Category Archives: 2016 Presidential Election

Less Educated White Voters Drive Changes in Republican Presidential Support in Maryland

md-2016-stat3Top Line: The Republican coalition in Maryland took a sharp turn toward less educated voters and remains heavily white.

The above is a quickly done ordinary least squares (OLS) regression analysis of aggregate support for Trump and the change in the vote from 2012 to 2016 by county. The numbers in parentheses are standard errors around the coefficients shown above them.

The coefficients are easy to interpret. For example, the coefficient of .77 on Percent Non-Hispanic White in the model of Percent Trump indicates that 1% increase in the non-Hispanic white population resulted in a .77% increase in the Trump vote. Similarly, an increase of 1% in the share of college graduates reduced the Trump vote by .54%.

The second model of the share of the Trump vote in Maryland also includes a control for how counties voted on the MD Dream Act in 2012 as a further control for immigration attitudes. While the results are at the edges of statistical significance, this model indicates that, even after controlling for race and education, that a 1% increase in opposition to the Dream Act resulted in a .67% increase in support for Donald Trump.

The third and fourth models assess the impact of the same variables on the net change in the vote from 2012 to 2016. The change in the vote equals (%Trump – %Romney). Educational levels dominate changes in the share of the vote won by the Republican and Democratic nominees. While neither race nor the opposition to the Dream Act matter much, a 1% increase in the share of college graduates resulted in a loss of .32% by Trump.

The final model shows the relationship between race and college education to opposition to the Dream Act. It suggests that a similar coalition supported Trump in 2016.


Maryland Presidential Analysis

The votes are still being counted in Maryland and across the country. While Trump has clearly won the Electoral College, whether he will carry the popular vote remains in doubt. In the meantime, let’s look at preliminary results in Maryland after last night’s political earthquake.

Though the earth didn’t move nearly as much in Maryland as elsewhere, there were significant changes in support patterns, which Clinton carried easily as expected. Here are the 2016 preliminary and 2012 final percentages side-by-side:

2016mdAs you can see the preliminary results, suggest that both candidates lost ground in Maryland. In order to more easily examine shifts across the state, I’ve created a table showing vote shifts by county with counties reordered by net change.


As you can see, Maryland shifted about a net 1.4% to Trump but that masks major differences across the State. The two counties with the most wealthy, well-educated, liberal white populations–Howard and Montgomery–shifted heavily to Clinton.

In these two counties, the Democrats had stunning net gains of over 10% of the vote, as Clinton gained 3% or more and Trump lost more than 7% in both Howard and Montgomery. Howard went 2-1 and Montgomery 3-1 for Clinton.

Another set of counties reveals the opposite pattern. In 14 counties, Clinton lost ground over Obama while Trump gained compared to Romney. Among the 14 counties, 11 have median incomes below the Maryland average–Calvert, St. Mary’s and Queen Anne’s are the exceptions, though none has a median income higher than Howard or Montgomery.

In addition to a tendency toward lower incomes, these areas tend to have fewer college-educated whites and be socially more conservative than Howard or Montgomery. Perhaps critically, pro-Trump counties tend to be far more suspicious of immigrants based on how they voted in the 2012 referendum.

The lowest rates of change were in the State’s two majority black jurisdictions of Baltimore City and Prince George’s, as well as more moderate jurisdictions like Frederick and Anne Arundel that tend to be closely divided between the two parties.

Overall, the key takeaway is greater geographic polarization between the Democratic and Republican areas of the State. In general, the areas that lean the most Democratic became more Democratic or stayed much the same. On the side, areas that already listed heavily Republican became more so.


Political Scientists Predict the Outcome

PollyVote surveyed 673 political scientists over the past four days and asked them to predict the outcome of the election in their state. These forecasts suggest that Clinton will win with 358 electoral votes with just 180 going to Trump:


Here are the predictions for the swingier states. The second column is the number of political scientists who responded to the survey. The third column is the predicted chance that Clinton will carry the state and the final column is the share of the two-party vote.


Needless to say, Maryland is not a swing state with the 26 respondents gauging the likelihood of Clinton winning at 100% and guessing her share of the two-party vote at 67.0%.


Australian MPs Pass Motion: Trump is a “Revolting Slug”

The BBC reports that Parliament of New South Wales, the largest state by far in our close ally Australia, has passed a motion condemning Donald Trump and calling him a “revolting slug:”

The parliament of New South Wales, Australia has passed a motion calling US presidential candidate Donald Trump a “revolting slug” unfit for office.

It condemned “the misogynist, hateful comments” it said had been made by Mr Trump about women and minorities. . . .

It said: “This house… agrees with those who have described Mr Trump as a ‘revolting slug’.”

