Blog Credo

The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.

H.L. Mencken

Friday, November 4, 2016

Diving A Little Shallower

The other day I posted this chart, as to why I think Clinton wins:
I went into the various sub-groups and wondered where this Trump plurality was coming from.

But let's just look at the top-line number today.

In 2000, one week out, polls had George Bush up 3 points.  Al Gore outperformed that by 3 points, winning the popular vote.

In 2004, polls had Bush up 2 points over John Kerry.  That was roughly where the race ended.

In 2008, polls had Obama up 7 points.  That was roughly where the race ended.

In 2012, polls had the race tied.  Obama won by 4 points.

So, in the recent past, the polls have either been accurate or under-counted Democratic votes.  The Democrats naturally feel like a bunch of Chicken Littles when it comes to elections, especially post-2000.  Because the networks called Florida for Gore, then Bush, then no one, and because of the controversies surrounding the recount, Democrats are always expecting the worst.

But on election day, Al Gore outperformed the polls.  Four years ago, Obama outperformed the polls. At no time has a Democrat underperformed his poll numbers. Some of this, I expect, has to do with poll aggregations that include shitty, shitty polls like Rasmussen and ARG.  Now, the model for aggregating means you include all of them, because even a shitty, shitty poll can include data others are missing.  If you're including Rasmussen, you're basically tilting your aggregation, because Rasmussen are a bunch of Republican hacks, whose entire polling purpose is to provide hope for Republicans, so they don't get discouraged and stay home.  (I'm kidding, but only slightly.)

Obviously, four years ago, Romney's team had polling that showed them winning and they were stunned when they lost.  Again, that just means they had shitty, shitty polling.  Maybe, this time, it's the Democrats who have shitty, shitty polling, but traditionally, they don't.  Democrats don't live in the Fox Bubble of make-believe news.

Finally, it's all about Get Out The Vote.  By all accounts, the Clinton team - staffed by Obama's old crew - is turning out those early votes in good numbers.  Trump doesn't really have a GOTV apparatus.  If it really is that close, GOTV is everything.

UPDATE: Also, too - THIS.

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