Lincoln Park Strategies’ research and analysis has appeared in many national publications, including but not limited to:


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A Convention Bounce? Don't Hold Your Breath

July 22, 2016 | Campaigns & Elections

The bounce presidential nominees ride out of conventions has been shrinking for decades. Today, Donald Trump can consider even a 1-point bump a victory emerging from the Republican National Convention in Cleveland. His predecessor, Mitt Romney, saw a one-percent dip in his polling leaving his convention in 2012 in Tampa, Fla. 

There are two main ways to evaluate these post-convention bumps. First, it's a question of how big of a bump a candidate gets, and the one of how durable that bump is. Some pundits look at the size of the bump and whether or not it exceeds the “par” of about 5 to 6 points. Still others look at how long into the late summer or early fall the bump lasts. 

In the past, conventions have produced, on average, around a 5 to 6-point bump, based on where the candidates were polling before the convention to where they were after the event. Going back to 1964, only three conventions (Democrats in 1972 and 2004, and Republicans in 2012) have had a net negative or flat bounce for their nominees.

In general, there’s no right or wrong way to look at the numbers, but regardless of whether you’re looking at the size of the bump, or the longevity, keep in mind that every year is different. Comparing one election to another is not exactly an apples-to-apples comparison. 

To read the full article, click here.

Elsewhere in the News:

To watch Stefan Hankin speaking with David Winston on C-SPAN's Washington Journal on April 3, 2016, please click here.
To see other appearances on the Washington Journal, please click here.

The Last Swing Voters in America

July 15, 2016 | Washington Monthly

While “Independent” voters now make up the largest share of the electorate, most Independents – as many as 87%, according to the Pew Research Center – “lean” toward one party or another. Moreover, many Independents aren’t centrists – rather, they claim that label because they are further to the right or to the left than the parties that most closely represent their views.

The true size of the swing electorate is therefore much smaller than the growth in the number of “independent” voters implies. In fact, says a new survey by the research firm Lincoln Park Strategies, just 4% of the American electorate is truly independent – unaffiliated with a political party and ideologically in the middle.

Read more here.

Are Sanders Supporters Really Staying Home?

July 7, 2016 | The Huffington Post

Since Hillary Clinton clinched the Democratic nomination, there have been many articles and polls questioning her ability to unify the Democratic Party, particularly when Bernie Sanders performed better against Donald Trump than she was in many polls. In fact, one of the last polls to include the Trump v. Sanders matchup was Quinnipiac at the end of May, which showed Clinton leading Trump by 4 points (45 percent to 41 percent) while Sanders led by 9 points (48 percent to 39 percent). This narrative has died down a little over the past few weeks, and our recent polling shows there is good reason why. Yes — there are some big differences between the Sanders supporters who are currently behind Clinton and those who are holding out their support, but the vast majority of Sanders supporters are likely to come home to the Democratic Party’s nominee by November 8th.

Read the rest of the article, which includes results from our latest national poll, here.

Can Democrats Make Real Progress on Gun Policy? Not From the Top Down.


June 29, 2016 | The Huffington Post

Despite significant rallying by Democrats in both chambers just days after the deadliest mass shooting in the nation’s history, The United States Congress adjourned last week without any new gun control measures. Even Sen. Christopher Murphy’s (D-CT) fifteen-hour filibuster to push a budgetary amendment that would enhance background checks for all gun transactions fell short of legislative success. House Democrats consequently orchestrated a highly publicized sit-in to support the restriction of gun sales for those on the “no-fly” list, a measure that received bipartisan support in the Senate. Yet, as we’ve seen time after time, common sense gun legislation brought before Congress after a major mass shooting has yet again fallen short.

With most data indicating that mass shootings have been on the rise in the United States, there is very little ground to infer that we will not arrive at a similar point within the next year — with a new host of families mourning the loss of loved ones, a nation holding vigils, and more calls for gun law reform. This has become a familiar pattern in our country and as has been pointed out by others, if Newtown didn’t change the dynamic, it is hard to see what will.

Read the rest of the article here.

Why Trump's Numbers Aren't Hiding a Reverse Bradley Effect

June 28, 2016 | Campaigns & Elections

Hillary Clinton is on the upswing, and on track for a victory against Donald Trump this November. Indeed, according to the Real Clear Politics average of polls, it could be a shellacking. Clinton currently leads by almost six points on average and has lead the average this entire year except on May 23 when Trump lead by 0.2 points.

Given this consistent lead, some people, including Trump, have wondered whether there’s a false negative for the Republican, and if he could in fact be experiencing a reverse Bradley Effect.

While we still have five months to go until Election Day and a lot could happen, our read on the data is that Trump’s support is not being severely underestimated and there isn’t a “silent majority” unwilling to speak their minds in polls.

Read more here.

Leading Medical Groups Endorse Johnson's Military Modernization Bill

June 27, 2016 | Press Release, Rep. Hank Johnson (gA-04)

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Congressman Hank Johnson (GA-04) announced that his bipartisan bill, the Battlefield Excellence Through Superior Training (BEST) Practices Act (HR 1095), has garnered the endorsement of leading national organizations representing a diverse group of physicians.

Read Representative Johnson's press release here to learn more about Lincoln Park Strategies contributed to the support behind a bill that "modernize[s] military readiness programs to replace wasteful animal laboratories.

What the Primary Data Really Showed

June 2, 2016 | The Huffington Post

Most of the post-Presidential primary analysis has focused on how wrong the pundits were when it came to Donald Trump winning and Bernie Sanders’ staying power. While these are true and important observations, there has sadly been little discussion about what we can learn about the two inevitable nominees from the data in the primaries. Clearly, focus has moved on to the general election, along with the accepted narrative that Republican voters have come to accept the Trump nomination while Clinton has still yet to win over many Sanders supporters. But is this analysis based on actual data or does it just sound good and so it get repeated? On the surface, these narratives are somewhat true, but as is always the case there is a lot more to the story than a few topline numbers in public polls.

