John Heppen and I are still reflecting on “Where Has the Jesse Voter Gone?” by Andrew Grossbach, Rusty Kath, Alicia Spencer, & Danielle Stuard.

Ventura was able to pull votes from Democrats and Republicans, as well as Independents. As seen in table 2, the vast majority of votes in the 1998 gubernatorial election for Norm Coleman, the Republican candidate, came from those who considered themselves Republican. Unsurprisingly, the vote makeup for Skip Humphrey, the Democratic candidate, came mainly from party affiliated Democrats. Jesse Ventura also received votes from those affiliating with major parties, which totaled 62.5% of his total support. Only 37.5% of Ventura’s support came from individuals claiming to be “Independent” or “Other”. Thus, 23% of people who claim party affiliation to a major party voted for an independent candidate.

I’d love to see how this compares to what Trump picked up… I don’t have that data easily.

Moreover, as seen in table 3, in 1998 a vote from those who do not affiliate with either of the two major parties did not ensure a vote for Ventura. Of those polled in table 3 (respondents who answered “Independent” or “Other” from table 2), only 39.5% of the independents voted for Ventura. However, Humphrey picked up an equal number of independent votes. Thus, Ventura wasn’t the only candidate gaining support from the independents.

I need to avoid the simple math of “Trump = Ventura + Coleman.”  It’s not that simple.  But these models are helping…

Because Ventura received a large percent of the general vote, which didn’t come solely from independents, we argue that this reinforces the notion that Ventura appealed not only to a single political ideology, but rather, to a large spectrum.

And this is where the analogy collapses, yes?  Trump is working by narrowcasting his message to his base, all the way down.

Complicated.  Anyone out there with some thoughts for me?

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