Showing posts with label politics. Show all posts
Showing posts with label politics. Show all posts

Friday, July 1, 2022

Post Roe Reversal and Cassidy Hutchinson Polls on Trump and the GOP

It has been a week since SCROTUS reversed their Roe vs. Wade decision on abortion and made other revolting decisions on guns, school prayer and the environment to name a few. It has also been about 5 days since former White House aide Cassady Hutchinson gave damning testimony on Trump's role in the Jan 6 attack on the capitol. While there is a paucity of polling during the 4th of July holiday, there is enough to draw some conclusions on election prospects in the 2022 midterms and the 2024 election.

Emerson has come out with a poll on the 2024 GOP nomination for President after the Roe decision and the Hutchinson. It shows Donald Trump in the driver's seat with 55% of the vote followed by Ron DeSantis with 20% and Mike Pence with 9%. A Politico/Morning Consult poll taken after the Roe decision but before the Hutchinson testimony found a similar result with 51% for Trump, 23% for DeSantis and 8% for Pence. The same Emerson poll also showed Trump ahead of Biden 44% to 39% if the election were held today. Both polling organizations used samples of registered voters rather then likely voters.















The above graph shows how Real Clear Politics Polling Average of Trump's favorability ratings have changed since he announced his run for President in 2015. His ratings did drop from 42.5% on Jan 6 to 37.2% on Jan 18. They have risen more or less steadily since then to a post presidency high of 45.8% on April 24 of this year. Since the hearings began and the Roe reversal happened his favorability ratings have declined by 2% to 43.8% as of June 29th, 3 days after Hutchinson's testimony.














Above is the Real Clear Politics Polling Average for the Generic Congressional vote. It shows that the Democrats had the advantage before November of last year and the GOP took over. Since then the GOPs advantage over the Dems peaked at 4.7% on April 29. It decreased to an advantage of 1.9% on May 29th. After the Jan 6th hearings began on June 10, the numbers for both parties declined with the gap between them increasing to only 2.8% on June 22. After the Roe reversal and Hutchinson's testimony, the gap between the parties shrunk to 2.2%.

The generic congressional vote is a crude measure of how the Congressional and Senate races will go. In 2020, the Democrats had a 6.8% advantage in the polling average but only received 3.1% more votes than the GOP. Of course gerrymandering can be a confounding variable. Nate Silver's Five Thirty Eight gives the GOP an 87% chance of taking control of the House and a 53% chance of taking the Senate. They also predict that the leading Republican on the Jan 6 committee, Liz Cheyney, will lose to her primary challenger in August.



**Update**


A new poll Generic Congressional Poll From Harvard has come out showing Democrats and Republicans tied at 50% each. This brings the Real Clear Politics average down to 2.0%. Trump's favorability rating in this poll is 42% bringing this RCP average down to 43.6%. This poll also shows Trump in the drivers seat for the 2024 nomination with 56% compared to DeSantis with 16% and Pence with 7%. Is this the start of a trend? Stay tuned.

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Pennsylvania's Primary: Stakes Higher Because of Roe v. Wade



Saturday, May 21, 2022

2022 PA Primary Post Mortem
























The 2022 Pennsylvania primary is almost in the books. State Sen. Doug Mastriano and Lt. Gov. John Fetterman won their respective primaries handily for Governor and U.S. Senator. Attorney General Josh Shapiro was unopposed for the Democratic Nomination for Governor while Dr. Mehmet Oz and and David McCormick are separated by roughly 1,000 votes for the GOP nod for the U.S. Senate.

The graphic above for the Real Clear Politics polling average for the GOP Governors race shows that Mastriano's lead began on April 15 and the gap began to widen on May 4. His actual percentage of the vote was 44% which was 9.7% higher than his final RCP average of 34.5%. The other candidates performed fairly close to their polling averages which suggests that the undecided voters broke for Mastriano in the last days of the campaign. This is partially explained by Trump's last minute endorsement of Mastriano. Jake Corman and Melissa Hart dropping out of the race to endorse Barletta had no effect.














The Senate race in PA has received a lot more scrutiny than the governors race. McCormick received a bigger surge in the last days of the campaign. Oz's percentage of the vote was 4.4% higher than his polling average while McCormick's was 10.5% higher. Kathy Barnette performed almost exactly the same as her polling average. My cousin Casey Contres is biting his nails over this one with the upcoming recounts. Trump's endorsement of Oz did not carry the same weight in this race.

