The Daily Parker

Politics, Weather, Photography, and the Dog

Mapping the 2016 election

The New York Times has published an interactive map showing the 2016 presidential election results at the precinct level. Generally, precincts are the smallest unit of reporting electoral data, often with just a few hundred people in them. My precinct, for example, has just over 1,000 residents and occupies less than 6 hectares.

A companion article breaks down how most of the precincts overwhelmingly went to one or the other candidate. Mine, for example, had 613 votes for Hillary Clinton and just 40 for Donald Trump. (And I'm wondering who the 40 could possibly be.)

The map we published also offers two bits of additional context to help you think about the 2016 vote.

First, we give you a measure of how the area around a precinct compares with other areas. That measure is based on the choices of the nearest 100,000 voters, as well as those within a 10-mile radius.

Second, we tell you how long it would take you to drive, without traffic, to the nearest precinct that voted for the other candidate of a major party. By these measures, for example, the area around the Times headquarters in Manhattan had a higher share of Clinton voters than 96 percent of the country, and the nearest Trump precinct, in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, is a 36-minute drive away.

It's total Daily Parker bait, of course.

> 2.5 million

That, as of today, is the number of votes that Clinton won more than Trump:

Hillary Clinton's popular vote lead has now reached 2.52 million votes. In percentage terms that's a 1.9 percentage point margin. It will rise at least a bit more. We can likely be confident that her final margin will be at least 2 percentage points. To compare, that's 5 times the margin of Al Gore's popular vote win in raw vote terms and 4 times his margin in percentage terms. At this point, not only did Clinton win the popular vote. It wasn't even all that close. When George W. Bush had another bite at the electoral apple in 2004 and finally did win the popular vote it was by 2.5 percentage points. Barack Obama's margin in 2012 was 3.9 percentage points.

Thank you, James Madison.

Why Clinton lost

TPM's John Judis has a decent set of hypotheses:

This year, Trump proved anything but hapless, and Clinton ran a campaign that sadly recalled Gore in 2000 and Dukakis in 1988. She was unable to distinguish her own approach from Obama’s – particularly on the explosive issues of Obamacare and immigration. She ran an almost entirely negative campaign focused on her opponents’ bigotry, sexism, and bilious temperament. To the extent that she made promises, her campaign consisted of appeals to particular interest and identity groups and of programs that read like the bullet points in a office memo and simply eluded the greater public.

She made little, if any, effort to speak to and allay the distrust the voters to whom Trump was appealing. They were a “basket of deplorables.” She and her campaign rested their hopes on the theory, popular among liberals, of a “rising American electorate of the young, minorities, and single woman. But her listless campaign failed to attract the same kind of support from the young and minorities that Obama had won in 2008 and 2012. In Iowa, she broke even among voters 18 to 29, and in Missouri lost them. And her vote among Hispanics fell six points short of Obama’s in 2012.

He also goes into how Trump won, which could be useful in defeating the Republicans in 2018.

Zip-a-dee doo dah! Now it's off to the races

North Carolina's polls are about to close. So it's now time to open my live blog.

18:30 CST: As the first polls close, we've got Indiana and Kentucky for Trump, Vermont for Clinton. No surprises there. Other states "too close to call."

18:33: First (minor) disappointment: The Times calls Ohio Senate for Portman.

18:37: Interesting. The Times is calling West Virginia for Trump, as expected; but Talking Points Memo calls it for Clinton and Ohio for Strickland. Oh, my, tonight will be a l19ong won.

18:55: Times reporting Strickland has conceded in Ohio. So far, no change in the Senate.

19:04: Maryland, Delaware, New Jersey, Massachusetts to Clinton. Tiny states with lots of electoral votes. Times has the race now at 44 Clinton, 31 Trump. Illinois still not called, though our polls just closed.

19:15: Times calling Florida Senate for Rubio, but painting the state blue on the Presidential side. It's looking like there's a lot of vote-splitting today.

19:25: First Senate pick-up: Crain's and other outlets calling Illinois U.S. Senate for Duckworth.

19:44: Times is calling Indiana U.S. Senate for incumbent Republican Todd Young.

