Saturday, November 26, 2016

Trump's Secret? Electoral Realignment Beats Money Every Time

As I learned from E. E. Schattschneider's bookThe Semisovereign People: A Realist's View of Democracy in America, an electoral realignment is the most powerful force in the world. As Trump demonstrated, a political realignment makes up for a lack of money, a lack of a ground game, and a lack of many other things too.

Unfortunately, the wisdom of this eminent political scientist is no where to be seen in the conventional explanations for Trump's outstanding victory. So far, the best approximation I ran across is an article by Whitney Blake at the Weekly Standard that uses the wisdom of hindsight to put the presidential election into a proper perspective.

Her article, "12 Ways in Which Trump Upended Conventional Wisdom," neatly organizes the manner in which Trump reversed virtually all the surefire theories which predicted his failure. Prime examples include his lack of money or a robust enough ground game.


Reassuringly, old-fashioned political science outperformed the poll-based election models championed by Nate Silver at As Blake reports, the one piece of conventional wisdom which stands tall is the political science variable which asserts it is extremely difficult for an incumbent party to hold the White House for three consecutive terms. The last time this occurred in modern history is when Ronald Reagan handed off the Oval Office to George H. W. Bush.

In contrast to Blake's vision, I think it is simpler and more elegant to assert that the key to Trump's success was his ability to spark a political realignment. He did this, initially, by neatly reversing the Republican party's decision to embrace illegal immigrants and pursue a path toward legalization and potentially voting rights for them. At the time, Trump's anti-illegal immigrant stance was a bold and vivid contrast to the Republican establishment's preferred pro-illegal immigrant stance as articulated by both Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio. Trump's complete rejection of amnesty and willingness to face the ire of Latinos offended by his views represented a rebuke of the establishment which could only have been sustained only by a self-financed Republican primary candidate.

Trump's dramatic redefinition of the battle between Democrats and Republicans was locked in place by the Democrat party's corresponding embrace of white privilege ideology and the excesses of the Black Lives Matter movement. The result of these strategic decisions is that the white working class finally gave up on the Democrat party. Hillary's nearly constant drum beat of white privilege left the white working class with the stark choice of accepting a permanent subservient status or simply withdrawing all support for this nonsense.


Ultimately, I think Hillary's embrace of white privilege ideology doomed her campaign. It turned a key portion of the Obama coalition into enemies of the Democrat party. This was a huge mistake. It was, in fact, an unsupportable thesis to assert that black dysfunction was the result of white working class bias. As I have said elsewhere, it never made sense to me to blame the problems of blacks on innocent whites:
According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, blacks were charged with 62% of all robberies, 57% of murders and 45% of assaults in the 75 largest U.S. counties in 2009, though they made up roughly 15% of the population there. It strikes me as nothing less than ideological blindness to insist that such extraordinary violence is the unfortunate result of peaceful white folks living ordinary lives in our nation’s rural and suburban areas.
Moreover, it was inevitable that the Democrat's stress on identity politics was eventually going to lead to white identity politics - a brand of white nationalism - which suggested it was quite rational for whites to support aggressive action to preserve their majority status. Such action might include a 50 year moratorium on all immigration to the U.S. It might include revising immigration law to limit the number of non-white/non-Christians coming to the U.S. as a means of preserving white majority status and white cultural norms. It should not surprise anyone that there is nothing inevitable about demographic changes -- not if white nationalism takes hold.

In the end, however, I disagree with those who see the alienation of the white working class from the Democrat party as merely a quaint, fleeting nostalgia for an earlier version of America.

You cannot rest a political realignment on such a fragile idea. It makes more sense to me that the Democrats lost the white working class due to a visceral reaction against a political elite which deliberately minimized the significance of black on white crime, the assassination of police officers, the terrorist attacks launched by adherent Muslims or the unspeakable crimes of murderers and rapists who also happened to be illegal immigrants.

John C. Drew, Ph.D. is an award-winning political scientist and a former Williams College professor. He is an occasional contributor at American Thinker, Breitbart, Front Page, PJMedia and WND. Pronouns - Master/Commander.

Monday, November 14, 2016

Ten to One Against the Odds: Cashing in on Trump's Magnificient Victory

I really do not have the money to bet. I do not have any interest in it either. Whatever makes compulsive gamblers want to try their luck against a casino seems to have no hold at all on my otherwise fragile neural-system. Nevertheless, I was pressured into a bet on the presidential election.

After Trump locked up the nomination in July, one of my friends at the gym bet me $100.00 that Trump would lose the election. I do not bet, as a rule, so I turned him down: "I don't have that kind of money."

"I'll bet $100.00 to your $10.00 that he will lose," he replied. I was tired from 20 minutes on the elliptical. I shook his hand and took the bet. I could handle paying him $10.00 if Trump bombed out in November.

At any rate, I showed up at the gym this afternoon and my friend discretely handed me the $100.00 bill posted above. I tried to give him his money back. He refused. "Were you surprised?" I asked. "Oh, yes," he exclaimed.

I suppose I learned a little bit about my own political calculus. This summer, I would have accepted a ten to one odds against bet on Trump. I would have and I did. Based on everything I know about polling and presidential elections, I knew in my heart that Trump's chance of winning was well above 10%.