On a local note, State Rep Frank Burns defeated challenger Michael Cashaw 72% to 28%. There were no exit polls in this primary which makes it harder to determine what the voters were thinking. I also have yet to see head to head polling for the Democratic and the GOP candidates for statewide offices for the fall. One bright spot for progressives in PA is that Summer Lee has won her primary for congress in Pittsburgh despite a smear campaign from outside groups. 



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Pennsylvania's Primary: Stakes Higher Because of Roe v. Wade



Saturday, May 7, 2022

Pennsylvania's Primary: Stakes Higher Because of Roe v. Wade


Much has been made of the leaked opinion written by Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito overturning the Roe v. Wade decision. The SCOTUS (or more accurately SCROTUS) decision will be made official in late June. If it hadn't been leaked, demonstrations, like the one above, would be erupting in June instead of now.

If this decision remains in June, the battle over abortion rights moves to the states making the upcoming elections even more critical. Pennsylvania's senate race was already receiving national attention with Pat Toomey retiring and celebrities like Mehmet Oz and John Fetterman running to replace him. The battle over state offices (Governor, Senate, and House) should become more heated as well. 

This week, Franklin and Marshall College published a poll showing Dr. Oz with a 2% lead over David McCormick in the Republican primary for Senate. This difference is within the margin of error of 6.9% and and 39% of GOP voters are still undecided. This poll was conducted before the SCOTUS opinion was leaked. Only 4% of voters listed "Women's Rights: Pro-life/Pro-choice" as the most important issue for which candidate they will support in the GOP primary. Donald Trump's endorsement of J.D, Vance in the Ohio GOP Senate primary helped propel him to victory this week.

John Fetterman has a big lead in the same poll on the Democratic side with 53% of the vote over Conor Lamb with 14%. Among the Democrats, only 2% of the voters listed "Women's Rights: Pro-life/Pro-choice" as their important issue. I have a feeling these percentages have increased on both sides since the SCOTUS leak.

Among the GOP, Trump still has 70% of respondents saying that they have strongly of somewhat favorable views of him. On this metric, Dr. Oz has 29% favorability and McCormick has 31%. Likewise, Biden has 80% favorability ratings on the Democratic side. Fetterman has 77%, Conor Lamb has 46%, and Gubernatorial candidate Josh Shapiro (running unopposed) has 62%.

Of all survey respondents, 31% said that abortion should be legal in all circumstances, 54% said it should be legal under certain circumstances, and 14% said it should be illegal in all circumstances. Since June 2009, there was a 13% increase in those who said it should be legal in all circumstances while, over the same period, there was an 8% decrease in those who wanted it illegal in all circumstances. The generic ballot for US/state house races shows 43% favoring the GOP, 39% favoring Democrats and 18% undecided.

It remains to be seen how the SCOTUS decision will affect the race. There are infinite possibilities for what could happen between now and November. Certainly passions will be higher on both sides. Dr. Oz's campaign manager happens to be my cousin, Casey Contres.

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Saturday, April 23, 2022

Now it's Math Textbooks in Florida?

 

I have written about how my book was banned by the Johnstown Area Heritage Association in much the same way that Art Spiegelman's was banned by a school board in Tennessee.  I have also written about the message I received from Google about my blog posts on the Ukraine war.  Now it's math textbooks in Florida that are being banned because they supposedly discuss critical race theory (CRT).  In the video above, the Lt. Governor of Florida and Fox News talk about why this ban is a good thing with no examples of why these books were banned.


In this video, reporter Judd Legum discusses his review of some of the textbooks that were banned.  His group found no discussion of CRT or Social and Emotional Learning (SEL).  Now SEL is seen by many on the right as synonymous with CRT.  Why these things are a bad thing is beyond me. 

CRT is a college level theory to study racism in institutions.  SEL is intended to teach children the emotional skills to better relate to one another.  The fact that many on the right cannot distinguish between the two suggests the need for more education of parents as well as children in critical thinking.

As an educator of statistics, I can tell you that it is always better to have teaching examples that students to which students can relate.  African American and Hispanic students often lag behind white students in math achievement.  These are important skills not only for balancing one's checkbook but for critical thinking in a variety of areas.  

None of the skills learned in school are learned in a vacuum.  What is taught in one subject area spills over into the others.  Governor Ron DeSantis (who is hoping to take on former President Trump in 2024) emphasized "education not indoctrination" to justify the banning of books and his "don't say gay" bill.

