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Sat Oct 22, 2016, 02:28 PM

This supposed "complacency" fear

Does anybody have any data on it? I can find conflicting anecdotes that people rely on to propose either "people stay home if they think it's a sure thing" on one side or "people are more excited to be part of a certain victory than defeat" on the other.

The only hard data I can find are state turnout rates, which correlate very weakly, but positively, with certainty (IOW, to a tiny and likely random degree, turnout is overall a bit higher in states that are morecertain one way or the other). Frankly worthless.

But here there is a HUGE difference in the assumption of the "stay home" effect rather than the "get excited" effect. Any even modest level of confidence is deluged with numerous scoldings about its presumptive danger with nary a peep about its possible advantage.

Forgetting for a moment that it's unlikely anyone here has any great level of authority on campaign and GOTV strategy, I, sincerely, wonder why the confidence = bad mindset so utterly dominates the confidence = good mindset. Why is this place different from its RW analog FreeRepublic, which seeks, laughably, to convince itself Trump is ahead and this will be a fascist landslide, while we collectively tremble at the thought that somebody is pretty sure Hillary will win. Are the two sides seeing different data? Different personality types? Why do we dread confidence and they seek it? And it's not just that they are losing and need hope; the 2010 and 14 gains were sure and certain and the RWers reveled in confident predictions of gains then too without fearing this complacency turnout depression I see here.

Where does it come from?

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Arrow 18 replies Author Time Post
Reply This supposed "complacency" fear (Original post)
whatthehey Oct 2016 OP
Silent3 Oct 2016 #1
liberal N proud Oct 2016 #2
whatthehey Oct 2016 #3
LisaL Oct 2016 #4
whatthehey Oct 2016 #5
LisaL Oct 2016 #6
whatthehey Oct 2016 #8
LisaL Oct 2016 #9
whatthehey Oct 2016 #10
LisaL Oct 2016 #11
PasadenaTrudy Oct 2016 #7
democrattotheend Oct 2016 #12
LisaL Oct 2016 #13
LeftInTX Oct 2016 #18
Bobbie Jo Oct 2016 #14
LisaL Oct 2016 #15
Bobbie Jo Oct 2016 #16
PoindexterOglethorpe Oct 2016 #17

Response to whatthehey (Original post)

Sat Oct 22, 2016, 02:32 PM

1. It does get tiring feeling like you can't say anything upbeat or positive...

...without getting a scolding from the self-appointed anti-complacency police.

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Response to whatthehey (Original post)

Sat Oct 22, 2016, 02:33 PM

2. It is more of a proactive effort

To keep the staff engaged and just keep everyone aware that if you don't vote, it can't be counted.

GOTV!

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Response to whatthehey (Original post)

Sat Oct 22, 2016, 03:02 PM

3. ***Sorry - Correction. Will leave OP unedited for context***

The correlation overall is slightly NEGATIVE. It's still frankly worthless because it's so weak as already stated when I foolishly made a mathematical error (consistency is key) but as I was seeing if there was a D vs R effect and found this error I did find an interesting difference.


Overall the correlation between turnout and margin is -0.16. As certainty increases, turnout does indeed decrease overall with a tenuous at best connection between the two.

But for Dem positive margins that correlation is -0.04. So in other words in Dem states there is essentially no relationship whatsoever between turnout and margin. From DC to OH, turnout and margin are unrelated.

In R states though its -0.34. For those not deep into stats stuff that's starting to get into could-be significant territory. In other words, unlike D states, there does seem to be a BIT of a negative connection in that higher margin R states have lower turnout. To be honest I doubt it's causal. We are dealing here with WV OK et al so education and poverty more likely driving factors but it is there. But for them, not us. Exactly opposite to who is worried about it.

2012 data only. Would be interesting but too time consuming to look at multiple cycles and final polls vs results etc, but not a strong enough signal there is any real meat there to do the work really.

