Tuesday, December 6, 2016

What Happened in Pennsylvania?

In 2008, I was 14 years old and a proud supporter of then-Sen. Obama, I watched the Pennsylvania primary as then-Sen. Hillary Clinton swept the working class western part of the state as Obama swept the eastern part of Pennsylvania. In 2016, Clinton again won the Pennsylvania primary. I always viewed Pennsylvania as the consistent state that wavered, but in the end always sided with the Democrats. There were times when Republicans won in Pennsylvania such as Sen. Toomey (R) in 2010, but they won by making inroads in the Philadelphia suburbs. In 2012, however, Obama won Pennsylvania by five points despite  Romney’s inroads not only in the Philadelphia suburbs, but also in West Pennsylvania’s working class areas. It seemed impossible that Trump could win enough votes in West Pennsylvania to offset the Philadelphia suburbs that trended toward Clinton. Unfortunately, however, he did. Some analysts have blamed low Democratic turnout in Philadelphia for Clinton’s loss.

This article will analyze how Trump won Pennsylvania and examine many regions including: the Philadelphia metropolitan area, Southeast Pennsylvania (Harrisburg, Lancaster), West Pennsylvania (Pittsburgh, Erie) and Northeast Pennsylvania (Scranton, Poconos).

This is the second article of a series analyzing swing states post election. My Florida analysis can be found here:  

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Pennsylvania’s 2016 Two Party Vote:
Red: Trump by 20%+
Light Red: Trump by 10%-19%
Tan: Trump by 0%-9%
Light Blue: Clinton by 0%-9%
Blue: Clinton by 10%-19%
Dark Blue: Clinton by 20%+
Pennsylvania County map actual.png
All election data used in the article can be found here and here:

Shift in 2016 vs. 2012:
Red: 10+ gain for Trump
Light Red: 5%-9% gain for Trump
Tan: 0%-4% gain for Trump
Light Blue: 0%-4% gain for Clinton
Blue: 5%-9% gain for Clinton

Pennsylvania shift.png

Philadelphia Metropolitan Area:
Clinton’s strategy relied on increasing turnout in Philadelphia and its suburbs at such a high number that it would offset all of Trump’s gains throughout other parts of the state. Many analysts blame Clinton’s loss in Pennsylvania on low Philadelphia turnout. Clinton did garner less votes than Obama in 2012 in Philadelphia; her margin decreased by 17,000 votes (and it was only 2,000 votes lower than Obama’s 2008 margin in Philadelphia). Even if Clinton had won Philadelphia by the same margin as Obama in 2012 though, it would not be enough for her to win - so Philadelphia is not responsible for Clinton’s loss.

In fact, Clinton’s margin in the Philadelphia metropolitan area was higher than Obama’s margin. While her margin shrank by 17,000 votes in Philadelphia city proper, her margin in the Philadelphia suburbs ( historically a bellwether area) increased by 62,000 votes. She flipped historically Republican-leaning Chester County and increased Democratic margins in Montgomery County (31,000 votes) and Delaware County (6,000 votes). Even Bucks County-  a bellwether in all Senate, Gubernatorial and Presidential Elections since 2000- voted for Clinton. Bucks County is a mix of working class voters and wealthy suburbanites. Clinton still carried Bucks County by 3,000 votes.

Overall, Clinton won the Philadelphia metropolitan area by 659,000 votes and increased the Democratic margin by 45,000 votes, performing extremely well here and winning two thirds of the vote.  

Philadelphia data table:
Philadelphia data table.png
(for full data table click here:)

Southeast Pennsylvania
Southeast PA.png
This region contains York, Lancaster, Lebanon, Dauphin, Cumberland, Berks, Northampton and Lehigh Counties. It is a Republican leaning area with a few Democratic pockets such as Dauphin County (Harrisburg) and Lehigh County (Allentown). Lehigh and Northampton Counties are historically bellwether and combined they voted for Clinton, suggesting that they may be trending more Democratic than the state as a whole. Their growing Latino populations (22% in Lehigh, 12% in Northampton) may be helping their Democratic trend relative to other working class areas in Pennsylvania with minimal or no Latino growth.

