An early sign the ‘Monster Vote’ for Trump may turn out

The principal electoral strategy of Donald Trump has been the bet that non-voters in recent elections will turn out, with some of them registering to vote for the first time.  This is jokingly known as the “Monster Vote,” both because of its size and because the elites look down their noses at many of this demographic cohort.  Existing models of the electorate used by most polls do not account for these hypothetical voters, which is the comfort Trump supporters offer one another in the face of unceasing negative news and media attacks.

Conservative Treehouse, which is proudly pro-Trump, is out with an early sign that the Trump vision may be actualizing.

…the left-leaning Tampa Bay Times has just dropped a big bit of data which seems to also confirm the existence of this phenomenon:

“More than 25% of the inbound mail-in or absentee ballots in the upcoming primary, have NEVER VOTED BEFORE“:…

[…]  “This is huge,” said Marian Johnson, senior vice president of political strategy for the Florida Chamber and one of the foremost experts on Florida campaigns and politics. “I can envision election night when the votes are counted that certain people win that nobody thought had a chance, and that being attributed to this trend.”

As of Thursday morning, more than 855,000 primary ballots had been cast by mail. More than a quarter of those votes came from Floridians who had not voted in the last four primaries and another 20 percent from people who voted in just one of the last four primaries.

In other words, these are not “likely voters” surveyed by most pollsters or targeted by sophisticated political campaigns. The trend applies to Democrats and Republicans alike and across the state, said Johnson, who was shocked when she first spotted the trend developing weeks ago.

“The first thing I did was go back to my data people and said, ‘Are you sure you ran this right?’ “

They had. The data crunchers looked at who requested mail ballots and who is returning them, and categorized each voter by a zero, one, two, three or four — depending on how many of the last four primaries they voted in.

[…]  We’re in unprecedented, unchartered territory,” said Florida Chamber president and CEO Mark Wilson. “Nobody’s been polling these people, nobody’s been marketing to these people.”  (read more)

This is a very good sign, but some caution is in order.  Reportedly, many Hispanics are being mobilized to register and vote anti-Trump.  Florida has seen a huge influx of Puerto Ricans fleeing the island territory’s terrible economy.  They are eligible to register and vote as U.S. citizens.  They could account for some of this activity, as many are new residents.

Update:

Neoneocon has dug into the sources of the Conservative Tereehouse report cited here, and discovered some disurbing omissions.

there are several simple explanations for the upsurge in registrations of voters in the state primary in Florida. They are stated in the Tampa Bay newspaper article, and are also left out of the Treehouse piece. Here’s the quote from the newspaper:

The Republican-leaning chamber started targeting these infrequent primary voters several weeks ago…[L]ocal elections supervisors increasingly are promoting and encouraging people to vote by mail. It’s more convenient for voters, less expensive to manage than in-person early voting, and the more people who vote before election day, the less likely polling places are to be overwhelmed.The combination of Floridians automatically receiving mail ballots and the media focusing constant attention on the presidential election seems to be prompting more people to weigh in on the primary elections that usually generate far lower turnout than the general election.

It really doesn’t seem to be much of a mystery what’s going on here. The state has been targeting and encouraging voters to participate in primaries more than they have before (primaries so far have generally been very low turnout), as well as sending them ballots in the mail to facilitate the process. So it makes perfect sense that more of them are going to decide to vote in the primaries who may not have done so before. Plus, keep remembering that these are new primary voters, not new voters in terms of the general.

You can draw your own conclusions about why Treehouse left out this information. I think it’s one of two things. Either they are aware of the information and are hiding it, or it’s a form of what they themselves warned against: confirmation bias. People sometimes stop reading an article once they’ve found the evidence they think backs up their own point of view and their own hopes, and they miss the information that would go against what they want to believe.

The principal electoral strategy of Donald Trump has been the bet that non-voters in recent elections will turn out, with some of them registering to vote for the first time.  This is jokingly known as the “Monster Vote,” both because of its size and because the elites look down their noses at many of this demographic cohort.  Existing models of the electorate used by most polls do not account for these hypothetical voters, which is the comfort Trump supporters offer one another in the face of unceasing negative news and media attacks.

Conservative Treehouse, which is proudly pro-Trump, is out with an early sign that the Trump vision may be actualizing.

…the left-leaning Tampa Bay Times has just dropped a big bit of data which seems to also confirm the existence of this phenomenon:

“More than 25% of the inbound mail-in or absentee ballots in the upcoming primary, have NEVER VOTED BEFORE“:…

[…]  “This is huge,” said Marian Johnson, senior vice president of political strategy for the Florida Chamber and one of the foremost experts on Florida campaigns and politics. “I can envision election night when the votes are counted that certain people win that nobody thought had a chance, and that being attributed to this trend.”

As of Thursday morning, more than 855,000 primary ballots had been cast by mail. More than a quarter of those votes came from Floridians who had not voted in the last four primaries and another 20 percent from people who voted in just one of the last four primaries.

In other words, these are not “likely voters” surveyed by most pollsters or targeted by sophisticated political campaigns. The trend applies to Democrats and Republicans alike and across the state, said Johnson, who was shocked when she first spotted the trend developing weeks ago.

“The first thing I did was go back to my data people and said, ‘Are you sure you ran this right?’ “

They had. The data crunchers looked at who requested mail ballots and who is returning them, and categorized each voter by a zero, one, two, three or four — depending on how many of the last four primaries they voted in.

[…]  We’re in unprecedented, unchartered territory,” said Florida Chamber president and CEO Mark Wilson. “Nobody’s been polling these people, nobody’s been marketing to these people.”  (read more)

This is a very good sign, but some caution is in order.  Reportedly, many Hispanics are being mobilized to register and vote anti-Trump.  Florida has seen a huge influx of Puerto Ricans fleeing the island territory’s terrible economy.  They are eligible to register and vote as U.S. citizens.  They could account for some of this activity, as many are new residents.

Update:

Neoneocon has dug into the sources of the Conservative Tereehouse report cited here, and discovered some disurbing omissions.

there are several simple explanations for the upsurge in registrations of voters in the state primary in Florida. They are stated in the Tampa Bay newspaper article, and are also left out of the Treehouse piece. Here’s the quote from the newspaper:

The Republican-leaning chamber started targeting these infrequent primary voters several weeks ago…[L]ocal elections supervisors increasingly are promoting and encouraging people to vote by mail. It’s more convenient for voters, less expensive to manage than in-person early voting, and the more people who vote before election day, the less likely polling places are to be overwhelmed.The combination of Floridians automatically receiving mail ballots and the media focusing constant attention on the presidential election seems to be prompting more people to weigh in on the primary elections that usually generate far lower turnout than the general election.

It really doesn’t seem to be much of a mystery what’s going on here. The state has been targeting and encouraging voters to participate in primaries more than they have before (primaries so far have generally been very low turnout), as well as sending them ballots in the mail to facilitate the process. So it makes perfect sense that more of them are going to decide to vote in the primaries who may not have done so before. Plus, keep remembering that these are new primary voters, not new voters in terms of the general.

You can draw your own conclusions about why Treehouse left out this information. I think it’s one of two things. Either they are aware of the information and are hiding it, or it’s a form of what they themselves warned against: confirmation bias. People sometimes stop reading an article once they’ve found the evidence they think backs up their own point of view and their own hopes, and they miss the information that would go against what they want to believe.