Tuesday, October 27, 2020

Colorado Early Voting Turnout - Oct. 26

With one week left before Election Day, more than 1,790,827 Colorado voters have already cast their ballots, far outpacing ballot returns compared to the same time period before the previous two federal elections.

As of late Monday, the latest figures available, 1.79 million of the 3.7 million active voters in the state have cast ballots, Democratic voters slightly leading Unaffiliated voters in ballots returned.

Statewide, 37% of the ballots that have been cast so far are from registered Democrats, 35.5% are from Unaffiliated voters and 26.4% from Republicans.

Across in the 29 counties that make up the 3rd Congressional District, where the ultra-right Republican Lauren Boebert and moderate Democrat Diane Mitsch Bush are campaigning for that now open seat, 217,242 ballots have been cast through Monday, which makes up about 47% of all active voters in the district.

To date, 71.6K Democrats, 72K Republicans, 71K Unaffiliateds, and a smattering of 3rd party voters in the 29 counties that make up the 3rd district have cast ballots.

In the district’s two most populous counties, on opposite sides of the state and opposite ends of the political spectrum, 19.8% (43K) of ballots cast are from left-leaning Pueblo County, compared with 22.3% (48K) of the ballots from right-leaning Mesa County.

Monday, October 26, 2020

Texas Data Suggests Slim Biden Win

Just for fun, I mixed together the current Texas early voting turnout numbers through EV day 13, the trends within this turnout, and the trends within the state’s 12 most populous urban/suburban left-leaning counties and other 242 rural right-leaning counties over the past few elections to project election results for an overall turnout of 70% of registered voters. Interestingly, the result of this calculation lines up with the most recent polling data for the Biden / Trump race. The calculation has Biden winning Texas by 0.4%, or 42,799 votes. Biden’s win threshold is at an overall turnout rate of 63.9%. 

Sunday, October 18, 2020

White Men W/O College Dump Trump

According to a report from MSNBC, the single largest segment of Donald Trump's base — non-college-educated white men — are fleeing the president's camp at an alarming rate and admitting that they have become embarrassed by his actions and his bullying. This was a key 2016 voting bloc for Trump nationally and in Texas.

Saturday, October 17, 2020

Colorado Voter Turnout 24 Times 2016

As with voters across the U.S., Colorado voters seem to have decided how they will mark their ballot, and they are motivated to get the job done. During the first week of early voting more than 576,705 ballots we’re cast (mostly by return mail and drop boxes)  through Friday, October 16th, according to data report by the Secretary of State’s office. For the 2016 election, Colorado voters had cast only 42,416 ballots by the 18th day before the November 8th election day that year.

Friday, October 16, 2020

Biden Leads Trump By 15 Points In Colorado

A Keating-OnSight-Melanson survey survey of likely Colorado voters, conducted Oct. 8-13, found Democrat John Hickenlooper up 10 points over Republican U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner, 51% to 41%, with 7% undecided, confirming similar results from the two nonpartisan polls released in the last week by Colorado Politics/9News and Morning Consult. The Keating-OnSight-Melanson survey also found Donald Trump trails Joe Biden among likely Colorado voters by 15 points, 54% to 39%, with 4% undecided.

Tuesday, October 13, 2020

3 Million New Texas Voters Since 2016

While limiting voting using drop boxes is certainly good news for Republicans, because many more Democrats than Republicans are expected to use that voting option, not all Texas news is good for the GOP. Since 2016, 3 million voters have registered in Texas. That means that about 1 in 5 (20%) of all current Texas voters were not registered in 2016.

Texas voters aren't required to designate a party when registering. Nevertheless, about 70 percent of the new voters fit the profile of those who support left-leaning policies. In 2016, Donald Trump carried Texas by 807,000 votes. However, in 2018, Republican Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) won re-election over Democratic challenger Beto O'Rourke by only 215,000 votes.