20:02: Everybody calls Illinois for Clinton, and the entire 96th meridian for Trump. Also New York and Rhode Island for Clinton. Times has us at 68-69 (because they haven't officially called some of them), MSNBC has us at 104-107.

20:12: Let's recall 2012:

Meanwhile, TPM reports "We don't know how this will play out. But the big story right now in Florida is that Trump is really outperforming Romney in the Republican counties." But remember, urban counties take a lot longer to report. Either way, it's going to be a long night.

20:17: Crain's reports that the (stupid, stupid, stupid) Safe Roads Amendment will probably pass in Illinois. It puts highway money in a lockbox instead of allowing the legislature to spend it on anything else. I don't think this is a good idea. We'll see.

20:25: Times editorial board member Brent Staples reports that 7 in 10 Trump voters long for the world portrayed in 1950s television shows. Unfortunately, this America never existed.

20:37: It may be too early to say this definitively, but I think Gary Johnson voters in swing states are probably closet Trump voters who want to have a bullshit excuse. Or they're crashingly stupid. But I expect, tomorrow morning, a lot of people will be saying, "Well don't blame me, I voted my conscience for Gary Johnson." Uh huh.

20:49: And now, market futures are in a tumble as Trump looks closer to winning.

20:56: TPM and the Times are both talking about polling failures. Bad failures. The Times now shows Trump with a 59% chance of winning. Maggie Halberman: "If Clinton wins, it will be an eked-out victory, meaning that Trump will remain on the scene for potentially a long time. ... But I think it’s going to be hard to grasp how fractured this country is going to be."

21:27: The Times is calling North Carolina U.S. Senate for incumbent Republican Richard Burr. So far we're 1 up. Great. This is scary.

21:56: The Times calls Ohio for Trump, a GOP pick-up. The Detroit Free Press calls Michigan for Clinton.

22:33: Florida to Trump, according to the Times. Gary Johnson got about twice the number of votes than the difference between Trump and Clinton. But my Johnson-supporting friends claim that they voted their consciences, that they opposed Trump, and that third parties are viable in the U.S. Yeah, good work guys. You're either lying, stupid, or delusional.

23:41: Yeah, I'm still up. And California and Massachusetts have just legalized pot. Which is great, but it's still against Federal law, and without an Obama or Clinton administration to stay enforcement of those laws, does it matter?

23:43: Ah, nostalgia. Remember 2012?

23:49: I just realized, it's coming up on 7am in most of Europe now. Bonjour, mes amis! Look who we're giving the nuclear codes to!

00:12: Paul Krugman: "It really does now look like President Trump, and markets are plunging. When might we expect them to recover? ... [A] first-pass answer is never."

00:36: Republican incumbent Pat Toomey re-elected in Pennsylvania. Missouri and Louisiana look grim. So it's looking a lot like we've lost the whole game. This is my country.

01:28: We've lost the Senate. We've failed to take the House. And though a lot of ballots remain to be counted, it looks like we've lost the executive as well. As I posted on Facebook a while ago, it looks like the Republican policies of cutting education funding for 50 years have paid dividends.

I find it no small irony that everyone I voted for this morning won, at all levels. (I include the Democratic electors who will vote for Hillary Clinton in mid-December.) And this is a very, very close election, decided by exactly the people who are already a minority in this country and who are fading away. Clearly they're not going without a fight, even if it destroys everything else around them.

We are Rome. Still the Republic, but Rome nonetheless. Millions of people who voted for Donald Trump tonight will expect their lives to improve, with America returning to the imagined past of "Leave It to Beaver." What happens when they're disappointed? Which Visigoths do they invite to sack Washington?

I'm going to sleep. When I wake up, I wonder if I'll still know my country.

 

When I'll be reaching for Tums...or Champagne

Here are the states I'm watching closely tonight, and the times their polls close. The biggest ones are all around 7pm Chicago time, just over 4½ hours from now.

18:30 CST/19:30 EST

North Carolina, 15 votes, Republican Senate seat: Hillary Clinton* is polling dead-even, and so is Democratic Senate candidate Deborah Ross. It's not a make-or-break state for the presidency but it would be a huge pick-up in the Senate if Ross beats incumbent Republican Richard Burr.

