Lincoln Park Strategies’ research and analysis has appeared in many national publications, including but not limited to:
Should Democrats Be Feeling Good About the 2018 Elections?
November 6, 2017 | Medium
As is often the case these days, our political attention moves quickly. Days after Donald Trump’s unexpected victory in 2016, discussions had already started around the 2018 mid-term elections in Congress. After getting over the shock, talks of a Democratic wave began in earnest and have been growing since Trump took office. Our question became, is this just wishful thinking for Democratic supporters, or is it based on actual data?
The prevailing wisdom, coupled with historical trends, points to the Democrats picking up seats in Congress, but there is a big difference between a handful of seats and Democrats being likely to win back control of the House. Fuel was thrown on the “Democratic wave” fire when the most recent FoxNews poll gave Democrats a 50% to 36% advantage in the generic horse race. But one survey in November of 2017 is not the final word. With this in mind we decided to look past the horserace and get deeper into the motivations Americans have when it comes to the upcoming election. With 12 months until Election Day 2018, Democrats still have a way to go if they want a wave to develop.
In our latest national survey, we asked Americans not just which candidate they were likely to support but what their preferred outcome is for the 2018 midterms.
To read the rest of the article, click here.
What to Expect From the Upcoming Tax Reform Fight
October 20, 2017 | The Huffington Post
Although the Trump Administration and Congressional Republicans have finally laid out the overall goals of their tax reform plan, there are very few details of what will actually go into the final bill, if they are even going to stick to their original guidelines, or what real effect their proposals will have. While lowering taxes for the middle class is one of the most prevalent talking points, there is little evidence that the Republicans’ guideline is currently set up to do that, unlike the clearly planned tax cuts for businesses and higher income Americans. However, there is both good news and bad news for Republicans’ inability to coalesce around one plan: the American public isn’t sure what they want in the tax reform plan either. However, the one thing that they are sure about is that tax cuts for the middle class are essential. Republicans have leeway with most of their proposals, as long as the middle class receives tax cuts, which appears to be very much still up in the air.
Our recent national survey of 1,000 adults showed that most of the proposed tax reforms have little support among Americans, with the exception of tax cuts for the middle class. Indeed, two-thirds of Americans (66%) would like tax cuts for the middle class, while less than half as many people want the earned income tax credit doubled (31%) or for the child tax credit to be doubled (30%). Other Republican proposals are even less popular, as less than one-quarter of Americans want a lower corporate tax rate (23%), lower taxes for those making more than $250,000 a year (14%), or for the number of deductions people can take to be reduced (13%). Should Republicans choose to simply appease their base, they have more flexibility in lowering the corporate tax rate (37% of Republicans would like it included), doubling the earned income tax credit (32%) and child tax credit (31%), and even cutting taxes for higher income Americans (21%); however, middle class tax cuts are also seen as a must, as support increases among Republicans to 74%.
Read the rest of the article here.
Biased Views of Girls Begin as Early as Fourth Grade, New Save the Children Survey Reveals
October 10, 2017 | Save the Children
FAIRFIELD, Conn. (October 10, 2017)— Biased views on the value of girls and their roles within the classroom and society begin to show as early as fourth grade, according to new data released today by Save the Children. The global humanitarian organization, which surveyed boys and girls in the United States and the West African nations of Sierra Leone and Côte d’Ivoire, found that a striking number of young boys – and even many girls – believe fathers rule the household, boys are smarter than girls and girls need less school than boys.
Launched to coincide with International Day of the Girl on Oct. 11, the new data indicates that girls are significantly less valued than their male peers, even in these very different regions of the world.
Read the rest of Save the Children's press release here.
Survey Finds Women in Tech Get Punished for Reporting Harassment
August 17, 2017 | Glamour
After noticing a tech industry influencer posting in a startups and entrepreneurs Facebook group, 18-year-old Lydia Jones sent him a polite message asking if he knew any local members of the tech industry who could mentor her. But his response tried to take the conversation in a totally different direction.
"How young are you?" he asked. When she responded that she was 18—which might ordinarily provide a reason not to make things sexual—he asked her if she was single. Even when she said she was not only in a relationship but also gay, he tried to keep the conversation going by asking, "Are you quite open about your sexuality?" and "So men don't turn you on at all?" Jones told Mashable the people she reaches out to for networking often seem unwilling to help young women.
