Tuesday, May 31, 2016

California Primary Prediction: Clinton +10

After a long process, the voting primary states have nearly ended. California is not only the  biggest prize in the calendar on June 7th, it is also the largest with 475 pledged delegates. Senator Sanders is hoping a win here will weaken Secretary Clinton’s argument for the nomination while Secretary Clinton is hoping for not only a win but a decisive win that will show she is still widely popular among the Democratic base (as head to head polls currently show) and that she is the clear choice of the Democratic Party.

California has demographics that strongly favor Secretary Clinton. Despite the strong population of young people with California’s many colleges and universities and the strong progressive streak, Secretary Clinton has the strong advantage here. One poll showed Secretary Clinton ahead by only 2 points but it was taken over the span of nine days (generally too long for a poll) with a small sample size compared to another poll (Survey USA) showing her ahead by 18 points. At the same time, polling Latino voters in California has been historically difficult so it remains to be seen who Latino voters will decide to support.

Arizona and Oregon also help predict California’s results as well. Arizona has a large Latino population, mainly Mexican while California’s Latino population is extremely diverse but majority Mexican as well. This leads me to believe Secretary Clinton will win the support of the majority of the California Latinos. Oregon has a smaller percentage of Latinos (10%) but has a large population of progressive white voters in Portland and its surrounding area.

To predict Secretary Clinton’s win in California, I looked at the 2008 map where she won California by 8 points. I predict a roughly 10 point win here in 2016. Secretary Clinton will gain votes with upscale Democrats (West Coast) and with African American and lose votes with rural white voters (the Sierras) and potentially a few points with Latino voters.

This is my prediction for the 2016 Democratic primary.
california primary map 2 lines.png
Dark Blue = Solid Clinton
Light Blue = Lean  Clinton
Grey = Tossup
Light Green = Lean Sanders
Solid Green = Solid Sanders 

2008 Primary Results as Comparison:

Northern California:
northern california.png
Humboldt County:
This county  is a quintessential Bernie County. Not only is it heavily white (78%) and rural, it also has a large number of progressives (they are not as upscale as the Marin County progressives) and has Humboldt State University. I expect Sanders to break +20 here.

Mendocino County:
Mendocino County should vote for Senator Sanders as well but it is less favorable to him than Humboldt County. The reason is that due to the large number of wealthy Bay Area transplants here and the growing influence of the wine country (I expect Napa County which has a large number of Latinos and upscale Democrats to support Secretary Clinton) Secretary Clinton will have a base here. What will allow Senator Sanders to carry Mendocino though is the rural working class voters inland in Ukiah and Wilitis. He will also be helped by longtime residents here as well as baby boomers who settled here in the 1970s. Overall I predict a Sanders +10 here.

Border Counties:
The counties of Del Norte, Siskiyou and Modoc are all heavily white, rural and have large elderly populations (over 20% in many of them). This will allow Secretary Clinton to not face a blowout here (similarly to Oregon’s southern counties) but should not be enough for her to win any of them.

Bay Area:
Bay Area.png
Alameda County:
This county will narrowly lean Clinton. On one hand, it has heavily African American areas (12% countywide) in Oakland and wealthier areas (Dublin) that will vote strongly for Secretary Clinton. Alameda County also has a 23% Latino and 29% Asian population. At the same time, Alameda County is also home to Berkeley which is probably one of the strongest Bernie cities in the state. It is home to extremely progressive and young Democrats (and I saw Jill Stein at an event there). The southern part of the county is more Latino which should favor Secretary Clinton but Berkeley has high Democratic turnout and the hipsters in Oakland may offset the African American voters there supporting Secretary Clinton. Overall I predict Secretary Clinton +4 due to the southern part of Alameda County saving Secretary Clinton.   

Contra Costa County:
If  any county in the Bay Area were made for Hillary, it would be this one. Not only does Contra Costa have a 10% African American population (it is home to heavily African American city of Richmond), it also has very upscale suburbs similar to the Philadelphia suburbs and the Upper East Side that Hillary won. There are a few working class areas (Martinez) but they should be outvoted by the wealthier areas (Lafayette, Walnut Creek, Danville). I predict a +17 Secretary Clinton win here.