19:00 CST/20:00 EST

Illinois, 22 votes, Republican Senate seat: My home state is all but certainly going for Clinton, and has a very good chance of giving us a Senate pick-up if Democrat Tammy Duckworth* beats incumbent Republican Mark Kirk. Expect the networks to call our results right when polls close.

New Hampshire, 4 votes, Republican Senate seat: This tiny New England state may signal how other older, whiter states will go later in the evening. And it's not nearly as blue in recent forecasts as it was in 2012 or 2008. I'm also looking for Democrat Maggie Hassan to take the Senate seat from Republican Kelly Ayotte. They're polling dead-even in a must-win race for Democrats.

Pennsylvania, 20 votes, Republican Senate seat: Right now it's "leans Clinton" in optimistic forecasts, "toss-up" in some others, with Democrat Katie McGinty* barely edging out incumbent Republican Pat Toomey.

Florida, 29 votes, Republican Senate seat: Another state where Clinton and Trump are polling dead even, I don't expect this race to get called until late tonight. But in the Senate, it looks like incumbent Republican Mark Rubio will defeat challenger Pat Murphy after all.

Missouri, 10 votes, Republican Senate seat: Trump's going to win the state; I accept that. But Democratic Senate challenger Jason Kander has pulled ahead of incumbent Republican Roy Blunt in late polling. That would be a very satisfying pick-up.

19:00 MST/20:00 CST/21:00 EST

Michigan, 16 votes: Clinton is barely edging Trump right now in late polling. This one could go into extra innings. (No Senate race.)

Wisconsin, 10 votes, Republican Senate seat: Both Clinton and Democratic former Senator (and current Senate challenger) Russ Feingold* are polling ahead, but it's still way closer than I want. This one could also go late.

Colorado, 9 votes: Incumbent Democratic Senator Michael Bennet is comfortably ahead of Republican challenger Darryl Glenn in the polls, so I'm not worried about that. I am interested to see how the toss-up resolves itself in the presidential race.

19:00 PST/21:00 CST

Nevada, 6 votes, open Senate seat (currently Democratic): Who will succeed retiring Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid? Democrat Catherine Masto is polling just a smidge ahead of Republican Joe Heck. This is an important Democratic hold. It would be a shame if New York's Chuck Shumer becomes Majority Leader just as the previous leader's seat changes to the other party.

20:00 PST/22:00 CST

California, 53 votes, open Senate seat (currently Democratic): Since both candidates running for Senate in California are Democrats, I am confident that we'll hold Barbara Boxer's seat. And Clinton is polling so far ahead in the Golden State that, again, I don't anticipate anything dramatic happening. But it's always nice, in any presidential election, to see my candidate's numbers go up by 53 at 10pm. If Clinton already has 199 votes in called states by this point, the triple whammy of California, Oregon (7 votes), and Washington (12 votes) means it's all over.

Will we know who'll be the next president by 10pm? I hope so. But I'm prepared to wait up all night to find out.

* Disclosure: I have contributed financially to these candidates.

Some thoughts about tonight

The Cubs' World Series Game 7 tonight in Cleveland may be "the biggest game in Chicago sports history," according to Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville. I agree.

But still, I'm trying to maintain perspective:

  • This is the only the second time in franchise history they've played in November. Last night was the first.
  • They won the National League pennant after a 71-year drought. That's not trivial.
  • If Cleveland wins, maybe they'll be so happy there it will tip Ohio into Hillary Clinton's column.
  • They have played some amazing baseball during this series, and during this season.
  • They'll be back next year.

So let's see what happens. And go, Cubs, go!

Still reading this

In between meetings and client visits, I've been paging through New York Magazine's article from last week, "The Final Days of the Trump Campaign:"

Perhaps the most surprising thing to ponder at this late stage in the election is just how close the race could have been had he taken nearly any of the advice offered to him by advisers. “This thing was doable if we did it the right way,” one adviser told me.

