Roy Fletcher’s Blog, Episode 8: “After BRExit”

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AFTER BREXIT

If you haven’t heard, the British, specifically the English, voted to declare Independence Day from the European Union.  The elites of Great Britain, Europe and America all decided this would not happen, but it did. (While I would never be confused for an elite, I called the British referendum almost on the money, +3 to Leave.  The actual vote was +3.8, so, okay, I am not as good as I making out to be.)

Now, the big question is what does this mean for the presidential election here in the land of the first Independence Day?  Frankly, I am not sure because our voters will be voting on a candidate and not on an issue.  Donald Trump and Hillary will have to convince voters they are the right person for the job and, currently, few people think either fill the bill.  That’s another story for another day.

On Sunday, as the tremors from Brexit shook the world, two new polls popped up in the news cycle.  Both of these polls were undertaken for major television networks, ABC and NBC.  They were almost as different as Scotland and Wales on the Brexit issue.

ABC’s survey had Clinton up 12 points while NBC had Clinton up by 5 points. This is a big difference in the polling business. 12 points is a trouncing in the political business.  How could two polls run at the same time lead to such different results?  There’re a lot of possibilities to account for this difference; question structure and sequencing, methodology, and sample just to name a few.  Sample seems to be the problem in this situation.

Gallup says that 30% of American voters identify themselves as Democrat, but the ABC poll gives Democrats 36%.  Gallup says 41% identify as independents but ABC poll says 33%.  ABC says 24% identify as Republicans but Gallup says the number is 27% (not much difference here).

In other words, ABC adds 6% more Democrats to the sample while dropping independent voters by 8%; a full 14% swing.  Let’s play numbers.  The 6% additional Democrats adds an extra 5.4% to HRCs total vote.  (She gets 90% of Democrats so multiply by 6%=5.4%.)  This accounts for the difference in the polls more or less.

When there is slippage among the Trump support, and there has been, it occurs among Independent voters.  (Although both polls saw slight slippage among Republican voters with Trump falling about 5% with these most partisan voters and this accounts for about 1.2% of the total vote.)  Independent voters are probably most impacted by Trump’s more combative statements.  On the other hand, HRC will see decline among Independent voters when her lack of trustworthiness is exposed.

Two unpopular candidates fighting for Independent voters who are most put off and sensitive to the shortcomings of each candidate.

A bit of gossip for you:  among the HRC campaign, the talk in D.C. is this election is over.  If she holds steady, she will win a big victory against Trump.  Currently, the polls are trending such.  It is my belief this campaign is in Trump’s hands.  He can either be a bit more disciplined in his approach or the Independents will slide away and Trump will be beaten.

The latest popular discussion is that Trump was helped by the Brexit vote in Great Britain.  Do not believe this.  Trump has argued that he called this election and HRC and Obama missed it completely; apparently, this is an attempt to argue that Trump knows more about the world than HRC.

I have never seen voters chose a candidate because they are a good prognosticator.  I do not believe this helps Trump and he should drop this line of argument.  The real issue in the Brexit vote was borders and nationalism.  This is where Brexit can help Trump marginally but he must make the case constantly and consistently.

Stay tuned….

~Roy Fletcher

 

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