Marin County:
As a resident of Marin County, I am so excited to finally discuss how my county will vote. At a first glance, Marin County appears to be strongly for Bernie. It is 72% White and very progressive (it was the strongest Obama primary county in California in  2008, backing him by 19 points). Environmentalism is the key issue here, we love hiking in the redwoods on Mt. Tam, we love our salmon, we love protecting our unspoiled coastline and we love our four Whole Foods markets. One town, Fairfax is a proud town with many former hippies very proud of its heritage (and West Marin is very similar with many rural progressives). On the other hand, there are some very wealthy areas in Marin County (Tiburon, Ross) which are still Democratic but many of the Dems there are more moderate and similar to upscale Democrats Secretary Clinton won on the East Coast. The average age is also 44 years old. The bellwether here is Mill Valley which is home to many progressives and many upscale Democrats (there are two Whole Foods within a mile of each other). At the same time, Marin County may appear very pro Secretary Clinton on a data model due to demographics similar to Montgomery County, PA, Montgomery County, MD and Westchester County which overwhelmingly backed Hillary, I expect Marin County to be very close due to the strong progressivism and activism many of the Democrats here have. While I expect the West Marin/Fairfax contingent to post a strong showing for Bernie, Marin will support Hillary  thanks to supporters in the southern part of the county. I predict Clinton +4 here.  

San Mateo County:
The key to determining how San Mateo County votes is by looking at the divide between the areas along the Bay which are full of young tech workers. The upper parts of the county though are more older (Hillsborough, Woodside) and more wealthy which would imply a win for Secretary Clinton. San Mateo County is currently labeled as “too close to call” thanks to the large numbers of tech workers here (and Senator Sanders is also helped by the working class residents of South San Francisco). Secretary Clinton also won here in 2008 by six points despite losses among the young tech workers (although provided there are more now than in 2008). Overall, I give this county Clinton +1 but with the potential closeness it is marked as “too close to call” on the map.

Santa Clara County:
At a first glance, Santa Clara County may appear to be a swing county due to the large number of young people working in Silicon Valley. Once one leaves the valley however and heads to the mountains, the demographics change and become more upscale (Campbell, Saratoga, Mountain View etc), which favors Secretary Clinton. As shown in Oregon, Sanders won wealthy suburban areas in Portland (Clackamas County) by three points (I am using it to compare upscale Democrats on the West Coast) but Clackamas County is not as wealthy as parts of Santa Clara County and it does not have the minority population Santa Clara has. Also, Santa Clara County has a significant Latino population (26%) which is the largest in the Bay Area. The Asian population here is 35% and while there is little data on how Asian Democrats vote in the primary (especially Vietnamese due to the large Vietnamese population here), the best data we have is the NY primary results where Secretary Clinton won 60%-65% in heavily Asian neighborhoods. While Santa Clara County and San Mateo County are similar demographically in some ways, what gives Secretary Clinton a higher percentage here than in San Mateo is the higher Latino population. Also, Secretary Clinton won by 13 points here in 2008 despite President Obama winning  among the young tech workers. In terms of polls, the best data here is a Clinton +13 poll here which is a bit out of line with our Secretary Clinton +5 win here.

San Francisco County:
While demographics of many California counties may appear obscure, what is not obscure is the San Francisco demographics. With a large population of progressive voters and young voters, San Francisco is prime territory for Senator Sanders. At the same time here, he will not win a blowout here that he will need to counterbalance Secretary Clinton’s wins in SoCal. The reason is that many of the wealthy voters in the Pacific Heights will favor Secretary Clinton. The Asian voters in the Sunset District will probably favor Secretary Clinton (but as shown by heavily Asian areas in NY, probably not by large margins). Overall, I predict a +7 Sanders win here, thanks to margins from young voters and from progressives.

Central Coast:
Central Coast.png
This region contains Santa Cruz, Monterey and San Luis Obispo Counties.

