The Democratic primary in one chart

There’s one statistic that almost perfectly predicts the results of the Democratic primary. Can you guess what it is?

Unexpected results are highlighted in red. Arizona is expected under a slightly more complicated model. Indiana may be expected; I’ve drawn the line between Clinton and Sanders at 8.00% exactly. (Oklahoma is rounded up from 7.96%.) If Indiana is expected, Massachusetts is unexpected, but Nevada is still expected under the slightly more complicated model. I can’t explain Iowa. I could possibly explain Michigan if I looked at county-level data, but I don’t know how looking at county-level data would affect the other results from the model; it may be better to also take into account Scandinavian ancestry.

I hope Sanders doesn’t drop out before Kentucky. Kentucky could determine where the line should be drawn. If Sanders wins, the line should be at 10% and Massachusetts is unexpected; if Clinton wins, the line should remain where it is. Of course, it may be that the states closest to the line can be determined by factors not easily amenable to raw statistical analysis, like the competence of a candidate’s campaign.

Needless to say, I predict that, if the primary continues long enough, Clinton will win New Jersey, and Sanders will win West Virginia, Oregon, South Dakota, North Dakota, and Montana. I also predict that Clinton will win California and New Mexico. I haven’t looked at any polls except those for Kentucky, which I predict (with less confidence) that Clinton will win.

It would be interesting to look at exit poll data with this statistic in mind.

State ??? Winner
Mississippi 37.3% Clinton
Louisiana 32.4% Clinton
Georgia 31.4% Clinton
Maryland 30.1% Clinton
South Carolina 28.5% Clinton
Alabama 26.38% Clinton
North Carolina 21.6% Clinton
Delaware 20.1% Clinton
Virginia 19.9% Clinton
Tennessee 16.8% Clinton
Florida 15.9% Clinton
Arkansas 15.8% Clinton
New York 15.2% Clinton
Illinois 14.9% Clinton
New Jersey 14.5% N/A
Michigan 14.2% Sanders
Ohio 12.0% Clinton
Texas 11.9% Clinton
Missouri 11.5% Clinton
Pennsylvania 10.8% Clinton
Connecticut 10.3% Clinton
Indiana 9.1% Sanders
Nevada 9.0% Clinton
Kentucky 8.2% N/A
Massachusetts 8.1% Clinton
Oklahoma 8.0% Sanders
Rhode Island 7.5% Sanders
California 6.7% N/A
Kansas 6.2% Sanders
Wisconsin 6.1% Sanders
Minnesota 4.6% Sanders
Nebraska 4.5% Sanders
Colorado 4.3% Sanders
Alaska 4.3% Sanders
Arizona 4.2% Clinton
Washington 3.7% Sanders
West Virginia 3.6% N/A
Hawaii 3.1% Sanders
New Mexico 3.0% N/A
Iowa 2.7% Clinton
Oregon 2.0% N/A
Wyoming 1.3% Sanders
Utah 1.3% Sanders
New Hampshire 1.2% Sanders
South Dakota 1.1% N/A
North Dakota 1.1% N/A
Maine 1.0% Sanders
Idaho 1.0% Sanders
Vermont 0.9% Sanders
Montana 0.7% N/A
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8 responses to “The Democratic primary in one chart

  1. nobody? May 6, 2016 at 7:00 pm

    percent black. can pretty much figure that one out from the top three and bottom three.

  2. pithom May 6, 2016 at 9:08 pm

    I predict Clinton will win West Virginia.

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  4. Mark Yuray May 6, 2016 at 11:11 pm

    Arizona = Hispanics. Iowa = probably Clinton resources & momentum. On Feb. 1 Bernie was behind in national polls 50-36. Only climbed to 40’s after Iowa and especially NH. Also note that Iowa was 49.9-49.6. Bernie lost, but just barely, and Clinton didn’t break 50%. Not sure how I’d explain Bernie’s overperformance in Michigan and Indiana relative to Ohio. Differences in Hispanic pop. perhaps?

    • Texas May 6, 2016 at 11:27 pm

      Iowa is a fluke for multiple reasons. It is a caucus that usually takes place on a day with terrible weather, causing the people attending them to be weird. It often takes place for many hours into the dead of night, and people debate with their neighbors and kin.On the democratic side they don’t even tell you the actual votes, they have a weird delegate system, what you see is not the vote count, there were way mor than just a few thousand voters. In addition, Clinton won multiple areas where there was a tie by a “random” coin toss, and there were many other inconsistencies observers noted, no doubt all just bad luck, of course.

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