What is Driving Voters in the Elections

  • Staff
  • 06.03.2016

Watch: Full Session Video

No matter what happens on November 8, the 2016 presidential election is bound to go down in the history books.

mediaXchange 2016 participants were given a rare look under the hood on Tuesday when two political pollsters – one a Republican, the other a Democrat – gave their insights on 2016 presidential race on the day of the highly anticipated New York State primary.

Both pollsters refused to predict if Trump would be the Republican presidential nominee but both agreed Clinton would be the Democratic nominee. They also agreed that either Trump or Cruz would likely be the Republican nominee.

Multiple ballots didn’t happen in 1976 and it won’t happen this year, said Bill McInturff, partner and co-founder of Public Opinion Strategies. “You can’t ask 30 million people to vote and then say we’re not giving the two people with the most votes the nomination,” he said. “The party would implode.”

What accounts for Trump’s dominance in this election, Susan Page, Washington Bureau Chief of USA TODAY and session moderator, asked the pollsters.

“If you give someone $2 to $5 billion of free attention, it has enormous consequences,” McInturff said.

If the other candidates had attacked Trump earlier, it would have made a difference, said Anna Greenberg, Ph.D, senior vice president, Greenberg, Quinlan, Rosner Research. In particular, she said, the candidates could have focused on Trump’s questionable businesses and how products are made overseas to challenge the notion that Trump is patriotic around American jobs.

If Trump is elected president, Greenberg said, he’s likely to have a Republican Congress and get a lot done. If Clinton wins, maybe the Democrats can get back the Senate and they would have the Supreme Court nominee. The only way anything would get done, she said, is through the courts. However, McInturff said, if it looks like Clinton will be elected president, the Republicans will likely retain their majority in the Senate.

If Trump is the nominee, McInturff predicts, he will lose by historic margins of seven to 10 points because the Latino turnout will be higher than any other U.S. election. Currently, 70 percent of voters, or less, are white, McInturff said. If Trump is the nominee, there aren’t enough white votes for him to win.

Although Latinos are the least likely group to report interest in the presidential election, Greenberg said, we’ve seen over time an increased in interest in this election because of Trump.

Republicans feel betrayed by their own party, McInturff said. The Republicans said if they had control of both houses of Congress, they would get rid of Obamacare, but that didn’t happen. “For many primary voters,” he said, “there is a lot of anger that the Republicans didn’t keep their word to them as a party.” Meanwhile, he said, they are seeing laws supporting same-sex marriage and issues with the economy, and they feel the need to radically change the course of the country.

Democrats, in comparison, feel good about same-sex marriage and other social issues but feel deflated by the economy.

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