Tag Archives: Independents

Presidential Trends

By Jim Ellis — Friday, July 28, 2023


Are Trump and Biden locks for their respective parties?

Presidential Trends: Biden, Trump Party Nominations Look Inevitable — Heading toward August of the off-year, we are seeing clear presidential trends already developing.

President Joe Biden will be renominated. Despite Robert F. Kennedy Jr. being in the primary race and attracting some media attention, the Democratic process will almost assuredly be a non-event.

Trends are also clear for former President Donald Trump. He continues to lead in all polling and has actually gotten stronger within the party base after the series of indictments were leveled against him.

The Morning Consult data and research firm released a graph of the candidates’ progress from December of 2022 through the present. The latest result from their daily online track finds Trump now approaching 60 percent support nationally. In December, he was right at 50 support, but then generally dropped into the 40s through February but has continued to gain strength ever since.

The perennial second-place candidate, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, is now trending in the opposite direction. Beginning with 30 support national support in late December, Gov. DeSantis now finds himself languishing in the teens according to most GOP surveys.

The trajectory for most of the second-tier candidates has also been upward. Aside from Gov. DeSantis, who has fallen, and former Vice President Mike Pence and ex-UN Ambassador Nikki Haley, who have remained virtually stagnant, businessman Vivek Ramaswamy, Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC), and North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum have all improved their standing. Ex-New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has bolted onto the scene but appears to be running to deny Trump, and while he is moving into the middle of the pack, it is difficult to see how his support grows from the Republican Party’s relatively small “Never Trump” faction.

As we know, national polls do not deliver any delegate votes to the candidates. Those, of course, are won at the state level through public voting, so it is important to follow the state data to get a true indication of the nomination contest’s ebbs and flows.

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New Data in Mississippi Gov. Race

By Jim Ellis

Mississippi Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves (R)

Oct. 24, 2019 — One of the more intriguing current elections is the Mississippi governor’s campaign. Here, GOP Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves is attempting to continue the Magnolia State Republican advantage, since the only Democrat to clinch the top elected job since the 1991 election is Ronnie Musgrove in 1999. Prior to Kirk Fordice winning in ’91, Democrats had held the governorship for 116 consecutive years.

Reeves arguably faces the strongest Mississippi Democratic opponent in this century’s state politics. Attorney General Jim Hood (D) has won four consecutive statewide elections to his current position, making him the most successful Democratic politician in the Deep South.

A just released Mason-Dixon Polling & Strategy survey (Oct. 17-19; 625 registered Mississippi voters) finds the electorate breaking closely between the two contenders, as Reeves leads AG Hood, 46-43 percent according to the ballot test responses.

But the Mississippi election, going to the voters on Nov. 5, has an interesting caveat. Winning a statewide majority is not enough to be elected governor. In addition to reaching the 50 percent plateau for the statewide vote, a candidate also must carry a majority of the state’s 122 (meaning 62) state House of Representatives’ districts.

If neither candidate wins both a majority of votes and districts, then the state House members will cast their own votes to choose the next governor. With Republicans holding a 74-44 state House majority with 2 Independents and two vacancies, the chances of the GOP nominee carrying the majority of districts are high, and the Republican winning a vote among House members is a virtual certainty.

According to Mason-Dixon, the two candidates’ favorability indexes are similar. Reeves records a 41:26 percent positive to negative ratio, while Hood posts a 39:29 percent favorable score.

Most of the segments break as one would expect: Democrats going for Hood, 87-2 percent; Republicans favoring Reeves, 82-8 percent. Men favor Reeves, 50-38 percent, while women choose Hood in a 47-43 percent cut. The under 50 years of age segment leans to Hood 46-41 percent, while the over 50 group chooses Reeves, 51-39 percent. Whites support Reeves, 66-24 percent, and blacks back Democrat Hood in their typical division, 80-7 percent.

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Understanding Independent Voters

By Jim Ellis

March 20, 2019 — In most elections, particularly in today’s polarized political climate, the independent vote is often the determining factor. As the non-affiliated share grows within the American electorate, these individuals become even more important.

But, who are the independents and how different are they from the average partisan Republican or Democrat? The Pew Research Center released a new study at the end of last week about the independent voter. Their data sources were a compilation of polls taken during the past few years, up to and including 2019.

The Pew conclusions are interesting in that the study basically reveals the lion’s share of independents align very closely with partisan Republicans and Democrats. Or, in other words, they generally vote with one party or the other, hold similar views and values as one of the major parties, but don’t want to associate themselves with the particular entity.

Based upon the sourced data, Pew denotes that approximately 38 percent of the electorate considers themselves to be independent. This compares with 31 percent who self-identify as Democrats and 26 percent who say they are Republican. Within the aggregate independent segment, 46 percent align with the Democrats while 35 percent identify with Republicans. Therefore, 19 percent of this group can be considered the true swing voter.

While those identifying more closely with the Republican Party are fewer, they have a higher voter turnout proclivity. According to the 2018 midterm election statistics, 54 percent of the Independent/Lean Republicans cast a ballot versus 48 percent of those generally identifying with the Democrats. The greater turnout figure for Republicans, even in a more Democratic year like 2018, suggest that the two parties are basically at parity within the independent voting sector.

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