The Geek in Pictures: Post-Election Edition

Okay, who’s up for more election-related charts and graphs? I know I am.

First, like a timeshare pitch, you have to sit through some narrative before the good stuff. I was privy today to some extensive survey and voting data analysis by several political scientists, all of them liberals needless to say, but nevertheless offering some very interesting findings free of ideological bias. These data are proprietary and unpublished (and not based on exit polls, but on large samples cultivated over several years, plus a close look at actual election results on a state-by-state level), so I can’t share specific charts and graphs, but I can pass along a couple of significant general findings.

While media attention to Trump’s increased share of the Hispanic vote has focused mostly on Florida and Texas, the data show that Trump significantly increased his share of Hispanic vote everywhere—even in Arizona, Colorado, and California. About Trump’s improvement with Black voters the data is more uneven, finding that Trump is only up slightly with Black voters in most states. But there are two states where Trump did considerably better with Black voters than he did in 2016: Pennsylvania and Michigan.

So why did Trump lose those states? Aside from vote fraud, the increase in Trump’s share of the non-white vote was not enough to make up for his slippage in the white vote. Increasingly it is clear that it is Trump’s lower share of the white vote from 2016 that cost him re-election. That doesn’t really fit the leftist narrative, which even The Guardian has noticed, because it spells long term trouble for Democrats:

Joe Biden’s coalition is whiter, wealthier – and will not stick around

Biden’s win depended on suburbanites tired of Trump, who voted Republican down ballot and will certainly vote Republican in future elections. . .

Democrats may have accomplished their near-term goal, but in the long term the party is in an extraordinarily weak place, built on a rickety coalition united only by a hatred of a president who will soon no longer be a threat. The Democrats took the shortest route to beating Trump, but in the process may have irreparably damaged their ability to build a governing majority and implement progressive policy. . .

Most concerningly, Democrats hemorrhaged votes among non-white working-class voters. . . Even in the crucial states Biden was able to flip, Trump reduced Democratic margins in Detroit, Milwaukee and Philadelphia. These results should be setting off alarm bells among Democrats.

Okay, now for charts. Lobbyist and former Bush administration member Bruce Mehlman produced several interesting charts on the election (full presentation posted here). This first one, showing Biden’s negative coattails, is my favorite:

So only JFK in 1960 was worse than Biden? What does the 1960 election have in common with 2020? Oh yeah. . .

Next, in electoral college terms, this election was just as close as 2016:

The exit polls are crap again. Time for MEPGA??

(Incidentally, one of the political scientists on today’s Zoom session said that “the TV networks don’t really care if the exit polls are accurate—they just want a story to tell,” which set off an angry dissent from the prominent network-affiliated pollster on the call, who nevertheless admitted that the exit polls and pre-election polls alike are a hopeless mess right now. Heh.)

Next, remember this chart next time Democrats say “there’s too much money in politics.” Democrats account for the lion’s share of this growth from 2016.

This next one comes from the NBC/WSJ survey unit, showing that swing counties that have gone with the winner for the last 40 year no longer do so.

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