Super Tuesday: A Massachusetts Loss Spells Doom For Bernie Sanders

South Carolina was devastating for Bernie Sanders; Massachusetts may well mean the end of any real chance for his campaign. South Carolina was way worse than expected. The worst of the worst poll said he would lose by 50. It seemed like an outrageous outlier. It wasn’t. There is no sugarcoating it. If the same happens on Tuesday, it would spell the end for Sanders campaign, even if he were to win Massachusetts and Vermont.

It isn’t going to be the worst possible outcome for Sanders everywhere (which would mean he would be down 300 pledged delegates), but it does look like he is going to lose Massachusetts. As a matter of fact, I think Super Tuesday may look closer to the best reasonably possible outcome for Sanders (down just 100 delegates … and this is where the Hillary Clinton campaign is conservatively pegging things). My best guess is that Sanders will be down between 150-200 delegates. There will be no ability to spin, pivot, or recover after a Massachusetts loss, however. The Clinton campaign will essentially declare victory, and the national media, reasonably so, will go along with it.

Here are the worst possibilities*, the best possibilities, my analysis and forecast for each state, and what to watch as exit polling and real results start to come in tomorrow night.

Virginia
Worst – HC +27 Delegates HC 62 BS 33
Best – HC +12 Delegates HC 53 BS 42
My Analysis –  A CBS/YouGov poll (HC +20%) has a lot of things right in terms of demographics by age, but under-polled Latina/os by 4-5%, Black voters by 5-7%, and Asian voters by 6%. PPP’s poll  was mid-February, but had a very accurate representation of hispanic and Asian (or other) voters. Other voters (including Asians) were going for Sanders, interestingly, by 21%. Hispanic respondents still didn’t know much about Sanders and hadn’t made up their minds. Clinton was winning them by 30%, but 44% hadn’t made up their minds. Sanders shouldn’t have given up on this state so easily. Virginia’s economy is doing fairly well at 18th in the nation, and it is perhaps the most “establishment” state in dixieland. I’d like to quietly hope wildly for a very surprising single digit margin, but won’t. If Sanders had put appropriate resources into the campaign here, in Texas, in South Carolina, in Arkansas, and held serve in Massachusetts, this would have been an entirely different race. Let’s go with PPP at 22%. (D:58-37)

To Watch: Polls close at 7pm eastern. A significant population of Latina/os with 5% and Asians 7% – definitely, definitely, definitely check those exit polls for a breakdown of how they are voting.

Massachusetts
Worst – HC +8 Delegates HC 49 BS 42
Best – BS +7 Delegates HC 43 BS 48
My Analysis: The polling is bad that has Clinton at +8. Too few millennials by 4-9%. Too few Latina/os. But the race is tighter than Sanders fans may have hoped it to be. Correcting for the errors in that poll still made the race awful close. A new poll from UMass out this morning is the death knell. That poll called the margin in New Hampshire exactly right this year. There have been undecideds in this state, including most especially the very popular Elizabeth Warren; Massachusetts could have gone Sanders all the way up through the disaster on Saturday. People want to vote with winners. And, yes, MA is a fairly White and Liberal state, but it’s white and liberal and establishment in a year where a dominant campaign theme is anti-establishment policies and rhetoric. HC +2 (D:47-44)

To Watch: Polls close at 8pm eastern. If Clinton does indeed pull off a win in this state, as Nate Silver now also very much predicts, he and the media as a whole will write the Sanders’ campaign obituary. Premature by a bit, perhaps, but very likely correct anyhow. It’s hard to see how Sanders could pick up any real momentum in states until late March. By then, even the most ardent Bernie Bro will likely be drowning sorrows in March Madness. Read More

Poll (Aggregator) Bias in Dem Primaries To Date

I’ve averaged pollster and poll aggregator bias for all polling firms and for 538 and RCP for the three Democratic primaries to date. I have not included firms that only had one poll. The best of them all is CBS/YouGov with only a +2.1 bias in favor of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (HC). Only one of the ten has a pro-Senator Bernie Sanders (BS) bias: CNN at +5.43 BS.

Excluding CNN, the Clinton bias, to date, averaging the biases for all polling firms plus 538’s polls plus and RCP is +5.37.

This will look much more interesting after South Carolina for two reasons: 1) only two results for several of these firms means a less accurate bias measurement; they all have polls out ahead of tomorrow 2) there is a massive gap between RCP averages and 538’s polls plus predictions for tomorrow. Both may change before final vote; I’ll update Sunday or Monday accordingly.

