Reflection of 2020 Elections

PROJECT # 2 Getting elected in 2020.
Imagine you are intending to run for President in 2020. To have a realistic chance of election,
you must run either as a Democrat or a Republican, and you should say which you are running
as. Your two main goals are (i) to win the 2020 Presidential election, which also involves
winning your chosen party’s primary election in order to get the party’s nomination (ii) to
campaign on issues, and policies related to those issues, that you believe in and that you would
actually like to implement. You will certainly need to make some compromises here in balancing
these two goals (e.g. your preferred policy stance on a particular issue might make you
unelectable, in which case you probably should not advocate for it). You should, in your
written project, explain these considerations.
1. Use the ANES 2018 data set as the basis for your campaign. The ANES 2018 data set is
based on a survey of the electorate who were asked their views just before, and just after,
the 2018 mid-term elections for Congress, so it is two years more up-to-date than the
2016 ANES data set that you used for Project 1 to explain why Trump was elected in
2016. Instructions for running the ANES 2018 data set are below in the section
titled “Guide to the 2018 National Elections Study.”
For Project 2 you will set out where you expect public opinion to stand on three key
policy issues that you intend to stress in your campaign to be elected President in
2020. At least one of these issues should be different from the three you analyzed for
Project 1. Also, although you will base you campaign on the ANES 2018 data, you may
for one of the three issues use data from the ANES 2016 data set if you wish. Include in
your written project the three chart/tables outlining the results for each of the three
issues that you intend to stress in your campaign. [3 points]
2. Perform a crosstabulation of each of these three issues by a demographic variable
(can be a different demographic variable for each issue or the same one for each issue),
and at least one of these demographic variables should be different from those you used
in Project 1. (Note: “demographic variable” here can include who people voted for in
2016 and/or which political party they are registered under.) Include in your written
project the three chart/tables outlining the crosstabulation for each of these three
issues. [3 points]
3. Go online and search one or more of the LA Times, New York Times, Washington Post
or Wall Street Journal, or any other major source of current polls, and look in them for
recent (preferably last six months) survey data. Use these polls to supplement your
analysis for at least one of your policy variables.. [1 point]
4. From the interview you did for Project 1 with a Trump and a Clinton voter, look at the
part where you asked each of them who they intended to vote for, or supported, for the
2020 Presidential elections, and incorporate that material in your campaign memo
(below). [I point]
Examples of Key Issues (you may select different issues than these): economic
issues especially the state of the economy; financial reform in the light of the recent
financial/economic crisis; health care/health care reform; key foreign policy issues
including the wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and Syria, upheavals in the Middle East, the
associated refugee crises, attitudes to China and Russia; the issue of North Korea’s
missile capabilities, and the US-Mexico relationship; terrorism; social issues (e.g.
abortion, gay rights, women’s rights); government (how corrupt, whom it serves etc);
religion; attitudes to minorities.
Write a campaign memo addressed to your election staff (i.e. this is your written project),
explaining to your staff what stance you and the campaign should take on these three issues in
order to maximize a favorable electoral outcome in 2020. Base your views on the survey data
you have researched, and refer to the survey data/charts, but also mention somewhere your
interviews with the 2016 Trump and Clinton voters about their thoughts about 2020 candidates..
As written above, remember that your two main goals are (i) to win the 2020 Presidential
election, which also involves winning your chosen party’s primary election in order to get the
party’s nomination (ii) to campaign on issues, and policies related to those issues, that you
believe in and that you would actually like to implement. You will certainly need to make some
compromises here in balancing these two goals (e.g. your preferred policy stance on a particular
issue might make you unelectable, in which case you probably should not advocate for it). You
should, in your written project, explain these considerations. [7 points]
Maximum length of text for Project 2 should be 2 single spaced pages, plus the graphs/tables
from 1 and 2 (above).
Campaign video (optional)
For an extra 3 bonus points students can produce a campaign video (2 mins max). You
should base the video on your campaign memo, but instead of a memo the video should be a
campaign speech. At the very start of the video you should state the intended audience for your
video (e.g. primary party voters in a particular state e.g. national tv audience e.g. factory workers
e.g. students etc). Upload the video to youtube, and then include the link in a word doc that you
submit in the assigned place.
Guide to the 2018 National Elections Study (NES 2018) Study—1 Accessing the Survey
Questions, and 2 Accessing and Running the Data
1. Accessing the Questions. Open and look through the document ANES Pilot Study
Questionnaire. This sets out the questions that were asked. Select some policy questions and
some demographic variables that interest you, and record the name of each variable. In most
cases this “name” is in square brackets just to the left of the question.
Policy Questions. For example, below is (from page 7) the question of who people voted for.
The “name” of the variable is “vote16”.
[vote16] In the 2016 presidential election, who did you vote for? Donald Trump,
Hillary Clinton, or someone else?
__ Donald Trump [1]
__ Hillary Clinton [2]
__ someone else [3]