It's not just young women starting out who face this kind of mistreatment, though. Engineer Susan Fowler published a blog post in February claiming that she and other female employees routinely faced sexual harassment while working at Uber and HR ignored their complaints. She describes multiple women complaining about harassment from the same manager and being told it was his "first offense."
Unfortunately, these stories aren't just common—they're actually the norm for women in tech, according to a Women Who Tech survey of 950 tech workers, founders and investors, including 750 women and 200 men. 53 percent of the women surveyed—compared to 16 percent of the men—said they'd experienced harassment while working in tech, and 60 percent said it had happened more than once.
Read the rest of the article here.
Survey adds detail to patterns of sexism and harassment in the tech industry
August 7, 2017 | TechCrunch
The problem of sexism is front and center in the technology industry right now, but for those not directly affected (which is pretty much to say: men like me) the problem can languish in the middle distance: too close to see the scale of it, but not close enough to see the details. A new survey of tech workers fills out this picture nicely, and identifies interesting — and depressing — contrasts in people’s experiences.
The online survey, commissioned by Women Who Tech, comprises responses from 950 individuals, 84 percent of whom currently work in tech (the remaining 16 percent used to, presumably), but otherwise have varying demographics — though it should be noted that white women are the largest represented group.
Their responses illustrate a profound imbalance in the incidence of harassment: right off the bat, 53 percent of women say they have experienced it, versus 16 percent of men. What’s more, 53 percent of men say they have positively never experienced or witnessed harassment. There’s also a huge age bias in that women under 25 are disproportionately targeted.
Read the rest of the article here.
Tech and Startup Culture Survey
August 17, 2017 | Women Who Tech
Is success in the tech and startup sector based on competence? In many cases gender, race, age, and sexual orientation have profound effects on people’s experiences working in tech, being a startup founder, and being an investor. Women Who Tech partnered with Lincoln Park Strategies to anonymously poll 950 tech employees, founders, and investors on their experiences working in tech.
Because these are results from a survey of 750 women in tech, and 200 men in tech, some data and findings may vary when compared to the industry at large. View the results below or grab the pdf.
View the web version by clicking here.
Did James Comey Swing the 2016 Presidential Election?
May 9, 2017 | The Huffington Post
Did FBI Director Comey swing the presidential election to Donald Trump with his letter to Congress about additional Hillary Clinton emails on the laptop of Anthony Weiner in late October 2016? The answer to that question has been the focus of a back and forth discussion between Nates Cohn and Silver in the past week.
Nate Silver argues that a story that was at the top of the news for six of the seven days following the October 28 letter clearly had an impact on Clinton’s numbers. He makes the case for either a large or small impact, and leans personally to a small one, which dropped her lead in swing states from 4.5 points to just 1.7 points a couple days before the election.
Nate Cohn counters that he believes that the lag in time between when a poll fields and is published indicates that the negative slide in Clinton’s lead had already occurred before the release of the Comey letter. He does not conclude that the Comey letter was a total wash, but he states that there isn’t enough data from before and after the letter to definitively show its effect.
Trendency Research does possess data from before and after the Comey letter, as our panels of voters are continuously taking our surveys and feeding data into our system. Our data shows that both Nates are right. Indeed, Trump was already improving his standing among swing state voters, so he might have caught up to her regardless of the letter. At the same time, the letter had a clear impact on the race and lowered Clinton’s chances of winning.
Read the rest of the article here.
This Group of Voters Could Decide the 2018 Elections
April 26, 2017 | Washington Monthly
To the disappointment of Democrats, public opinion polls to date have not found much “buyer’s remorse” among the voters who supported President Donald Trump. A recent Washington Post poll, for example, found a whopping 94 percent approval rating among Trump voters.
Nevertheless, there’s evidence of potentially growing regret among a small – but crucial – bloc of voters: those who see themselves as ideologically “stuck in the middle” between the two major political parties. These are the voters who see Democrats as “too liberal” and Republicans as “too conservative.”
Since 2015, we’ve tracked this group of “Stuck in the Middle” voters, who make up 21 percent of the electorate, according to our data. Although they are outnumbered by the share of partisans who identify ideologically with Democrats or Republicans, this group is the true swing electorate upon which the outcomes of 2018 and 2020 rest. This is because they voted for Trump in 2016, despite turning out for Obama in 2012.
Read the rest of the article here.
Is Ideology Shifting With Trump In The White House?
