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Edging toward an earthquake election
Friday, April 01 2016
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Democracy Corps’ new poll on behalf of WVWVAF shows the country edging toward an earthquake in November.[1] Hillary Clinton already holds a 13-point margin against Donald Trump and a 6-point lead over Ted Cruz, just a point short of Obama’s margin in 2008.  But seven new findings in this survey suggest something even more disruptive electorally.

 

  1. The GOP brand has reached a new historic low, putting the party at risk in swing segments of the electorate.

 

  1. The GOP civil war is producing an eye-opening numbers of Republicans ready to punish down-ballot candidates for not making the right choice with respect to how to run in relation to the front-runner. Moderate Republicans are already peeling off.

 

  1. The disengagement pall has been lifted. Our focus groups with white unmarried women,   millennials and African Americans showed a new consciousness about the stakes in November. In this poll, the percentage of Democrats giving the highest level of engagement has increased 10 points. The biggest increase in engagement came with college-educated women, putting them on par with Republicans and seniors.

 

  1. The Trump white working-class strategy is faltering because every white working-class man abandoning the Democratic candidate is being erased by Republican losses with the white working-class women. As you will see, it is statistically impossible for Trump to turn out enough angry white working class men to surpass Clinton.

 

  1. The Rising American Electorate (RAE) is producing high Democratic margins, with unmarried women producing the highest Democratic vote – and widest marriage gap – we have measured.

 

  1. After years of stagnating Democratic congressional performance, the Democrats have opened a 6-point lead in the named congressional vote. That is not enough to produce Democratic control, but this trend corresponds to when Democrats began to show life in 2006 and 2008 when they picked up seats.  If the Democrats simply reproduced Clinton’s margin with the RAE, the Democratic congressional vote would be at a much higher point. That creates obvious targets to cause an earthquake.

 

  1. The Democratic “Level the Playing Field” message dominates the Trump nationalist economic message, particularly if it incorporates reforming campaigns – which appeals to progressive base voters – and reforming government – which appeals to swing voters. This bold and populist economic message increases the vote, turnout, and support for congressional Democrats.  It is much stronger than Clinton’s current “Ladders of Opportunity” message, which limits her vote in the primary and general. The success of the “Level the Playing Field” message also suggests a united Democratic Party can make further gains.   

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[1]This national survey took place March 17-24, 2016. Respondents who voted in the 2012 election or registered since were selected from the national voter file.  Likely voters were determined based on stated intention of voting in 2016. Margin of error for the full sample is +/-3.27 percentage points at 95% confidence. 65 percent of respondents were reached by cell phone, in order to accurately sample the American electorate.