When Paul Manafort, a veteran Republican lobbyist and operative cut from Establishment cloth — he’d worked on Gerald Ford’s, George H.W. Bush’s, and Bob Dole’s presidential campaigns — came onboard to serve as campaign chairman at the beginning of the general-election season, he suggested a strategy that was the exact opposite of the one Trump pursued in the primaries. He wanted Trump to lower his profile, which would force the media to focus on ­Clinton — a flawed opponent with historic unfavorable ratings who couldn’t erase the stain of scandal, real or invented. “The best thing we can do is to have you move into a cave for the next four months,” Manafort told Trump during a meeting. “If you’re not on the campaign trail, the focus is on her, and we win. Whoever the focus is on will lose.”

But Trump is Trump, after all, and his entire campaign is based on him being better than "so-called 'experts.'" Kind of like the Brexit folks. I just hope Clinton's actual experts know how to beat this dangerous charlatan.

Why is the FBI director being nakedly partisan?

Let me see if I understand. Eleven days before an election, FBI Director James Comey sends a letter to Congress that has no specific information about an issue that was deemed closed in July but with the implication that the presidential candidate in the other party may have committed some malfeasance, even though doing so is against his agency's own policies? How can he be trusted to run a police force now?

The FBI language in the letter to Congress made it clear that new evidence had been discovered and thus will be reviewed — meaning FBI agents will read these emails. It is unusual for the FBI to tell Congress it is looking over newly discovered evidence in a criminal inquiry that was otherwise closed.

Federal practice is not to comment on ongoing investigations, or discuss details of concluded investigations. Comey previously explained his departure from that practice in his earlier congressional testimony, given the special nature of this case and congressional oversight inquiries.

Great. The FBI will read some new emails. What about the 22 million emails George W. Bush and his gang sent through the RNC's email servers that have up and vanished? Can he find those too?

Debate slow blogging 2016

Sigh. Here we go again.

21:14 EDT: Fifteen minutes on the 2nd Amendment, argued by someone who has never read the thing. And now, abortion, which apparently will be overturned "automatically" if he appoints pro-life judges.

21:19: No, Donald, you can't rip the baby out of the womb in the 9th month. I mean, FFS.

21:22: It took fully 15 minutes for him to descend into a stream-of-consciousness. That's pretty good self-control. (Did he just say "bad hombres?")

21:24: This, from my cousin.

21:26: No score after 4. Arguably more useful for the typical Chicagoan than this debate.

21:29: You know, in any other election, it would be really weird for a major candidate to say that the Russians have committed espionage against her campaign.

21:32: This is a long way from Lincoln-Douglas, isn't it?

21:36: "You're not going to find a quote from me." Oh, dearie dearie dear.

21:40: She's going to double my taxes? I'm absolutely certain that is mathematically impossible for me, but if she doubled your taxes it would still be...what, zero?

21:49: "Excuse me. My turn."

21:54: So...he's projecting the incitement to violence that he has perpetrated, onto her?

21:55: Apparently some people have objected to the Ewoks comment at 21:24. This only proves the Ewok Line.

22:01: Trump is calling the Clinton Foundation a "criminal enterprise." Half of all people being treated for HIV-AIDS in the world are getting it from the Foundation. Criminally, I suppose.

22:04: "There's no way to know if he's telling the truth" because he hasn't released his tax returns. "Undocumented immigrants in America are paying more in income tax than a billionaire."

22:06: "Will you absolutely accept the results of this election?" "I will look at it at the time."

22:16: "Google 'Donald Trump Iraq.'"

22:21: Trump keeps referring to "the Great Migration." Is he suggesting Clinton is responsible for African-Americans moving from the rural southern U.S. to northern cities?

22:25: Oh, FFS, Matthews. The national debt isn't in itself an issue. Why is this so hard for people? Read Krugman on IS = LM.

22:30: And the last question of this debate cycle is a right-wing hobby horse. Yes, there is bias in the media, and it's pro-Republican.

22:32: "Such a nasty woman." Projection much?

22:34: Final answer of the 2016 debates. Not a moment too soon.

22:37: That is the last time I will ever voluntarily listen to Donald Trump speak in my life. I know he'll be in the news for the next few weeks, but damn, I can't even.