April 11, 2017 | The Huffington Post
Since the 2016 election, there has been some discussion over whether President Trump will shift the way Republicans describe themselves when it comes to ideological terms. For those who are arguing that a shift has already begun, one data point being used is a poll from NBC/Wall Street Journal, which showed a drop in those identifying themselves as a “Strong Republican” from 22 percent to 16 percent. As we have argued in the past, these one-dimensional measurements do not really give a complete picture of what is happening among the American people and their relationship to the two main political parties. While some focus on those identifying simply as Republicans, Democrats, or Independents, or Conservative, Moderate, and Liberal, we believe that context is needed for the bigger picture.
All the measurements or labels mentioned above are subjective; what might be conservative to one person is moderate to another. And when it comes to party identification, if you say you are an independent but feel the Republican Party is too liberal, are you really “independent?”
Read our results here.
Is there really buyer's remorse for Trump voters?
April 3, 2017 | The Huffington Post
Congratulations! If you’re reading this, it means you’ve made it through the first two months of the Trump administration. Amidst heated confirmation hearings, accusations of Russian involvement in the American Democratic process, Michael Flynn fired for “lying” and then publicly asking for immunity, lots of tweeting, and a dramatic failure of an Obamacare replacement among other things, you made it. Well done.
In all seriousness, these eventful past 70 days have been interesting to say the least and the American public has noticed. In fact, Trump is not only the first President to have a negative net approval rating this early into his first term, but he has also already garnered the lowest approval ratings of any president in his first year, ever. With a 44% approval rating in our national survey (conducted before the final days of the health care debacle), Trump falls far behind both Republican predecessors such as Ronald Reagan (51%), George H.W. Bush (51%), and George W. Bush (57%), and previous Democratic presidents Barack Obama (76%), Bill Clinton (58%), and Jimmy Carter (66%).
This fact is a great talking point for the President’s detractors, but there is more to an approval rating than just the topline numbers. In our latest national survey, we wanted to dive deeper into Americans’ perceptions of their new president after one of the most contentious elections in modern history. We wanted to understand who views him favorably (and who does not), who is satisfied with the job he is doing so far, and who just really, really wants these next four years over and done with. Furthermore, we wanted to gauge the opinions of three groups that received a heavy focus throughout the course of the 2016 election: America’s working class, Republicans, and women.
Read our full analysis here.
1 in 5 Americans Tweak Spending After Trump's Election Win
March 23, 2017 | US News & World Report
Nearly 1 in 5 American adults – about 47 million people – are believed to have changed their spending habits in the aftermath of President Donald Trump's Election Day victory back in November.
And that could be a blessing and a curse for companies who've taken a stand for or against Trump's agenda, as both Republicans and Democrats are redirecting their cash to companies and nonprofits that support consumers' respective political preferences.
A new report from Lincoln Park Strategies, a research outfit that surveyed the spending patterns of 1,000 U.S. adults from across the country, found that 19 percent of respondents "say their spending habits have changed."
Read the entire article here.
How Democrats and Republicans View the Economy Differently
March 17, 2017 | Washington Monthly
President Donald Trump began his tenure with the lowest approval ratings ever recorded for a modern president. His supporters, however, continue to maintain high hopes for what Trump can achieve, at least on the economy. Moreover, Americans continue to be sharply divided, along partisan lines, about their expectations for the economy as a whole and for their personal circumstances.
In October of 2016 and then again in early March, Lincoln Park Strategies asked 1,000 American adults how they think the U.S. economy has done over the last couple years, how they think their area of the country is doing compared to other areas, and how they feel they are doing personally compared to most people in the country. What we found is that Trump voters have swung from negative to positive in their expectations and optimism, while supporters of Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton say the reverse.
To read the rest of Stefan's article, please click here.
Ellison Report, 2.19.17: K-12 Dilemmas; Does Trump Have a Foreign Policy?
February 19, 2017 | Ellison Report
PART III: Stefan Hankin, Lincoln Park Strategies, talks about public polling in the first month of the Trump Era. Do Democrats really have an electoral advantage? Can they leverage anything in upcoming state legislative elections?
Dems Could Miss Crucial State Contests in 2017
February 23, 2017 | The AFRO
Talk of Democrats making a comeback is mostly focused on 2018 Congressional midterms and the 2020 presidential election. But there are a series of major state legislative races just around the corner in 2017, many observers and some Democratic strategists point out, that the party is missing.