Trump increased the Republican margin in this region by 67,000 votes, but there is a warning sign. The trend in the Lancaster/Harrisburg area, while the counties did trend toward Trump, they were very narrow (Lancaster, Cumberland and Dauphin Counties  trended only one, one and three points respectively toward Trump). Lancaster County, a historically Republican county, gave George W. Bush a 71,000 vote margin in 2004, but gave Trump only a 47,000 vote margin in 2016. Cumberland County is a suburban county next to Harrisburg and is located in the region due to its connection to Harrisburg even though it may geographically fit in Central Pennsylvania. The surrounding counties such as York also gave strong margins to Bush in 2004, making  Pennsylvania close. Decreasing Republican margins in Lancaster and Cumberland Counties as well as keeping Dauphin County blue are key to Democrats ensuring that 2016 was a fluke and not the norm.

Southeast Pennsylvania Data Table:
Southeast PA data table.png
For full data table click here:

West Pennsylvania:
West Pennsylvania.png
This region is one of the most famous regions within Pennsylvania politics, due to its voting trends and problems it has given the Democrats recently. In 2008, West Pennsylvania became well known when the Obama campaign worked hard there to ensure that he would not lose the state after his poor primary performance in West Pennsylvania.

Some definitions of West Pennsylvania extends its boundary further east into the Appalachian Mountains. This article’s definition includes the Pittsburgh area and the heavily unionized counties along the Ohio border such as Washington, Beaver and Erie Counties.

Despite Pittsburgh’s working class history which could spell trouble for Clinton, she actually increased the margin in Allegheny County (Pittsburgh) by 17,000 votes due to Pittsburgh’s changing downtown and wealthy suburbs that may be historically Republican but trended toward Clinton as did the Philadelphia suburbs. Trump did make gains in the heavily white industrial counties such as Beaver and Washington. He increased Republican margins there by 10,000 and 12,000 votes respectively. Trump also flipped historically Democratic Erie County which in 2012 had voted for Obama by 16 points.

Trump gained about seven points in West Pennsylvania, while making strong gains in the industrial counties, his gains were blunted a bit by Pittsburgh and its changing demographics. While West Pennsylvania is considered a large component of Trump’s gains, they were not as strong as the part of the state in the next paragraph.

West Pennsylvania Data Table:
West PA accurate data table.png
For full data table, click here:

Northeast Pennsylvania:
Northeast PA.png
Many analysts suggest that Trump’s win was based on his margin from West Pennsylvania. As the results show, there was another area that trended more strongly for Trump: Northeast Pennsylvania around Scranton. In 2012, Romney’s disconnect with blue collar workers and Biden’s connection to Scranton may have prevented Romney from obtaining strong gains here (Obama actually improved in Scranton compared to 2008). Trump, however, made strong gains in Northeast Pennsylvania. While working class counties such as Beaver and Washington shifted about 12 points more Republican than 2012, working class counties in Northeast Pennsylvania shifted more than 20 points more Republican.

For example, Clinton did not need to win Susquehanna County, a heavily working class county in Northeast Pennsylvania.  She did not even need to lose narrowly, she could manage to lose by about 20 points which Obama did in 2012. Instead, she lost by over 40 points and lost by similar margins in many Pennsylvania counties demographically similar to Susquehanna. There were more stark examples for Clinton in Northeast Pennsylvania as well. The biggest swing was in Schuylkill County with a 31 point swing to Trump. Romney won by 14 points in 2012, Trump won by 45 points.

Even though Clinton flipped suburban Chester County near Philadelphia and won there by 25,000 votes, Trump flipped historically Democratic Luzerne County near Scranton and won there by 26,000 votes. Luzerne County is over 90% White and is heavily working class. While Bucks County is the historical bellwether in Pennsylvania, perhaps the new bellwether should be the combined votes of Luzerne and Chester Counties. A win in Chester County would show how strongly a candidate is performing in the Philadelphia suburbs as a Luzerne County win would show how strongly a candidate is performing in working class voters in Pennsylvania.