While most of the attention in Texas goes to the presidential race and some to Texas' other U.S. Senate race on the ballot this year, there are also half a dozen U.S. House seats the Democrats have targeted to flip. That's where most of those new voters now reside. Another place where the new voters could matter is in the Texas State House of Representatives, where Republicans have 83 seats to the Democrats' 67. 

If the Democrats can flip nine seats, they will take control of the lower chamber and will be able to undo two decades of Republican gerrymandering of Texas' expected 40 post-census congressional districts. Currently there are 23 Republicans and 13 Democrats from Texas in the U.S. House, but that would likely change if Democrats control the state House with Republicans losing control of half a dozen or more House seats in 2022.

Polling Difference From 2016

The popular notion that the polls were way off in 2016 is wrong. If a poll says that "Smith" is ahead of "Jones" 49% to 47% with a margin of error of 4 points, what that means is that the pollster is predicting that there is a 95% chance that Smith will score in the range 45% to 53% and that Jones will come in between 43% and 51%. Victory by Jones, 50% to 44%, would mean the pollster still got it right. In 2016, the national polls had Hillary Clinton winning by 3%. She won by 2.1%, which is close to perfect. The state polls weren't as good. The worst state was Wisconsin. We had Clinton ahead 46% to 41%. She indeed got 46% but Trump got 47%, so he was slightly outside the predicted range of about 37% to 45%. The final predictions for Michigan and Pennsylvania were correct in terms of the ranges predicted.

That said, pollsters are being much more careful this time. In particular, in 2016 they didn't realize how predictive educational level was of how someone (especially men) would vote. Having learned from 2016, pollsters are doing things differently this year. FiveThirtyEight contacted 21 pollsters, of whom 15 responded (an undreamed of 71% response rate) and learned what has changed this time.

Monday, October 12, 2020

Polling - GOP Risk Losing Texas

With Texas early in-person voting starting tomorrow, and mail ballot returns already flowing into county election offices across the state, it’s a dead-heat race between Biden and Trump, and Hegar and Cornyn for the state’s U.S. Senate seat. A poll released by Civiqs last Wednesday that surveyed likely voters during October 3-6 found Trump and Biden dead even at 48-48 percent all.

Saturday, October 10, 2020

At 63.9% Turnout - Biden Wins Texas

The thing most pundits and polling prognosticators miss about Texas is the growing disparity between the red and blue parts of the state with each passing election. 

The blue part has been growing a deeper shade of blue as the number of registered voters spikes up in the blue part each presidential election cycle, while the number of voters in the red part remains more or less stagnant.

The rapidly growing population of state's 12 most populous urban, suburban, and exurban counties — Harris, Dallas, Tarrant, Bexar, Travis, El Paso, Collin, Denton, Fort Bend, Hidalgo, Montgomery, and Williamson counties — has not only grown increasingly left-leaning over the past 20 years, the voters in those counties represent an increasingly dominant share of the state’s electorate.

The count of registered voters in those 12 increasingly blue counties grew from 7.15M (57.8% of all registrations) in 2000 to 9.66M (61.2% of all registrations) in 2018, while the count of registered voters in the remaining 242 counties increased from 5.22M (42.2% of all registrations) in 2000 to only 6.13M (38.8% of all registrations) in 2018.

Included the 242 mostly rural less populous counties are 23 blue counties — many, the Hispanic-majority counties in south Texas and the Rio Grande Valley region — that voted for Hillary Clinton in 2016 and Beto O’Rourke in 2018, where both out performed Pres. Obama’s 2012 wins in those counties. There were just over 1M registered voters across those 23 counties in 2018, up from 881K in 2000.

In 2000, George Bush beat Al Gore 56% to 41% in the 12 urban/suburban counties, with only Gore winning only El Paso and Hidalgo counties. Bush also won the remaining 242 counties 64% to 34%. Bush won the state overall 59.3% to 38.0%.

