The Crosstab Weekly Newsletter 📊 September 30, 2018

Impact of the Kavanaugh hearings? + Voter turnout, undecided voters, women & Democratic fundraising

Welcome! I’m G. Elliott Morris, data journalist at The Economistand blogger of polls, elections, and political science. Happy Sunday! Here’s my weekly newsletter with links to what I’ve been reading and writing that puts the news in context with public opinion polls, political science, other data (some “big,” some small) and looks briefly at the week ahead. Let’s jump right in! Feedback? Drop me a line or just respond to this email. 

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This Week's Big Question

How will the Kavanaugh hearings affect [politics, the midterms, the gender gap, etc.]?

Boy, this week was rough. I need a beer

The political world was engrossed in the accusations of sexual assault against SCOTUS nominee Brett Kavanaugh this week, and while the questions above have been asked and several have attempted an answer, I think suggestions of political consequences are premature. Aside from the very clear fact that the confirmation hearings have not decreased the delta between Democratic and Republican voter enthusiasm as was initially theorized, we don’t know much about possible political fallout from the hearings. I’m skeptical that single events cause short-term political rifts with any significant frequency. 

However, what the hearings could do is exacerbate the current political trend whereby women are becoming increasingly aligned with the Democratic party and men with Republicans. As I have written, this has also corresponded in an enormous increase in the supply of female candidates in the Democratic party, whereas Republicans are less inclined to demand that women represent them. Frankly, it was hard on Thursday to watch judge Kavanaugh so hysterically accuse Democrats of orchestrating a smear campaign against him and not think that women will see in him, and the GOP judiciary committee leadership, reminders of why the Democrats have issue ownership on women’s issues, just like Trump does.

The broader and longer-lasting consequences of the Kavanaugh hearings will come, of course, if all of last week’s events don’t matter and he is confirmed to the court. The mix of the judge’s ideological extremity and vicious partisanship — which was at full display at Thursday’s hearing — make him a reliable vote for the right, and it is unlikely if any of the court’s other 4 Republican justices would adjust leftward to compensate for that.

Politics and Election Data

Last week, I wrote about women in Democratic primaries and the odds of Brett Kavanaugh being confirmed to the Supreme Court over time. See the next two links two links: 

Democrats turn to female candidates in 2018 - Daily chart

Democrats turn to female candidates in 2018 - Daily chart

IN JULY of 1984, Walter Mondale, the Democratic presidential nominee, chose Geraldine Ferraro as his running mate. It was the first time in American history that a major party had nominated a woman for vice-president.  •  Share

Brett Kavanaugh may have fared better with senators than voters - Daily chart

Brett Kavanaugh may have fared better with senators than voters - Daily chart

SWORN under oath to tell the truth, Christine Blasey Ford said on September 27th that she was “100 percent” certain that Brett Kavanaugh, President Donald Trump’s nominee for the Supreme Court, had sexually assaulted her in 1982.  •  Share

What We’ve Learned About Undecided Voters Heading Into the Midterms - The New York Times

Our polling suggests they could help Democrats in the Sun Belt and Republicans in the North.  •  Share

Democratic House Campaign Outpaces Republicans in Fundraising - Bloomberg

The Democrats’ House campaign arm raised more than its Republican counterpart for the seventh straight month in August as the two parties and their allied political committees furiously raise and spend money with the fight for control of Congress entering the homestretch.  •  Share

Voter Enthusiasm at Record High in Nationalized Midterm Environment | Pew Research Center

Voter Enthusiasm at Record High in Nationalized Midterm Environment | Pew Research Center

With less than six weeks to go before the elections for Congress, voter enthusiasm is at its highest level during any midterm in more than two decades.  •  Share

Texas Democrats may not get the big turnout they need - CNNPolitics

Democrats need voters who don’t traditionally vote to cast a ballot this year in order to to win in Texas, and it’s not clear that they will in 2018. This could cost Democrats on both the Senate and House side.  •  Share

Patrick Ruffini


It's not just you: Dem candidate vote share has risen a couple of points in NYT Upshot polls, based on comparing recent results to a model built off the first ten polls.

10:25 PM - 29 Sep 2018

The turnout gap between whites and racial minorities is larger than you think — and hard to change - The Washington Post

Four takeaways from the fact that people of color vote at a substantially lower rate than whites  •  Share

Election Update: Why Our Model Thinks Beto O’Rourke Really Has A Chance In Texas | FiveThirtyEight

When building a statistical model, you ideally want to find yourself surprised by the data some of the time — just not too often. If you never come up with a r…  •  Share

Do Republican Women Support Kavanaugh? | FiveThirtyEight

Welcome to Pollapalooza, our weekly polling roundup. Poll of the week Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh is embroiled in multiple allegations of sexual misco…  •  Share

Other Data and Cool Work

Migrants contribute more to Britain than they take, and will carry on doing so - Daily chart

Migrants contribute more to Britain than they take, and will carry on doing so - Daily chart

BRITAIN’S Conservative Party has put reducing immigration at the core of its policies. Stopping “uncontrolled immigration from the EU”, as Theresa May, the prime minister, put it in a speech on September 20th, appears to be the reddest of her red lines in the negotiations over Brexit.  •  Share

How Americans View Women Leaders in Politics and Business | Pew Research Center

How Americans View Women Leaders in Politics and Business | Pew Research Center

A majority of Americans would like to see more women in top leadership positions in business and politics, but many are skeptical there will ever be gender parity in these areas. Views about the state of female leadership vary by party and gender.  •  Share

Political Science

“Ideology and Gender in U.S. House Elections” by Danielle M. Thompson:

I find little evidence that the relationship between ideology and victory patterns differs for male and female candidates. Neither Republican nor Democratic women experience distinct electoral fates than ideologically similar men. Candidate sex and ideology do interact in other ways, however; Democratic women are more liberal than their male counterparts, and they are advantaged in primaries over Republican women as well as Democratic men. 

What I'm Reading and Working On

This week, you’ll be getting a piece from me on redistricting in the print edition of The Economist as well as an update to our forecast of the 2018 House midterms (probably) and a chart on political ideology in western Europe (probably). I’m reading Woodward’s Fear: Trump in the White House and C. Donald Johnson’s The Wealth of a Nation: A History of Trade Politics in America.


Thanks for reading. I’ll be back again next week! In the meantime, follow me online or reach out via email. I’d love to hear from you!

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