https://www.breitbart.com/2020-election ... ral-votes/Prof Who Predicted 40-Seat Blue Wave Guarantees Trump 2020 Defeat: Dem Starts with 278 Electoral Votes
TONY LEE 21 Aug 2019 1,103
A Christopher Newport University professor who accurately predicted that Democrats would flip 40 House seats in the 2018 midterm elections believes that President Donald Trump will lose the 2020 election because the Democrat challenging him will begin the race with 278 Electoral College votes. Rachel Bitecofer, the “assistant director of the Judy Ford Wason Center for Public Policy at Christopher Newport University in Newport News, Virginia,” told MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell on Tuesday evening that her model has Trump down 278 Electoral College votes even before Iowa, North Carolina, Florida, and Arizona are decided. She believes that Florida will likely go for Trump because of the state’s older voters, but that still won’t be enough for Trump to win back the White House.
Bitecofer also told O’Donnell this week that “the election of Donald Trump is a needed kerosene on” a “lazy and complacent Democrat electorate” that was taking former President Barack Obama’s coattails for granted and “didn’t show up in big numbers in 2016” because they “took for granted that Trump would not be elected.” According to Bitecofer, Democrats will not be complacent in 2020, and she argues that Democrats will be better off turning out their base than trying to persuade the mythical moderate swing voter.
“My model for 2020 starts off with Democrats at 278 Electoral College votes, and that’s a problem for Trump, because of course you need 270 to win. It does that because of my model’s prediction, based on turnout and predicted vote share, that Pennsylvania and Michigan will slip back to the Democrats,” she recently told Salon. “I’m uncertain about Ohio, but even if Trump wins Ohio, he can’t win the other three Midwestern states. Then as you point out I have four tossup states: Arizona, North Carolina, Florida and Iowa. Even if he wins all four of them, the Democrats have already won the election — and the idea that he would win all four is pretty unlikely.”
Bitecofer argued to Salon that midterm voters turned out for Democrats because of “negative partisanship”—“Trump Inc.” made them “enraged”—and told O’Donnell on Tuesday evening that Trump is also trying to use “negative partisanship” to his advantage by trying to run against the left-wing “Squad.” Bitecofer, though, argues in her paper, “With 16 Months to go, Negative Partisanship Predicts the 2020 Presidential Election,” that “barring a shock to the system,” Democrats will “recapture the presidency” in 2020 because “Trump’s 2016 path to the White House, which was the political equivalent of getting dealt a Royal Flush in poker, is probably not replicable in 2020 with an agitated Democratic electorate.”
She concludes that the “Blue Wall of the Midwest was then, and is now, the ONLY viable path for Trump to win the White House” but the climate will be completely different in 2020 because “the complacent electorate of 2016, who were convinced Trump would never be president, has been replaced with the terrified electorate of 2020, who are convinced he’s the Terminator and can’t be stopped.”
Bitecofer further explains why Trump is in deep trouble in the Midwest:
This, combined with the depressed turnout of African Americans (targeted with suppression materials by the Russians) and left-leaning Independents turned off by Clinton (targeted with defection materials by the Russians) allowed Trump to pull off an improbable victory, one that will be hard to replicate in today’s less nitpicky atmosphere. Yet, the media (and the voting public) has turned Trump’s 2016 win into a mythic legend of invincibility. The complacent electorate of 2016, who were convinced Trump would never be president, has been replaced with the terrified electorate of 2020, who are convinced he’s the Terminator and can’t be stopped. Under my model, that distinction is not only important, it is everything.Why is Trump in so much trouble in the Midwest? First, and probably most important, is the profound misunderstanding by, well, almost everyone, as to how he won Michigan, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania in the first place. Ask anyone, and they will describe Trump’s 2016 Midwestern triumph as a product of white, working class voters swinging away from the Democrats based on the appeal of Trump’s economic populist messaging. Some will point to survey data of disaffected Obama-to-Trump voters and even Sanders-to-Trump voters as evidence that this populist appeal was the decisive factor. And this is sort of true. In Ohio, Trump managed the rare feat of cracking 50%. Elsewhere, that explanation runs into empirical problems when one digs into the data. Start with the numerical fact that Trump “won” Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and Michigan with 47.22%, 48.18%, and 47.5% of the vote, respectively, after five times the normal number in those states cast their ballots for an option other than Trump or Clinton.
