RCLLG December Newsletter

Read our other 2020 newsletters detailing how different communities in Ramsey County have been handling the Pandemic.

Newsletter Content:
1. David Schultz' 2020 Election Analysis Recap
2. Annual Meeting - Congratulations New Board Officers
3. Thank You 2020 RCLLG Board Officers
4. Membership Renewal Heads-Up
RCLLG Annual Program
Professor David Schultz' 2020 Election Analysis
On Friday, December 4, we held our RCLLG annual meeting, the location a bit different than past years, but still well attended! Preceding the meeting was an analysis on the 2020 election by distinguished University Professor of Political Science and Legal Studies at Hamline University, David Schultz.

Professor Schultz discussed three major themes in his analysis:
1. Being a divided nation
2. The 2020 elections
3. The polling and prediction machines

A Divided Nation

If we were to go back in time to the 1970s and poll the American people on their political views, the results would create a perfect bell curve. Back then, the vast majority of political views fell into the center. In the 1970s, 1/3 of the House (~120 seats) came from swing political districts; these were the drivers of political compromise. 10-15% of voters were classified as swing voters. Consequently, there was a high degree of political consensus and most legislation was bi-partisan. As a result, this is where you would want to fall as a politician e.g., Jimmy Carter, Gerald Ford and other centrist candidates.

Fast forward to 2020. Now, the American people are partisanly divided. Political views no longer fit into a bell curve, but a bi-modal bell curve in which the curve rises on one side, slopes down in the center, and curves back up on the other side. There are less swing voters, as people have now reached a position in their political views. Parties have become more ideological and less coalitional. As the percentage of moderates has gone down, it doesn’t make as much sense to nominate moderate candidates.

The 2020 Election

We entered the 2020 election divided and exited also divided. The election was about one thing and one thing only: Donald Trump. This election came down to the mobilization of college-educated suburban women, plus those under 30 years of age and persons of color (the core base for Democrats) intersecting with the turnout for white non-college-educated males (the core base for Republicans). Trump didn’t like early voting, so less Republicans utilized mail-in/early voting. Mail-in ballots and early voting swung the election, and the coronavirus led to a surge in mail-in voting.

In December 2019, Professor Schultz predicted that the presidential race would be over in 43 votes. He predicted that Biden would start with 222 electoral votes and Trump with 205 votes, and that seven states with a total 111 electoral votes would determine the election: Arizona, Florida, Michigan, Minnesota, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin. This prediction was largely the case for the 2020 election.

The Polling and Prediction Machines

The issue with 2020: In this election, there was much guessing/assumption without hard evidence. The election polls used to be very accurate, within 3 points margin of error. This year, the polls stabilized at the national level approximately 6 months ago, when Biden opened with a 5-7 point lead over Trump.

Much like in 2016, it wasn’t necessarily the polls, but the analyzers being caught by cognitive dissonance, implicit bias, and the like, that created inaccuracies in polling. It is important to note that polls are not supposed to be predictors, but snapshots in time rather than predictors of the future. Always be sure to read a poll’s methodologies before reading its results.

A Q&A followed Professor Schultz’ presentation. Read the notes here for these questions and when you can find them in the recording
Thank you to those who attended!
RCLLG Annual Meeting
Following the presentation by David Schultz was our annual meeting, in which all members were welcome to participate. 2021 Board Officers were elected and plans for 2021 were discussed.

Read the strategic plan here.
Congratulations to our newly-elected
2021 RCLLG Board Officers! 
Jan Jenson, RCLLG President (Returning)
City Council Member, Village of St. Anthony
Scott Arcand, RCLLG Vice President
School Board Member, White Bear Lake Area Schools
Jessica Kopp, RCLLG Treasurer
Director, Board of Education, Saint Paul Public Schools

A special THANK YOU to our exiting Board Officers - Lisa Laliberte (2020 VP) and MarreJo Sager (2020 Treasurer).

Thank you for your work and efforts in making RCLLG everything it has become this year. You will be missed!
Stay tuned - 2021 Membership Renewal
Can you believe it's almost 2021!? A new year means new membership renewal for RCLLG members. Those registration forms will be going out early January.

Thanks everyone and have a Happy Holidays!

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