A POLITICO analysis of early-voting data shows little evidence for one of the Republican nominee’s core claims.
Donald Trump likes to say he has created a political movement that has drawn “millions and millions” of new voters into the Republican Party. “It’s the biggest thing happening in politics,” Trump has said. “All over the world, they’re talking about it,” he's bragged.
But a Politico analysis of the early 2016 voting data show that, so far, it’s just not true.
While Trump’s insurgent candidacy has spurred record-setting Republican primary turnout in state after state, the early statistics show that the vast majority of those voters aren’t actually new to voting or to the Republican Party, but rather they are reliable past voters in general elections. They are only casting ballots in a Republican primary for the first time.
It is a distinction with profound consequences for the fall campaign.
If Trump isn’t bringing the promised wave of new voters into the GOP, it’s far less likely the Manhattan businessman can transform a 2016 Electoral College map that begins tilted against the Republican Party. And whether Trump’s voters are truly new is a question of urgent interest both to GOP operatives and Hillary Clinton and her allies, who have dispatched their top analytics experts to find the answer.
“All he seems to have done is bring new people into the primary process, not bring new people into the general-election process … It’s exciting that these new people that are engaged in the primary but those people are people that are already going to vote Republican in the [fall],” said Alex Lundry, who served as director of data science for Mitt Romney in 2012, when presented Politico’s findings. “It confirms what my suspicion has been all along.”
For this analysis, Politico obtained voting statistics from GOP officials and independent analysts in the handful of states that have so far released such information. To varying extents, the findings rebut both of Trump’s central claims: that he has brought in waves of new voters and that he has attracted flocks of Democrats. Among the highlights:Read the rest of the story HERE.
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