Friday, November 16, 2018

Projecting 2020 Outcomes from 2018 Results


Lessons from 2018 for 2020

Question:  The data in the table below lists outcomes in nine swing states that resulted in Donald Trump’s 2016 victory.  Each of these states had major statewide elections in 2018.  

Use the 2018 election results to come up with an assumption on the Trump victory/defeat margin in 2020.

Defend the assumptions.

Obtain projections of 2020 popular vote and electoral vote outcomes based on the assumptions.

Discuss the ramifications of this projection.

2016 Swing State Outcomes
State
Clinton 2016
Trump 2016
Total
Diff Trump - Clinton
AZ
1,161,167
1,252,401
2,413,568
91,234
FL
4,504,975
4,617,886
9,122,861
112,911
GA
1,877,963
2,089,104
3,967,067
211,141
TX
3,877,868
4,685,047
8,562,915
807,179
MI
2,268,839
2,279,543
4,548,382
10,704
IA
653,669
800,983
1,454,652
147,314
OH
2,394,164
2,841,005
5,235,169
446,841
WI
1,382,536
1,405,284
2,787,820
22,748
PA
2,926,441
2,970,733
5,897,174
44,292
Swing State
21,047,622
22,941,986
43,989,608
1,894,364


Short Answer:   A lot can happen between now and 2020.   However, if the election were held in 2018 we would have had a popular vote landslide for the Democrats coupled with a squeaker in the electoral college.

There is a possibility that 2020 will lead to a popular vote landslide for the Democrat coupled with a narrow electoral vote victory for the Republican.  


Analysis:  The chart below has actual Trump 2016 margin and my 2020 projection for the Trump margin.

2016 vs 2020 Projected Margins
State
2016 Trump Margin
Projected 2020 Margin
AZ
3.78%
1.00%
FL
1.24%
0.20%
GA
5.32%
1.00%
TX
9.43%
3.00%
MI
0.24%
-2.00%
IA
10.13%
4.00%
OH
8.54%
4.00%
WI
0.82%
0.00%
PA
0.75%
-4.00%
Swing State
4.31%
0.64%


Discussion of projected margins:

A moderate Democratic Senate candidate beat a Republican in AZ.  Hard to see how a liberal nominee takes the state.

Tie goes to the Republican in both GA and FL especially given vote suppression and Republican governors in charge.  Why would Harris do better than Nelson or Gillum?

Beto did well in TX but he lost and the governor’s race reveals state still tilts heavily red.

IA and OH governor’s races both went Republican and Trump 2016 margin was large.

PA and MI are tilting blue again.   WI is a toss up

The only other swing state is NC.  Was not included in this chart because there was no state-wide election.

Likely Changes in the Electoral Map:

Based on these projections if the election were held today the Democrats are likely to retake MI, PA and perhaps WI.   The Republicans would be favored to take the other 6 states.

Gain in votes for Democrats in these nine states:

The next chart has actual and projecedt vote totals for the swing states.

The Democrats would add around 1.6 million votes to their popular vote margin in these nine swing states alone.

Change in Swing State Vote Totals
State
Diff Trump - Clinton
Diff Trump-Dem 2020
AZ
91,234
24,136
FL
112,911
18,246
GA
211,141
39,671
TX
807,179
256,887
MI
10,704
-90,968
IA
147,314
58,186
OH
446,841
209,407
WI
22,748
0
PA
44,292
-235,887
Swing State
1,894,364
279,678

Other factors influencing the 2020 popular vote total:

Many suburban house races are now competitive in blue states including CA, NJ, NY, and WA.   Turnout will be much larger in blue states because of these competitive house races driving up the Democratic popular vote margin.

Bottom line:   Hillary Clinton won the popular vote by 3 million and still lost the electoral college.   The 2020 Democrat could win the popular vote by 6 million or more votes and lose the electoral college.

There have been split electoral college popular vote verdicts in the past but these races were tight.   We have never had a landslide popular vote loser become president through the electoral college.