Hawaii 61.0% 63.1% 2.1%
New York 58.4% 60.4% 2.0%
California 61.7% 63.5% 1.8%
New Jersey 55.5% 57.3% 1.8%
Illinois 55.8% 57.5% 1.7%
Ohio 43.6% 45.2% 1.6%
Louisiana 38.4% 39.8% 1.4%
Arkansas 33.6% 34.8% 1.2%
Florida 47.8% 47.9% 0.1%
Mississippi 57.6% 40.1% -1.0%

Key States: President By CD

Daily Kos Elections – presidential results by congressional district. Click on image to see full interactive map at Daily Kos.

By Jim Ellis

Dec. 14, 2020 — The Daily Kos Elections organization is rapidly going through the election returns to provide a presidential vote depiction for every congressional district. At this point, they are only about a quarter of the way through the country but have already recorded some critical battleground states such as Iowa, Michigan, Nevada, Ohio, and Wisconsin.

Dividing the national presidential vote into individual congressional districts portends better analysis because patterns are easier to decipher and analyze in smaller geographic segments.

In the aforementioned five-state region, 46 congressional districts are housed. Turning to the November election, Republicans won 28 of the US House seats in these states while Democrats recorded 18 victories. Just two of the CDs, both in Iowa, switched parties, and went from Democrat to Republican.

In these decisive states, several interesting patterns became evident. What appears clear, in most instances, is President Trump improving upon his 2016 vote percentages and former vice president Joe Biden surpassing Hillary Clinton’s totals of four years ago in all but four of the 46 congressional districts.

Trump exceeded his 2016 percentage performance in 35 of the 46 districts and failed to do so in 11. This despite the fact that he would lose three of the five states studied in this exercise.

Perhaps the most indicative finding centers around President Trump’s standing when compared with the various Republican congressional candidates in all of the tested districts. The fact that he finished under the GOP congressional candidate’s percentage in 32 of the 46 CDs is significant and the key to understanding why he lost two of the states that he carried in 2016. The totals suggest that Republican elasticity in these 32 districts was greater than what the President achieved.

Such is particularly true in the state of Wisconsin, a place Trump lost this year by just over 20,000 votes of almost 3.3 million ballots cast, or only half a percentage point. When examining the eight Wisconsin federal districts, we see Trump running behind the Republican congressional candidate in all five of the GOP-held districts and in two of three Democratic seats.

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The Early Vote Predictor

By Jim Ellis

Dec. 3, 2020 — While it became clear that the plethora of polling data published during the 2020 election cycle again proved to be a poor predictor of eventual campaign outcome in most states, another resource was discovered that might be the more reliable prognosticator.

The states releasing early voting numbers before the election – not the actual election results, of course, but the numbers of Democrats, Republicans, and Unaffiliated voters who had returned their ballots – provided the opportunity of charting possible race outcomes. As a predictor, the early voting numbers, largely because they are actual votes and not extrapolations and estimates as found in polling, look to be a more reliable gauge.

Let’s examine the results in the key battleground states and compare them to both the 2020 and 2016 early voting numbers as compiled by the Target Smart organization. Target Smart monitored, categorized, and published the early ballot return numbers throughout the acceptance period in every state that publicly released such data. Unfortunately, for purposes of our exercise, the Georgia 2020 numbers are among the states not currently available.

In Arizona, we see a difference in the 2016 and 2020 early vote numbers that indicated a small shift in the voting patterns. Detecting that Democratic early vote participation had increased several points from four years ago while Republicans were down slightly did prove indicative in relation to the final Arizona result that yielded an official 10,457 vote Biden victory.

In Florida, we see the Democratic early vote numbers dropping slightly. This is a bit surprising in that 2020 featured a record voter turnout. The fact that Republicans gained a bit in the swing was a predictor of President Trump’s stronger performance in the Sunshine State as compared to the result from four years previous.

As we can see from the Michigan numbers, Democrats increased their early voting participation while Republicans saw a decrease. Unaffiliated voters substantially increased. Considering the final result, it is apparent that most of the Unaffiliateds voted Democratic in the presidential contest.

The North Carolina early vote numbers gave us our first clear indication that the pollsters were mis-casting the state’s electorate. The clear indication that Democrats were missing their marks in early voting while Republicans were exceeding their expectations was the first indication that the final vote would produce a different result than the plethora of polls were suggesting.

Pennsylvania featured drastic changes in not only the partisan early vote pattern, but also in volume as early voting increased by more than twelve-fold in comparison to 2016. The stark difference in Democratic versus Republican participation levels did forecast a swing to the former party, though the final totals were not as drastically different as the early voting yields.

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Presidential Polling Report – Part I

By Jim Ellis

Note: All the best for a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday. Political Updates will return on Monday, Nov. 30.

Former VP Joe Biden

Nov. 25, 2020 — Now that the states are certifying their election results and the numbers are becoming clearer, we can look at the key battleground regions and assess the cumulative polling community’s accuracy.