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Saturday, December 25, 2021

Manchin's Political Decisions Have Real Impacts on Real People

Many progressives were disappointed in Sen. Joe Manchin's (D-WVa) no vote on the build back better act.  This is about more than merely scoring political points or infrastructure.  This is about programs like the expanded child care tax credit which gives assistance to low income parents like my friend Jennina Rose Gorman.  She was interviewed by MSNBC's Katy Tur which can be seen above.

A Facebook image from a MAGA friend

Does Senator Manchin realize the impact of his policies?  He drives a Maserati and has a yacht on the Potomac River.  His state (West Virginia) is one of the poorest in the union.  If any state needs built back better his does.  The same question should be asked of the state's other Senator Shelly Moore Capito (R-WVa) who is also a certain no vote on the bill.  

It's true that Trump won the state with 68.6% of the vote.  He carried every county in the state.  It used to be a reliable Democratic state but like Cambria County in PA has now flipped.  The challenge is now to get them to vote in favor of their self interest again.  This March, I will be presenting Appalachian Studies Association's annual conference in Morgantown on how to use County Health Rankings to gauge the health of your area.  Hope to see you there.  Buon Natale a` tutti.

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Friday, December 10, 2021

PA Health Behavior Measures Correlate More with Trump % of the vote than with COVID Case Mortality

 

Last week I posted on COVID Case Mortality and County Health Ranking (CHR) measures.  I also posted that there was a stronger correlation between the health behaviors and Trump's % of the vote than with COVID case mortality.  This week I will look at which individual county statistics used by CHR are the best predictors of Trump's % of the vote.
















Thirty-one out of the 48 county health rankings statistics were significantly correlated with Trump's % of the vote in the 67 Pennsylvania Counties.  The variable with the strongest univariate correlation was the % of the population who were smokers in each county.  This relationship accounted for 54% of the variability in Trump's vote in 2020. This relationship can be seen in the graph above.  Philadelphia is an outlier in this model.

Trump % of the vote = 38.29 + 2.03*(% Smokers) - 0.24*(% access to exercise) +                  0.55*(Social Assn) - 0.03*(Chlamydia) - 2.16*(Housing problems)

For the other county level statistics, I entered the variables with the strongest correlations into a multiple regression model.  Variables that were significant were kept into the model.  Five variables were settled on accounting for 91.9% of the variability in Trump's vote.  The model is summarized in the equation above in italics.  

The 38.29 value is the predicted value for Trump's vote % in PA if all of the predictor variables have a value of zero.  Percent smokers has a regression coefficient of 2.03.  This means that for every 1% increase in the percent of smokers, there is a predicted 2.03% increase in Trump's vote.  The other predictor variables will be summarized below.
















The univariate relationship between the % of the county with easy access to exercise opportunities and Trump's vote is presented in the above graph.  In the multiple model there is a predicted decrease of 0.24% in Trump's vote for every 1% increase in access to exercise opportunities.  Philadelphia county is less of an outlier in this model.  Univariately, this relationship accounts for 45.1% of the variability in Trump's vote.
















The rate of the number of social membership organizations per 100,000 for each PA county is compared to Trump's % of the vote in the graph above.  In the multiple regression model, there is a predicted 0.55% increase in Trump's vote for each unit increase in the social association rate.  Univariately, this relationship accounts for 42.6% of the variability in Trump's vote.  Dauphin County is an outlier for this relationship with a relatively high social association rate 18.5/100,000 but only 45% of the vote for Trump.


The rate of chlamydia per 100,000 for each PA county is negatively associated with with Trump's % of the vote accounting for 47% of the variance.  In the multiple regression model, for every unit increase in the chlamydia rate, there is a predicted 0.03% decrease in Trump's vote.  Philadelphia county is an influential county for this relationship but not an outlier.
  


























The last variable in the model is the % of the county with housing problems for each county.  In the multiple regression model, for every 1% increase in this variable, there is a predicted 2.16% decrease in Trump's % of the vote.  Univariately, housing problems account for 48.2% of the variability in Trump's vote. Bedford County may be an outlier.  

These five variables account for 91.9% of the variance in Trump's vote when combined in a multiple regression model.  One should always be careful about assuming a cause and effect relationship between variables that are correlated.  There are always potential unknown variables which can explain this relationship.  These variables were the most robust when entered into the model and do not have a strong association with each other.  The five variables in this model can be ruled out as alternative explanations for each other.