Starting with Trump, if you look back at the coverage, most pundits were insisting that Donald Trump was at his ceiling in January, and that he had no room for growth. Clearly this was not that case, but much of the focus recently has been on the fact that it wasn’t until New York that Trump won a majority level of support. While the pure number of candidates had a lot to do with this, our data shows that Trump’s inevitable path to a majority level of support can be traced back to late 2015.

Read the whole article here.

Trump Win Will Pivot on the Mood of White Voters

May 28, 2016 | The Philadelphia Tribune

How will white voters behave in 2016? And can other racial voting blocs, nervously watching Donald Trump's once unpredictable political rise, truly count on them not to make the wrong pick?

That's a very big question - underscored by numerous ifs - bubbling beneath the surface of much discussion, fear, and loathing of Trump. Smart people want to know what move white voters will make. When the question is posed there's a sense of dread surrounding the query.

Even with all this talk of a new demographic reckoning and the combined juggernaut of increasingly more non-white voters, it still stands that white voters are 69 percent of the electorate and, therefore, command the dominant voting punch.

Read the full article here.

Sanders' Failed Revolution

April 25, 2016 | The Huffington Post

There is little doubt that Bernie Sanders has done far better than expected when he initially declared he was running for president. But with his defeat in New York, his chances of winning the Democratic nomination and becoming the president are small at best. With these defeats, it would appear that the “revolution“ he personifies has suffered a grave and insurmountable setback. While Bernie Sanders not winning the presidency will certainly be problematic for the cause, the bigger problem for the “revolution” is that it never had a chance of succeeding to begin with. This vision of millions of working class voters banding together to elect very liberal representatives and pass Sanders’ vision of free college for all, single-payer healthcare, getting money out of politics, substantial tax increases on the rich, etc. was doomed to run into the institutional buzzsaw specifically designed to avoid radical change that is the U.S. Senate.

Imagine a world where Bernie Sanders somehow succeeds. He won the presidency. Millions of detached first-time voters actually show up and provide a huge down ballot wave allowing Democrats to win all of the remotely plausible Senate seats in play (New Hampshire, Illinois, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Florida, Wisconsin, Missouri, and North Carolina). This gives Democrats a 54 to 46 lead in the Senate. Let’s take it a step further and say that not only do Democrats retake the Senate, but they achieve the virtually impossible and win the House as well.

Read the entire article here.

Yes, Hillary's Still the Inevitable Nominee

January 17, 2016|US News & World Report

It’s just past the 8 o’clock hour on Feb. 9 in Manchester, New Hampshire.

Outside, the nighttime temperature has dipped below 20 degrees, with the snow on the grass lawns having frozen over. But inside the ballroom of the Radisson Hotel, the atmosphere is raucous and red-hot.

The Associated Press has just called the Granite State Democratic primary for Bernie Sanders – and it’s a 15-point rout. It’s the second loss for Hillary Clinton in the presidential nominating contest after she narrowly dropped the Iowa caucuses to Sanders seven days prior.

Sanders’ crowd is beside themselves. The commentators on cable news are fanning doomsday scenarios. There are calls for a Clinton campaign leadership shake-up not only from talking heads, but from longtime family loyalists as well. Is it happening again? Could Clinton be upended in the Democratic primary for the second time in eight years?

Why the GOP Can't Dislodge Trump

December 11, 2015|Republic 3.0

The prevailing wisdom about Donald Trump’s candidacy for the Republican presidential nomination is that voters backing the GOP front runner are, on the whole, white, older, less educated, and blue collar.

While this is true, less well-known is the fact that Trump also enjoys broad support from every wing of the Republican Party, not just the anti-establishment cohort or the far right. And this may explain Trump’s otherwise gravity-defying staying power in the contest for the GOP presidential nomination.

Read more here >>

What Voters Most Want: Honesty or Intelligence?

October 19, 2015|Republic 3.0

Partisan differences between Democrats and Republicans are increasingly stark – and may now even extend to the character traits voters look for in a president. Recent research conducted by Lincoln Park Strategies and GroupSolver finds that while all voters value “honesty,” “intelligence” and “leadership” in a candidate, Democrats, Republicans and Independents differ significantly in the priorities they put on these traits.

All of our respondents said they valued honesty, intelligence, and leadership, regardless of region, race, age, gender, party, or the amount of attention being paid to the upcoming election. But both Democrats and Independents said they were looking for honesty and leadership first and foremost, while Republicans placed intelligence ahead of both.

Read more here >>

Why Minnesota Will Crown Hillary Clinton in 2016

June 14, 2015|Republic 3.0

The days of the national presidential campaign are long gone.

With the help of data, technology, and the diminishing existence of true swing voters, campaigns now focus even more specifically on a couple critical states, skipping approximately four-fifths of the country. In 2012, Obama visited fewer than half of the states in the US, only visiting 23 states (plus the District of Columbia) in the six months prior to the election, with Ohio and Florida accounting for nearly a quarter of his campaign stops. And it appears Hillary Clinton is following suit. By all accounts, Clinton is poised to follow a much more targeted campaign strategy, instead of following Bill Clinton’s 1992 path to victory that lead him through southern states now unimaginable for national Democrats to win today.

But as the field of decisive states narrows, which state will figure most prominently in 2016? While Ohio, Virginia, and Florida are the swing states that typically come first to mind, the state that ultimately puts Clinton into the White House is likely to be a much less talked-about player: Minnesota. Read more here >>