Sunday, February 28, 2016

More Data on Early Voting in the 15 largest Texas Counties 2016 Primaries

For those who are interested in more data about the turnout in the 15 Texas counties with the most registered voters, the following tables are for you.

Table 1: Numbers of Voters, In-person and By Mail

Table 2: Percentage of Voters, In-person and By Mail

Table 3: Registered Voters, Total Votes Cast, And Percentage of Registered Voters Who Voted

Table 4: Votes in Democratic and Republican Primary in Numbers and Percentages

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Predicting the 2016 Primary Election Voter Turnout in Texas

It’s time to venture out on that limb that is fraught with danger and offers little support; however, I feel compelled to go there. So here’s my prediction for turnout in the Republican and Democratic primary elections on March 1, 2016.

First, the data for voter turnout in the 15 largest Texas counties provides the basis for the projected turnout. In 2008, nearly 900 thousand Democrats voted early, either in-person or by mail, in the 15 largest counties. That year, of course, featured a hard-fought campaign between then-Senator Barack Obama and Senator Hillary Clinton. In 2012, when President Obama faced no opposition, turnout was only a few more than 222,000. In 2016, Democrats were more numerous as nearly 449,000 voted.  On the Republican side, turnout has not varied as much:  303,338 voted in 2008, and 343,497 voted in 2012 in the 15 largest counties. The table shows the turnout for each party in 2008, 2012, and 2016 in the 15 counties as well as the total turnout in the primary elections in 2008 and 2012:

The following table shows the percentage of the total vote provided by the early vote in each party in 2008 and in 2012:

Assuming that the vote in the 15 counties will provide approximately 35 percent of the total vote in the Democratic Party’s primary in 2016, there will be approximately 1,282,454 votes cast in the Democratic primary. Assuming that the vote in the 15 counties will provide approximately 24 percent of the total vote in the Republican primary, there will approximately 2,742,533 votes cast in the Republican primary.

We'll see how close my prediction is on Wednesday, March 2nd.

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Texas Registered Voters Party Identification February 2016

The UT/Texas Tribune reported the party identification of registered voters in their latest poll. Republicans constitute 30 percent of registered voters, Democrats are 33 percent of registered voters, and independents are 37 percent of registered voters. The national trend toward independence is reflected in these figures as well. The total is 101 percent due to rounding error.

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Ted Cruz's Hyperbole

Here's Ted Cruz on Meet the Press today indicating what will happen if Hillary, Bernie, or Donald becomes president and appoints a US Supreme Court Justice to replace Antonin Scalia:

The consequences are: (1) "unlimited abortion on demand" (2) "Religious liberty torn down" (3) "Second Amendment taken away" (4) "Veterans' memorials torn down" (5) "Crosses and Stars of David sandblasted off the tombstones of our fallen veterans."

Shouldn't his assertions have been challenged? How does the press perform its duties if statements like these are not challenged? Another institution that is not performing as it should.

Saturday, February 13, 2016

The Times They Are A-Changin'

Many people know how much Samuel P. Huntington’s paradigm of American politics means to me, especially his conception of political change caused by the IvI gap. Huntington explains the IvI gap as the gap between the American ideal and America’s institutions. The ideal involves all five ideas of the American Creed—individualism, liberty, equality, democracy, and constitutionalism—approaching their limits. That is, American institutions fully embody all five ideas in the extreme. However, this is impossible as some of the ideas are in conflict. For example,achieving greater equality limits individualism. But the impossibility of achieving the ideal does not keep Americans from pursuing the ideal in their institutions.

The responses depicted above indicate the possible responses to the IvI gap. Periods of moralism, where Americans clearly perceive the gap between the ideal and their institutions and, at the same time, strongly believe in the ideal, occur about every fifty-to-sixty years in American history. During these periods, institutional reform dominates America, and all institutions are attacked for not achieving the ideal. The last period of moralism occurred during the 1960s and 1970s, roughly from 1965 to 1975. The elimination of the gap requires the institutions to become more like the ideal.

So, my questions are: Are we experiencing another period of moralism? Is the 2016 presidential election going to result in reforms that affect our political and economic institutions? Has the basic institution of society—the family—not been reformed by the US Supreme Court decision in Obergefell v. Hodges? What will the reshaped political, economic, and social institutions value? Will individualism, the bedrock of America’s identity, be subsumed to a quest for greater social and economic equality? I surely don’t have the answers, but I believe firmly that "The Times They are A-Changin'."