In what will be music to the ears of Democrats who believe the way to beat Trump is to turn out the left-wing base and not worry about mythical moderate swing voters, Bitecofer told O’Donnell that “this ain’t our granddaddy’s electorate anymore” and “the time when you could persuade large swathes of the electorate over has passed.”
“I’m not saying that moderates aren’t important or that there aren’t moderates, there certainly are and they can be appealed to – although Democrats don’t do it well – but really it’s all about the base,” said Bitecofer, who believes Trump will have to spend resources and play defense in Arizona, Texas, North Carolina, and Georgia.
Here's the study from The Judy Ford Wason Center for Public Policy, which was established in 2007 to provide unbiased and non-partisan scientific research about public policy issues facing Virginia. Since this is from a public policy group interested in getting out their information, including the full story (but go to the link for the charts).
https://cnu.edu/wasoncenter/2019/07/01- ... -forecast/With 16 Months to go, Negative Partisanship Predicts the 2020 Presidential Election
by Rachel Bitecofer POSTED: JULY 1, 2019
In July of 2018, raised eyebrows by predicting some four months before the midterm election that Democrats would pick up 42 seats in the House of Representatives. In hindsight, that may not seem such a bold prediction, but when my forecast was released, election Twitter was still having a robust debate as to whether the Blue Wave would be large enough for Democrats to pick up the 23 seats they needed to take control of the House of Representatives and return the Speaker’s gavel to Nancy Pelosi.
Based on its 2018 performance, my model, , seem well poised to tackle the 2020 presidential election – 16 months out. I’ll serve up that result below, but first let’s set the table by reviewing my model’s 2018 forecasting success.
Not only did I predict that they would gain nearly double the seats they needed, but I also identified a specific list of Republican seats Democrats would flip, including some, such as , that were listed as “Lean Republican” by the majority of race raters at the time. At a time when other analysts coded even the most competitive House races for Democrats as Lean or Tilt Democrat, I identified 13 Republican-held districts as “Will Flips,” 12 as “Likely to Flip,” and 6 as “Lean Democrat.” I also identified a large list of “Toss Ups,” from which I would later identify the remaining “flippers.” In addition, I identified some “long-shot toss-up” districts that could be viable flips under some turnout scenarios. Of the original 25 districts I identified as definitely or highly likely to flip, all but one, Colorado CD3, did so, possibly because the party failed to invest in their nominee there.
The post-election diagnostics of my forecasting model, which departs significantly from the approaches used in conventional election forecasting models, such as those used by , reveal just how powerful my model was at identifying the House districts and Senate races capable of producing Blue Wave effects powered by Trump backlash in the electorate. Indeed, the places I went astray in my final, “handicapped” predictions are races where I ignored the clear signals of my model, such as Georgia’s 6th congressional district, which my model was quite clear about flipping, and Kentucky’s 6th, which my model was quite clear couldn’t. Still, in other races, my manual handicapping was necessary, and correct, because despite its overall accuracy, my model underpredicts the Democrats’ two-party vote share in Utah’s 4th district.
Looking ahead to the 2020 Electoral College map, my model delivers on two of the most critical elements of election forecasting: , that is, simplicity. It’s probably not lost on you, dear reader, that I am offering a forecast not for the presidential primary election, itself still in its infancy, but for the November 2020 general election that is some 16 months away. And I am offering a forecast free from all the trappings you are used to. There are no poll aggregators, no daily or weekly updates, no simple versus deluxe versions. Right now, there is not even a nominee! By and large, I don’t expect that the specific nominee the Democratic electorate chooses will matter all that much unless it ends up being a disruptor like Bernie Sanders.
