Thursday, December 17, 2015

Is Donald Trump the Jesse Jackson of this campaign?

"Yes, it's a bit embarrassing that the press wants to talk to Don King and not us, especially since I'm running for president and you own this wonderful casino hotel. But listen -- just because you are a bloviating nincompoop doesn't disqualify you as a candidate. Look at me and all the idiotic things I say. Wait 20 years, maybe 25, and give it a whirl. It's fun -- you'll see. Just remember that you're running for President of the United States, not recipient of the Nobel Prize for Medicine. You don't have to be wise or good -- this is a democracy for Pete's sakes. Just be entertaining and let the people decide."

"Historically, in fact,7 there has been nearly a one-to-one correspondence between a candidate’s share of media coverage and his share of the vote in the polls. That is, other things held equal, a candidate earning 30 percent in national polls tends to get about 30 percent of the media coverage, while one polling at 10 percent will get 10 percent of it instead. It’s just that simple.8
Thus, we can readily compare a candidate’s share of media coverage to his polling average. Trump, for example, has received an average of 28 percent of the Republican vote in national polls since July, according to HuffPost Pollster. Prorate that number upward to exclude undecided voters and candidates who have exited the race, and you get him up to 32 percent. By comparison, Trump has received 54 percent of the media coverage of the GOP race, so his media coverage has exceeded his share in the polls by 22 percentage points.
That is a big gap, although not the largest on record. Instead, the record belongs to Jesse Jackson, who received 33 percent of the media coverage in the run-up to the 1984 Democratic primaries despite usually polling only in the high single digits.
Candidates with more support in media than in polls
Jesse Jackson1984 D33%9%+24%
Donald Trump2016 R54%32%+22%
Douglas Wilder1992 D40%19%+21%
Rick Perry2012 R37%18%+19%
Howard Dean2004 D40%21%+19%
Pat Robertson1988 R23%7%+16%
Hillary Clinton2016 D77%65%+12%
Mitt Romney2008 R24%13%+11%
It’s odd to compare Jackson and Trump, but their candidacies have some similarities: Both were nationally renowned (and controversial) figures before embarking on their campaigns, and their candidacies were strongly opposed by most members of their party establishment. Eventually, Jackson fared reasonably well, winning two states and 18 percent of the Democratic vote in the 1984 primaries and advancing political participation in the black community, although he never came close to winning the nomination."

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