"The whole framework of the presidency is getting out of hand. It's come to the point where you almost can't run unless you can cause people to salivate and whip on each other with big sticks. You almost have to be a rock star to get the kind of fever you need to survive in American politics."
- Hunter Thompson, Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail '72
The 2016 presidential election has been defined by the unpopularity of each candidate. A week prior to the election Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton's enthusiasm gap is now a wide chasm of of general disapproval, even amongst supporters of each candidate.
Data acquired and analyzed by political data firm L2 Political articulates just how upset voters are with each candidate. "Based on recommendations from consultants and political scientists we chose to examine this gap by determining voters' views of Hillary Clinton's trustworthiness and their comfort level supporting Donald Trump," said L2 spokesperson Paul Westcott.
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L2's votermapping tool, built on HaystaqDNA, is a lightning-fast database of 265 million US voter and consumer records, and allows campaigns and corporate clients to sift and sort based on demographic and psychographic profiles, voting history, estimated household income, and dozens of other sub-categories. "The ability to sort through tens of millions of records instantly makes this complex data actionable, instead of just another firehouse," said Westcott.
As the election inches closer, L2 modeled voter sentiment related to each major party candidate. Many data companies use social media to model sentiment. L2's model, however, is based on early voting records. Though their methodology is complex, the principles are easy to understand. "This cycle L2 has worked ... to build issue, behavior and candidate and party preference models," Wescott explained. "HaystaqDNA's modeled party scores referenced in the early voter data allow us to have a better look at 'leaners' among registered independents. We're also able to see the distinction, through progressive and conservative scores, between a Louisiana Democrat and a Massachusetts Democrat or a Washington state Republican and a Texas Republican."
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L2 analyzed Republican comfort level supporting Donald Trump, Democratic trust level for Hillary Clinton, battleground states with voters likely to split tickets, and battleground states with voters likely to not vote past top of the ticket.
Here's what they discovered.
Top battleground states and the ratio of Republican voters who are likely to be "proud" versus "uncomfortable" supporting Donald Trump in each state:
- FL: Proud 78.2% // Uncomfortable 21.7%
- OH Proud 79.0% // Uncomfortable 20.9%
- PA Proud 60.2% // Uncomfortable 39.7%
- NC Proud 80.5% // Uncomfortable 19.4%
- NV Proud 76.5% // Uncomfortable 23.4%
- IA Proud 76.0% // Uncomfortable 23.9%
- ME Proud 68.6% // Uncomfortable 31.3%
The below map suggests a cluster of "uncomfortable" supporting Trump Republican voters in major suburbs.
Top battleground states and the ratio of Democratic voters who are likely to "trust" vs. "distrust" Hillary Clinton in each state:
- FL Trustworthy 85.2% // Untrustworthy 14.7%
- OH Trustworthy 89.2% // Untrustworthy 10.7%
- PA Trustworthy 68.9% // Untrustworthy 31.0%
- NC Trustworthy 86.9% // Untrustworthy 13.0%
- NV Trustworthy 87.1% // Untrustworthy 12.8%
- IA Trustworthy 89.1% // Untrustworthy 10.8%
- ME Trustworthy 91.1% // Untrustworthy 8.8%
As with Trump, the below map demonstrates that many suburban voters are less likely to trust Hillary Clinton.
Top five battleground states with voters prone to Ticket Splitting, by percentage:
- ME 9.8% 86,315 voters (42.9% R // 31.4% NP // 23.0% D)
- CO 9.4% 269,246 voters (40.8% R // 28.2% NP // 29.5% D)
- VA 9.4% 441,235 voters (51.6% R // 37.6% D // 10.6% NP)
- GA 9.4% 482,192 voters (60.4% R // 20.8% NP // 18.6% D)
- PA 9.3% 693,542 voters (56% R // 36.6% D // 4.9% NP)
Top five battleground states for likely ballot drop off, voters who vote for the top of the ticket and don't vote in down ballot contests, by percentage:
- ME 4.9% 31,281 voters (54.5% D // 31.5% R)
- VA 4.8% 227,465 voters (71.5% D // 21.8% R)
- PA 4.7% 354,298 voters (73.9% D // 23.5% R)
- GA 4.7% 241,235 voters (75% NP // 18.2% D // 6.1% R)
- TX 4.6% 590.050 voters (85% D // 10% R)
- New data reveals early voting trends in key swing states (TechRepublic)
- Gallery: Voter maps from must-win battleground and swing states (TechRepublic)
- Clinton v. Trump: Where they stand on 7 top tech issues (TechRepublic)
- Clinton and Trump indicate social analytics are predictive analytics (TechRepublic)
- Election Tech: Leadership is more powerful than technology (TechRepublic)
- Hack the vote: Could cyberattackers disrupt the election? (CNET)
- Twitter beats national polls for election predictions, prof claims (CNET)
- Campaign 2016: Our technology-enabled Bizarro World election (ZDNet)
- The big data trail to our next president (ZDNet)
- Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton locked in tight race nationally (CBS News)
Dan Patterson has nothing to disclose. He does not hold investments in the technology companies he covers.
Dan is a Senior Writer for TechRepublic. He covers cybersecurity and the intersection of technology, politics and government.