**Update**

Some have asked me about the correlation coefficients for the univariate relationships in this model.  If one takes the square root of the r-squared statistic for % smokers (0.5452) we get a correlation coefficient 0.738  which is much stronger than any of the correlations for COVID case mortality.  For access to exercise opportunities the coefficient is -0.671.  For social association rates, it is 0.673.  For chlamydia rate, it is -0.685.  For housing problems, it is 0.694.

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Friday, May 21, 2021

Pennsylvania has Become the First State in the U.S. to Curb the Governor's Emergency Powers


In the 2021 primary election in Pennsylvania there were 2 constitutional amendments on the ballot to limit the Governors emergency powers in times of a pandemic or natural disaster.  The first amendment empowers the state legislature to terminate or extend a disaster declaration with a simple majority without input by the governor. The second amendment places a 21 day limit on a disaster declaration with legislature approval needed for an extension.  A fuller explanation of these amendments can be seen here.




These amendments have been approved with 53% of the vote apiece.  In Cambria County, the first amendment received 62.7% of the vote and the second received 63.3%.  These amendments could have major ramifications for how the state handles future crises such as natural or epidemiological disasters.




For example, in the not so distant future, natural disasters related to climate change could befall this and other states.  A legislature with a majority of climate change deniers can block the governor from taking action beyond 21 days.  There is no way of knowing how many lives Gov. Wolf's disaster declaration saved but it did save lives.  

The graph above shows the daily death counts in Pennsylvania since the pandemic began.  Restrictions were made in March the death counts rose until May and then leveled decreased as personal protective equipment and ventilators became more available.  The restrictions were eased in June and deaths did not rise.  The deaths began to rise after the November election due to mask-less rallies held by the Trump campaign in the state.  Due to this restrictions were then tightened during the Christmas holidays and the deaths decreased in the state (though higher than it was before the election).  Roughly 21% of the state's eligible voters voted in the primary.

The voters who went to the polls and voted yes on these ballot questions (10.8% of the electorate in Pennsylvania) are rebuking Gov. Wolf for listening to scientists such as Rachel Levine.  Levine now works for the Biden Administration as the first transgender department head.  The right has distributed images like the one above to demonize the governor and Dr, Levine.  One has to wonder how much transphobia played a role in this primary.

Our county, Cambria County, still ranks 9th in the state in case mortality and 5th in deaths/100,000 while it voted 63% for both measures.

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Our Webinar on the Corona Virus Numbers in Cambria County

Saturday, February 20, 2021

Why the New York COVID-19 Nursing Home Scandal Matters

 


Last week I posted on coronavirus mortality in nursing homes in Pennsylvania.  By coincidence, just to the north of PA is the state of New York where it's Governor, Andrew Cuomo, has come under fire for underreporting the number of deaths in nursing homes there.  In the above clip, NY Assemblyman Ron Kim claims that Cuomo called him to threaten him not to go public with the underreporting.  The state assembly will vote to curtail Cuomo's emergency powers.

When I report on the Pennsylvania numbers, I and those that use the numbers trust that their reporting is accurate.  There is already a certain level of distrust of the federal, state, and local government's honesty.  Scandals like these only reinforce this mistrust.  It makes it harder to track and sound the alarm about the spreading of cases. 


Impeachment or some other accountability by the voters is warranted.  Cuomo will not be up for reelection for a fourth term until 2022.  His father Mario (once a potential Presidential candidate) was defeated for a fourth term by George Pataki in 1994.

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Sunday, January 17, 2021

Chicken's Coming to Roost for Trump?

On Jan 6 I posted my reaction to the shocking events at the U.S. Capitol that day.  I wondered what would happen to Trump's approval ratings as his other antics have had minimal effect on them throughout his presidency.  Now it seems like I have an answer now that there are three days left for him in power.


























The graph above shows a sharp drop in the Real Clear Politics (RCP) average in approval rating polls since Jan 6.  Trump's approval rating was 44.2% that day.  Today it is 39.7%, the sharpest decline in his term.  This rating is still 2.7% ahead of the lowest his average approval rating has been back in December 2017.  

Rasmussen (a Republican polling firm) estimates his approval rating to be 48% which is by far the highest of any of the major polling firms.  They limit their sample size to likely voters where the other firms sample from all adult Americans or from registered voters.