This week, three states are holding special elections where the Senate chamber is up for grabs: Connecticut, Delaware and Washington. Democrats find themselves on the cusp of losing slim control of the state Senate in each, handing early scoreboard victories to Republicans despite a non-stop tsunami of remarkable scandals, gaffes, and missteps from the barely month old Trump administration.
Still some months away, but in play on the state electoral map, are major gubernatorial and state legislative races in New Jersey and Virginia. Those won’t be until November, but observers are starting to doubt Democrats will manage to replace the outgoing Chris Christie (R-N.J.) with one of their own or keep the Virginia governor’s mansion in their hands after the departure of Terry McAuliffe (D-Va.). Democrats also have a chance to make significant gains in upcoming House of Delegate elections, particularly considering the Commonwealth’s close political proximity to Washington, D.C. But, there are no signs of aggressive voter mobilization efforts from Democrats.
Interestingly, four of the five states in play for 2017 are places where Black residents are nearly 15 percent or more of the population. In Delaware, Blacks are 24 percent of the state’s population. In Connecticut, they are 13 percent. In states like New Jersey and Virginia, Black residents account for 16 and 21 percent (respectively) of the overall population.
“It’s less sexy, but this really needs to be a part of the conversation,” said Stefan Hankin, a longtime Democratic strategist and now president of Lincoln Park Strategies, a D.C.-based polling analytics firm. “It’s one thing to march in the streets and delete Uber. But, if we’re not affecting electoral outcomes, this is all for naught. Sometimes it’s tough to get excited over a state that’s just not there on the radar. Republicans understand it, though – from school board to dog catcher . . . They’re busy building their bench.”
Read the rest here.
Dems could be giving up key electoral opportunities — in 2017
February 18, 2017 | The Philadelphia Tribune
With protests popping up seemingly everywhere — from marches defying recent Trump administration immigration orders to an infinite stream of hashtag #Resistance tweets trashing the new president, Democrats are growing increasingly confident of their ability to bounce back after a devastating election cycle. The expectation is that any election coming up is a potential steal for Democrats.
Yet, talk of a Democratic comeback is mostly focused on 2018 Congressional midterms and the 2020 presidential election. Those are far off. There are a series of major state legislative races just around the corner in 2017, many observers and some Democratic strategists point out, that the party is missing.
Already, just this week, there are three states where the Senate chamber is in contention during special elections: Connecticut, Delaware and Washington. Democrats find themselves on the cusp of losing slim control of the state Senate in each, handing early scoreboard victories to Republicans despite a non-stop tsunami of remarkable scandals, gaffes and missteps from a Trump administration barely a month old.
None of these races are prominently displayed on the radar of vocal progressive activists and there is a sense that Republicans in each state are quietly gearing up for upsets while Democrats are asleep at the wheel.
“This really needs to be a part of the conversation,” urges Stefan Hankin, a longtime Democratic strategist and now President of Lincoln Park Strategies, a D.C.-based polling analytics firm. “It’s one thing to march in the streets and delete Uber. I’m down with that, too.”
Read the rest here.
Stefan on CTV News
Despite a tough cycle, pollsters expect business to boom in 2017
February 10,2017 | Campaigns & Elections
Public polling was excoriated last year as the misses piled up and surveyors’ methodology faced waves of scrutiny. Even some pollsters were predicting the demise of their profession in its current form, along with a few professors who argued that 2016 could mark “the end of industrial political polling.”
But just six weeks into 2017, pollsters are confident their business isn’t going away anytime soon. Despite facing growing costs associated with calling cellphones, competition from social media listening services and Facebook surveys, pollsters believe they’re on track for a banner cycle.
That’s partly because the political environment is so uncertain that congressional and gubernatorial incumbents will be more anxious to gauge their prospects. And that’s something unlikely to change while President Trump is in office.
“Good polling that’s the right tool for the right environment, that’s always going to be in-demand,” GOP pollster Justin Wallin told C&E.
Stefan Hankin agreed there could be an uptick in business, at least “in theory.”
Read the rest of the article here.
Rad Campaign & Online Harassment
Nearly 40 percent of millennials in one survey say they believe the election could be rigged
November 4, 2016 | Business Insider
Just days before they choose a new president, a new survey suggests the belief of a substantial group of Americans that the voting system is broken has yet to be fixed.
Despite reams of evidence that counter the idea that sporadic attempts to game the election system are actually an epidemic, more than a third, 36%, of the 1,109 Americans in the poll told researchers they believe a single party or candidate could wield the power to fix the outcome.