Santa Cruz County:
Santa Cruz county is similar demographically to Marin County. There are many environmental progressive voters here as well as UC Santa Cruz and Watsonville which is heavily Latino (Santa Cruz County is 30% Latino). While Watsonville should lean Secretary Clinton, it should be outvoted by the rest of Santa Cruz County which I expect to heavily back Bernie. I expect Sanders +7 here.

Monterey County:
Monterey County similarly to 2008 will mostly likely go for Hillary. Not only is it 57% Latino, it also has a large upscale white voter population. At the same time, it is important to note that due to the low turnout rates of Latinos, a 57% Latino population does not guarantee a Latino majority in voting, even in a Democratic primary (in a general election a 65% Latino area may have a majority Latino vote) due to the age of many of the voters. While many of these voters are strong environmentalists similarly to Santa Cruz and Marin Counties, many of these voters are very upscale and may not be progressive activists the way voters in Marin and Santa Cruz Counties are. I expect Secretary Clinton to win here by roughly 10%.

San Luis Obispo County:
With Cal Poly, a smaller Latino percentage than nearby counties (and the smallest percentage in a coastal county south of the Bay Area) and a large number of rural progressives, San Luis Obispo County should vote strongly for Senator Sanders. I predict Sanders +10 here.

Central Valley:
Central Valley.png
Sacramento County:
Sacramento County will probably vote for Secretary Clinton but not by a large margin. The reason is that there is a large young population here in Downtown Sacramento. At the same time, this is the state capitol with political people who would be more likely to support Secretary Clinton. Not to mention the African American population here is 11%  and the Latino population is 23%. Compared to Marion County in Oregon with Oregon’s state capital which narrowly backed Bernie and had a similar Latino population, Sacramento County should back Secretary Clinton by roughly 12% thanks to the additions of the African American and Asian populations.

Stanislaus County:
If there is one farming county Senator Sanders wins, it will be this one. As shown in the 2012 election results, President Obama won here despite Stanislaus County having a 44% Latino population here (counties in the southern Central Valley with Latino populations in the 50s voted for Romney). This shows that there is a contingent of white Democrats here that may be much smaller in southern Central Valley counties. Also, many of the white Democrats here are working class, giving Senator Sanders an opening. I still expect a Secretary Clinton win but it could be close.

Merced County:
Despite the 58% Latino population here, this is a county where Senator Sanders may make a close race. The reason is that UC Merced is here and Senator Sanders performs very well with college students. I predict a +10 win for Secretary Clinton with the large Latino population carrying her to victory.

Kern County:
This county is heavily Latino with a large young population as well (30% of the population is under 18). At the same time, many of the Latinos here are involved in the farmworking industry which favors Secretary Clinton due to the strong support she received there. Also, the white population here is strongly Republican, preventing Senator Sanders from narrowing the margin here with white working class voters. I predict a +20 Secretary Clinton win here.

Southern California:
Southern California.png
Santa Barbara County:
In California elections, Santa Barbara County is a bellwether. It is a good representation of the state. It has a liberal university, it has wealthy liberal voters, it has heavily Latino communities in an urban area (East Santa Barbara), it has heavily Latino communities in an agricultural area (Lompoc, Santa Maria), it has upscale Republicans (Montecito), and rural Republicans (Santa Ynez). Therefore, I expect Santa Barbara to represent the state of California and have the Latinos and the wealthy voters carry Secretary Clinton to victory. My prediction is Secretary Clinton + 2.

Ventura county:
As recently as 10 years ago, Ventura County leaned Republican but demographic changes have changed that. Not only has the Latino population grown to 42%, the formerly heavily Republican suburban areas such as Thousand Oaks have become more purple instead of solidly red (although Simi Valley is still solidly red). I expect Clinton to win here  by +12.

Los Angeles County:
If Secretary Clinton wants a large margin out of California, Los Angeles will be the county where she needs it and she will get it. Besides Silver Lake and other young areas in LA County, there are few opportunities for Senator Sanders. There are upscale wealthy areas but they are unlikely to back Bernie (except maybe Santa Monica) due to not being as “anti establishment” as the progressive areas in Marin and Santa Cruz Counties. Not to mention Los Angeles County has a 48% Latino population and a 9% African American population that is very politically active. In 2008, Secretary Clinton won California by 12, I expect her to keep her 2008 voters (the groups she lost in 2016 compared to 2008 are working class white voters and there are few in LA County) and she will gain among African American voters and upscale white voters. Therefore, I predict a +16 win for Secretary Clinton here.