  

Nate Silver's website FiveThirtyEight estimates his average approval rating to be 38.7% which is 1% lower than the RCP average.  They weight their polls by the their quality based on sample size and bias in the selection.  They rate some polls such as ABC News/Washington Post as A grade and others such as Economist/Yougov as B.  Rasmussen is rated as C+.  Otherwise the trend in the poll average for FiveThirtyEight mirrors that of the RCP.  

It remains to be seen what will happen in the upcoming impeachment trial of Trump.  Sixty seven Senators will have to vote to convict him to bar him from ever holding office again.  The decline in his approval ratings may give 17 GOP Senators the courage to vote with the 50 Democrats to do so as it gave 10 GOP House members the courage to break with the rest of their party to impeach.  

Nixon's approval rating was 25.1% before he resigned when GOP senators told him the game was up. Democracy Now has a discussion on what happens next for Trump with historian Tim Snyder.  He does face state level investigations for which he cannot be pardoned either by himself or by his successor.  Snyder says he believes the best option for Trump would be to leave the country.


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Wednesday, January 6, 2021

Where do We Stand in 2021?

Happy New Year all.  I started writing this post last night as the numbers were trickling in from the Georgia runoffs last night.  I am surprised as anyone about the events of today.  I admit to finding it frightening that Trump's supporters would resort to occupying the U.S. capitol building.  We knew that this was a possibility as Trump refused to accept the results of the election.  WJAC-TV reports that over 500 people from Cambria, Blair, Somerset, and Bedford counties went to the rally.  The chair of the Cambria County Republican Party, Jackie Kulback, says that they left before the violence began.  Even if it were a peaceful protest they likely were exposed to COVID-19 and brought it back to their homes.


Since the election that Biden won, Trump's approval rating hardly changed from 45.9% to 44.1% today.  How sad it would be if they hardly change after today's events.  It would take about 4 day to a week before we know what impact it has had on his approval ratings.

Warnock and Ossoff have won their Senate races.  This means that the Democrats will technically be in control of the Senate and the House of Representatives once Biden and Harris take office on January 20.  The 50-50 split in the Senate (with Harris as the tiebreaking vote) gives the Democrats more leverage but the Republicans, with Mitch McConnell's leadership, still have the filibuster.  They can use it to block any meaningful legislation with only 40 votes.  

In 2013 McConnell used the filibuster to block a bill banning the use of assault rifles in the wake of the Newtown, CT shooting in which 26 people were killed.  The Democrats had a 54-46 majority at the time and the bill had strong support of the families in Newtown but it didn't matter.  There have 56 mass shootings in the US since then with 445 fatalities according to Mother Jones magazine.

Joe Biden will try to be a return to normalcy President.  Trumpism is unlikely to disappear entirely as it was present before he took office.  Trump's niece Mary says it best:

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Friday, July 24, 2020

How Does Trump Stand for Reelection Now?


Some pundits have written off Trump's reelection chances due to his handling.  They often point to the results of one poll to reinforce that conclusion.  I would argue that it is better to look at the aggregate of polls to see trends.  

The Real Clear Politics (RCP) average of polls includes Republican polling firms like Rasmussen, neutral firms like Politico and Quinnipiac, and Democratic firms like Change Research.  In the graph above we see that the RCP average for Trump's approval rating has steadily declined from an all time high of 47.3% at the beginning of the Coronavirus pandemic to 42.2% today.  This number is still higher than Trump's all time low rating of 37.1% on December 17, 2017.

  

Nate Silver's fivethirtyeight.com website estimates his current approval rating to be 40.4%.  This number is still higher than their all time low estimate of 36.4% on December 17, 2017.  Silver's group uses a different than RCP that you can read about here.  In both poll estimates, Trumps approval rating has never been above 50%.

FiveThirtyEight also provides a comparison of Trump's approval rating the past 12 Presidents at the same point in their Presidencies (1282 days) going back to Harry Truman.  Of these past 12 Presidents, only three had approval ratings lower than Trump's and this point: Truman (39.6%), Carter (33.9%), and George H.W. Bush (36.7%).  Truman managed to win his election bid while Bush and Carter lost.  Ford was in office for fewer than 1282 days and he lost as well.  The other Presidents either won their reelection bids or left office before running again.

RCP's poll average of national polls has Biden leading Trump 49.6% to 40.9% while FiveThirtyEight has Biden up 50.0% to 42.0%.  One should always be careful about making predictions about the outcome of the November election this early.  However it is pretty clear that he faces a tough bid to win this year.  In the month of June 2016, Clinton had a lead of 5.7% over Trump while Biden had a lead of 7.7% over him in June 2020.  He could still eek out an electoral college win with his loyal supporters.