Read the rest of the article here.
Presidential Election Polls for November 4, 2016
November 4, 2016 | Newsweek
Welcome to The Day in Polls. As we approach Election Day, we’ll be keeping you up-to-date on the latest poll numbers and where the candidates stand.
Happy Friday: We’ve got four days to go before Election Day, so let’s get right down to the latest numbers.
The Real Clear Politics average of most state and local polls puts Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton at a 1.7-point lead over Republican nominee Donald Trump, which represents not much of a change from the past few days. A tumultuous week on the campaign trail brought the two candidates closer together in the polls than they’ve been in weeks, with Trump seeing an uptick in support after the FBI announced a review of emails from Clinton's top aide. On Friday morning, Clinton had 46.7 percent of support to Trump’s 45 percent.
To read more, click here.
Will 2016 Prove a Defining Cycle for Pollsters?
November 1, 2016 | Campaigns & Elections
In many ways, 2016 is poised to be a defining cycle for pollsters. Survey research firms now face tighter calling restrictions thanks to the FCC, the Brexit results from across the pond have resurrected the specter of survey research uncertainty, and some within the industry are predicting widespread changes to how pollsters do business within the next four years.
Enter a Republican nominee working overtime to sow doubt with baseless warnings of wide-scale voter fraud and “rigged polls” (plus a campaign that claims it has identified a crucial group of voters who aren’t being picked up in surveys), and the pressure to get it right for pollsters is only ratcheted up.
To read the rest of the story, please click here.
Explaining Why the Polls Are Not Rigged
October 27, 2016 | The Ticket 2016
This week, the Texas Tribune’s Jay Root and KUT’s Ben Philpott tackle some of Donald Trump’s assertions that the polls showing him behind…are wrong. They’ll talk with political researcher and pollster Stefan Hankin to break down the possibility of a bad polling year.
And the state of Texas still appears to be a close race between Trump and Clinton. The Director of the UT-Austin’s Texas Politics Project, Jim Henson, joins us with new polling numbers released this week.
We're Afraid of Getting Hacked, But We're Not Doing Much About It
October 18, 2016 | BloombergBusinessweek
A hack at Sony Pictures that exposed more than 170,000 emails in 2014 derailed a much-hyped film's release and prompted a months-long industry freakout. A hacking incident at Yahoo now threatens to derail a sale to Verizon. WikiLeaks' releases of Democratic officials' hacked private emails are providing near-endless fodder for Donald Trump's presidential campaign.
And yet, while large numbers of Americans appreciate the threat of getting hacked, they don’t seem to be changing their behaviors in any appreciable way.
That’s a key finding of a new poll of views of online privacy, funded by Craig Newmark, the founder of classified-ad website Craigslist. The poll, overseen by Rad Campaign, a creative agency, and Lincoln Park Strategies, a research firm, found that trust in social networks has declined over the past two years, even as people use those same networks in greater numbers.
Since the group last polled the public in 2014, the percentage of people worried about threats like malware and identity theft either fell or held constant. This year's poll found that a large majority of Americans, 69 percent, is concerned about email hacking—but that's down from 71 percent in 2014.
That’s surprising, given that the 2014 poll was conducted before the Sony Pictures hack, widely considered a wakeup call that companies should be more careful with their data.
Most people don’t appear to have taken this message to heart, said Stefan Hankin, the Lincoln Park Strategies pollster. “People are saying, ‘I’m not the DNC, I’m not Hillary’s campaign,'” Hankin said. “People should be freaked out, but they’re not connecting the dots.”
Not yet, anyway. Hankin thinks that at some point consumers will begin to punish companies that don’t care for their data. “We’re one more hack away,” he said, from people beginning to take security and privacy more seriously.
To see the full article on BloombergBusinessweek's site, click here.
Ellison Report: Judicial Races Lack Diversity; The Politics of #Flint; #DebateNight Post-Mortem
October 4, 2016 | The Ellison Report
PART I – Eric Lesh of Lambda Legal discusses their recent study on the lack of diversity in state and local judicial elections, particularly in relation to the LGBTQ population, and how that biases the courts. Plus: why are we electing judges anyway?
PART II – Keith Owens, Michigan Chronicle Senior Editor, discusses the latest flap over federal funding for Flint recovery, how the racial politics dictates Flint’s future and the fate of battleground Michigan House races.