Orange County
This is a difficult county to predict. Orange County on one hand is home to a large Latino population (34%) and Asian population (16%) and also has many wealthy coastal areas as well that should favor Secretary Clinton. Secretary Clinton should be able to at least receive a +10 margin here thanks to margins from the coastal areas and from Latinos (although her margins among Latinos here may be smaller than in other areas thanks to the Latino population being younger here than in other parts of California).

San Diego County:
With San Diego being much whiter and younger, this is the SoCal county Sanders has the best chance to win (although I highly doubt he does). San Diego County has a large college aged population and has a larger white percentage than other SoCal counties (at 47% which also means that not a single county in SoCal is majority non Hispanic White). The 33% Latino population though is very helpful to Secretary Clinton and the 6% African American and 12% Asian do not hurt either here. Overall, Secretary Clinton should aim for a +8 win here.

Imperial County:
Predicting how Latinos will vote in California is difficult with Latinos having different voting patterns across the U.S. In Illinois, Sanders won the 75% Latino 4th district (but most of the Latino population was not Mexican) and Secretary Clinton won in heavily Latino parts of Florida and Texas (and probably won in Nevada but others debate that and that is another discussion for another article). I settled on Arizona, due to the similarities in the Latino population and the fact that both states are not caucus states (Nevada is). Yuma County and Santa Cruz County, the two heavily Latino counties in Arizona supported Secretary Clinton +29 and +32 respectively (similar to their 2008 primary results). While Senator Sanders has a chance to make inroads among urban Latinos, he has not shown this ability with rural ones. This is important in a 82% Latino county such as Imperial County. Therefore, I am predicting a +40 margin here for Secretary Clinton (similar to her +44 margin in 2008).


Overall, Secretary Clinton should expect a +10 win statewide. She will sweep every county in SoCal with the closest being San Diego and Santa Barbara Counties. She will win the cities in the Central Valley (with the potential exception of Stanislaus County (Modesto) and while she will lose the Sierra rural areas, she may not lose by the large margins she lost by in rural western caucus states thanks to the large elderly population in these areas.

In NorCal, the race will be more split with Secretary Clinton winning the East Bay in the Bay Area, losing San Francisco and keeping it close in Santa Clara, San Mateo and Marin Counties.

In Coastal California, Bernie will win most of the counties except for Monterey.

California will be a gripping end to the primary season and while we may not know the final tallies for over a month (California takes about a month to finalize the provisional ballots and counts absentee ballots first which should favor Secretary Clinton in the early count), the absentee ballots and the Election Day votes should be enough to allow Secretary Clinton to declare victory.

Overall, the main reason I believe Secretary Clinton will win by 10 points in California is that in 2008, she won by eight points showing that she has a strong base here and Senator Sanders would need to make inroads among one of her demographics. I have not seen how Senator Sanders can do it.

