Friday, May 06, 2016

Four Reasons Trump Won, think Jesse Ventura

“There are any number of explanations for what Trump is bringing out in the electorate. But the most compelling explanation also, curiously, gets the shortest shrift: He’s a celebrity candidate, and celebrity candidates break election models. Jesse Ventura in Minnesota, Arnold Schwarzenegger in California: these people bring out folks who don’t normally vote. In a low-turnout election, or a badly divided field, that’s enough to turn things in their favor. Celebrity candidate voters aren’t normal voters. Normal voters care more about policy than normal non-voters, care more about party identification, care more about ideology. Simply trying to transfer analysis of normal voters over onto the new people that celebrity candidates bring out to the polls doesn’t work very well, because you’re searching madly for clues to things that aren’t really there. This is why such candidates often surprise political scientists by winning.”

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