Indeed, the only massive restructuring I might have to make to this forecast involves a significant upheaval like the entrance of a well-funded Independent candidate such as Howard Schultz into the general election, which our national survey in March shows would . Other potential significant disruptions might be a ground war with Iran, an economic recession, or a terrorist attack on the scale of 9/11. . As , and no matter , on Election Day Donald Trump will earn the vote of somewhere around 90% of self-identified Republicans. And as 2018 demonstrated, Republicans will increase their turnout rate over 2016. This, combined with a floor for Trump among Independents of around 38% (because of right-leaning Independents) and an infusion of cash that will dwarf his 2016 efforts, Trump has a floor that is at least theoretically competitive for reelection and will force Democrats to compete hard to win the presidency. The polarized era doesn’t produce landslide maps.
Before revealing what my model has to say about 2020, I note one very important point of methodology. To construct predicted two-party vote shares for the Democratic Party’s nominee in each state, I use the best turnout estimate available for each state in 2018 for the Democrats. This is important because it allows me to capture the turnout surge we also saw among Republicans in 2018. Although I predicted an enormous surge in turnout among Democrats and Democrat-leaning Independents, the size of the corresponding surge among Republicans surprised me somewhat. I predicted the surge of Democratic turnout via negative partisanship, activated by the tangible threat of living under a unified government controlled entirely by Donald Trump.
What I did not anticipate was that, at least among Republicans, a threat response can be artificially generated at a mass scale and at a time when a party’s voters should be placated. Despite controlling the White House and both chambers of Congress in 2018, turnout surged nearly as much among Republicans, leading to the highest overall midterm turnout rates we have seen since 1914. Overall turnout ended up at a whopping 50.4%, tempting many analysts afterward to conduct comparisons between 2016 and 2018, a presidential-to-midterm comparison that is usually apparently absurd. Trump and the RNC accomplished this by running a base-centric mobilization campaign focused largely on stoking fear of immigration; a strategy they will replicate for 2020 while adding socialism into the mix.
Because my 2020 model relies on the 2018 vote to estimate the 2020 vote, it is naturally designed to account for this unexpected bipartisan turnout surge. As such, my expectation is the 2020 model will be better than the 2018 model, which was built with Virginia’s one-sided Democratic turnout surge as a turnout guide.
So, with no further ado:
2020 Bitecofer Model Electoral College Predictions
Safe D (36.62%)
Likely D (4.65%)
Lean D (10.41%)
Toss Up (11.71%)
Lean R (6.32%)
Likely R (7.06%)
Safe R (23.23%)
Democrat: 278 votes Republican: 197 votes
Barring a shock to the system, Democrats recapture the presidency. The leaking of the Trump campaign’s internal polling has somewhat softened the blow of this forecast, as that polling reaffirms what my model already knew: Trump’s 2016 path to the White House, which was the political equivalent of getting dealt a Royal Flush in poker, is probably not replicable in 2020 with an agitated Democratic electorate. And that is really bad news for Donald Trump because the Blue Wall of the Midwest was then, and is now, the ONLY viable path for Trump to win the White House.
Why is Trump in so much trouble in the Midwest? First, and probably most important, is the profound misunderstanding by, well, almost everyone, as to how he won Michigan, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania in the first place. Ask anyone, and they will describe Trump’s 2016 Midwestern triumph as a product of white, working class voters swinging away from the Democrats based on the appeal of Trump’s economic populist messaging. Some will point to survey data of disaffected Obama-to-Trump voters and even Sanders-to-Trump voters as evidence that this populist appeal was the decisive factor. And this is sort of true. In Ohio, Trump managed the rare feat of cracking 50%. Elsewhere, that explanation runs into empirical problems when one digs into the data. Start with the numerical fact that Trump “won” Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and Michigan with 47.22%, 48.18%, and 47.5% of the vote, respectively, after five times the normal number in those states cast their ballots for an option other than Trump or Clinton. This, combined with the depressed turnout of African Americans (targeted with suppression materials by the Russians) and left-leaning Independents turned off by Clinton (targeted with defection materials by the Russians) allowed Trump to pull off an improbable victory, one that will be hard to replicate in today’s less nitpicky atmosphere. Yet, the media (and the voting public) has turned Trump’s 2016 win into a mythic legend of invincibility. The complacent electorate of 2016, who were convinced Trump would never be president, has been replaced with the terrified electorate of 2020, who are convinced he’s the Terminator and can’t be stopped. Under my model, that distinction is not only important, it is everything.