Another example of a policy variable is the question that asks how worried respondents
are about their financial situation. See below (from page 18). The name of the
variable is “finworry”.
[finworry] So far as you and your family are concerned, how worried are you about your current
financial situation?
__ Not at all worried [1]
__ A little worried [2]
__ Moderately worried [3]
__ Very worried [4]
__ Extremely worried [5]
Demographic Variables. Many of the most important demographic variables are set at the start of the
Questionnaire, on pages 1-2, in the section titled “Profile and administrative variables to deliver merged
with the data.” See below. Again, you should record the names of the variables that you think you may
use. For example “race”; “educ” for highest level of education completed; “pid7” for political party
identification; “relignew” for religion.

• Profile and administrative variables to deliver merged with the data:
○ number of previous panel surveys completed
○ date of panel enrollment
○ date and time of interview completion
○ duration of interview in seconds or minutes (or start and end times)
○ gender (“Are you male or female?”)
○ race (“What racial or ethnic group describes you?”)
○birthyr (“In what year were you born?”) (Note: I have recoded this as a variable called
“age”, which has seven categories and which you should use instead of “birthyr”, since “birthyr” has
over 80 categories!)
○ educ (“What is the highest level of education you have completed?”)
○ marstat (“What is your marital status?”)
○ votereg (“Are you registered to vote?”)
○pid7 (7-point party ID) [Note doesn’t work. Instead run PID1D where the second digit is
the letter I, and the fourth digit is the number one]
○ ideo5 (5-point political viewpoint liberal-conservative)
○ pew_churatd (church attendance)
○ religpew (“What is your present religion, if any?” 12 categories)
○ bornagain (“Do you consider yourself to be ‘born again’?”)
○ income (“Thinking back over the last year, what was your family’s annual income?”)
(Note: “income” is no longer in the data set. Instead, there is “Faminc_New”, which has 16 categories.
There is also “Faminc_seven” which has seven categories and is probably the most useful for you)
○ inputstate (“What is your state of residence?”)
(Note: “Region1” is a five-category variable created to reflect geographic clusters that are relevant in today’s
politics. For more, see below:
Defining Regional Political Alliances in the U.S.
America, today, can arguably best be understood in terms of three super regions, in turn based on five
geographic regions, as follows:
1. The West/East Coast Alliance, comprised of the West Coast and White Collar East Coast
regions:
1. West Coast: California, Oregon, Washington and Hawaii
2. White Collar East Coast: Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts,
Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland
and Delaware — plus Virginia and the District of Columbia
2. The Heartland/New South Alliance, comprised of the American Heartland and New South
regions:
1. American Heartland: North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas,
Oklahoma, Texas, Montana, Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Wyoming, Utah,
Nevada, New Mexico, Alaska
2. New South: North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Tennessee,
Alabama, Mississippi, Arkansas, Louisiana
3. The Blue Collar Midwest: Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa,
Missouri, West Virginia and Kentucky
○ newsint (“…Would you say you follow what’s going on in government and public affairs?”)
2. Accessing and Running the Data. To access the 2018 data, click on this link.
http://sda.library.ucla.edu/sdaweb/analysis/?dataset=anes_pilot_2018
That will bring you to the screen below. To run a variable, type in the variable name on the “row” row.
Then type in “weight” in the weight row. You must always have “weight” typed in when you are running
variables. Then click “run the table” (bottom of screen). (Note: in the extreme left column is a list of the
available variables, which you can also use, in addition to using the questionnaire, to find variables that
interest you.)
For example, if you type “vote16” on the row, you will have the screen below.
Then when you click on “run the table”, you will see the results below. The table show that
44.4% voted for Trump, and 46.9 for Clinton. Below that is a graph of the table results.
You can now “crosstabulate” the vote16 variable by a demographic variable, which you type
into the “column” row. Below shows you “race” typed in, and below that shows the results
after you click on “run the table.” You can see that, for example; 53.5% of whites voted for
Trump, while 39.2% voted for Clinton. 8.9% of black voted for Trump, while 83.3% voted for
Clinton.

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