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Response to whatthehey (Original post)

Sat Oct 22, 2016, 03:05 PM

4. Yes, it's real. Here is an example.

"Voter turnout matters. Leading up to the election of 1989, Blanchard was riding high, some polls had him as high as 14 points ahead of his rival just two weeks before the election and he lost by 1/2 of 1 percent."

http://www.annarbor.com/news/opinion/complacency-the-real-opponent-when-it-comes-to-elections/

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Response to LisaL (Reply #4)

Sat Oct 22, 2016, 03:10 PM

5. Anecdotes =/= data. Opposite easy to find . CA 2012 for example

Final aggregate polling was Obama +14. He won by over 23

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Response to whatthehey (Reply #5)

Sat Oct 22, 2016, 03:12 PM

6. It's not an anecdote.

He led in the polls. He lost the election. That's data.
"In postmortem reviews, political pundits universally concluded that turnout or the lack thereof helped bring Blanchard down. It has been demonstrated that if he had retained the exact same turnout of city of Detroit and other Democratic strongholds voters that he received from his 1982 and 1986 races, he would have secured a third term in office."
http://www.annarbor.com/news/opinion/complacency-the-real-opponent-when-it-comes-to-elections/

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Response to LisaL (Reply #6)

Sat Oct 22, 2016, 03:14 PM

8. It is. It's one example of a supposed greater effect, and opposites exist too

It's also a 25+ year old non-presidential example, unlike my opposite example

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Response to whatthehey (Reply #8)

Sat Oct 22, 2016, 03:15 PM

9. The OP is asking for examples. I provided an example.

Not sure why you have an issue with that.

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Response to LisaL (Reply #9)

Sat Oct 22, 2016, 03:16 PM

10. I AM the OP and asked for DATA

the word "example" is not even in the OP

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Response to whatthehey (Reply #10)

Sat Oct 22, 2016, 03:20 PM

11. What is it that you consider data?

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Response to whatthehey (Original post)

Sat Oct 22, 2016, 03:12 PM

7. Thank you

I'm sick of it too.

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Response to whatthehey (Original post)

Sat Oct 22, 2016, 03:23 PM

12. This is anecdotal

But I have met a few Bernie supporters who are willing to hold their nose and vote for Hillary if the election is close, but plan to vote 3rd party if it's not.

I would imagine many others who are less politically obsessed than we are may not vote at all if they don't think it's close, especially in places where the GOP has made it hard to vote. I don't know that regular people who don't care as much as we do would stand in a 4 hour line to vote if they don't think their vote is going to matter. And if they don't vote, that also deprives down-ballot Democrats of the votes.

I also think the complacency fear is not just with respect to voter turnout but other things, like volunteering and donating. People are less likely to give up their free time to knock on doors or call up strangers if they think she has it locked up.

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Response to democrattotheend (Reply #12)

Sat Oct 22, 2016, 03:31 PM

13. It actually is close.

In many states margins are very small. Not sure why people are so confident-it's not like she is leading by 20 points in each swing state.

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Response to LisaL (Reply #13)

Sat Oct 22, 2016, 04:21 PM

18. Totally agree...

Polls are only polls they aren't votes.

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Response to whatthehey (Original post)

Sat Oct 22, 2016, 03:33 PM

14. I would crawl through broken glass

to cast this vote.

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Response to Bobbie Jo (Reply #14)

Sat Oct 22, 2016, 03:33 PM

15. But not everybody is that motivated.

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Response to LisaL (Reply #15)

Sat Oct 22, 2016, 03:36 PM

16. Ok

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Response to whatthehey (Original post)

Sat Oct 22, 2016, 03:55 PM

17. In 1948 so many Republicans were utterly convinced

that Tom Dewey would beat Harry Truman, that not only did at least one newspaper print up the wrong result, but supposedly a lot of Republicans simply didn't bother to vote. I've heard various stories of Republican victory parties where hardly anyone present had voted.

A quick google search for that election indicates that vote turnout was noticeably lower that year than in presidential election years before or after. There are any number of sites which have information on the topic. So there may be some truth to the notion that Republican complacency cost Dewey the election in '48. That is, of course, assuming all the "missing" voters would otherwise have voted for him, and that's not a certainty. Maybe nearly as many Democrats stayed home because they thought, Why bother to vote for Truman if he's just going to lose? It may be that Truman was simply going to win even with much stronger turnout.

In any case, vote.

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