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Friday, May 8, 2020

Coronavirus and the 2020 Election

Today there is a wealth of statistics being released including the ones that I have compiled here.  The official unemployment rate increased from 4.4% in March 2020 to 14.7% in April 2020.  The unofficial rate (which some call the true unemployment rate) rose from 8.7% in March to 22.8% in April.  The official rate counts people who are unemployed and are looking for work.  The unofficial rate includes those who have given up looking for full time work and those who are underemployed (including myself).

Undoubtedly, the political campaigns are going over these numbers to see how they can gain an advantage over the other.  As of today, Joe Biden has a 4.4% advantage in the Real Clear Politics poll average over Donald Trump.  On this date four years ago (May 8), Hillary Clinton had a 6.5% advantage over Trump in the same poll average.  On the same date four years ago Bernie, Sanders had a 13.4% advantage over Trump in the RCP average.  At the time Sanders dropped out of the race on April 7, he had a 4.2% advantage over Trump in the RCP average.  On the same day, Biden had a 6.1% advantage over Trump.


It may be to early to say what impact Tara Reade's allegations have had on the Trump-Biden race.  Both candidates have lost support in recent weeks as can be seen above.  At the beginning of April, Trump's overall approval rating reached its highest point at 47.4% in the RCP average.  It has since fallen to 44.6% which is close to where it was before the pandemic started.

I stay away from making predictions, especially this far out.  Anything is possible in the next few months.  The crisis has given the administration cover on the economy.  They can blame it on the virus.  Both sides will demonize China.  Pennsylvania Governor Wolf has announced that 

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Sunday, March 1, 2020

Facebook and Twitter Primaries: Super Tuesday Update

Joe Biden had an impressive win in South Carolina yesterday.  The real test for the seven remaining candidates is Super Tuesday in two days with 14 states and two territories voting.  This gives a total of 1,242 pledged delegates at stake or 32% of the total pledged delegates.  I thought I would take a look at the state of the candidates social media following to see how it predicts their Real Clear Politics (RCP) national poll averages.  Super Tuesday is the closest thing to a national primary.  The numbers are below.

Candidate
Feb RCP Avg %
FB Following Feb
Twitter Following Feb
Twitter Audit Feb % Real Followers
Real Twitter Following
Sanders
                    29.6%
5,381,758
         10,866,483
                    67%
         7,280,544
Biden
                    18.8%
1,522,015
           4,208,280
                    85%
         3,577,038
Bloomberg
                    16.4%
901,054
           2,712,036
                    91%
         2,467,953
Warren
                    11.8%
3,371,232
           3,812,696
                    83%
         3,164,538
Buttigieg
                    11.0%
599,102
           1,753,062
                    92%
         1,612,817
Klobuchar
                      4.0%
316,936
               983,100
                    71%
             698,001
Steyer
                      2.6%
508,723
               305,605
                    95%
             290,325
Gabbard
                      1.4%
447,335
               791,422
                    95%
             751,851

Above we can see that Bernie Sanders leads in the polls nationally and in his Facebook and Twitter followings.  The Twitter audit column shows an estimate of the percentage to Twitter Followings are real (ie not bots). The last column shows the estimate or the real number of Twitter followers.  Bernie Sanders does have a low percentage of real followers but still leads in the overall number of real followers.  Tom Steyer is included even though he dropped out of the race yesterday.  The graph below shows how Twitter followings are associated with national support.  



The R squared statistics shows the percentage of the variability in the poll averages that is accounted by the variability in the twitter following.  This value is 0.8546 or 85%.  In January, this relationship accounted for 51% of the variability in the poll averages.  This was mostly due to Biden having high poll averages but low a Twitter following and to there being more candidates in the race.



When I limit the data to real twitter followers, the relationship with the RCP poll average becomes even stronger accounting for 91% of the variability in the RCP average.  If 100% of the variability were accounted for, all of the candidates would fall right on the line in the graph.



Looking at the relationship between the Facebook followings and the RCP averages, a weaker relationship that that with Twitter emerges.  Sixty-three percent of the variability is accounted for which is higher than the 42% in January.  These higher percentages in the Twitter and Facebook relationships suggest greater engagement by consumers of social media with the candidates and its potential influence on voters now that primaries are heating up.

Trump now has a following of 73,242,775 on Twitter (79% real) and 26,091,741 Facebook.  It remains to be seen what impact it will have on the general election.


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