PART III – WEAA’s Catalina Byrd and WURD’s Barbara Grant roundtable reactions to the first Presidential debate, what that might mean for the trajectory of the national races and how that rattles an already noxious political discourse climate.
PART IV – Stefan Hankin of Lincoln Park Strategies crunches the post-debate polling numbers, who got a better bump out of it and how the last month of an exhausting Presidential race looks.
Americans Embrace Genetic Testing for Chronic Diseases, yet Mental Illness Still Lags Behind Others, Survey Finds
October 3, 2016 | Market Wired
KING OF PRUSSIA, PA--(Marketwired - October 03, 2016) - As Mental Illness Awareness Week begins, a new poll finds Americans have divergent views about illnesses that affect thinking, feeling or mood; this discrepancy is notable when it comes to genetic testing recommended by a doctor to help with personalized treatment.
Thirty-four percent of Americans report having been diagnosed with a mental illness or have a friend or family member who has been. A mere 7 percent think the country does a good job at dealing with mental illness, while 45 percent feel we do a poor job, a percentage that is more than twice as high as the responses for how the U.S. deals with cancer, heart disease and diabetes, according to the Genomind Mental Health Poll™. Genomind (www.genomind.com) is a personalized medicine company bringing innovation to mental health care.
Recently, celebrities such as Bruce Springsteen have been more open about their own struggles with depression. Nearly half of poll respondents see such revelations as a positive trend and agree it would be great to see more disclosures, while 17 percent say this is a private matter and these public figures should keep this information to themselves.
Click here to read more about these results.
Clinton feels a slight polling bounce after debate
October 1, 2016 | The Philadelphia Tribune
Following what was described as the most surreal exchange of words, emotion and meltdown ever seen during a presidential debate, there was overwhelming consensus from pundits on both the left and right: Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton won the first rhetorical match between her and Republican nominee Donald Trump.
But more importantly for the Clinton camp, and Democrats, were national surveys later in the week which showed the former secretary of state suddenly pulling ahead after two weeks on the ledge of a polling deficit.
But, most observers caution against Clinton taking any sort of victory lap. There are still two more debates to go and now just a little over a month until election day. Anything can happen between now and then, with the expectation bar, once again, set so low for Trump after last Monday’s dismal performance that he may be in a position to easily impress undecided voters (averaging around 9 percent of the electorate) in the last debates right before the Nov. 8 election.
“She and her people need to curb their enthusiasm,” said a longtime Democratic strategist speaking on background. “They’ve been acting all week like the election took place on Monday night. It didn’t. One thing we’ve seen over the past year is that Trump shouldn’t be underestimated. For all we know, Monday night could have been a set up so she can feel comfortable and cocky enough in debates two and three that she won’t see him coming.”
To read the rest of the article, please click here.
Pollster Predicts 3 to 5 Point Debate Bump For Clinton
September 29, 2016 | US News & World Report
Hillary Clinton will receive a 3 to 5 percentage point polling bump as a result of the first presidential debate, according to a Democratic pollster who tracked trendlines in 10 key states 48 hours after the event.
Clinton's performance was viewed best among voters in Virginia, New Hampshire and Florida while voters in Nevada, Pennsylvania and Colorado were the least moved by the former secretary of state on Monday night.
But overall, according to data compiled by the Democratic public research firm Lincoln Park Strategies, the majority of voters in all 10 swing states being tracked gave Clinton the advantage over Republican nominee Donald Trump.
"Trendency data also shows that Clinton's victory was stronger than just the topline numbers might indicate," says Stefan Hankins, president of Lincoln Park Strategies.
Read the rest of the article here.
Does Public Polling Deserve Your Trust?
September 28, 2016 | Campaigns & Elections
The question arises every cycle, can we trust what we’re seeing in the polls?
Typically this question has come from the side with the sagging poll numbers. This form of inquiry hit a pinnacle in 2012 with the now-defunct website unskewthepolls.com, which showed what the polls “should be” if you had the “correct” proportion of Democrats and Republicans.
For the most part this line of thinking has been reserved for people looking for excuses as to why their candidate of choice is behind. But a few high-profile misses in the past few years have added fuel for the “polling should not be trusted” crowd.
Recent polling misses overseas, such as the failure to catch the Conservative Party’s strength in the most recent UK elections and Benjamin Netanyahu’s strength of support in Israel’s elections caught a lot of attention.