Obama won Northeast Pennsylvania by four points. If Trump won Northeast Pennsylvania by nine instead of 19 points, Clinton would have won Pennsylvania, even if the margins stayed the same in the other regions. Northeast Pennsylvania may have cast roughly 8% of the votes in Pennsylvania but its impact on the election was much greater than 8%.

Northeast Pennsylvania Data Table:
Northeast PA data table.png
For full data table click here:

Overall, how was Trump able to win Pennsylvania?

At first glance, Trump should have lost Pennsylvania due to the historic losses he faced in the Philadelphia suburbs. He lost Bucks County which is normally a bellwether in not only Presidential, but also state elections. He also lost Chester County which Clinton flipped from 2012 and is normally more Republican than the rest of the state.

Trump made up some ground in West Pennsylvania where had had a seven point gain, he made some ground in Southeast Pennsylvania where had a six point gain and he also gained in Central Pennsylvania. The one area, though, that saw the fastest shift to Trump is Northeast Pennsylvania which voted for Obama by four points, but voted for Trump by 18 points. If the margins throughout the rest of Pennsylvania stayed consistent and there was only a 13 point shift to Trump  in Northeast Pennsylvania and Clinton lost by nine points there, she would have won Pennsylvania. Philadelphia is not the reason for Clinton’s loss, she could have matched Obama’s 2012 margin there and still lost.  While 2016 showed Democrats can produce strong margins in the Philadelphia suburbs, have high turnout in Philadelphia and can hold their own in parts of Southeast Pennsylvania, they need to devote more time and energy to more rural regions of Pennsylvania in order to win in 2018 and 2020, especially Northeast Pennsylvania.

Monday, November 28, 2016

What Happened in Florida?

One of the first political books I read was the Almanac of American Politics 2006 which I read as an 11 year old. It discussed how Democratic nominee Sen. John Kerry increased Democratic turnout in Democratic parts of Ohio compared to Vice President Gore in 2000. Kerry increased turnout in Cuyahoga County (Cleveland), Franklin County (Columbus) and overperformed in Hamilton County (Cincinnati). According to the Almanac, if President Bush’s margins in the Republican rural areas had remained the same compared to 2000, the passage said, Kerry would have won Ohio by 17,000 votes and thus the Presidency. Kerry lost Ohio by 119,000 votes because Bush had increased Republican margins in heavily Republican areas.

A similar phenomenon happened in Florida 2016: Secretary Clinton increased her margins in almost every Democratic county, especially in the Gold Coast region. Those margins could have given her a strong win compared to President Obama’s 2012 win and her win would have been in line with  polls showing her with a 2%-3% win. Donald Trump, however, won Florida by about one point because he increased turnout in heavily Republican areas.

This article will analyze how Trump was able to win Florida and how Democrats can win Florida for the 2018 midterms and the 2020 Presidential Election. This article will break down Florida into a few regions: the Gold Coast (the Miami, Fort Lauderdale and Palm Beach area), the I-4 Corridor (the counties along Interstate 4), the rest of Florida and a sub-region: North Central Florida.

Map of Florida’s 2016 results:
Dark Red: Trump 20%+
Red: Trump 10%-19%
Tan: Trump 0%-9%
Light Blue: Clinton 0%-9%
Blue: Clinton 10%-19%
Dark Blue: Clinton 20%+
Florida Map.png
Map of Florida’s trends 2016 vs. 2012  
Dark Red: 10+ point gain for Trump
Red: 5%-9% gain for Trump
Tan: 0%-4% gain for Trump
Light Blue: 0%-4% gain for Clinton
Blue: 5%-9% gain for Clinton
Florida trend 2016 vs. 2012.png

The Gold Coast:
Gold Coast Map.png
The Gold Coast (Palm Beach, Broward, Monroe and Miami Dade Counties) is Florida’s most densely populated region and where Democrats earn the bulk of their margins. While demographics may not have been enough to win Florida, they are enough to produce historic margins in the Gold Coast. One theme as to why Clinton lost Florida is that she performed poorly among Cuban voters. While she may not have won Cuban voters, she outperformed Obama in Miami Dade County which is home to Florida’s highest population of Cuban voters.

