Wednesday, February 19, 2020


This is the best news I've read in a while:
... Americans’ interest in voting is growing faster in large cities dominated by Democrats than in conservative rural areas, according to an analysis of Reuters/Ipsos national opinion polls.

... The advantage in urban political engagement extends deep into the most competitive battleground states that Trump won by razor-thin margins four years ago, the data shows.

In large urban areas of the upper Midwest, a region that includes swing states Michigan and Wisconsin, for example, the number of people who said they were “certain” to vote in the upcoming presidential election rose by 10 percentage points to 67% compared with survey responses from 2015.

In smaller upper Midwest communities, the number of people similarly dedicated to voting rose by only about 1 point to 60% in that same four-year period.

Overall, the number of “certain” voters rose by 7 percentage points nationally from 2015 to 2019. It increased by more than that in the largest metropolitan areas, rising by 9 points in communities with between 1 million and 5 million people and 8 points in metros with at least 5 million people.

Smaller and rural communities lagged behind. The number of “certain” voters rose by 5 points in sparsely populated, Republican-dominated “non-metro” areas.

...“Democrats are very angry,” said Nicholas Valentino, a political scientist at the University of Michigan, who reviewed some of the poll findings for Reuters.
If this holds until November, Democrats rather than Republicans could overperform relative to poll results in 2020.

But will it hold? The Reuters story notes that there was strong Republican turnout in New Hampshire earlier this month, even though Trump's win by a landslide was inevitable, while Democratic turnout didn't exactly break records. But, of course, New Hampshire doesn't have any metropolitan areas with more than a million people, unless you count the ones that extend into Massachusetts.

I think non-white turnout will be extremely high. I'm hoping Republican voters spend the next several months in an information bubble in which Trump and Fox News are blasting out only the polls that show Trump leading. I hope complacency takes over and Trump-backing infrequent voters never show up. I hope the Trump campaign wastes so much effort on trying to win over unlikely states such as New Mexico (where an Emerson poll last month showed Bernie Sanders with an 18-point lead over Trump) that Wisconsin and other close ones slip away.

We might not get all these breaks. But it's just possible that our voters will be the ones undercounted by the pollsters this time.

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