By Gaius Publius, a professional writer living on the West Coast of the United States and frequent contributor to DownWithTyranny, digby, Truthout, and Naked Capitalism. Follow him on Twitter @Gaius_Publius, Tumblr and Facebook. Originally published at at Down With Tyranny. GP article here
I’m preparing for a month-long haitus (vacation, finally), and while I’ll be reading the news I won’t be commenting on it. Ahead of that, I’d like to offer these thoughts.
1. Our “Look Ahead” series will continue as the fall campaign kicks off. The outcome of the election, though, is very hard to predict. Each campaign seems determined to drive its own car into the ditch. Last car with wheels on the road will win this one. Plus there’s those ever-present black swans, like this one.
As to what happens after the election, it gets more predictable. Whoever ultimately wins, we’ll know enough in the fall to know nearly every player’s fate for the next few years — Trump, Clinton, the progressive-hating Democratic leadership, the Koch-bossed Republican Party, Sanders-supporting progressives themselves; all of their Tarot cards will be laid out for reading, up to the moment when the climate throws its own card into the mix. We just have to be willing to look at what those cards say.
If you’re interested, the parts so far of the Look Ahead series are these:
2. Clinton is looking more and more vulnerable, according to the latest Economist / YouGov poll (pdf). Whatever you think of the outcome of the Trump-Clinton contest, so far no one has a real lead, and both are playing a high-risk game of High Wire, a tightrope act without a net.
Surprising Poll Results
The following look at some of the poll results comes from poster Vraye_Foi at the Reddit site r/Kossacks_for_Sanders. The poll itself is long and worth a further look, if you’re so inclined. My thanks for this summary of just a a few of its findings (my emphasis except where noted):
Pages 12 and 13 of the report [the “enthusiasm” pages] are full of interesting data, some of which I’ll highlight –
- 25% of Democrats are either Dissatisfied or Upset [Clinton] is the Democrat candidate for President
- 62% of Independents are either Dissatisfied or Upset that she is the Democrat candidate for President
- 43% of those polled across the board (includes all demographics and party affiliations) are “Upset” that she is the Democrat candidate for President
When it comes to Independents’ view of Donald Trump, only 44% are Dissatisfied or Upset that he is the Republican nominee.
Enthusiastic Support for Trump within his party is at 51%. Hillary’s Enthusiastic support within her party: 34%.
The choices for this question are: Enthusiastic, Satisfied, Dissatisfied, Upset, Not Sure. The wording of the most extreme categories is Enthusiastic and Upset. So Trump starts the pre-convention head-to-head campaigning with more enthusiasm within his party and also with independents than Clinton does, by a lot if the poll is right.
When looking at support among women:
And continuing on the theme of “Enthusiastic Support”, how about this surprise:
- 18% of female respondents are Enthusiastic for Trump
- 19% of female respondents are Enthusiastic for Clinton
So just an aside and speaking as a woman here, can the HRC campaign cut the shit bout how it’s sexist if you don’t support or vote for Hillary? Please? Because this poll shows that women are about as enthusiastic and thrilled about Hillary as they are about Trump. …
On the negative side, when it comes to Hillary being the Democrats’ candidate, 12% of the women polled feel “Dissatisfied but not Upset” and 42% are UPSET.
It must be troubling news for the HRC campaign to see Enthusiastic/Satisfied combined numbers (45%) linger behind the Dissatisfied/Upset numbers (54%). A lot of women are not happy that Clinton is the nominee.
We’re not saying that situation is right or wrong, just that it is. Now about enthusiasm by age (emphasis in original):
The other shocker is that 49% of respondents age 45 – 64 are “Upset” she is the Dem’s candidate. But wait – it gets even more shocking: 53% of respondents over the age of 65 responded “Upset” as well.
Hasn’t the narrative been that HRC has solid support from the over 45s and women? This poll raises some questions about that. Just as with the women respondents, the 45 and older crowd’s negative sentiments towards HRC’s candidacy are HIGHER than the positive ones.
That “over 65” polling number is across all genders and party identifications, but so is the general election.
Gary Johnson and Jill Stein
There’s Johnson and Stein polling in the report as well. The reddit poster quoted above notes this (regarding data on pages 21 and 23):
General Election | Johnson Preference
Would you say you are mostly voting FOR Gary Johnson, AGAINST Hillary Clinton or AGAINST Donald Trump? Asked of those who would vote for Gary Johnson
- I’m mostly voting FOR Gary Johnson 38%
- I’m mostly voting AGAINST Hillary Clinton 37%
- I’m mostly voting AGAINST Donald Trump 23%
- Not sure 2%
General Election | Stein Preference
Would you say you are mostly voting FOR Jill Stein, AGAINST Hillary Clinton or AGAINST Donald Trump? Asked of those who would vote for Jill Stein
- I’m mostly voting FOR Jill Stein 36%
- I’m mostly voting AGAINST Hillary Clinton 42%
- I’m mostly voting AGAINST Donald Trump 8%
- Not sure 13%
Page 25 of the poll gives data in general on whether people are voting For a given candidate or Against a given candidate. Those general results are mainly a wash. The split in voting for vs. against Clinton is 28%–23%. The same split for Trump is 23%–20%, with 2% each saying they’re voting FOR Johnson or Stein.
But it’s the Against Clinton number in the Johnson and Stein polling that should cause worry in the Democratic camp. The Johnson+Stein combined Against Clinton total, as shown above, is 79%. The Johnson+Stein combined Against Trump total is just 31%. In other words, prospective Libertarian+Green voters, as a group, are much more strongly against Clinton than against Donald Trump, at least prior to the start of the fall campaign.
Pages 27–30 are also interesting. The question is, “Would you consider voting for [Clinton/Trump/Johnson/Stein]?” Possible responses are Might, Would Never, Not Sure, with overall totals and cross-tabulated breakdowns by gender, age, and so on. The Might vs. Would Never breakdown for Clinton among Democratic primary voters who prefer Sanders is 59%–38%. The same breakdown for this group (Democratic primary voters who prefer Sanders) for Johnson is 45%–28%, and for Stein is 44%–20%.
To put that more simply, 38% of Sanders supporters would never vote for Clinton. Where would they go? An even split — 45% would vote for Johnson and 44% would vote for Stein.
Independents Still Control this Election
It looks like it’s still true, that this year’s “radical independents,” people who were attracted to Trump and/or Sanders as a way to raise a “pronounced middle finger” to the powers that be (Norman Solomon’s phrase in a slightly different context), are likely to decide this election. They may not know who they’re for, but they’re pretty sure who, or what, they’re against. For far too many voters, there is no good outcome.