Monday, April 25, 2016

Pennsylvania Primary Election Night Guide

On Tuesday April 19th, Hillary Clinton won New York by 16 points, further cementing her lead and pushing her closer to the nomination. The Sanders campaign has continued to press on claiming that they can win Pennsylvania and try to halt her momentum and push the argument that she will be a weak nominee. With Sanders expected to lose Delaware, Maryland and Connecticut (and win Rhode Island), a win in Pennsylvania could impact the direction of the race. Sanders has treated Pennsylvania as a major part of the race, he even gave his speech on the night of the NY primary here on April 19th showing that while his campaign knew he could not win New York, he would try hard to win Pennsylvania.
Overall, I expect Secretary Clinton to win Pennsylvania due to the similar demographics of New York but I expect a narrower margin (10%-12% instead of 16%) due to the smaller population of the Philadelphia area compared to the New York City population. This will be similar to the margin of her 2008 win where she won by ten points. The map though will be partially reversed from 2008 (in 2008, President Obama won Philadelphia, heavily African American areas and upscale Philadelphia suburbs while Secretary Clinton won strongly in rural and West PA). In 2016, I expect the votes to be partially reversed where Secretary Clinton performs well in Philadelphia, heavily African American and upscale areas while Sen. Sanders plays better (but not winning Secretary Clinton’s 70%+ margins) in rural and West PA.
This is a county by county analysis of Pennsylvania which will predict which counties Secretary Clinton and Sen. Sanders will win.
Pennsylvania primary divided.png
Philadelphia Map 
Dark Blue = Strong Clinton
Light Blue = Leaning Clinton
Grey = Tossup/not enough data
Light Green = Leaning Sanders
Dark Green = Strong Sanders
The dark lines represent my divisions between the Philadelphia metro, Eastern PA, Rural PA and West PA.
Philadelphia  Metropolitan Area:
Philadelphia suburbs.png
Philadelphia Metropolitan area 
With the largest minority percentage in the state, a high population of wealthy white voters and a similarity to New York areas Secretary Clinton won, the Philadelphia metropolitan area should be Secretary Clinton’s strongest area in the state.
In 2008, Philadelphia was President Obama’s strongest county in the Pennsylvania primary. In 2016, it will likely be Secretary Clinton’s strongest county in Pennsylvania. The reason is that Philadelphia is 45% African American, 13% Latino and 35% White. With Secretary Clinton’s 75%-25% margin with African American voters in NY  and 60% win in Brooklyn with a 34% African American population, Secretary Clinton  will likely overperform that 60% number and could win 65% in Philadelphia, a reversal from Obama’s 65% win there in 2008.
Delaware County:
With a generally wealthy population and a 21% African American population, Secretary Clinton should expect a strong win here similar to Westchester County which has similar demographics with upscale white voters and African Americans. Secretary Clinton may not win here 2-1 where she did in Westchester but a 61%-62% win here is very possible. This could be Secretary Clinton’s best or one of her best counties in the state.
Montgomery County:
I expect a Hillary win here due to the similar demographics to wealthy NYC suburbs but with a lower African American population (9%) and a large college  aged population (Lower Merion Township). Sanders could keep it narrower here than Delaware County but barring a massive Secretary Clinton collapse he should be unable to win here. The wealthy Democrats as shown in Nassau and Westchester Counties should back Clinton.
Bucks County:
If Sanders carries one county in the Philadelphia suburbs, it will likely be this one. Bucks County is 85% White and has many liberal upscale white voters. It also has  more working class voters as well. Still, I expect a Clinton win although I expect it to be narrow.
Eastern Pennsylvania:
Eastern Pennsylvania.png
Eastern PA 
This area represents the counties west of the Philadelphia metropolitan area and east of the rural areas in the Appalachian Mountains. The cities in this area include: Harrisburg, Reading, Allentown/Bethlehem and Scranton. Secretary Clinton should perform well in these areas (although not as well as the Philadelphia metropolitan area) with help from the growing Hispanic and New York transplant population.
Lehigh/Northampton Counties:
I am grouping these two counties together due to being neighbors and similar in demographics. While Allentown/Bethlehem may appear to Sanders country at first due to being heavily working class towns, they also have a rapidly growing Hispanic population and in Lehigh County, the White population recently dropped below 70%(and the Hispanic population increased above 20%). These demographic changes should allow Secretary Clinton to win here.
Dauphin County:
With an 18.7% African American population (that helped propel Obama to a 58%  win here in 2008), Secretary Clinton should perform well  here. I expect a 55%-56% here for her. Harrisburg, the capital of Philadelphia is located here but unlike Albany (which Sanders narrowly won), it has a larger African American population.
