Sunday, May 22, 2016

The Demographics Say Trump Won't Win

While watching this stinker of a basketball game (the Thunder are crushing the hapless Dubs), I started thinking about, what else?--presidential politics. Recently, there's been a bunch of talk about polls tightening, which in turn leads people to wonder if Trump actually has a shot at winning the election. In my weaker moments, those polls seem to blot out the light for me, too--until I remember that politics is basically demographics.

If you look at the past four elections, there is very little variation in the voting blocs. Dems have won a minimum of 88% of the black vote. Except for 2004, they've won around two-thirds of the Latino vote.Republicans have won between 55% and 59% of whites in each election. Given that this is going to be potentially even more racially charged than previous elections, expect the trends to grow. My back-of-the-envelope calcs tell me Hillary should get something like six million more votes than Trump in the popular vote.

The presidential election actually happens at the state level, and here the math is even harder for Trump. If you look at all the states that have voted Dem in the last four elections (two won by Dems, two by GOP), Hillary starts at 242 of the 270 needed to win. There are ten states that have split their vote in that time, and Hillary can win by picking up just two or three of those. She could win it with the 242 and Florida alone. (And 35% of Florida is black and Latino.)

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