John C. Drew, Ph.D. is an award-winning political scientist.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Trump Hyperdrive: Sifting Through the Election Results

I think it is quite clear that Trump comes to office with a powerful mandate for change even though he narrowly lost the popular vote to Hillary. Looking at the big picture, I see powerful evidence of a repudiation of Obama and his policies in the fact that Republicans now control the White House, Senate, House and – in the long-run – the Supreme Court.

Republicans also dominate with 35 governors and a majority of state legislatures. See, The bottom line is that The Tea Party movement took away Obama's control of Congress in 2010. Now, Trump has taken away his fragile legacy.

I am also confident in predicting great changes will soon take place. Elections definitely have consequences. Withing a few months, Trump will reverse Obama’s numerous executive orders, change his foreign policy, and dramatically alter immigration patterns into the U.S. This is good news because, as I have argued for a long time, Obama came into office with a radical socialist agenda. See,

Moreover, I think it is say to say this new nationalist, populous realignment will be locked in for a long-time once people experience the good things and great improvements that will take place under a skillful Trump administration.

While I am pleased that I called Trump's win correctly, I am disappointed that I completely missed the magnitude of his victory. I relied too heavily on polls. To set things straight, here is a great article that lays out how the Trump data team was looking at the numbers right before the election.


Nevertheless, I think the results illustrate something I have thought for a long-time. It never made sense to me that liberals could get away with blaming rural whites for the problems experienced by inner city minorities.

Finally, I remained startled at how bad the polling was for this election. I suspected that all these media outlets were producing inaccurate polls on purpose in order to actively discourage Trump’s nationalist, populist voter turnout. In retrospect, Nate Silver’s wildly wrong prediction of a Hillary victory will do a lot to sully his reputation. Silver, after all, was consistently wrong about Trump’s chances at every step of the process. Now, Silver appears to be blaming the pollsters without asking whether or not their liberal bias impacted their findings.


Silver’s current argument seems to be that there were a lot of shy Trump voters who failed to signal their support for Trump. This was a possibility, however, that the so-called experts dismissed prior to the election. See,

I called the election correctly, in part, because I knew enough Republicans who were shy about their support for Trump and I was convinced that the third party vote would eventually decline and that most of those voters would go to Trump rather than Hillary. I think I was also right to assume a Hillary bias among pollsters and to discount their predictions accordingly. I have had enough exposure to academia, the media and journalists to be confident that anti-Trump bias impacts their behavior.

John C. Drew, Ph.D. is an award-winning political scientist.

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

No Spirit Cooking for Me: Trump Looks Good on Election Day

It looks like things are looking very bright for Trump tonight. To me, the election turns on the extent to which Trump has brought about an electoral realignment around a nationalist/populist agenda of protectionism, anti-illegal immigration and strict regulation of immigrants from countries dominated by Islamic extremists. The key, as always, involves the movement of the white working class.

I have always fought for the white working class, even back in the days when I was a young Marxist socialist, Coming from a poor family, I was a Democrat deep into my twenties. I think I was among the first to bail on the Democrat party, however, once I figured out its hostility to young white men like me back in the mid-1980s.
Affirmative action was one of the first big hints that Democrats did not care whether I lived or died. Since then, I think it is safe to say that hostility to young whites has increased astronomically since then, even at places like Williams College.
Early signs seem to indicate that there is a surge of white working class voters, a lower than normal turnout for African-Americans and reasonable hope that the Hispanic voters who are turning out are not lock-step in line with Hillary. I do not think, for example, that Hispanic voters will be too pleased to realize that the Clinton crowd is into the whole spirit cooking nonsense.
Trump is ahead in the best poll in the business, IBD/TIPP, which shows Trump ahead by 2 points. See,
Their model is weighted by the extra enthusiasm of Trump voters and low enthusiasm for Hillary among Democrats. I’m certainly feeling quite confident this afternoon. As I predicted earlier, the high level of undecided voters in this election would soon come to an end and those undecided voters would most likely break against the incumbent, i.e. Hillary Clinton.
As for the electoral college, Hillary’s advantage there is actually quite slender and should easily be breached by a higher popular vote for Trump.

I guess I’m cautiously bullish on Trump there too. I’m giving him FL, NC and OH. I just don’t think Republicans can ever win in PA. I would love to see him win in MI, but I don’t think he has the votes. I feel like NV is lost. I put him over by giving him NH. I’m expecting 265 electoral votes for Hillary and 272 for Trump. Here’s what my map looks like:
One of the most amazing bright spots for Trump today is that The Democracy Institute, the only public poll to correctly predict Brexit, published a poll on Monday showing Donald Trump leading Hillary Clinton by five points.
According to their press release, in the survey conducted Nov. 3 to Nov. 6 with 1,390 likely voters, Trump leads Clinton 50 percent to 45 percent. The results have a 2.5 percent margin of error.
The bottom line for me is that the size of the victory, for either Trump or Hillary, matters a lot in terms of setting a mandate for the next president. A big victory for Trump would show a significant electoral realignment. The same would be true for Hillary.
I wish I could be more confident about Trump’s chances, but I’m totally flummoxed by polling right now. The polls showed Romney winning and I totally believed them at the time, as did the Romney campaign. Now, I have less confidence in polling. I’m afraid people don’t even answer their cell phone or landline any more unless they recognize the phone number. Maybe there are going to be better, more reliable ways to predict voting behavior in the future?

John C. Drew, Ph.D. is an award-winning political scientist.

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