Gravis: +5.9 HC
Emerson: +9.35 HC
538 Polls+:  +2.33 HC
RCP Avg: +3.27 HC
ARG: 4.1 HC
NBC/WSJ: +2.6 HC
CBS/YouGov: +2.1 HC
Monmouth: +9.6 HC
Fox: +9.1 HC
CNN: +5.43 BS

Updated and Final: South Carolina Prediction (based on weighting best poll and poll aggregators to date, weighted for bias, then averaged)

Updated and Final: South Carolina Prediction (based on weighting best poll and poll aggregators to date, weighted for bias, then averaged)

For all pollsters and aggregators with a less than 5.5 bias, I’ve subtracted that number from their South Carolina predictions for Saturday, then averaged them for a prediction that Saturday’s outcome, if this is an accurate method, should be 27.05% in favor of Clinton. If instead we put CNN (with bias) into a cage match with the other nine (with bias), the result would be a 25.4% advantage for Clinton. I’ve taken all of these factors and many more, including especially Ann Selzer’s prediction as the best pollster in the land, and my final prediction personally is Clinton +23.47.

 

538’s Polls Only and Weighted Polls Only Forecast As of 12:01am Friday Feb. 26, 2016

Interestingly, before what I am going to call the 538-polls+ Effect set in over the course of yesterday, 538’s polls only average for South Carolina was 25 points. It has now jumped to 33.2 unweighted and 31.7 when weighted. 538’s final Polls Plus call is Clinton +38.3, giving them a whopping 16.3% difference from their favorite pollster (Selzer).

 

 

n.b. I could have included PPP as it technically meets the criteria, but have eliminated them for now as their New Hampshire poll was nearly two months  ahead of time. They would accordingly have a 16.4 bias.

Updated Saturday 3:30 pm eastern to reflect final numbers from 538 and RCP, to correct minor math errors in the “South Carolina Prediction,” and to peg my final forecast.

Democratic Primaries: Making Sense of the Texas Mess (Part 1)

n.b. This is Part 1 of 2. I am waiting for Part 2, largely so that I can work from updated pollster and poll aggregator bias calculations after South Carolina’s primary on Saturday. Update: no Part 2. South Carolina was ruinous. You can see what I think will happen in Texas now here.

There have been seven reputable polls in February ahead of the Longhorn Democratic primary next Tuesday, March 1. Four of them have come out in the last twenty-four hours. They are a hot Texas mess.

Screen Shot 2016-02-26 at 1.43.50 PM

Original: bit.ly/1VJ8Rl1

Two polls (UT/Texas Tribune & Emerson) suggest that it’s a 10-16 point race in Clinton’s favor. This would be earth-shattering bad news for former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Two other polls (PPP & Survey USA) suggest that it’s a 23-29 point race in favor of Clinton. Pegging the middle course between the two would suggest that Clinton is ahead five or six points nationally (in keeping with Real Clear Politics average of polls), that Sanders is at least moderately competitive with Latino voters even when he doesn’t have the combination of time, organization, will, and resources for a serious outreach campaign in the state. An additional two polls (CBS and Monmouth) call it a 32-24 point advantage for Clinton which would mean a 12-15 point lead for Clinton nationally, a more serious but not necessarily dire deficit with Latino voters, and a faint hope that Sanders can keep his head above water past March 8. Finally, the Austin American Statesman calls it a 40 point race for Clinton in which case Sanders has zero shot at the nomination and would do well to fold ’em and send $27 refunds to as many people as possible.

So which is more likely correct?

Is Sanders down around ten, twenty, thirty, or forty?

Read More

Only Bernie Sanders Can Out Message Trump on Immigration

After Glenn Greewald’s cheeky column arguing that former Secretary Hillary Clinton is unelectable in a general election, her team and fans are doubling down with the argument that he hasn’t yet faced the GOP attack machine. Never mind that the argument lacks any real basis in data. Never mind that Sanders is outperforming Clinton strongly with Independents and even with Republicans. Never mind that the Clinton machine has never won a national election that didn’t include Ross Perot. There’s an even strong argument for Senator Sanders: he can beat Trump on his signature message where Clinton simply cannot.

Original: Complex News https://youtu.be/JezSb4NWM8o

Original: Complex News https://youtu.be/JezSb4NWM8o

Trump destroyed Jeb! Bush and is outflanking Cruz and Rubio as they quibble over policy with flamingly xenophobic anti-immigration rhetoric and policy proposals. Mexicans, according to Trump, are rapists and drug thugs and they are stealing poor white people’s jobs. The answer is to build a 300 foot tall wall to be paid for by Mexico (and to stop making bad deals like NAFTA).

Clinton doesn’t have a coherent answer to this racist rubbish; Sanders does.

