The Republican Party, Trump, and two election platforms – From Conservatism to Emotional Polarization?

by Tobias Burst, Pola Lehmann, Sven Regel, Bernhard Weßels and Lisa Zehnter

The upcoming US presidential election is special in many respects. One of the predominant features is Donald Trump, who dominates the political discourse from the side of the Republicans. In August this year he published his agenda for the next term – which is truly his agenda, because the Republican Party refrained from offering a new election platform. Does Trump represent the party’s positions or has the party rallied behind Trump? In this article we (Tobias Burst, Pola Lehmann, Sven Regel, Bernhard Weßels and Lisa Zehnter from the Manifesto Project at WZB Berlin) look at the extent to which Trump’s agenda differs from the 2016 Republican manifesto, how many of the issues are already well known from Trump’s Twitter feed, and what voter groups and preferences he is trying to address.

© Gage Skidmore from Surprise, AZ, United States of America
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The 2020 US Presidential Election: The Forecasts are in

by Arndt Leininger, Research Fellow at the Chair for Political Sociology of Germany at Freie UniversitÀt Berlin

The world is looking forward to the US presidential election in anticipation. This, of course, also applies to political science, where colleagues have been working on election forecasting models for many years. In the past, such forecasts often succeeded in predicting the election with surprising accuracy weeks or even months before it happened. But in 2016, forecasters, just as the general public, were taken by surprise. Most forecasters correctly predicted that the Democratic candidate, Hillary Clinton, would win the so-called Popular Vote. However, the Republican candidate, Donald Trump, collected a majority of the votes in the Electoral College and was elected 45th President of the United States. Against the backdrop of the surprising 2016 election, in addition to the corona pandemic and ensuing economic downturn, the 2020 US Presidential election seems to be most challenging to forecast yet. In this blog post, guest author Arndt Leininger (FU Berlin) presents the scientific election forecasts for the upcoming election, which have been published in the October issue of the journal ‘PS Political Science and Politics.’

++++German Teaser +++

Die Welt sieht den US-PrĂ€sidentschaftswahlen gespannt entgegen. Dies gilt natĂŒrlich auch fĂŒr die Politikwissenschaft, wo Kolleg*innen seit vielen Jahren an Modellen zur Wahlprognose arbeiten. In der Vergangenheit ist es mit solchen Prognosemodellen oft gelungen, den Wahlausgang Wochen oder sogar Monate im Voraus mit ĂŒberraschender Genauigkeit vorherzusagen. Doch im Jahr 2016 wurden die Politikwissenschaft, wie auch die breite Öffentlichkeit, ĂŒberrascht. Die meisten sagten richtig voraus, dass die Kandidatin der Demokraten, Hillary Clinton, den sogenannten Popular Vote gewinnen wĂŒrde. Der republikanische Kandidat, Donald Trump, erhielt jedoch die Mehrheit der Stimmen im Electoral College und wurde zum 45. PrĂ€sident der Vereinigten Staaten gewĂ€hlt. Vor dem Hintergrund der ĂŒberraschenden Wahl 2016, zusĂ€tzlich zur Corona-Pandemie und dem darauf folgenden wirtschaftlichen Abschwung, scheint die US-PrĂ€sidentschaftswahl 2020 die bisher schwierigste fĂŒr Wahlprognosen zu werden. In diesem Blog-Beitrag stellt unser Gastautor Arndt Leininger (FU Berlin) wissenschaftliche Wahlprognosen fĂŒr die bevorstehende Wahl vor, welche in der Oktoberausgabe der Zeitschrift ‚PS Political Science and Politics‘ veröffentlicht wurden.

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