Three of the Missing Storylines from Iowa and New Hampshire

There are just some basic things that have really struck me that do not seem to be getting a lot of attention.   The tables below talk about turnout and have an observation about 18 to 29 year old voters.

  1. Wow: The turn-out story so far in IA and NH, is a major developing story.

table 1 table 2 table 3

The 2008 campaign saw an enormous surge in Democratic turn-out that dwarfed Republican turn-out and spoke to an intensity gap that cycle.

A few things:

  1. Please note the Republican turn-out is swamping Democratic turn-out so far, with Democrats down in both states compared to 2008.
  2. Bernie Sanders is no Barack Obama in terms of changing the composition of the electorate.

I toggle back and forth between the coverage and while high turn-out is mentioned, not yet with the specificity of what it means by political party – and, if it continues through the primary as it did for the Democrats in 2008, what it might portend about where the intensity might be this cycle.

  1. All millennial voters are not racing to be Socialists!

While it is really impressive to watch the margin by which Sanders is whomping Clinton among 18-29 year olds, trying to generalize about some massive surge in millennial voters moving left politically is wildly overstated.  Guess what … there are thousands of people 18 to 29 years old who went to caucus in Iowa or vote In New Hampshire for BOTH parties.  Given the overall turn-out of the two parties, estimating the turn-out by age would suggest, yes, Democrats have an edge on total turn-out among 18-29 year olds (by 13,453 people).   In percentage terms though, it means of all the 18 to 29 year olds to participate so far, the divide is 55{09f965da52dc6ab4c1643a77bd40d1f729d807040cd8db540234bb981a782222} Democrat to 45{09f965da52dc6ab4c1643a77bd40d1f729d807040cd8db540234bb981a782222} Republican.  That’s not a margin that makes me want to say that an entire generation is moving to the Socialist cause!


table 4*17 year old Iowans can caucus

  1. To be the nominee, you actually have to carry your own party.

Clinton broke even in Iowa, while winning caucus goers who described themselves as Democrats by 17 points (56{09f965da52dc6ab4c1643a77bd40d1f729d807040cd8db540234bb981a782222} Clinton/39{09f965da52dc6ab4c1643a77bd40d1f729d807040cd8db540234bb981a782222} Sanders).  In New Hampshire, she lost by 20{09f965da52dc6ab4c1643a77bd40d1f729d807040cd8db540234bb981a782222}+ points, while only narrowly losing among Democrats.

I had the good fortune to work for John McCain in 2000 when he won New Hampshire by 18 points, while losing among Republicans.  That did not end well.

When African American and Latino Democrats start voting and the percentage of Independents begins to fall, Secretary Clinton should be able to right the ship.

In South Carolina, if half the vote is African American and Clinton wins by 40 points, she’s up by 20 points.   Sanders cannot win white voters in South Carolina by 40 points to compensate.  Similar, if a little less dramatic, math applies in every state when non-whites start comprising the roughly 35{09f965da52dc6ab4c1643a77bd40d1f729d807040cd8db540234bb981a782222}+ of the Democratic primary turn-out they comprised in 2008.

Unless Senator Sanders demonstrates a capacity to seriously compete in the African American and Latino communities, it is very difficult to see how he wins the nomination by a coalition of voters under 30, very liberal voters, and Independents.

Public Opinion Strategies