“It’s clear that all reasonable and decent people find Donald Trump’s behaviour obnoxious and that the world is hoping American voters reject his politics of hate,” Mr Buckingham said in a statement.

This was as mean as they could get without having the words struck down for being inappropriate in Parliament but somehow seems just right–a marvelous and apt description of the Republican nominee.

Needless to say, motions like these are highly irregular. While foreigners often have strong preferences about who we elect, it is unheard of for foreign parliaments to pass motions all but begging the American people not to elect someone.

Trump supporters, who are remarkably quiet about Vladimir Putin and Russia’s interference in our election, may nonetheless resent this resolution by representatives in a free and friendly democracy. But many of his supporters simultaneously also believe that Trump will win and the election is rigged, so maybe they’ll manage.

But, of course, Australians might feel less of a need to weigh in if more Republicans took responsibility for helping make sure that Trump gets nowhere near the White House. Here in Maryland, almost all Republicans remain for the revolting slug.


Maryland Republican Trump Tape Reax Summary: Standing by Trump

head_in_sandGovernor Larry Hogan’s Reaction to Trump Tape

This past weekend, 7S spent much time chronicling the reactions of Maryland Republicans to Tapegate. I summarize here in case you sensibly had better things to do this weekend. They run the gamut to everything except a willingness to repudiate Trump:

Full Ostrich: Gov. Larry Hogan continued his perfect record of never criticizing his party’s nominee and disclaiming interest in presidential politics after racing around the country to support Trump lickspittle Chris Christie.

The Szeliga: Kathy Szeliga was “appalled” but Trump still gets her vote. A common approach.

Szeliga Plus: Amie Hoeber upped the weird by utilizing her personal experience of being subjected to sexism to justify her continued support for the sexist candidate. And Hillary bad.

No Apology Necessary: A model for all wingnuts, Sen. Gail Bates excused Trump as she linked to conspiracy theory rants. She holds Allan Kittleman’s former seat in the General Assembly, which shows just how deep the rot has got in the GOP.

Full Trump: Rep. Andy Harris previewed Trump’s tawdry pre-debate presser and invoked Benghazi like the Expelliarmus charm in Harry Potter.

Remember that all of these people opposed marriage equality but there is seemingly no behavior by Trump that cannot be ignored or excused. This is now the Maryland Republican Party.


Harris Goes Full Trump

Here are Andy Harris’s bon mots on Tapegate:

harrisOr restated, the other party has been morally reprehensible for years, so it’s OK that my party is too. This has already been roundly critiqued on Facebook, which saves me from having to do the work:

harris2 harris3 harris4 harris6

The last point deserves more attention. Lost in the flurry over Tapegate, Trump decided to raise the specter of black criminality around the case of five black men exonerated by DNA.

And here is a prototypical Republican response, which blames Tapegate on Hillary Clinton. Because everything bad in the world must be her fault. Of course, even there were an iota of evidence to back up this claim, it would be shocking, yes shocking, for someone to expose Donald Trump in this manner.



Hoeber’s Sad Argument for Sticking with Trump

hoeber1Hoeber is now taking what we could call the Szeliga route on standing by Donald Trump. Like Szeliga, there appears nothing Trump could do to lose Hoeber’s support. Gov. Larry Hogan, who endorsed Hoeber enthusiastically, is remaining #HoganSilent on Hoeber’s support for Trump.

Hoeber’s strange statement raises as many questions as it answers. She says that she “no stranger to being subjected to the attitude he expressed.” So Hoeber is using her past experience with sexism to validate her support of a candidate who thinks sexual assault is all good. What will the other board members on the House of Ruth Maryland think of this?

Second, much of Hoeber’s past experience was in the Reagan administration and working with the Pentagon. Is Hoeber stating that this is a pervasive problem in the Pentagon and among Reagan stalwarts in Republican politics? As far as I can tell, her website makes no mention of addressing these issues but proposes a 40% increase in Pentagon funding.

Hoeber touts Trump as a safer choice than Clinton for the country even as she highlights her own national security credentials. Does Hoeber really think that Trump–the guy who derides NATO and our other alliances, would rip up every trade deal, and is easily baited into conflict by a tweet–is better than Clinton? Or is just terrified of losing Trump supporters? Either reveals astonishinly bad judgment and the latter a lack of political leadership.

Red Maryland has derided “ignorant” Hoeber for not being as wacky as Don Bongino, who has now lost congressional races in Maryland and Florida. Normally, this would be a good sign that Hoeber is a more centrist Republican. But even as Rep. Barbara Comstock (R-VA) across the river very belatedly rejects Trump, Hoeber reveals that there is nothing Trump could do to lose her support. There is no reason to believe she’d act differently if he becomes President.


