A data analyst who worked on the Obama re-election campaign tweeted in May that violent protests around social issues tend to hurt Democratic candidates during elections.
David Shor was fired from a position at a Democratic consulting firm after he tweeted research from Princeton professor Omar Wasow on May 28. The research analyzed public opinion in the 1960s and found that riots reduced the Democrat vote share during the 1968 election.
“Non-violent protests *increase* Dem vote, mainly by encouraging warm elite discourse and media,” Shor tweeted.
Shor’s tweet came just after the death of George Floyd, a black man who died May 25 after a police officer knelt down on his neck for several minutes, and prior to riots in Portland and other major U.S. cities. His comments also came months before the police shooting of Jacob Blake on Sunday, which resulted in riots in Kenosha, Wisconsin.
Post-MLK-assasination race riots reduced Democratic vote share in surrounding counties by 2%, which was enough to tip the 1968 election to Nixon. Non-violent protests *increase* Dem vote, mainly by encouraging warm elite discourse and media coverage. https://t.co/S8VZSuaz3G. pic.twitter.com/VRUwnRFuVW
— (((David Shor))) (@davidshor) May 28, 2020
Other Twitter users ridiculed Shor’s tweet.
“This take is tone deaf, removes responsibility for depressed turnout from the 68 Party, and reeks of anti-blackness,” Ari Trujillo Wesler, the founder of OpenField, a Democratic canvassing app, tweeted in a reply to Shor.
Shore responded, “The author does a great job explaining his research here.”
Employees and clients at Civis Analytics, which employed Shor at the time, after colleagues complained that the tweet threatened their safety, New York Magazine reported in June. Shor apologized a day later, tweeting, “I regret starting this conversation and will be much more careful moving forward.”
He was fired a few days after Civis Analytics reviewed the circumstances surrounding the tweet, according to NYM’s report.
“Out of respect for our employees and alumni, Civis does not publicly discuss personnel matters, and we don’t plan to comment further,” a spokesperson for the consulting firm told NYM. (RELATED: Phone Audio Shows Dispatcher Was Concerned With George Floyd Response)
Some battleground state citizens have begun viewing ongoing protests and riots less favorably, according to one recent poll. Public support for protests following Floyd’s death has dropped in Wisconsin by 25-points since June, a Marquette Law School poll published in August showed.
The Aug. 4-9 poll, which was conducted between June and August, was conducted prior to protests in Kenosha which began after police shot Blake, and before 17-year-old Kyle Rittenhouse was arrested for killing two people during Tuesday night riots.
Meanwhile, a CNBC-Change Research poll published Wednesday indicated that the presidential election is tightening.
Former Vice President Joe Biden holds a 3 point lead overall in Arizona, Florida, Michigan, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, according to the poll. Biden holds a lead over President Donald Trump in all six states, with just one point lead in North Carolina, two points in Arizona and three points in Florida and Pennsylvania, the poll shows.
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