While Clinton’s margin in Palm Beach County remained static, she increased her margin over  Obama’s by 28,000 votes in Broward County which has a rapidly shrinking white population (it is at 39% compared to 57% in 2000). Broward County is also the 2nd most populous county in Florida. Where Clinton overperformed Obama the most is in Miami Dade County, home to nearly one out of seven Floridians. She won a margin of 290,000 votes there and 63% of the vote, 82,000 higher than Obama’s in 2012. This represents a long term shift toward the Democrats in Miami Dade County. As recently as 2000, Gore won Miami Dade County by only 39,000 votes and by only seven points. Miami Dade also has a 67% Latinx population with a high Cuban population and although Cubans are historically primarily Republican, many Cubans, especially younger ones have started voting Democratic.

Gold Coast Data Table: (all election data is from the U.S. Election Atlas and New York Times)

Gold Coast Table.png
For full data tables click here:

I-4 Corridor:
I-4 Corridor.png
The I-4 Corridor is defined by the author as the counties of Pinellas, Hillsborough, Polk, Osceola, Orange, Seminole, Volusia and Flagler. This fast growing area with the Tampa metropolitan area (Hillsborough and Pinellas Counties), the Orlando metropolitan area (Orange, Osceola and Seminole Counties) and the Daytona Beach area (Volusia and Flagler Counties) is historically a swing area in Florida. It is home to Hillsborough County (Tampa) which from 1964 to 2012 voted for the presidential winner of Florida. This year, however,  Clinton won Hillsborough County even though she did not win Florida.

One narrative suggests that Clinton lost the election because she was unable to turnout Latinx voters. While Latinx turnout may vary from state to state, she did not lose Florida due to Latinx turnout. In fact, Clinton nearly flipped historically Republican Seminole County, losing by only two points and Democrats gained Seminole County’s congressional seat which was held for 20+ years by a Republican, due to the Latinx growth in Seminole County (it was at 20% in 2015, compared to 17% in 2010). Also, Clinton won Orange and Osceola Counties by 29 and 25 points respectively (Orange contains Orlando with a large Puerto Rican population and Osceola is suburban with a rapidly growing Puerto Rican population and a 51% Latinx population). Thus, with a combined 171,000 vote margin from the two counties, Clinton increased her margin over President Obama’s by 57,000 votes.

If margins in the counties outside of the Gold Coast and Orange/Osceola Counties did not change compared to the 2012 election, Clinton would have won by 237,000 votes in Florida, matching President Obama’s 2008 margin and matching many of the pre-election polls.

As we have seen, that did not happen and the I-4 Corridor reflects this. Trump gained votes in heavily white Pinellas, Volusia, and Flagler Counties. Each of the three counties has an above-average elderly population, and each is over 70% White. Volusia County for example went for Romney by one point in 2012 but in 2016 went for Trump by 13 points (the author also has relatives who live there). Even though Clinton nearly flipped Seminole County, Trump was able to flip Pinellas County in the Tampa Area with a 75% White population.  Trump was able to reduce the Democratic margin in the I-4 Corridor and to help offset Clinton’s gains in the Orlando area.

I-4 Corridor Data Table:
I-4 Corridor Table.png
For full data tables click here:

Rest of the State:
The rest of Florida contains retirement areas along the West Coast, the Panhandle, some East Coast of Florida communities and the Jacksonville area. Some analysts say that a low turnout among African Americans hurt Clinton, but the results show that did occur at least in urban areas. Clinton overperformed Obama in Duval County (Jacksonville) where she lost by 6,000 votes compared to Obama’s 16,000 vote loss in 2012 (Duval County has a 30% African American population). Clinton also overperformed Obama in Alachua County (University of Florida) which has a 21% African American population as well as a higher number of millennials. She also matched Obama’s numbers in Southwest Florida which is more wealthy. In contrast, Trump won large margins throughout the rest of the West Coast, the Florida East Coast north of Palm Beach County and the heavily Republican Panhandle.

