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The Crosstab Weekly Newsletter 📊 August 12, 2018

Welcome! I’m G. Elliott Morris. Happy Sunday! Here’s my weekly newsletter with links to what I've bee
August 12 · Issue #2 · View online
The Crosstab Weekly Newsletter
Welcome! I’m G. Elliott Morris. Happy Sunday! Here’s my weekly newsletter with links to what I’ve been reading and writing that puts the news in context with public opinion polls, political science, other data (some “big,” some small) and looks briefly at the week ahead. Let’s jump right in! Feedback? Drop me a line or just respond to this email. 

This newsletter is made possible by supporters on Patreon. A special thanks to those who pledge the top two tiers is written in the end notes. If you enjoy the newsletter and want it to continue, consider a recurring monthly donation of just $2.

One quick announcement:
I am working full time at The Economist in Washington, DC now! You can find my work here. I’ll soon be publishing a short blog post that discusses how I’ll operate my site and my newsletter moving forward, but rest assured that the content I generate and community I’ve come to love will continue living on. On to the data and politics!
Politics and Election Data
Americans Give Trump An 'A' For Economy, But Reelection Prospects Remain Uncertain
Analysts trying to gauge the impact of a good economy on a Trump reelection bid have been struggling with the difference between those conditions and perceptions from voters for months. To put this in mathematical terms, past predictions of presidential elections have relied on a blend of economic perceptions and presidential approval that is stable over time, asserting that POTUS vote share = economic perceptions + job approval. For Trump, the unique disconnect between the two variables could force prediction based on them to break down, prompting skepticism that we really know what to expect in 2020. It could be that (1) economic perceptions do save Trump, that (2) even in a recession his base holds on so well that he could survive a horrible downturn, or (3) something else entirely. Here’s a tweet on this from NYU’s Patrick Egan:
Patrick Egan
Often lost in our focus on Trump's behavior is how steep a price he's paying for it in terms of public approval. Typically, presidential approval (blue) closely tracks consumer confidence (black). But right now, the gap between these trends is the highest it's been in 40 years.
8:35 AM - 6 Aug 2018
In fact, what’s likely a better measure of approval for Trump is voters’ stances on immigration policy:
Trump's iron wall of defense: immigration
Americans have grown to hate presidents of the other party
*Clears throat* Partisanship is a hell of a drug
Chris Collins drops reelection bid after being arrested for insider trading
The midterm election in #NY27 is still very much up-in-the-air, however. Many questions remain that will determine how November plays out: will New York’s antiquated election laws keep Collins’ name remain on the ballot, or will he and the state GOP be able to navigate their way out of a political emergency?
Republicans Underperform in Washington’s Top Two Primary
Because there is a strong relationship between primary and general election vote margins in Washington (shown below alongside results in California), Democrats’ strong performance on Tuesday indicate that they could make pickups in as many as three House seats.
Not only that, but the results can also be added to the pile of evidence that Republicans are not performing admirably in suburban areas, perhaps even losing ground over time.
Chris Vance
Wow. Cathy McMorris-Rogers is at 44% in Spokane County. Jaimie Herrera-Beutler is at 38% in Clark County. And Dino Rossi is at 39% in King County. R support in the suburbs is collapsing. @Jim_Brunner @NatalieBrandK5 @AustinJenkinsN3 @BradShannon2 @reedgalen @jwgop
9:57 AM - 8 Aug 2018
The Ohio Results Point to Democratic Strength in 2018—And a Showdown in 2020
Republicans got more bad news on Tuesday when they nearly lost an R+14 U.S. House seat in Ohio. The special election to Ohio’s 12th Congressional District was won by just 0.8 points by Republican Troy Balderson. Inside the district, urban counties swung to the left relative to the 2016 presidential election, while rural counties swung to the right. Here’s a graphic from Elena Schneider and Scott Bland (POLITICO) that shows this shift:

A new Economist/YouGov poll finds that 70% of voters think that President Trump’s criticism of news organizations on Twitter is inappropriate. 68% say that it is inappropriate to bar journalists from official press events and 53% agree with the statement “When the President is unhappy with the way some news media cover the Administration it is inappropriate to investigate whether the reporters have violated any laws.” On top of this, 18% of voters say that the press is an enemy of the American people, including 35% of Republicans and 4% of Democrats.
Tipping the Scales, How Small Groups in Each Party May Outweigh the Rest in the 2018 Midterm Elections
Henry Olsen’s analysis is compelling, but I’d still prefer if studies that assess voter turnout match survey respondents to the official vote records provided by the states. This way we would actually know if moderate or low-attachment Democrats and Republicans are acting as they say they are. Self-reported vote turnout can often be misleading.
New Poll: 43% of Republicans Want to Give Trump the Power to Shut Down Media
MIT Election Lab
We are very proud to say that the 2016 #ElectionsPerformance Index is now live! Explore the data in its brand new home:
12:12 PM - 9 Aug 2018
Other Data and Cool Work
Far-flung Facebook friends may be good for your health Far-flung Facebook friends may be good for your health
Who’s The Favorite And Who’s A Sleeper In The English Premier League?
America’s trade war is starting to hit consumers America’s trade war is starting to hit consumers
What’s the Right Number of Taxis (or Uber or Lyft Cars) in a City? - The New York Times
Flip, flip and flip some more
Russia leads the world at nuclear-reactor exports Russia leads the world at nuclear-reactor exports
Two good and relevant XKCD comics this week, just for fun:
A Thank-you Note to Patrons
My weekly newsletter is supported by generous patrons who give monthly to my blog, including these individuals who have pledged especially charitable contributions:
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