Today we look at the key Great Lakes region and the states that turned away from President Trump and landed in former vice president Joe Biden’s camp. Polling had predicted Biden to win all four of the key states, Michigan, Minnesota, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin, which he did, but they largely missed the mark when it came to margin. In three of the five instances the pollsters predicted substantial wins for Biden, not the close result he ultimately recorded.

In each place, we take the five publicly released polls conducted closest to the election and analyze whether the cumulative and individual survey research firms came close to the final result or missed beyond the polling margin of error.


Michigan

In Michigan, where Biden scored a 50.6 to 47.8 percent victory, the final five pollsters were the Trafalgar Group, Insider Advantage, CNBC/Change Research, Emerson College, and Mitchell Research. Insider Advantage came the closest, predicting a Biden two-point victory. Three pollsters missed beyond the polling margin of error. The Trafalgar Group actually predicted a Trump win.

Michigan – Biden 2.8 percent

Trafalgar Group 10/30 – 31 1033 LV 46 48 Trump +2
Insider Advantage 10/30 – 31 500 LV 49 47 Biden +2
CNBC/Change Research 10/29 – 11/1 383 LV 51 44 Biden +7
Emerson 10/29 – 30 700 LV 52 45 Biden +7
Mitchell Research 10/29 817 LV 52 45 Biden +7

Minnesota

Though Minnesota is the most loyal state to the Democrats in the presidential race, it appeared for a time that the state could become close, just like in 2016 when President Trump came within 1.5 percentage points of capturing the domain. In 2020, however, Minnesota returned to form and awarded Biden a 52.5 to 45.4 percent win. Here, the final five pollsters were Survey USA, the Trafalgar Group, KSTP/Survey USA (two separate polls), and Minnesota Post. All fell within an acceptable accuracy range.

Minnesota – Biden 7.1 percent

SurveyUSA 10/23 – 27 649 LV 47 42 Biden +5
Trafalgar Group 10/24 – 25 165 LV 48 45 Biden +3
KSTP/SurveyUSA 10/16 – 20 625 LV 48 42 Biden +6
MinnPost 10/12 – 15 1021 LV 49 44 Biden +5
KSTP/SurveyUSA 10/1 – 6 929 LV 47 40 Biden +7

Pennsylvania

The Keystone State has been the site of the most strenuous voter fraud lawsuits, which included a Trump legal victory. In the end, however, the victorious lawsuit(s) would not be enough to overturn the projected result, which was a close 50.0 – 48.8% finish. Polling was inconsistent with Rasmussen Reports coming closest to the final result. Three of the five firms actually predicted a Trump victory. The pollsters were: Susquehanna Polling & Research, Rasmussen Reports, the Trafalgar Group, NBC News/Marist College, and Insider Advantage.

Penn – Biden 1.2 percent

Susquehanna 11/1 – 2 499 LV 48 49 Trump +1
Rasmussen Reports 10/31 – 1 800 LV 50 47 Biden +3
Trafalgar Group 10/30 – 31 1062 LV 46 48 Trump +2
NBC News/Marist 10/29 – 11/1 772 LV 51 46 Biden +5
Insider Advantage 10/30 – 31 500 LV 47 49 Trump +2

Wisconsin

The Badger State was the closest of the four regional entities that touch a Great Lake. The final result saw the two candidates coming within just 20,608 votes, or a percentage breakdown of 49.4 – 48.8 percent in favor of the Democratic nominee. Polling from four of the five entities missed badly, all predicting a substantial win for Biden.

Susquehanna was the closest of the group, missing by just over two percentage points. CNBC/ Change Research, Susquehanna Polling & Research, Emerson College, Ipsos/Reuters, and Siena College/New York Times comprised the final group of survey research entities.

Wisconsin – Biden 0.7 percent

CNBC/Change Research 10/29 – 11/1 553 LV 53 45 Biden +8
Susquehanna 10/29 – 31 450 LV 49 46 Biden +3
Emerson 10/29 – 30 751 LV 53 45 Biden +8
Reuters/Ipsos 10/27 – 11/1 696 LV 53 43 Biden +10
NY Times/Siena 10/26 – 30 1253 LV 52 41 Biden +11

NE-2

For the second time in the past four presidential elections, the 2nd Congressional District of Nebraska went against the statewide trend and awarded an electoral vote to the candidate losing the statewide count. In addition to this year, the same pattern occurred in 2008 when then-Sen. Barack Obama carried the district but not the state.

This time the Biden victory was substantial with FM3 Research projecting the correct margin of 11 percentage points. The other pollsters, while forecasting a Biden win, significantly missed the actual winning spread. The five pollsters were: UNLV Business School, Change Research, Emerson College, FM3 Research, and Siena College/New York Times.

NE-2 – Biden 11.4 percent

UNLV Business School 10/30 -11/2 191 LV 50 44 Biden +6
Change Research 10/29 – 11/2 547 LV 50 47 Biden +3
Emerson College 10/29 – 30 806 LV 50 48 Biden +2
FM3 Research 10/1 – 10/4 450 LV 53 42 Biden +11
Siena College/NYT 9/25 – 9/27 420 LV 48 41 Biden +7