Many analysts blame Trump’s win on the heavily conservative Panhandle that reported late and erased Clinton’s narrow statewide lead. The Panhandle voted heavily for Trump and he received roughly an 186,000 vote margin from the five counties on the northwest part of the Panhandle (Escambia, Santa Rosa, Okaloosa, Walton and Bay Counties) which is higher than his 113,000 statewide win. The Panhandle, however, is not responsible for turning Florida red compared to 2012 because the Panhandle was already heavily Republican and voted heavily for Romney in 2012 as well (he received roughly a 168,000 vote margin). These counties border Alabama, are culturally very southern, have voted extremely Republican for decades so there are less swing voters to persuade and less new Republicans to turn out compared to other Florida regions. Trump’s margins in the Panhandle were expected, yet they were not responsible for flipping Florida. One of the major regions responsible for Trump’s win in Florida is what I describe as “North Central Florida.”

North Central Florida
North Central Florida.png

My previous Florida analyses have not singled out this area, instead dividing Florida into the “Gold Coast”, “I-4 Corridor” and “Rest of the State” but six counties I describe as the “North Central Florida” area are key due to the unmistakable Trump trend and demographic similarities. The counties are Citrus, Hernando, Lake, Pasco, Sumter and Marion. They are mostly part of Florida’s old 5th Congressional District from the 2000s and all of the counties have  high retiree populations as evidenced by the high 65+ population ranging from 22% in Pasco County to 54% in Sumter County (which is partially home to the Villages, a large and fast growing retirement community).

These six counties are all located directly north of the I-4 Corridor and in the 2000s were extremely fast growing, slowed during the recession but have started seeing new growth post recession. They are all >70% White and have a large population of Midwesterners. In 2000,  Gore won two of these counties, in 2008 Obama was close in Pasco County. It may be noted that Lake County is closely connected to the I-4 Corridor due to its proximity to Orlando, but it is included with the other five counties north of Tampa due to demographic similarities with a high population of retirees and a low minority population (Lake County also contains part of the Villages).

In 2016, however, these counties gave Trump a 226,000 vote margin with 64% of the two party vote and a roughly 115,000 margin gain over Romney’s margin in the area  (111,000 votes with 58% of the two party vote). That 115,000 increase in 2016 compared to 2012 is higher than Trump’s statewide 113,000 vote margin. If the Republican margins in these six counties stayed stable compared to 2012, Clinton would have won Florida, although by roughly 2,000 votes, a situation similar to the 2000 election.

Gore won two of these six counties and even Obama in 2012 came close in Pasco and Hernando Counties. As recently as 2014, Charlie Crist (D) who ran for Governor (and lost by one point) lost Pasco County by one point and lost Hernando County by three points.The 2014 Gubernatorial race was a bit of a reverse of the 2016 Presidential race where Crist lost narrowly in >70% White counties such as Pasco, Hernando and Volusia Counties but lost because he could not run up the score in heavily Latinx areas such as Osceola and Miami Dade counties. Overall, both Obama and former Governor Crist show that, although difficult,  Democrats can narrow the margins in these six counties.

North Central Florida Data Table:
North Central Florida Table.png
For full data tables click here:


Overall, how was Trump able to win Florida?

He was able to produce stunning margins from unexpected areas. Clinton was able to overperform Obama on the Gold Coast, heavily Latinx areas such as Osceola and Orange Counties and even in areas with high African American populations such as Broward and Duval (Jacksonville) Counties. If Trump received the same margins Romney received in all the counties outside of the Gold Coast plus Orange and Osceola, Clinton would have won Florida by 237,000 votes matching President Obama’s 2008 margin. Trump’s win relied on increased turnout in Florida’s West Coast and North Central area above Romney’s numbers, mainly in areas that were >70% White with a high population of former Midwesterners. Republicans such as Romney in the previous election made improvements with white voters, but those were mainly white rural voters north of Ocala which are culturally southern. Trump made those same improvements in areas with high populations of former Midwesterners.

As shown by the high turnout numbers in the Gold Coast and the Orlando area, the reservoir of new Democratic voters may be drying. Therefore, in order to win in 2018 and 2020, Democrats need to ensure that their margins in the counties just north of the I-4 Corridor such as Pasco, Hernando, Sumter and Lake return to President Obama’s 2012 levels.

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.