Trump’s second problem is that along with a turnout surge of Democrats that in many states like Virginia is simply larger than the turnout surges of Republicans because of demographics, he is deeply unpopular among Independents because of all the abnormal, norm-breaking and according to the Mueller Report, even illegal things, he does as president. This has left him with , who largely broke against Republicans in the 2018 midterms as my theory predicted. In a follow-up piece to this forecast, I will show that much of this swing among Independents is actually the product of their own turnout surge, which brought more left-leaning Independents out to the polls by the same negative partisanship mechanisms that moved their partisan counterparts. This is why even the Democrat’s sharp drift to the left as they chase their party’s nomination, following the Republicans down the path of ideological polarization won’t have the impact on the vote choice of Independents Republicans are hoping for in 2018.
At the end of the day, Independents will be asked to weigh what Democrats might do against what Republicans, particularly Trump, are doing; the reverse situation from 2016 when Democrats suffered from the referendum effect among Independents. Even if the Democrat’s nominee is unabashedly liberal, it is not likely Trump can win a referendum among college-educated Independent voters without a dramatic transformation in both tone and style.
Republicans can survive an under-maximized Democratic turnout surge, like the one we saw in 2018 (I'll be showing this in forthcoming work), but not one that it is combined with the loss of Independent voters and not one without a corresponding Republican turnout surge which can only be accomplished via things likely to further isolate Independent voters and agitate Democrats.
Does the Democrat’s nominee matter? Sure, to an extent. If the ticket has a woman, a person of color or a Latino, or a female who is also a person of color, Democratic Party turnout will surge more in really important places. If the nominee is Biden he’d be well-advised to consider Democratic voter turnout his number one consideration when drawing his running mate to avoid the made by Hillary Clinton in 2016. This is true for any of the white male candidates. If the nominee hails from the progressive wing of the party, it will provoke massive handwringing both within the party and the media that if not controlled could become self-reinforcing. But the Democrats are not complacent like they were in 2016 and I doubt there is any amount of polling or favorable forecasts that will make them so. That fear will play a crucial role in their 2020 victory. We will not see a divided Democratic Party in 2020.
A note on Florida: As it was in 2018, my model is convinced that Florida is going to break in favor of the Democrats. After 2018, I am less convinced, but that is because I know something about Florida that my model does not know: . No state hosts more members of the Silent Generation, and . Not only are seniors realigning to the Republican Party, they are also the nation’s most reliable voters. The other issue with Florida is that as white, non-college educated voters, especially older ones, become more Republican, Democrats become increasingly reliant on the turnout of young and/or Latino voters to make up the difference. As of 2018, Democrats still have not cracked the code on getting either young people or Latino voters mobilized (although I will show you that they made gains in 2018 that were critical to their victories). Until they do, states like Florida, Georgia, and Texas remain highly attractive pitfalls.
One more thing: We are in the midst of a long-term, multifaceted coalitional realignment in both parties (among other things) that the academic version of this work tackles. Trump is a product of this realignment and of the hyperpartisanship and polarization that accompanies it. He is not a cause! But he is an accelerant, like kerosene on smoldering coals. The realignment that was puttering along has picked up tremendous speed. My analysis of the House races reveals that the political parties have not entirely adapted to these changes. In 2018, Democrats failed to contest several Republican-held districts with ideal demographics. One of these, Texas CD24, has already drawn a strong challenger. I’ll soon post that material, as well as a deep dive into the role that increased turnout in 2018 played in Orange County, California, where my long-time fans will know I was the very first to predict that Democrats would overrun what had been Reagan Country for decades. As the other Rachel says, watch this space.
Since Fogbowzers are revered for their wisdom, just as a flash poll... Based on what we're seeing and hearing, will (not should) Donald win in 2020?