Wingnut Watch: Bates Already Over Trump Tape

This is your Maryland Republican Party:


In fact, Bates didn’t even think that Trump needed to apologize:


Sen. Bates’s Facebook page also links to a rant from wingnut Allen West that blames tapegate on Hillary Clinton and the “crappy, liberal progressive media” and refers to President Obama as “the disaffected and disinterested boy king.”

So it’s full steam ahead on right-wing bubble conspiracy theories but time to move on from Trump’s constant abuse of women.


The Silence of Maryland Republicans

It’s getting on 24 hours since the unveiling of the Trump tape, which has apparently allowed some Republicans to connect the dots and abandon their horrible nominee. But the overwhelming reaction among Maryland Republicans is to go full ostrich and pretend that this event and Trump are going away.

Kathy Szeliga

Based on a quick examination of her web page, twitter feed, and Facebook page, Kathy Szeliga has neither condemned the latest evidence of Trump’s horrible behavior nor withdrawn her endorsement of the Republican nominee.

As the Baltimore Sun has pointed out, this is part of a long pattern for Szeliga:

With a record like that, it’s no surprise Ms. Szeliga supports Mr. Trump. When he attacked a Gold Star family, she was silent. When he suggested that “Second Amendment people” could take action against former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, again, deafening silence. When Mr. Trump claimed that President Barack Obama is the founder of ISIS, she didn’t condemn his words.

So there is nothing Trump can do that would cause Gov. Larry Hogan’s chosen Senate candidate to dump Trump.  Nothing from Larry Hogan about Szeliga’s judgment either even though Szeliga advertises Hogan’s support of her candidacy at every turn. Szeliga’s inevitable hard defeat will be a major blow for Hogan, as evidence that his personal support counts little.

Andy Harris

Nothing on the web page, twitter or Facebook of the sole elected Maryland Republican at the federal level, Rep. Andy Harris, either. Like Szeliga, Harris has endorsed Trump:

I’m going to work for him. I’m going to help him try to win the electoral votes in the state of Maryland because in the presidential election, it’s always a selection between two individuals. No one is going to be perfect, any individual. But Mr. Trump will be a far better choice for this country than Mrs. (Hillary) Clinton.

Larry Hogan

Republican Gov. Larry Hogan has been basking in the plaudits and polls for not supporting Trump. However, Hogan has not criticized Trump at all. He just said that he won’t vote for the guy and made this incredible statement:

“I’ve always been a blunt, straightforward guy, and whether you agree with me or not, you always know where I stand,” he said. “I’m not trying to convince anybody how to vote, anyway.”

But that’s simply untrue. Hogan had time to trot around the country to say nice things about Chris Christie, a bully who has now cozied up to Trump, and is a vociferous backer of Trump supporter Kathy Szeliga. In contrast, this self-proclaimed “blunt, straightforward guy” has nothing to say about any of his party’s standard bearer’s bad behavior. Not exactly #HoganStrong.


WaPo Didn’t Just Bury the Lede, It Interred It

Read Adam Pagnucco’s critique of the Democratic response to the Hogan/Franchot proposed post-Labor Day school start posted this morning.

The Washington Post played monkey-see, monkey-do this morning in its coverage of last night’s debate. On page A1 (yes, I still get the print edition) and on its homepage, the Washington Post covered Matt Lauer’s questions about Clinton’s email that dominated the forum supposedly about national security.

It buried on A6 and left off the homepage the story that Clinton was absolutely right about Colin Powell’s advice regarding the use of her cell phone. As The Hill reported in a story titled “Powell told Clinton how to bypass State security measures:”

Powell says that he used a private phone line to keep his communications out of the State Department servers.

“What I did do was have a personal computer that was hooked up to a private phone line (sounds ancient.),” Powell wrote. “So I could communicate with a wide range of friends directly without it going through the State Department servers.”

“I even used it to do business with some foreign leaders and some of the senior folks in the Department on their personal email accounts. I did the same thing on the road in hotels,” he said.

Powell was responding to a question from Clinton about the restrictions on using a BlackBerry while in office. 

[Rep. Elijah] Cummings added that Republicans’ pursuit of Clinton over her server was politically motivated, otherwise they “would be attempting to recover Secretary Powell’s emails from AOL.”

Powell also told Clinton that he would frequently take his cell phone into Sensitive Compartmented Information Facilities (SCIF) — secure rooms where classified information was processed and mobile devices were prohibited.

In the print version, the WaPo truncated the story that appeared online, leaving out key paragraphs at the end about Powell taking devices into secure rooms with classified material. And the Republicans howl that the press is biased to the Democrats?