If you’re like me and you regularly – and, okay, maybe a little obsessively – seek out public opinion polls for insight into what Americans think about the current political climate, then you might find yourself wondering from time to time why polls sometimes disagree with one another.
For instance, how many Americans so far approve of the job Donald Trump is doing in the White House? According to a Quinnipiac University poll released on January 25, 2017, Trump’s approval rating stands at a mere 36 percent. However, according to a poll from Rasmussen, which was released a mere four days later on January 29, the percentage of Americans who approve of Trump’s job performance is considerably higher at 53 percent. What gives? Read more “When Polls Collide: A Deep Dive into Trump’s Favorability Ratings”
If you’re among the millions of Americans who have vowed to be more politically active and engaged since the 2016 presidential election, then you might be wondering how best to carry on a conversation with friends, family members, neighbors, and colleagues on the other side of the political aisle.
According to a new poll released earlier this week by the Pew Research Center, roughly three-quarters of Americans (76%) think defending the country against terrorism should be Donald Trump’s top priority as President.
By all accounts, the 2016 presidential race was bitterly contentious. According to a Monmouth University poll from back in September, most voters (70%) think this past year’s election brought out the worst in people. Moreover, 7% of voters say they even lost or ended a friendship because of the election (although this may not be an unusually high percentage compared to previous elections).
Of course, rancor and animosity are not new in American politics. But they certainly appear to have gotten worse in recent years.
During the campaign last year, Donald Trump stated he would release his personal tax returns as soon as the IRS was finished conducting their “routine audit.”
He went on Fox News and said so as recently as this past September, as noted by CNN:
“Just so you understand I’m under audit. A routine audit. And when the audits complete I’ll release my return,” Trump reiterated Tuesday on Fox News.
But now, President-elect Trump seems to be signaling that he intends to back out of this promise. During this past Wednesday’s press conference, Trump stated he now has no intention of releasing his tax returns because, as he sees it, the only ones who care about his taxes are reporters and members of the (presumably, in his eyes, crooked and dishonest) media.
As part of my evolving effort to do more to encourage others to base votes for elected officials on hard numbers and quantitative evidence rather than subjective and possibly biased perceptions and intuitions (not to mention fake-news), I’ve decided to start collecting various economic data to help readers gauge the potential impact of the Trump administration on the overall health and well-being of the U.S. economy.
This new feature is called “Economic Snapshot,” and you can find a link here and at the top of the blog and in the sidebar.
Well, the tallies from the 2016 Presidential Election are now finalized and the results certified. So, it’s official. Despite losing the popular vote to Hillary Clinton by approximately 2.9 million votes, Donald Trump will become the 45th President of the United States after securing 304 votes in the Electoral College.
I don’t think this outcome was ever seriously in doubt since the election on November 8th. So, let’s move on to the other reason why it matters that all the votes have now been counted up and certified.
But whether you’re looking ahead to the next four years with unbounded enthusiasm or overwhelming dread, there’s one thing we all should be able to agree on now that the presidential race is over. And that’s the need to reaffirm our commitment to intelligent, respectful, and substantive debate. And moreover, to debate grounded in logic, reason, and verifiable fact. Because in a mature democracy, there should be no room or tolerance for hateful rhetoric, rumors, conspiracy theories, and “fake news.” Yet sadly, each of these featured prominently this past election cycle.
In the wake of Donald Trump’s surprising victory in the 2016 U.S. Presidential Election, there’s been a lot of discussion in the news about what might have gone wrong this year with public opinion polling, which clearly did not foresee this outcome.
Most polls showed Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton holding onto a slim but steady lead for most of the election cycle. During the week prior to the election, the Real Clear Politics polling average showed Clinton with roughly a 3 point lead in the national polls. Furthermore, on the morning of the election, most major forecasting sites pegged Clinton’s chances of winning at 85% or higher (My forecast and that of FiveThirtyEight were two exceptions. We each gave Trump slightly better chances, at around 25-30%).
But a Clinton victory was not to be. For whatever reason (and we will likely not have a definitive and satisfying answer to this for months), polls underestimated Trump’s support in several key regions of the country. Specifically, Clinton lost in Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Wisconsin, despite the fact that polling averages showed her up in these states by 1.9 points, 3.4 points, and 6.5 points, respectively. Clinton does seem poised to win the popular vote, if that’s any consolation to her supporters. But she’ll become the 5th presidential candidate in history to lose the Electoral College despite winning the popular vote.