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The Crosstab Weekly Newsletter 📊 November 11, 2018 — What happened in the midterms? Scatterplots galore!

Welcome! I'm G. Elliott Morris, data journalist at The Economist and blogger of polls, elections, and
November 12 · Issue #14 · View online
The Crosstab Weekly Newsletter
Welcome! I’m G. Elliott Morris, data journalist at The Economist and blogger of polls, elections, and political science. 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 endnotes. If you enjoy my personal newsletter and want it to continue, consider a monthly subscription for early access and regular blogging for just $2.

This Week's Big Question
So, what happened in the midterms?
Brief inferences about the midterms: Democrats won control of the House by flipping at least 36 seats, but lost key Senate contests in very red states. Democratic turnout for House races was disproportionately higher versus 2016 in rural America, particularly the parts that voted for Trump, but it’s unclear if this represents a permanent or temporary break in geographic polarization in America (or even a break at all). The fact that white, college-educated, suburban districts swung back toward Republicans muddies the picture of Democratic gains and suggests an electoral reversion to pre-Trump politics.
Still, Republicans lost a lot of voters — either from a failure to mobilize them, or a conversion of their real preferences to the other side of their aisle — all over the map, with less clear relationships emerging between political and geographic lines. It’s possible that all Democrats really won was the turnout game. Further, compared to 2012, Democrats have still lost voters in Midwestern states like Iowa, Ohio, Wisconsin and Michigan that are key to presidential politics, and drop-off in the rural south is bad news for Dems. What we see at this point, with the vast majority of votes counted, is a clear pattern whereby Democrats made gains in a lot of Obama-Trump districts, and enough elsewhere to win the house, but we have to know a bit more to know for what that might portend in broader politics.
Think this is too short? That’s intentional; more is coming soon. For more, see the scatter plots below, and keep your eyes peeled for something from me later this week.
Democrats gained voters vs 2016 in areas where Clinton performed worse...
... but there's no clear relationship for Republican turnout...
... & the GOP matched Dem. turnout in cities, causing declines vs Clinton's share.
Political Data
Sizing Up the 2018 Blue Wave
What Happened Last Tuesday: Part 1 — Who Actually Voted?
How contested House districts shifted from 2016 to 2018
The 2018 Map Looked A Lot Like 2012 … And That Got Me Thinking About 2020
Why You Should Trust the Polls
Everything you want to know about the 2018 midterm House elections in 8 charts
Suburban districts moved toward Democrats in 2018
America Needs a Bigger House
A Congress for Every American
Solomon Messing
Thread: 1/ Election predictions have consequences—for voters AND officials. With @Comey’s book we see that confidence in a @HillaryClinton victory may have influenced decision to reveal FBI investigation into emails in final days of campaign. H/T @ylelkes, @gdebenedetti
10:39 AM - 13 Apr 2018
What Did They Run On? Winning Issues in 2018 Midterm Advertising
Republicans Dominate State Politics. But Democrats Made a Dent This Year. - The New York Times
Why Democrats’ Gain Was More Impressive Than It Appears - The New York Times
Other Data and Cool Work
Which countries are most likely to fight wars? - No man’s land
Amazon HQ2: Why NYC and D.C. Make Sense to Jeff Bezos - CityLab
Political Science and Survey Research
Here's How Polling Has Changed Since 2016
Matt Grossmann
Two Journal of Economic Perspectives articles on predicting the effects of the Republican tax cut from Auerbach & Slemrod:
9:50 AM - 8 Nov 2018
Matt Grossmann
Using MRP with voter file data; new paper on 2012 claims inferences are stable & reasonable down to demographic subgroups within small geographies like counties & congressional districts:
11:16 PM - 5 Nov 2018
What I'm Reading and Working On
Now that we’re post election, I’m going to take a short break from politics reading and divRon Chernow’s biography of Ulysses S. Grant, Grant. I’ve read his past biographies of George Washington and Alexander Hamilton, which were fantastic and I’d also recommend.
Thanks for reading. I’ll be back again next week! In the meantime, follow me online or reach out via email. I’d love to hear from you!
A Special Thank-you Note to Patrons
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