Sanders has a clearly stated, consistent, moral, policy rich, winnable message on immigration, jobs, and the corporate welfare shot through NAFTA and NAFTA on Steroids (a.k.a. the Trans-Pacific Partnership or TPP):

  • Give millions of migrant workers a reasonable path to citizenship.
  • Pay migrant workers and everyone else a $15 minimum wage to re-create a roaring middle class.
  • No to NAFTA. No to TPP. No to trade deals that ship jobs out of the US, depress wages for jobs that stay here, and are pork-barreled full of the grossest corporate welfare imaginable.

The contrast with Trump, even where there is some overlap on bad trade deals, is stark: let’s create a fair and robust economy for all instead of demonizing millions of people of color.

Clinton’s answer? A $12 minimum wage. Maybe. A spotty immigration and deportation record in office. An immigration policy plan without a clear, winnable message. Worst of all, her reputation as dishonest is most well-earned when it comes to NAFTA and NAFTA on Steroids. Every time she is in a position of power, she supports NAFTA, TPP, and similar trade agreements. Every time she is on the campaign trail, she feigns opposition to the same.

Look, there is a real disagreement within the Democratic party on protectionism, free trade, and fair trade. Clinton’s work in office clearly commits her to the dominant position over the last two decades. If she’s for it, she should make the case for it robustly to the Democratic base whose votes she covets.

Bernie Sanders Could Win Texas and Send Camp Clinton Into Panic Mode

Still shaking out the fright of their worst night terror, yes! Bernie Sanders won the hispanic vote in Nevada, the #ImWithHer crowd is putting the bravest face they possibly can on what should be a sobering new poll: Sanders down just 10 in the Longhorn State.

The crosstabs from the poll mean it may include almost no Latino millennials, the group that carried Sanders to victory with hispanics as a whole on Saturday. This gives Clinton partisans some temporary glee. See! we are winning Latinos there by 23 points! Yes, exactly what you’d expect from a poll that can’t include anything like a representative sample of Latina and Latino likely voters under 35. Clinton has the (momentary?) support of older Latinos by almost precisely the number reflected in the polls, but millennials, who make up nearly half of eligible Latino voters, may go for Sanders, if this were possible, in even greater numbers than their white counterparts.

What to do?

Well, for one thing, the Sanders camp should do the math (we might only be down by 6 or 8 points in Texas!) and loosen the purse strings on their miserly Texas operation. Pronto! Clinton is outspending Sanders 20-1 in advertising dollars there. If this thing is a dead heat nationally, Nate Silver suggests that Clinton should still be winning Texas by twenty points. There are 222 pledged delegates available next Tuesday. If Sanders wins even 100, he has to be considered the victor for Super Tuesday as a whole. And he’s in it to win it all the way to the Golden State on June 7.

Update: A new poll from Emerson this morning shows Clinton +16 in Texas. 7.5% of those interviewed are Latina/o. Exactly one 18-29 year old Democratic primary voter was queried. Hispanics make up 27% of eligible voters in Texas and 32.3% of those are 18-29 years old.

Yankee Baloney: Sanders Won Nevada Hispanic Vote Per Non-Partisan Latino Expert

Update: This article has now been cross-posted at Counterpunch. Based on an astute observation by early reader Elizabeth Ferrari, it has been revised to reflect Antonio Gonzalez and WCVI’s roll in correcting erroneous exit poll numbers in the 2004 Presidential election. It also now reflects a preliminary conversation with a spokesperson from Nevada’s Secretary of State regarding new voter registration ahead of this past Saturday’s caucuses.

The William C. Velásquez Institute (WCVI) ran a Latino exit poll in 2004 helping to prove that President Bush took a substantially smaller portion of the hispanic vote than exit polls initially projected. WCVI’s President Antonio Gonzalez has reviewed available information about Saturday’s Democratic Party caucus in Nevada and has concluded that Senator Bernie Sanders did, in fact, win the Latino vote. WCVI’s Southwest Voter Registration Education Project (SVREP) was on the ground in Nevada ahead of the caucuses. Gonzalez is not at all impressed with skepticism by the New York Times’ Nate Cohn and fivethirtyeight.com‘s Nate Silver about entrance poll numbers. “This whole dispute is baloney. I don’t dispute the Edison numbers at all,” Gonzalez told me by phone earlier this evening.

Gonzalez reviewed ABC News and the entrance poll company Edison Research’s rationale for why Clinton may have won in concentrated areas of Latino voters in Clark County and still lost the overall state vote with Latinos by as much as eight percent. “It makes sense to me,” he said.

Cohn, election numbers guru for the New York Times, tweeted before the Nevada results were even finalized that he had doubts about the entrance poll numbers for Latino voters. Silver, founder of 538, immediately concurred. Cohn has written two New York Times’ posts on the topic since, with his key argument centering around Clinton winning Clark County, and especially Latino districts in East Las Vegas by a substantial margin. Cohn calls Edison’s pegging of 18-29 year old at 38% of the Latino vote Saturday one of two smoking guns and  “an unrealistic number that helps explain how the poll could have been off.”