But in 2018, Beto O’Rourke beat Sen. Ted Cruz 57.8% to 41.4% in the 12 counties, with Cruz winning only suburban Collin and Denton counties by historically slim margins of 6 and 8 points respectively, and exurban Montgomery county by a wide margin. Cruz also lost all the 23 smaller rural blue counties and won the aggregate vote of the remaining 219 red rural counties 67% to 32.4%. Cruz won the state overall by just 50.9% to 48.3%. Cruz was able to beat Beto O’Rourke in 2018 only by running up his vote two-to-one in Texas' 219 staunchly Republican rural counties that held only 5.1M of the state’s 2018 electorate. If Beto had increased his turnout by just little more across the 12 urban/suburban counties, he would have won.

Thursday, October 8, 2020

Collin Co., TX - Red To Blue Bellwether

Collin County, Texas, is one of the state’s suburban Republican stronghold counties that has been increasingly trending more left-leaning over the last several elections. In 2018 Democrats flipped two long held Texas congressional districts. Texas Democrat Colin Allred, a former NFL player making his first run for elected office, stunned incumbent Republican Pete Sessions to win his long held 32nd Congressional District, which is split between Dallas and Collin counties.

Collin County’s own Texas’ 3rd Congressional District includes about four-fifths of the county’s registered voters and occupies the same territory as state house districts 66 and 67 in the southwestern quadrant of the county. In the exceptionally high turnout 2018 midterm election Beto O’Rourke, the Democratic challenger to the state’s incumbent Republican U.S. Senator Ted Cruz, earned 47.9 percent of the vote across the entire 3rd Congressional District and won the vote in state House Districts 66 and 67 by 5.7 points and 5.5 points respectively.

The 2018 Democratic candidate for HD66, Sharon Hirsch, who is the Democratic candidate again in 2020, lost to the incumbent Republican by just 391 votes. The 2018 Democratic candidate for HD67 lost to the incumbent Republican by just 2.2 points.

Collin County, heretofore a suburban Republican stronghold, has all the ear marks of being a key 2020 bellwether battleground for the nation and Texas. This year, Democrats have focused national attention and money on the 3rd and 32nd Congressional Districts and state House Districts 66 and 67, to hold the 32nd and flip CD3 and HD’s 66 and 67.

Tuesday, October 6, 2020

Tracking 2020 Texas Turnout

If it’s clear Biden has won Texas’ 38 electoral votes in the hours after polls close on Election Day, November 3rd, then Trump would have no viable path to victory. 

The election would be over that night, before Trump’s lawyers can get through the courtroom doors on November 4th to stop the vote counts in other states, and Trump will no choice other than to pack his bags to hit the road. 

If Biden wins Texas along with the likely blue states, including Colorado, New Mexico, Minnesota and Virginia, he would top the 270 electoral college vote win threshold even if he loses all the other key electoral college states of Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Ohio, North Carolina, Arizona and Florida. Trump, on the other hand, cannot win without Texas. 

Texas election law permits election officials in Texas counties with a population greater than 100,000 people to start running returned mail ballots through optical scanners as the county ballot board validates returned mail ballots, according to the Texas Secretary of State. (For counties with a population of less than 100,000, the early voting ballot board may convene to begin processing mail ballots after the polls close on the last day of in-person early voting.) The counts of scanned ballots are securely held unreported on computer memory cards which can be read as soon a polls close on Election Day. All the in-person votes and all but a very small portion of the state’s total mail ballot vote will be tabulated in the hours - not days - following the close of Election Day, November 3rd, voting. (County election officials in Florida will also begin scanning returned mail ballots well before Election Day and will also begin reporting result in the hours after polls close on Election Day.)

Texas is a legitimate 2020 swing state. Biden has consistently polled better in Texas than has any recent Democratic presidential candidate. According to FiveThirtyEight’s polling average, Trump leads Biden in Texas by 1.6 points, a statistical tie — and “likely voter” polls have consistently underestimated the turnout vote for recent Democratic candidates.