Moreover, so has the failure of many polling organizations to properly measure the size of the Republican wave in the 2014 elections. But has public polling really missed the mark enough to warrant a high level of distrust?
To find out the answer, read the rest of the article here.
Strategists wonder about undercover Trump voters
September 3, 2016 | The Philadelphia Tribune
Most seasoned political observers, across party lines, will generally agree on one thing: presidential election polls after Labor Day are usually as close an accurate reflection of what’s going to happen on election day.
With Labor Day arriving, experts are watching those polls with even greater interest than they were following the party conventions. Both Democratic and Republican nominees were registering their traditional national “bumps,” even as both faced low popularity ratings, GOP nominee Donald Trump showed a fairly laggard post-convention poll performance compared to previous candidates and Democrat Hillary Clinton struggled to get past a lingering controversy over emails. Yet, Clinton had managed to pull out of Philadelphia with a healthy lead over Trump.
By the end of August, however, any significant distance between Clinton and Trump has begun to steadily narrow. According to the RealClearPolitics averaging of national polls, Clinton rose dramatically from 43.7 percentage points on July 30 to 47.4 points on August 4, managing a 7 point split between her and Trump. But after reaching a peak of 48.4 points on August 27, Clinton has found her fortunes drop a few percentage points to now maintain a lead that’s only 4.6 percentage points ahead of Trump, not including the margin of error.
To read the rest of this article, click here.
The Myth of the "Undercover" Voter
August 29, 2016 | Campaigns & Elections
In presidential campaigns over the past decade, there’s been a distinct pattern. It starts like this: Polls are released showing a candidate is down. Then the candidate denies the results are accurate and says he has different numbers (but doesn’t share them). Later, more polls are released reaffirming the previous results. Finally, the candidate refutes polls broadly (“the only poll that matters is on Election Day”) or goes after the methodology (“they aren’t talking to the right voters”).
With Donald Trump down in the polls, this pattern has reappeared. This cycle, Trump supporters are trying to find new ways to show that the polls are “skewed” and that his support is, in fact, higher than it appears. In Trump manager Kellyanne Conway’s recent interview with the UK’s Channel 4, she states that “undercover” Trump voters will help win the presidency for the Republican.
To read the rest of this article, click here.
What Stands Out About the Trump Hack
August 22, 2016 | Politico
ASSESSING THE TRUMP MAYBE-HACK — The cyber world on Friday reacted with a collective shrug to a report about hackers — potentially Russian — going after Donald Trump’s campaign. “It would be extremely surprising to find out that the Republicans had NOT been targeted,” Toni Gidwani, director of research operations at ThreatConnect, told MC via email. Added Jim Lewis, an international cyber policy expert at the Center for Strategic and International Studies: “It was bad tradecraft of them not to do both parties. On the other hand, until the last couple of weeks, there may have been nothing to hack since Trump ran the campaign out of his hip pocket.” Plus, The Washington Post previously reported in June that Russian spies were targeting Trump’s campaign. And a source familiar with the matter tells MC that, despite what Reuters reported, CrowdStrike wasn’t hired to do incident response.
Has Donald Trump destroyed his own chances- by his own hand?
August 15, 2016 | The Irish Times
Poll numbers have not been kind to Trump since the Democratic convention in Philadelphia last month.
Real Clear Politics, a poll- tracking website, puts Clinton’s lead at almost seven points, 48 per cent to 41 per cent. At the end of last month, data website FiveThirtyEight gave Trump a slight edge, with a 50.1 per cent chance of winning.
If the election were held today, Clinton would trounce him; the website puts the odds of her winning at 89 per cent.
In the all-important electoral votes on the path to the 270 required to win, Real Clear Politics shows Clinton performing strongly in Pennsylvania and Michigan – key targets for Trump – and in the critical swing states of Virginia and Colorado, while the former secretary of state enjoys slight leads in the other toss-up states of Ohio, Florida and North Carolina. “In the big picture, he is not even remotely close to where he needs to be nationally or in the battleground states,” said Democratic strategist Stefan Hankin, president at Washington DC data analytics firm Lincoln Park Strategies.
To read the entire article, click here.
Can Media Spending Make A Difference In The Presidential Election?