Berks County:
After the Allentown area, Berks County is the most heavily Hispanic part of Pennsylvania. I expect Hillary Clinton to play well here, although I do not expect her to win by a large margin.
Lackawanna County:
While Scranton, a heavily working class area could appear to Sanders territory at a first glance, Secretary Clinton has some advantages here. She won 73% in 2008 here, Scranton has demographic similarities to the Youngstown, OH area Secretary Clinton won and her ancestors had roots here, something she highlighted in her 2008 campaign. While Sen. Sanders’s economic message will resonate with many voters here, it may be enough to keep it close but not enough to win.
Monroe County:
This county has had one of the most rapid demographic changes in Pennsylvania in the last couple of decades. Many New York transplants have moved in here and the Hispanic and AFrican American populations have increased to 15% each. The New York transplants moving in though are mostly upscale retirees who are more similar to Westchester County voters than southern Staten Island voters so they are more likely to support Secretary Clinton. The demographic trend is similar to a lesser extent in nearby Pike County as well.
Rural Pennsylvania:
West Pennsylvania.png
Rural PA 
James Carville once said, “Pennsylvania is Philadelphia in the East, Pittsburgh in the West and Alabama in the middle.” Central Pennsylvania may not have a large African American population similarly to Alabama but may be similar in other ways. One of the ways it is not similar though is in Secretary Clinton’s margin. She won Alabama with 78%, that will not happen here. This is Sanders’s best chance to win a region of Pennsylvania. I expect the votes in this area to be more similar to central rural Upstate (strongly pro Sanders) than to Ohio or western New York (narrowly pro Secretary Clinton). I listed many of the rural PA counties as “leaning Sanders” because most of the Upstate counties bordering PA supported Sanders but by narrow margins so I expect the central rural part of the state to vote roughly 54%-55% Sanders.
Centre County:
This could be Sen. Sanders’s best county in Pennsylvania. It is home to “State College” where Penn State is located and has a large rural population as well. There is a little diversity but Sen. Sanders’s strength with young voters should give him a win of around 60% here.
Sullivan County:
Secretary Clinton has the potential to pull off an upset here. The reason is that 27% of the county’s population is 65+ and polls such as NBC/WSJ/Marist and Monmouth show her leading 66%-28% among 45+ voters and 57%-33% respectively among 65+ voters respectively giving Secretary Clinton a chance to win rural counties such as Sullivan County.
Pittsburgh/West Pennsylvania:
West Pennsylvania actual.png
West PA 
Western Pennsylvania should vote similarly to eastern Ohio and western New York. As shown by the numbers in Ohio and Western New York, western Pennsylvania will most likely be close but I expect a narrow Clinton win here. The reason  is that although Sanders did win most of western New York, his margins in Chautauqua County and Niagara County were narrow. These eastern Ohio results show that Secretary Clinton appears to do better in more urbanized working class areas while Sen. Sanders appears to do better in more rural ones as shown by Central New York. Also, the 65+ percentage of the population is higher here than in most Upstate counties. Central New York also has many similarities to Vermont, Sen. Sanders’s home state. Furthermore, many of the West PA Democrats tend to be more conservative than the rural Upstate voters who are more liberal.
Allegheny County:
With a 13% African American population and a small but growing base of wealthy white voters, Secretary Clinton could win here with a 10%-12% margin. Similarly to the 2008 primary, I expect Allegheny County’s results to mirror the state’s. With an African American population of 13%, working class white voters and upscale white voters, Allegheny County is a good representation of the state in the Democratic primary.
Erie County:
The Erie County in New York (with Buffalo) voted for Secretary Clinton by one point. Erie County, PA should be close as well with bordering Chattaqua County in NY voting for Sen. Sanders by eight points and Ashtabula County on the west voting for Secretary Clinton by 10 points. Overall, I expect a narrow Secretary Clinton win here but I would not be surprised if Sen. Sanders won here.
Overall, I predict another Secretary Clinton win in PA, this time by 10-12 points.
Philadelphia area: Secretary Clinton wins Philadelphia overwhelmingly, wins all the suburbs with Bucks County being close.
Eastern Pennsylvania: Secretary Clinton wins most urban areas, she wins strongly in the Harrisburg area but might lose the Scranton area.
Rural Pennsylvania: while Sanders is likely to win, look for upsets in counties that are 20%+ 65 and older such as Sullivan and Forest Counties.
Western Pennsylvania: Secretary Clinton is likely to carry it due to the higher percentages of older voters than in Upstate New York and demographic similarity to Ohio counties that she narrowly carried.