Tags: Trump Administration | trump | clinton | turnout | election | independents | millennials

Key for Trump Will Be Turning Out Independents, Disgruntled Dems

Key for Trump Will Be Turning Out Independents, Disgruntled Dems

By    |   Saturday, 17 September 2016 09:07 AM

BEDFORD, Pa. — A giant red, white and blue billboard reading ‘THE GOVERNMENT IS CORRUPT! TRUMP FOR PRESIDENT!” sits on the side of a mountain near the Johnstown-Bedford exit of the Pennsylvania Turnpike, visible not only to the east and west bound traffic, it looms largely over U.S. 30 in the valley below.

In the back roads and main streets along the stretch from Breezewood to the Ohio border it is one of many visible signs of support for the Republican nominee. Hillary Clinton signs are scarcer, but that does not necessarily mean that her supporters are any less enthusiastic than his.

In 2012, Republican nominee Mitt Romney was able to rival President Barack Obama’s ability to get his party’s base out to vote in that year’s presidential match-up (exit polls show that Romney won 93 percent of the Republican vote, Obama won 92 percent of the Democrat base) but fell short of a win.

It wasn’t a lack of motivation as many reported afterwards – both men were even in their party base support. It was just that the GOP voter share is smaller.

Kyle Kondik, manager of Larry Sabato’s Crystal Ball at the University of Virginia says despite the weirdness of the year and the unique unfavorable view of both of the party’s nominees, this year’s race is running about normal in terms of whose base is the most motivated.

In short, they are about even.

“I think it is more normal than it seems based on the fairly unified party support both are getting,” Kondik said.

Which leaves the Republicans at a disadvantage because Republican voters make up a smaller percentage of voters than Democrats. So the key to a Republican victory is not how fired up their voters are to show up, but how they can persuade independents and latent Democrats to show up in a larger margin for Trump.

And for Clinton, it all hinges on her getting Obama-type turnout from young people and minorities at a level close to Obama's 2012 support, said Kondik.

“It does seem like Clinton is having some trouble motivating these groups, and a sizable amount of the youngest voters appear to be backing Green Party nominee Jill Stein and Libertarian nominee Gary Johnson,” he said.

Clinton needs to get more of those voters excited about supporting her and to show up he said.

Youngstown State University political scientist Paul Sracic notes that a recent survey by CBS News and The New York Times shows that Trump’s voters are more enthusiastic.

“It is the millennials who seem a bit more mixed this year, with many looking for a third party alternative,” he said.

Sracic warns this might lead to depressed turnout among millennials, which is bad for the Democrats.

“I think this election is going to be very close, and will ultimately be decided by which groups are motivated to turnout in November,” he explained.

According to The Huffington Post's Pollster’s collection of two-way national polls, Clinton leads 84 percent — 7 percent among Democrats, and Trump leads 83 percent — 7 percent among Republicans (almost identical).

Independents split 37 percent-35 percent for Trump.

In the four-way contest, Clinton leads 81 percent — 6 percent among Democrats, with 4 percent going to Libertarian Gary Johnson and another 3 percent going to “other” (HuffPost doesn’t name Green Party candidate Jill Stein, but that’s basically who is represented by “other”).

Trump leads among Republicans 80 percent — 6 percent with Johnson at 6 percent and ‘other’ at 2 percent. Independents are tied 34 percent — 34 percent, with 13 percent going to Johnson and 7 percent going to other. Total undecideds in the two- and four-ways make up about 6-7 percent.

Now, there could be some defectors from each party hidden in the independent vote, but the independent vote doesn’t seem to lean one way or the other in the aggregate, as noted in the HuffPost data.

“Given how Republicans lag Democrats in party ID nationally – mostly because I think a lot of Republican voters don’t like to refer to themselves as such at this particular point in time — I’d think a near-split among independents would be OK with Clinton so long as Democrats, as they often do, make up a greater share of the electorate based on exit polls,” said Kondik.

So you have to wonder if we’re not going to see as big a swing from 2012 as we might anecdotally think we might.

Or maybe we will.

“I think the recent bad polls for Clinton generally seem to indicate a more Republican electorate than prior surveys,” said Kondik.

“I wonder if response rates to polls from Democrats just dipped but that the election didn’t change all that much – sort of like what happened to Obama after the 2012 debate, when Romney seemed to surge but in actuality the race probably didn’t change,” he said.

But in a less stable election, with more third-party support, more undecideds, and no incumbent it is difficult to say which direction that last ground swell will go before November.

Sracic predicts a significant crossover vote this year, but it is still in a “normal” direction.

“As I said, white males have been trending Republican for years, but the difference this year may be that those who are affiliated with unions, so called union family voters, cross over,” he said.

In the battleground state of Ohio, that would be unusual.

"Still, the story in Ohio in 2012 was about extraordinary turnout among African-American voters,” said Sracic, “The birther issue, that has just come up again, is a dangerous one for Trump, because it has the potential to drive African American voters to the polls."

African American voters overwhelmingly prefer Hillary Clinton, but aren’t nearly as excited about her candidacy as they were about Barack Obama in 2008 and 2012 Sracic explained.

“Right now, it looks like blue collar white voters are among the most energized groups among the electorate, for them, Trump is not just the lesser evil — they have found a champion,” said Sracic.

The problem for Hillary Clinton Sracic explained is that she doesn’t have enough supporters who really believe, as many Democrats did about Barack Obama, that she will make a big difference in their lives.

Salena Zito covers national politics for Newsmax


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BEDFORD, Pa. - A giant red, white and blue billboard reading 'THE GOVERNMENT IS CORRUPT! TRUMP FOR PRESIDENT!" sits on the side of a mountain near the Johnstown-Bedford exit of the Pennsylvania Turnpike, visible not only to the east and west bound traffic, it looms largely...
trump, clinton, turnout, election, independents, millennials
Saturday, 17 September 2016 09:07 AM
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