In a press release, Gonzalez and WCVI lamented that “[l]ost in this controversy is the fact that the data shows a record high Latino vote share in the Democratic Caucuses with Latinos representing 19% of the vote compared to 13% in 2008.”

Viva Bernie, #NotYourFireWall

Millennial Voters for Sanders Pose for a Group Photo in Nevada. Originally posted by Erika Andiola https://twitter.com/ErikaAndiola/status/701510956640137216

WCVI is “one of the nation’s largest Latino voter registration groups.” It has worked since 1985 out of Los Angeles and San Antonio under a non-partisan mandate to get as many Latinos as possible registered and to the polls on election days, and will be hosting Latino Vote Summits in several key states beginning this Friday at the University of Texas San Antonio. SVREP’s work in Nevada saw Gonzalez quoted for a story in the Los Angeles Times last Wednesday suggesting that millennial Latinos, who may make up almost half of all eligible Latino voters in the U.S. in 2016, might just make the difference in the outcome.

“The leadership that is older is all Clinton, but the younger Latinos, they’re with Sanders,” Gonzalez told the Times. “Gonzalez said the rift is present in his own family. ‘My daughters are Sanders people,’ he said. ‘My wife is with Hillary’.”

In their press release, Gonzalez and WCVI conclude that “the Clinton margin of victory is adequately explained by the large margin of victory Secretary Clinton won among African American voters. … there is no statistical basis to question the Latino vote breakdown between Secretary Clinton and Senator Sanders.”

I asked Gonzalez if he thought the narrative set out by Nate Silver in July suggesting that Bernie Sanders might not be able to win with non-white voters was having an undue influence in the dispute. “That is a huge mistake,” Gonzalez said with great passion. “It’s not unusual for the Yankees. They are seeing through a black-white prism.”

While Hillary Clinton, by all measures, is handily winning over black voters by margins of up to fifty percentage points or more, there is no recent data showing similar spreads with hispanic voters. While Clinton showed a comfortable early lead with Latina and Latino voters, poll after poll recently has put Clinton’s lead with hispanic voters at a much more modest rate, similar to her overall lead, between thee and seventeen points, with one recent poll in Colorado suggesting that Sanders is ahead with Democratic Latino voters there.

Blithely ignoring the data, 538 and a clamorous cast of pundits following in their wake have consistently rolled black and brown into one lump sum and used far more well-known numbers for African American voters to apply to all people of color.

But Latino politics, while similar in composition, is radically different from Black politics in crucial ways, according to Gonzalez. “Black politics is vertically integrated. That’s not common in Latino politics. Latinos often don’t even know who their elected officials are.”

Gonzalez continued, “the norm in black politics is to get your marching orders from black leaders. That is not the norm in the Latino electorate. It’s completely plausible and reasonable that Latinos voted against their leaders in picking Bernie Sanders.”

At this point, Gonzalez does the math out loud with me. The low turnout of 80,000 matters enormously here, he says. With Latinos making up 15,000 of those 80,000, it is not at all unreasonable to think that the Sanders campaign helped get 6,000 18-29-year-olds to the polls. “That’s no big deal for a campaign with an inspirational message for young people like the Bernie Sanders campaign clearly has.” Six-thousand is, in fact, “what you’d expect from a good campaign like this.”

Adding to high turnout for young Latina/os, according to Gonzalez, were Nevada’s allowance for both same day and online registration. “I am certain that the Sanders campaign was well aware of these rules and used them to the hilt.” Counterpunch has contacted the Nevada Secretary of State to inquire about new voter registrations in the run-up to Saturday. A spokewoman told us they would get back to us, likely today, but that “the short answer” is that, while they have overall totals, they do not have information broken down by demographics such as age and ethnicity. [Updated here]

According to Gonzalez, the fun is just beginning. Nevada, with the 11th highest Latino voter population in the U.S., was the first of eleven states in the top twenty by Latino voter population that will go to the polls within the next month. They all have 100,000 or more eligible Latina and Latino voters for a total of more than 6,000,000 registered voters. “The Latino Gauntlet,” as Gonzalez calls it. The others are Michigan (12), Illinois (7), Massachusetts (14), Colorado (8), Texas (2), Florida (3), Arizona (5), Virginia (17), North Carolina (18), and Georgia (20), all of which have Democratic caucuses or primaries between now and March 22.

“This is Bernie Sanders chance to break out of the Nate Silver box,” Gonzalez concluded. “Will he do it? We don’t know yet.”