August 11, 2016 | The Huffington Post
With the Republican and Democratic conventions now behind us, political spending is about to go into overdrive. In the last presidential election cycle, candidates for office spent a total of $5.2 billion on political ads. However, much has been made recently about the considerable gap between the Trump campaign’s spending on political ads compared to spending by the Clinton campaign. While the Trump campaign managed to make progress towards closing the fundraising gap in July, a recent report from NBC News and SMG Delta found that the Clinton campaign and its associated PACs are outspending the Trump campaign by a 15-1 margin. The Clinton campaign has already spent $25 million on ads, with $32 million being spent by pro-Clinton Super PACs, for a total of $57 million. Only $3.6 million has been spent in support of Trump, with none of it coming from the campaign itself.
Even looking forward, there is a considerable gap between airtime the Trump campaign has reserved compared to the Clinton campaign. The Clinton campaign and Priorities USA have reserved a total of $98 million in air time; however, as of August 3rd, the Trump campaign had no time reserved — although two pro-Trump PACs have reserved around $800,000 in air time in Florida, Ohio and Pennsylvania. Recently, there has been an uptick in Trump-supporting PAC spending on advertising, with USA Business Freedom PAC launching a $1 million radio buy.
Despite Trump’s lackluster spending so far, political spending this cycle is forecasted to exceed the $6 billion mark, with the Clinton campaign expected to raise and spend more than $1 billion dollars all by itself. Does this then mean that Clinton is already a shoo-in for the election because of her spending? Or does it mean that in order for Trump to increase his chance of winning, he must increase his spending?
To read the rest of the article, please click here.
Democrats' Down Ballot Struggles
August 5, 2016 | The Huffington Post
It is no secret that Democrats have not performed well at any levels of elections, with the exception of the presidency in the last three elections. After 2014, the Democrats’ smallest number of seats in the House in the modern era and their loss of the Senate got most of the attention. However, perhaps more importantly, Democrats also wound up with their lowest number of state legislators since the 1920s. Republicans now haveunified control of 24 of the 50 states, while Democrats control just seven. Democrats don’t even have unified control of liberal bastions, such as Massachusetts and New York, while Republicans have unified control of 5 states (Ohio, Michigan, Wisconsin, Florida, and Nevada) that Barack Obama won in both 2008 and 2012. The disaster for Democrats at lower levels has allowed Republicans not only to easily implement their agenda at the state level, but also to produce a much deeper bench of potential candidates for federal elections.
There have been many suggested diagnoses for Democrats’ problems at lower levels. The most common and convenient is redistricting — or more specifically, gerrymandering. Another problem mentioned is voters that come to vote for the top-line race, such as governor or president, but don’t continue to vote in the lower level races. The final problem commonly cited is simply poor candidates and party focus.
Using the example of the New York State Senate, we find that the issue is not the convenient boogeyman of gerrymandering nor the disappearing down ballot vote that is destroying Democrats’ chances, but the simple factor of poor or sometimes non-existent candidate recruitment.
Read the rest of the article here.
Strangers trolling you on social media are on the rise
August 4, 2016 | CNN Money
It's no secret that online harassment is a huge issue.
Celebrities like Chrissy Teigen and Kylie Jenner have been vocal about how they're taking advantage of new Instagram tools to filter unwanted comments. Teigen even shared a photo on Twitter to illustrate the types of words she's filtering out.
But not everyone has that option -- at least not yet. While Instagram announced new features over the weekend, they're only available to those with "high volume" comment threads, meaning average users are out of luck.
According to a new poll of more than 1,000 Internet users, vitriol and threats from online strangers is worse now than in 2014, the last time the study was conducted.
The poll was commissioned by Craig Newmark, founder of Craigslist and craigconnects, Rad Campaign, and Lincoln Park Strategies.
Click here to read more.
Online Harassment Thrives in 2016. Millennials and People of Color Are the Top Targets.
August 4, 2016 | Policy.Mic
Millennials are more likely than other demographic groups to be harassed online, new data show. Most of the time, their predators are someone they know.
A survey out for release Thursday from Rad Campaign, Lincoln Park Strategies and Craig Newmark of craigconnects — first shared exclusively with Mic — shows social media attacks are alive and well and targeting the 18-to-34 set.
The survey of 1,017 adults over 18 shows 22% of American adults have been bullied or threatened online or know someone who's experienced such harassment.
Amongst millennials, 47% reported experiencing harassment. Of those, 72% knew their harasser.
Facebook, email and Twitter were most commonly used to launch personal attacks, the study found — despite social media outlets' attempts to curb abuse in recent years.
To read the rest of the article, click here.
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.
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.
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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.
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.
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 >>